Slovak uprising

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Flag of the Slovak Volunteer Associations with the inscription: “Fraternity and Unity. For the king and the Slovak people. Glory to all Slovaks! "

The Slovak Uprising from September 1848 to November 1849 ( not to be confused with the Slovak National Uprising of 1944) is the name given to three Slovak armed campaigns against the Magyars as part of the revolutions of 1848 and 1849 in the history of Slovakia .

The leading figures were the Slovaks Ľudovít Štúr , Jozef Miloslav Hurban , Michal Miloslav Hodža , Janko Kráľ and the Czech military leader Bedřich Bloudek .

General Developments (The 1848 Revolution in Hungary)

After revolts broke out in Pest on March 15th after Paris , Prague and Vienna , the Austrian Emperor was forced to sign the so-called March Acts passed by the Hungarian Parliament in Pressburg on April 11th . Among other things, these created a largely autonomous Magyar nation-state in which many (but not all) peasants were liberated (abolition of bondage ) and Hungarian was the only official language. Since no one was satisfied with the “unfinished” liberalization, Vienna was outraged by the Hungarians' aspirations for independence and the concerns of the non-Magyars were ignored, a civil war was predetermined.

At first there were revolts of the common people, then the Magyars waged wars against the non-Magyars in their kingdom (against the Serbs (since June 1848), then also against the Croats , Romanians , Slovaks , Russians , Transylvanian Saxons ) and above all against Imperial Austrian troops who sent a Croatian army to Pest in September 1848. At the end of September the emperor dissolved the Hungarian state parliament and declared a state of war in Hungary. At the end of 1848, imperial troops attacked Hungary through Slovakia with the support of Slovak troops (see below) and occupied Pest on January 5, 1849. On March 7, the Austrian Kaiser dissolved the Austrian Reichstag and issued a new constitution, the so-called October Constitution . In the Kingdom of Hungary , the Hungarian constitution was abolished and Croatia, Transylvania and the military border were separated from Hungary. The areas of the Slovaks, Russians, Germans and Romanians in Hungary, on the other hand, were not even delimited at the administrative level within Hungary.

In April, however, the Magyars unexpectedly drove the imperial family out of Hungary, with the Hungarian state parliament declaring the deposition of the Habsburgs and complete independence on April 14th. The Kaiser then allied himself with the Russians , and in mid-June a major Austro-Russian offensive against Hungary began from the north and west. On August 13th the Hungarians surrendered after the battle of Világos (Şiria near Arad ). The Hungarian Revolution was practically over. The city of Komárno was the last to capitulate in September 1849.

Developments in Slovakia (Slovak Uprising)

In the context of the revolts of the poor population in the spring of 1848 there was also a revolt of the miners of Banská Štiavnica / Schemnitz, revolts of the poor urban population in Bratislava / Pressburg, Nitra / Neutra, Trnava / Tyrnau etc. as well as outbreaks of violence in Upper Hungary , today's Slovakia in Hont county under the leadership of Janko Kráľ. Then numerous popular assemblies took place. One of the results of these meetings was the radical petition “Demands of the Slovak Nation” on May 10, 1848, drawn up by Ľudovít Štúr and 30 of his followers based on the model of similar petitions from Croats and Serbs and submitted to Liptovský Mikuláš / Liptau-St.-Nikolaus were read out. Requests were made, among other things, for exemption for all farmers, freedom of the press and assembly, federalization of the Kingdom of Hungary, use of Slovak in schools and offices and Slovak-speaking secondary schools and universities.

The main authors Ľudovít Štúr, Jozef Hurban and Milan Hodža then had to flee to other parts of the monarchy ( Prague , Croatia , Serbia , Vienna ) and also took part in the revolutions there. In Vienna they founded the Slovak National Council (near Karlskirche ) on September 16 as the central political and military body (a kind of government) for the planned armed uprising. Its leaders were Štúr, Hurban and Hodža and three Czech soldiers. This was followed by the so-called First or September campaign (6000 volunteers, mostly students), during which a small area around the town of Myjava was occupied, the independence of the Slovaks from the Magyars was declared and Slovak administration was established. But on September 28th they were beaten.

Then in October the first battles between the imperial and the Magyars took place in Upper Hungary and the Slovaks allied themselves with Vienna against the Magyars. The so-called Second or Winter Campaign followed (November 1848 to April 1849). Two Slovak volunteer troops were deployed as special units as part of a large-scale campaign by the imperial army. One was active in southwestern Slovakia, the other in the north and east. The second unit that entered Slovakia from Silesia on December 4, 1848 together with the imperial army was particularly important. After numerous fights, the last Hungarians were forced out of Slovakia at the end of February 1849. In the areas occupied by the imperial troops and the Slovak volunteer troops (Eastern Slovakia was directly controlled by Slovak volunteers), a new, predominantly Slovak administration was set up on December 6, 1848 at community and county level, which was appointed by the Slovak National Council at popular assemblies . The official language was - for the first time in history - the Slovak language . In February and March 1849, however, the national councils were again replaced by conservative Hungarian nobles from Vienna. In April the Slovak volunteer troops and the imperial army were ousted from Slovakia by Hungarian troops. In this context, two popular uprisings broke out in northern Slovakia at the beginning of May, which tried in vain to prevent the imperial troops in Slovakia from being defeated by the Hungarians.

After the proclamation of the October constitution , the Slovaks submitted the so-called March petition to the emperor on March 20, in which they recognized the Slovak nation as a reward for the winter campaign - as the emperor had promised them before the campaign, demanded the creation of a state parliament and Slovak as the official language. The Austrian interior minister and the emperor then promised the Slovaks that their demands would be fulfilled and the finance minister even suggested that the emperor expand his title to include "Grand Duke of the Romanians, Ruthenians and Slovaks". Three persons of trust in the government in Vienna responsible for the Slovaks were appointed (until the end of 1849), including v. a. Ján Kollár , who also wrote very detailed reports on the catastrophic national situation of the Slovaks in the Kingdom of Hungary. After the defeat of the imperial in Hungary in April, the government in Vienna decided that the situation of the Slovaks should only be decided after the defeat of the Hungarian revolution. But when the Slovaks were needed again in June for the planned Imperial Russian offensive, Vienna fulfilled at least some of their demands. So, for example, so-called district commissioners for Slovakia were appointed to introduce Slovak as the official language (which was only partially realized) and since July 10th, on the initiative of Alexander von Bach , the Slovenské noviny (Slovak newspaper; published until 1861). In return, the Slovaks created new volunteer troops. In mid-June, the imperial army attacked from the west (today's Hungary) and the Russian army in several waves from the north ( Orava and the Spiš ) and east ( Dukla Pass ). In early July, the Russians pushed Magyar troops back from Slovakia. It was not until August 9, when the Magyars were almost defeated, that the Slovak volunteer troops formed in May ( third campaign : August to November 1849) were sent by the Emperor from Bratislava to the strategically important central Slovak mining towns. They replaced the Russian garrisons in Banská Bystrica on August 30th . Since the fighting was already taking place in what is now Hungary at that time, these troops did not fight anymore - they only secured the hinterland of the Russian and imperial armies and undertook several successful campaigns against Magyar guerrilla groups in the Gömör-Spiš Ore Mountains (in Gemer county ).

Between September 17 and October 9, 1849, a special conference was held in Vienna under the chairmanship of the Emperor, which was to decide on the future of Hungary, above all on its (non) federalization. On October 10th, around 100 personalities presented a joint petition to the emperor, which among other things called for the creation of the separate crown land of Slovakia. Although Emperor Franz Joseph I promised to do all that was in his power and that “aimed at the happiness of the supplicants”, it was announced at the end of the conference that Slovakia would remain an integral part of Hungary. However, Slovak was allowed to be used in elementary schools and at least by lower officials. The Slovak volunteer troops were solemnly disbanded on November 21 in Bratislava / Pressburg in front of today's government building and the whole of Slovakia was subsequently occupied by imperial (i.e. Austrian) troops.

The cooperation of the Slovaks with Vienna during the revolution brought the Slovaks almost nothing. Otherwise, however, the revolution of 1848/1849 in Hungary brought about the liberation of the peasants, a formal equality of all citizens before the law and the economic implementation of capitalism in the Kingdom of Hungary.


  • RAPANT, D .: Slovenské povstanie v roku 1848-1849, I / 1-2 — V / 1-2, Martin - Bratislava 1937, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1963, 1967, 1972 ( a very detailed major work on the subject)
  • PODRIMAVSKÝ, M. et al .: Dejiny Slovenska III (od roku 1848 do konca 19. storočia), Veda vydavateľstvo SAV, Bratislava 1992 (a work of the Slow. Academy of Sciences; the topic is dealt with in detail on about 100 pages; the work was completed at the beginning of 1990, was therefore still created from a Marxist point of view)
  • KOVÁČ, D. et al .: Kronika Slovenska 1 - od najstarších čias do konca 19. storočia, Fortuna Print and Adox, Bratislava 1998

See also