WI - A stronger, more stable Hungary

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Sang, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Sang Banned

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_hungary#900.E2.80.931910

    What if Hungary was ruled by strong and competent Kings in it's late stage, instead of weak-handed and incompetent ones, like Vladislaus II and Louis II?

    Let's say that King Mathias's son - or relative of some sort, or ANY strong noble - took the throne instead of Vladislaus II, and successfully defended against the Ottomans.

    The main point is...
    - to prevent Hungary from being conquered by the Ottomans and Habsburgs
    - to prevent Hungarians from becoming a minority in Greater Hungary (minus Croatia)
    - to make Transylvania, Transcarpathia, Vojvodina and Northern Hungary (Slovakia) remain parts of Hungary to this day

    In 1490, Greater Hungary's population was about 5 000 000, and it was an estimated between 70% of 90% Hungarian.
    In 1711 however, Greater Hungary's population was only 2 500 000 and it was only 45% Hungarian.
    This was caused by the repopulation policies implemented by the Habsburgs, who brought Czech, Serbian and Romanian settlers into Greater Hungary.
    Why was there a need for repopulation? Because 150 years of Ottoman rule devastated Hungary. Famines were common, Habsburgs-Ottoman wars, also played a role in this. The taxation system was rather crude, which also played a role in food shortages, and ultimately, the decline of the population.

    If we prevent the Ottoman occupation, we butterfly all of this.
    This means that there will be no need for immigration: Hungarians remain the majority.
    If Hungary manages to defend itself against the Ottomans, it might could just defend itself against the Habsburgs too, yes?
    Thus, it would have time to modernize itself, and maybe they could retain their independence to this very day.
    Off course, it might turn into a Republic in the 19th or 20th century, but there is also a chance that it would remain a Kingdom to this day.

    I wonder about WW1 and WW2 though.
     
  2. Marko Well-Known Member

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    A stronger more stable Hungary isn't very problematic to create with continuation of competent rule following the death of Ludovik the Great rather than feudal anarchy.

    As far as population estimates are concerned it is possible to calculate how many people lived in a certain area but without direct polling it is nigh impossible to make statements presented in the wiki article in such an ethnicly mixed area.


    Cheers
     
  3. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    In order for this to work, you probably will need Hungary able to withstand repeated Ottoman invasions.

    That may be difficult.

    This may be worth a read: http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/warso/index.htm

    WWI and WWII as we know them are eliminated by the vicious butterflies, so they don't matter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  4. MSZ Banned

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    Vladislaus and Louis weren't weak and incompeteny kings - they had a powerful opposition to their rule, and yet managed to stay on the throne for an extended period of time. Preventing the First Congress of Vienna and having Hungary join the anti-turkish expedition to Moldova in 1499 rather than opposing it could easily lead to Hungary getting a stable, hereditary monarchy in the form of a Jagiellonian branch, and propably count on Polish-Lithuanian support in it's future wars with Turkey. If the Teutonic Order can be brought to Moldova/Romania as an additional ally, so much the better for Hungary.

    I'm not sure how Hungarian majority can be preserved in the lands of St. Istvan's Crown - Hungarians are lowlands peoples, so migration north to Slovakia is out. East to Siebenburgen is problematic as well. Expansion south to Wojvodina and Serbia has Turkey as an obstacle. And the Carpathian Basin isn't fertile enough to be to densly populated. I suppose more Hungarians could migrate along the Danube - this would give it an additional benefit in possibly getting access to the Black Sea.
     
  5. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Louis II's biggest problem was getting killed at Mohacs. ;)
     
  6. Sang Banned

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    Are you sure that this will butterfly WW1 away?

    Western Imperialism will still happen.
    Germany will probably get unified as well.
    Italy will probably get unified as well.
    Wallachia and Moldavia is another big question - what happens to them? Does Romania get unified as it did in real life? Or do the Hungarians simply annex both and oppress them?
    Another question is what happens to the Ottomans... And the Russians.
    If Hungary and the Polish-Lithuanian Commwealth are in Personal Union, Hungary is screwed - now the Russians and Germans won't just annex and divide up Poland between themselves, but will also do the same to Hungary.

    In a worse case scenario, Hungary could either end up as the "Scotland" of Eastern Europe (being annexed by "England" - Russia or Germany) or, in a better case scenario, Hungary could become the "Britain" of the Balkans - conquering territories, and oppressing the hell out of them.

    Instead of Sarajevo, the Germans will look for another excuse to start the Great War.
    Hungary probably won't take part in it, or it maybe does, I don't know on which side.
     
  7. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    The very specific circumstances that started WWI will be butterflied given a POD this early. Nothing will ensure that a Hohenzollern-dominated Kleindeutschland will be created; and without Bohemia and Hungary in the Habsburg domain they can focus their energies within the Empire.

    And this isn't getting into the destinies of the rest of the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, England, France, among others.
     
  8. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

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    With a lucky enough POD, you might create a real Corvinus dynasty of Hungary and let it rule fairly long, keeping the Ottomans at bay while still being prosperous and diplomatically powerful enough for some scheming on the central European political scene.

    Matthias needs a suitable - and foremost, legitimate - male heir. Two of them, for added stability. OTL John needs to be butterflied away (or will be butterflied away).

    Also, he or his heirs mustn't overstretch their political ambitions. Vienna and bits of Lower Austria in Hungarian hands are fine, but the focus should be on the Turks and slight intimidation of the Habsburgs, otherwise the armies and the country will overburden their resources and morale and a backlash will occur. Not to mention the Habsburg allies potentially ganging up on Hungary.

    I wonder how Matthias and Jiří of Poděbrady will act in this ATL. Could we see a Czech-Hungarian alliance, perchance ? (As envisioned by Jiří himself in OTL...)

    Oh, and Corvinian Hungary should watch out for the Poles, especially in the latter half of the 15th century. The two countries had some serious misunderstandings back then.

    Look, whatever happens, WWI as we know it won't exist ITTL. Modern wars similar to WWI or even WWII ? Sure. But even a few ATL decades of Hungarian history will slowly render the world into an ATL. Imagine if the Corvinian dynasty actually became a proper dynasty (not a one-ruler miracle) and kept the Habsburgs (its bitter enemies) out for decades, maybe even a century. Not only Hungary, but gradually all of Europe and the world might end up as a very different place than the one we know. Certain patterns might and will reappear, but such an ATLish Hungary still going to war exactly in July 1914 is utterly ludicrous - all the more if you want a dynasty that will keep the Ottomans at bay and retard their advance and influence in the Balkans.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  9. Janprimus Well-Known Member

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    True OTOH it also isn't certain whether Hungary and Bohemia will stay united.
     
  10. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    I can see the union being broken, especially if Hungary goes Calvinist as OTL and Bohemia either remains Catholic or adopts Lutheranism as per OTL.
     
  11. yourworstnightmare Trubbelmakare

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    Timur Lenk completely crush the Ottomans, thus no expanding empire from southeast. Hungary conquers Wallachia and Bosnia and remain the strongest power in the Northern Balkans.
     
  12. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Yes. You might well get a Great War, and it might be in 1914-1918, but WWI as we know it...not even close.

    German and Italian unification are anyone's guess with a POD even as late as Mathias.
     
  13. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

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    Good point, but bear in mind Hungary wasn't totally Calvinist from a Protestant POV, it also had pockets of other denominations - mainly Lutherans in the more ethnically German areas (Transylvania, the mining cities in Slovakia, etc.) and quite a few anabaptists as well (mainly in the lowland towns). But, given the POD, even the Protestant faiths might evolve a little diferrently, though broadly recognizable from an OTL perspective...

    Considering the uneasiness of this particular period, the alliance would barely last two or three decades. A union of the two states is even more dubious, but "Jiřík" was certainly willing to negotiate with Corvinus a bit more than the Habsburgs (well, hey, Matt did trash Vienna and took it from them).
     
  14. Sang Banned

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    So, we're thinking about religious, stuf, huh?
     
  15. Grouchio Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps someone here could write a chronicle about this turn-of events like in other stories such as "Now Blooms the Tudor Rose"?
     
  16. Sang Banned

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    That would be cool.
    But I suck at making timelines, and I lack creativity anyway.
    And other people wouldn't want to do it.
     
  17. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

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    I'd make one, but I'm already writing a TL with a POD in late medieval Hungary. Actually, I once wanted to write some AH about a potential Corvinus dynasty, but I lost interest in it when I decided my current TL is more interesting and could do an even bigger shake-up of the global status quo.

    I'm essentially writing the TL to prove a seemingly mundane central European POD can have effects as major as any North American or western European POD. ;)