The one place that the election’s result did cause controversy was Hungary. Every Hungarian political party had either endorsed de Nyitra or was part of his coalition; it was the most solidly blue state there was. Many though, in particular the reactionary elements of the state, saw de Nyitra’s subordination as selling out to the Liberals. In Budapest, where tempers flared highest, the same signs that had precluded the Vienna riots began to emerge; random abductions, arson attacks and terrorist incidents slowing built through the winter following the election. The violence reached its peak on 7th March 1853, after the Hungarian Parliament approved the final version of the Plebiscite Act on Slovak Statehood.  Fears of a reprise of the widespread anarchy that had characterised Vienna less than five years ago caused the Minister of War to order an entire Federal Army to march on the city. President Nagy, meanwhile, ordered the Hungarian Militia to both pacify the city from within and defend the city from without, forbidding the Federal government to cross the city limits. Codrinaru attempted to intervene, but his orders soon got lost in translation, as the Second Southern Army ended up camping outside the city rather then heading for the border. Though the Hungarian Militia, together with a concerted political effort to prevent conflict, caused the mob to dissipate, rumours of stolen weapons led to both the Army and the Militia remaining in the city’s vicinity. If you want to read about the Budapest Uprising, click this link.


A small engraving of the protests in the city of Budapest, March 1853

Hungary continued to rumble on, but by the Summer of 1847, the nation’s attention turned north, as Codrinaru left for a conference with Prussia in the Munich. Though he managed to secure a few alterations to the suggestion sent the previous year  by the Prussian Ambassador, only the states Bavaria, Baden and Württemberg were guaranteed as under Danubian influence while attempts to prevent a pan-German conference were blocked. Out of the deal, Prussia got assurances from the Federation about all states north of Prussia herself and the territory the Russians had taken the previous decade; the Federation, meanwhile, secured the former Austrian duchy of Silesia (which had almost twice the population of Ostpruβen and had been captured by Prussia after the War of the Austrian Succession). Silesia was near unanimously accepted as a federal state by congress on 21st August 1853 and the first 10-yearly census was brought forward to 1854 so as to allow the state to participate in elections in the 1856 elections. The German Union, the other main product of the Munich Conference and the direct replacement of the abandoned German Confederation, was signed into law by all of the successor states to the Confederation’s members at Frankfurt in January 1854. The result of the Slovak Plebiscite, which had taken place concurrently with Hungarian parliamentary elections, was announced on the 11th June 1854. It had been tight, with many being swayed by the new power to vote in state elections they had received, but the population supported statehood by a margin of just 1,264 votes. Not a ringing endorsement, but Nagy vowed to keep his word and presented the Deferred Slovak Statehood Act to the State Legislature. It sparked an uprising which proved the existence of those mysterious vanishing weapons that had been illegally stored since the revolution before being stolen. A well armed mob marched the streets, eventually laying siege to the Sándor Palace, the official residence of President Nagy of Hungary. Seeing the chaos, the Southern Army attempted to enter the city to restore order, in direct contravention of Codrinaru’s repeated orders. The Hungarian militia, seeing the advancing army and knowing they were to hold the city no matter what, fired upon the Federal troops. The end result was a siege within a siege; Nagy believed that the Militia, which outnumbered the mob by more than two to one, could restore order with little problem, while the Generals of the 2nd Southern were unwilling to leave the city to its own devices and kept demanding that the Militia open the gates.

The Sándor Palace as it stands today

The climax of the Budapest Uprising came on the 15th when the mob stormed the Sándor Palace. As the Hungarian Cabinet retreated deeper into the complex and it became clear that there was no way that the Militia could cope, Nagy eventually sent a message to the walls that the Federal Army would be permitted to enter the city. It was, for the Hungarian President, however, too little too late; just two hours later, the Nagy was captured, forced to sign an executive order which voided the vote and then shot through the heart. Order was restored to the city after five further hours of heavy fighting, but the state of Hungary was left without any executive for two whole years and the Slovak statehood was once again repulsed thanks to one man’s intransigence. After Frankfurt, Codrinaru had continued his active foreign policy by leaving for Cairo, where he signed the Treaty of Alexandria, which cemented a political and military alliance between the two states in the wake of Ottoman motions threatening to retake the Levant (plus secured a significant amount of Federal investment in Egyptian infrastructure and industry). In return, the island of Crete was transferred to Federal control and Codrinaru got a pretext for war. Conflict became a certainty after, on 15th March 1854, the DFS Sofa (one of the larger vessels in the Red Star Fleet) was fired upon by a small gun boat flying a Turkish flag while patrolling off the coast of North Africa.


The front page of the Egyptian copy of the Treaty of Cairo

The “Gulf of Tobruk Resolution” was rushed through congress and promised that the Federation would oppose all Ottoman aggression in the Mediterranean.  That war came in July 1854. The Turks issued an ultimatum on the 4th, with nominal British backing, that Egypt transfer all its possessions north and east of Sinai. Before the reply (which was unsurprisingly outright rejection) could reach Istanbul, the Federation issued its own demands of the Sultan. British action seemed assured, but a timely intervention by Foreign Minister Victor Kraus in resuscitating an old alliance with the Greeks and promising Federal support for their claims on the wealthy province of Macedonia pacified a government in Westminster that was keen not to get entangled in a major European land war, for which the British Army was ill prepared (especially given since Britain had not had a continental alliance with a Great Power since the War of Austrian Succession). Federal troops crossed into Northern Bosnia on the 16th in the start of what looked to be an easy war against a power ill-equipped to fight on three fronts.

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