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Nation and language: Magyar and Slovak ideas of common good (The first half of the 19th century)

   | 03. Dez. 2022


The author studies the Magyar and Slovak ideas of common good that concerned the inhabitants of Hungary in the first half of the 19th century. The Magyar model was based on the rights of an individual, their civic duties, and virtues. Its realisation, however, lay in preferring the interests of the Magyar nation and required the adoption of full Magyar national identity, i.e. assimilation and ethnocide of the non-Magyar inhabitants of Hungary. The author characterises this model as exclusive, chauvinist, and nationalist-Messianic, masquerading as liberal values. On the other hand, the Slovak model of common good was based on the presumption of equal rights and duties for all citizens of Hungary while preserving the possibility of the growth, development, and cultivation of each individual, including the opportunity to gain education in one’s own mother tongue. The author perceives the Slovak model as inclusive, pluralist, and humanist; he considers it as a better alternative for the future of Hungary, which, however, could not be pursued. That means there were two incompatible approaches to the common good of the inhabitants of Hungary, which resulted in the downfall of Hungary.

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