Hungarians in Romania

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Hungarians in Romania
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(File:Ethnic-map-of-Romania-2011.png|thumb|300x300px|Map of Romanian counties with notable Hungarian presence (2011 census))(File:Romania harta etnica 2011.PNG|thumb|300x300px|Map of Romanian communes with notable Hungarian presence (2011 census))The Hungarian minority of Romania (Hungarian: romániai magyarok, Romanian: maghiarii din România) is the largest ethnic minority in Romania, consisting of 1,227,623 people and making up 6.1% of the total population, according to the 2011 census.WEB, ro,weblink PDF, "Comunicat de presă privind rezultatele definitive ale Recensământului Populației și Locuințelor – 2011",, 10 July 2013, Most ethnic Hungarians of Romania live in areas that were, before the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, parts of Hungary. Encompassed in a region known as Transylvania, the most prominent of these areas is known generally as Székely Land (Ținutul Secuiesc, Székelyföld), where Hungarians comprise the majority of the population, comprising Harghita and Covasna counties and parts of Mureș county. Transylvania also includes the historic regions of Banat, Crișana and Maramureș. There are forty-one counties of Romania; Hungarians form a large majority of the population in the counties of Harghita (85.21%) and Covasna (73.74%), and a large percentage in Mureș (38.09%), Satu Mare (34.65%), Bihor (25.27%), Sălaj (23.35%) and Cluj (15.93%) counties.


Historical background

(File:Kingdom of Hungary 1102.jpg|thumb|left|300x300px|Transylvania, as a part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary during the early 12th century.)The Hungarian tribes originated in the vicinity of the Ural Mountains, arrived in the territory formed by present-day Romania during the 9th century from Etelköz or Atelkuzu (roughly the space occupied by the present day Southern Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and the Romanian province of Moldavia).Constantine Porphyrogenitus: De Administrando Imperio, edited by Gy. Moravcsik and translated by R. J. H. Jenkins, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, Washington D. C., 1993 pp. 175) Due to various circumstances (see Honfoglalás), the Magyar tribes crossed the Carpathians around 895 AD and occupied the Carpathian Basin (including present-day Transylvania) without significant resistance from the local populace.Fine, Jr., John V. A. (1994). The Early Medieval Balkans – A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century. The University of Michigan Press. p. 139. {{ISBN|0-472-08149-7}} The precise date of the conquest of Transylvania is not known; the earliest Magyar artifacts found in the region are dated to the first half of the 10th century. While the Kingdom of Hungary emerged around 1000 AD the conquest of Transylvania was not completed until the late 12th century according to a historical theory.In 1526, at the Battle of Mohács, the forces of the Ottoman Empire annihilated the Hungarian army and in 1571 Transylvania became an autonomous state, under the Ottoman suzerainty. The Principality of Transylvania was governed by its princes and its parliament (Diet). The Transylvanian Diet consisted of three Estates (Unio Trium Nationum): the Hungarian nobility (largely ethnic Hungarian nobility and clergy); the leaders of Transylvanian Saxons—German burghers; and the free Székely Hungarians.With the defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Habsburg Monarchy gradually began to impose their rule on the formerly autonomous Transylvania. From 1711 onward, after the conclusion of Rákóczi's War for Independence, Habsburg control over Transylvania was consolidated, and the princes of Transylvania were replaced with Habsburg imperial governors.WEB,weblink Transylvania, Encyclopædia Britannica, 7 February 2011, In 1765 the Grand Principality of Transylvania was proclaimed, consolidating the special separate status of Transylvania within the Habsburg Empire, established by the Diploma Leopoldinum in 1691.WEB,weblink Diploma Leopoldinum – Transylvanian history,, 2 October 2017, The Hungarian historiography sees this as a mere formality.WEB, John Hunyadi: Hungary in American History Textbooks,weblink Andrew L. Simon, Corvinus Library Hungarian History, 7 July 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 August 2009, dmy-all, Within the Habsburg Empire, Transylvania was administratively part of Kingdom of Hungary.After quashing the 1848 revolution, the Habsburg Empire imposed a repressive regime on Hungary and ruled Transylvania directly through a military governor. Habsburgs abolished the Unio Trium Nationum and granted citizenship to ethnic Romanians. However, in the compromise (Ausgleich) of 1867, which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the special status of Transylvania ended and it became a province under the control of the Kingdom of Hungary. Hungarian becomes the official language and a policy of Magyarization was applied to the various ethnic groups in Transylvania.Following defeat in World War I, Austria-Hungary disintegrated. The ethnic Romanian majority in Transylvania elected representatives, who then proclaimed Union with Romania on 1 December 1918.(File:TransylvaniaProper.png|thumb|right|Map of Romania with "Transylvania proper" in bright yellow)With the conclusion of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles, formally signed in June 1919, recognized the sovereignty of Kingdom of Romania over Transylvania as a historic fact. The Treaties of St. Germain (1919) and Trianon (signed on June 1920) further elaborated the status of Transylvania and defined the new border between the states of Hungary and Romania. As a result, the more than 1.5 million Hungarian minority of Transylvania found itself becoming a minority group within Romania.Kovrig, Bennett (2000), Partitioned nation: Hungarian minorities in Central Europe, in: Michael Mandelbaum (ed.), The new European Diasporas: National Minorities and Conflict in Eastern Europe, New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, pp. 19–80.In August 1940, during the Second World War, the northern half of Transylvania was annexed to Hungary by the second Second Vienna Award. Historian Keith HitchinsHitchins, Keith (1994), Rumania: 1866–1947 (Oxford History of Modern Europe). Oxford University Press summarizes the situation created by the award: Some 1,150,000 to 1,300,000 Romanians, or 48 per cent to over 50 per cent of the population of the ceded territory, depending upon whose statistics are used, remained north of the new frontier, while about 500,000 Hungarians (other Hungarian estimates go as high as 800,000, Romanian as low as 363,000) continued to reside in the south.The Treaty of Paris (1947) after the end of the Second World War overturned the Vienna Award, and the territory of northern Transylvania was returned to Romania. The post-World War II borders with Hungary agreed on at the Treaty of Paris were identical with those set out in 1920.After the war, in 1952, a Magyar Autonomous Region was created in Romania by the communist authorities. The region was dissolved in 1968, when a new administrative organization of the country (still in effect today) replaced regions with counties. The communist authorities, and especially after Nicolae Ceaușescu's regime came to power, restarted the policy of Romanianization.Today, "Transylvania proper" (bright yellow on the accompanying map) is included within the Romanian counties (județe) of Alba, Bistrița-Năsăud, Brașov, Cluj, Covasna, Harghita, Hunedoara, Mureș, Sălaj (partially) and Sibiu. In addition to "Transylvania proper", modern Transylvania includes Crișana and part of the Banat; these regions (dark yellow on the map) are in the counties of Arad, Bihor, Caraș-Severin, Maramureș, Sălaj (partially), Satu Mare, and Timiș.

Post-communist era

(File:Szekely04.png|thumb|300px|Ethnic map of Harghita, Covasna, and Mureș Counties based on the 2011 data, showing localities with Hungarian majority or plurality.)In the aftermath of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, ethnic-based political parties were constituted by both the Hungarians, who founded the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, and by the Romanian Transylvanians, who founded the Romanian National Unity Party. Ethnic conflicts, however, never occurred on a significant scale, even though some violent clashes, such as the Târgu Mureș events of March 1990, did take place shortly after the fall of Ceaușescu regime.In 1995, a basic treaty on the relations between Hungary and Romania was signed. In the treaty, Hungary renounced all territorial claims to Transylvania, and Romania reiterated its respect for the rights of its minorities. Relations between the two countries improved as Romania and Hungary became EU members in the 2000s.


The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) is the major representative of Hungarians in Romania, and is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. The aim of the UDMR is to achieve local government, cultural and territorial autonomy and the right to self-determination for Hungarians. UDMR is a member of the European Democrat Union (EDU) and the European People's Party (EPP). Since 1996, the UDMR has been a member or supporter of every governmental coalition.Political agreements have brought the gradual implementation of Hungarian language in everyday life: Public administration Law 215/2002 stipulates "the use of national minority languages in public administration in settlements where minorities exceed 20% of the population"; minority ethnics will receive a copy of the documents in Romanian language and a translation in their language; however, official documents are preserved by the local administration in Romanian only; local administration will provide inscriptions for the names of localities and public institutions under their authority, and display public interest announcements in the native language of the citizens of the respective ethnic minority under the same 20% rule.Even though Romania co-signed the European laws for protecting minorities' rights, the implementation has not proved satisfactory to all members of Hungarian community. There is a movement by Hungarians both for an increase in autonomy and distinct cultural development. Initiatives proposed by various Hungarian political organizations include the creation of an "autonomous region" in the counties that form the Szekler region (Székelyföld), roughly corresponding to the territory of the former Hungarian Autonomous Province as well as the historical Szekler land that had been abolished by the Hungarian government in the second half of the 19th century, and the re-establishment of an independent state-funded Hungarian-language university.However, the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania has been seen as a model of cultural and ethnic diversity in the Balkan area:WEB,weblink Refworld – Romania: Ethnic Hungarians (January 2001 – January 2006), United Nations High Commissioner for, Refugees,, 2 October 2017, In an address to the American people, President Clinton asked in the midst of the air war in Kosovo: Who is going to define the future of this part the world... Slobodan Milošević, with his propaganda machine and paramilitary forces which compel people to give up their country, identity, and property, or a state like Romania which has built a democracy respecting the rights of ethnic minorities?Tom Gallagher, "Modern Romania: the end of communism, the failure of democratic reform, and the theft of a nation", p. 216, NYU Press, 2005

Notable Hungarians of Romania


Several ethnic HungariansWEB,weblink Origini ungurești pentru medalii olimpice românești, Mircea Dominte,, 6 September 2013, Romanian,

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