Addressing the diet (session of parliament) in Pozsony*, delegate Kossuth demanded the following major reforms from the Lower House:
1. Abolish censorship, i.e. freedom of thepress. 2. A Hungarian Ministry. 3. Annual Diet, elected by universal suffrage. 4. Equality of all before the law. 5.Formation of a national guard. 6. No tax exemption for nobility or clergy. 7. Suppression of feudal rights. 8. Elected juries for criminal cases. 9. A national bank. 10. Create a national army.11. Liberate political prisoners. 12. Unite Transylvania with Hungary
Afraid the Upper House would dilute and delay action, Kossuth suggested the list be taken directly to the monarch. On March 14, the Upper House supported the motion and a delegation, headed by Kossuth took it as "Address to theThrone" for accession by Ferdinand V.
* During the Turkish occupation in the 16th and 17th century, the Hungarian parliament moved out of the occupied heartland, and held its sessions in Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia; Pressburg in German, Posonium** in Latin). The Habsburg kings, were crowned here in St. Martin's cathedral.
**For a medieval view of "Posonium" Click here
Aptil 11 saw the acceptance of the April laws. Approved by the Diet, (the session having been personally closed by the king in the archbishop's palace) 31 new laws largely reflected the Kossuth demands of March 3. They were - in a sense - a new constitution, reputedly modelled after that of Belgium.
Discussed and voted on in haste, the April laws contained some inconsistent elements, but clearly reflected the Diet's desire to emphasize Hungary's independent thrust.
Some major issues :
Chamber of Magnates
Other elements :
Philosophically many had questioned whether the April laws were to provide broad equality or a rear-guard action by the nobility (i.e. Diet members) to preclude more radical steps.
The April laws had other deficiencies :
Relations with the several
minorities (Slovaks, Rumanians, Serbs, etc.) not defined, while
Hungarian declared the official language.Croatia-Slavonia had been an autonomous region of the
Hungarian Crown - its status undefined.
As was seen later, the anti-Hungarian faction in Vienna took full advantage of such inconsistencies to undermine the Hungarian government.
Sensing the unclear interface with Austria, Prince Esterházy approached Austrian minister Pillersdorf to establish a commission to deliberate common issues. The Hungarian representative, Ferenc Pulszky, was cut short in his efforts, when the Austrians adjourned the commissions' activities.
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