Mihály Táncsics was born on 21 April 1799 in the village of Ácsteszér in the Komárom-Esztergom county of the Kingdom of Hungary. By his own account, his father was of Serbian antecedents and his mother was Slovak, but he was brought up to be a Hungarian-speaker and an ardent Hungarian. He was incarcerated in Budapest for his radical political convictions in 1846. He propagated in his pamphlet The Word of the People Is God's Word, a paraphrase of Vox populi, vox Dei. The pamphlet resulted in his arrest. Táncsics was freed from the Habsburgs's prison on 15 March 1848, the very day when the Hungarian revolution broke out. Although Táncsics's role in the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas is highly emphasized in Hungarian history books, however, in literature he does not rank among the great active heroes of these events. He is remembered as someone who is freed rather than someone who liberates others.
As a teacher, Táncsics tirelessly worked to extend elementary education in Hungarian among children and adults in Hungary's urban centres, and his slim textbook on geography with a map of Hungary was part of a large educational project.
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