Hungary - Country history and economic development

1000. King Stephen of the Árpad dynasty rules the country. He is converted to Christianity and establishes Hungary as a Christian state.

1241. The Mongolian Tatars invade Hungary and occupy the territory for the year.

1526. Hungary is invaded by the Turks and the last Hungarian battle is lost in the southern town of Mohács. The Turkish occupation lasts for 150 years.

1686. Buda, the traditional seat of power on the western side of the Danube river dividing the cities of Buda and Pest, is recaptured from the Turks.

1703-11. Ferenc Rákóczi II, prince of Transylvania, leads a rebellion against the Habsburg Imperial army. The rebellion fails.

1848. A revolution against the Habsburg rule starting in Pest spreads to the whole country. Lajos Kossuth is elected governor after the Habsburg emperor is dethroned following several important Hungarian victories. The Hungarian revolutionary forces are defeated in 1849 by the Habsburgs, the ruling royal family of Austria, with the help of the Russian Army.

1867. A dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy begins following a compromise with the Habsburgs. A spectacular phase of industrial development begins.

1873. Pest, Buda, and Obuda are unified, and Budapest becomes a European metropolis, with the building of the Opera House, the National Gallery, and the Parliament. The first underground railway in continental Europe is put into operation.

1918. The Austro-Hungarian monarchy disintegrates following its defeat, along with Germany and its other allies, during World War I.

1920. The Treaty of Trianon is signed, redrawing the borders of Hungary. The new borders place one-third of Hungary's former population in other states and reduce its territory by two-thirds.

1944. The Nazis occupy Hungary in March during World War II. At the end of the war, fascists take over the country. In October, the Soviet Army liberates Hungary from fascist rule and occupies the country.

1947. The last relatively free election is followed by years of communist control, including show trials, executions, forced resettlements, forced industrial development, and a drop in living standards.

1956. Following the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a revolution against Soviet rule takes place in Hungary. The uprising is defeated by Soviet troops. János Kádár assumes power with Soviet assistance. Hundreds of Hungarians are executed, thousands more imprisoned, and about 200,000 flee the country.

1965. Cautious economic reforms are launched, causing a rise in living standards and a loosening of some of the more harsh measures of the communist system. In 1968 the New Economic Mechanism is introduced, reducing central control of the economy and allowing for greater freedom among individual business managers.

1982. Hungary becomes a member of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

1988. A transition to democracy begins in Hungary, led by opposition parties demanding new institutions and the right to compete in legislative elections scheduled for 1990.

1989. The Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party agrees with opposition parties to end one-party rule and hold free elections in 1990.

1990. The Soviet Army leaves Hungary and the opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum wins the legislative elections held in March and April, ending 45 years of communist rule. Hungary also gains accession to the Council of Europe.

1991. Hungary, Poland, and Czechoslovakia sign the Visegrad Cooperation Agreement, a declaration to cooperate in preparation for accession to the European Union. Hungary also signs an agreement on cooperation with the European Union.

1992. Central European Free Trade Agreement pledging open and cooperative trade is signed by Hungary, Poland, and the Czechoslovak Customs Union.

1994. The Hungarian Socialist Party wins a legislative majority in elections held in May. Hungary joins the Partnership for Peace Program.

1996. Hungary joins the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

1997. Hungary is formally invited by the European Union to begin accession talks.

1998. Hungary pays off its debts to the International Monetary Fund.The Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Party assumes power following elections held in May.

1999. Hungary becomes a full member of NATO.

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