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Estates and Constitution
The Parliament in Eighteenth-Century Hungary
István M. Szijártó
Translated from the Hungarian by David Robert Evans
362 pages, 29 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-879-5 $155.00/£115.00 Hb Published (September 2020)
eISBN 978-1-78920-880-1 eBook
“The Hungarian Diet has been grievously neglected in international scholarship. Szijártó’s study will completely transform that landscape. It demonstrates how and why the country's parliamentary system proved one of the most effective restraints on absolute monarchy and its centralizing policies in 18th-century Europe.” • Robert Evans, University of Oxford
“This is a major work of original research on an important subject, one that is regrettably little known or examined in Anglophone scholarship.” • William D. Godsey, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Across eighteenth-century Europe, political power resided overwhelmingly with absolute monarchs, with notable exceptions including the much-studied British Parliament as well as the frequently overlooked Hungarian Diet, which placed serious constraints on royal power and broadened opportunities for political participation. Estates and Constitution provides a rich account of Hungarian politics during this period, restoring the Diet to its rightful place as one of the era’s major innovations in government. István M. Szijártó traces the religious, economic, and partisan forces that shaped the Diet, putting its historical significance in international perspective.
István M. Szijártó is Professor of History at Eötvös University, Budapest. He has published several books about the social and cultural history of politics in 18th-century Hungary as well as the theoretical and methodological problems surrounding microhistory.