Alternate History

Budapest Uprising of 1854 (A Federation of Equals)

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Budapest Uprising of 1854
Date 2nd March - 17th June, 1854
Location Budapest, Danubian Federation
Result Uprising Suppressed;

Strategic Nationalist Victory

Hungarian Mobs

Nationalist Hungarians

Flag of Hungary 1940 State of Hungary

DanubianFederationEqualsFlag The Danubian Federation

Commanders and leaders
President Nagy of Hungary (KIA)

General Edvard Francois Masaryk

Units involved
Hungarian Protesters Hungarian State Militia

Danubian Second Southern Army

Unknown 10,000 Hungarian Militia

25,000 Danubian Soldiers

Casualties and losses

 The Budapest Uprising of 1854 was a brief insurgency sparked by agitated Hungarians in Budapest, the capital of the State of Hungary. The revolt was triggered by a public reaction to a series of political maneuvers and the possibility of an independent Slovak state. Lasting for nearly two months, the Nationalist Hungarians managed to prevent the independence of Slovakia after a plebiscite, before they were suppressed by local militia and Federal forces. In addition, the elected president of Hungary was murdered as a result of the regional dissent, leaving the state absent of an executive for two consecutive years. The uprising would later serve as inspiration for the Hungarian Rebellion of 1854-1855, a few months later. 


The Danubian Revolution marked the emergence of a resurgent Hungarian state, the first in four-hundred years. A proud contingency of Hungarian nationalists sought to secure the independence of the Kingdom, advocating for total separation from their Austrian neighbors. For several weeks, such a possibility remained secure - Royal forces were driven from the central lands at a swift pace. However, threat of Russian intervention drove the Hungarian nationals into a coalition with the neighboring Austrian revolutionaries. To many, the concept of the alliance was a temporary institution, especially as Anti-Austrian rhetoric ran high in Budapest. The very concept of the Danubian Federation was vehemently opposed by a fraction of Hungarian Nationalists, who wanted to defend the national sovereignty of their nation. 

Austrian Royalists managed to turn the tide in the end of September, overwhelming the defending Hungarian armies. With Budapest threatened, the Hungarians, in desperation, turned to the Austrians to further their agreement, affixing their signature to the establishment of the Danubian Federation. Nonetheless, powerful nationalist sentiment persisted and grew during the early unstable years of the Federation. 

de Nyitra's Coalition 

In the aftermath of the 1848 election, Károly Vörös de Nyitra, the leader of the All-Danubian Conservative Party and local Hungarian, suffered a landslide electoral defeat. Placing behind the reactionary, Albert von Salzburg, the ADCP took half of Nikolić's total popular vote, but failed to gain any shred of electoral support outside of Hungary - the single state de Nyitra won. Nikolić's Pan-Danubian Party proved itself extremely unpopular in Hungary, largely due to its invocation of Federal power over state authority. Even worse, Nikolić preached the reformation of the electoral college to balance the rights of the Hungarians and the Eastern Slavs, which were titled in the Austrian and Hungarian favor. 

The ADCP platform supported the rights of individual states, gaining a powerful core in Budapest from the local nationalists and regionalists. Between 1848 and 1852, this ideal spread wildly throughout the Federation - mostly provoked by fears that cultural integrity would be violated by the Federal Government. As the country entered into electoral season, recovering from a devastating war in the east, the Conservatives seemed to be the likely victors of the contest. The Pan-Danubian Party lagged in the opinion polls, despite the foreign success Nikolić had achieved. But the never-ending crisis's (most prominently, the dividing Dalmatian Question) harmed the capacity of the liberals to prove the Federation's stability. But de Nyitra's presidential run was to never come into fruition - for the rise of another faction threatened to plunge the Federation into unstable reformation.

The Radical Union of the Federation, led by Petr Šik, stormed the political sphere with a furious force. Inside of three years, the RUF had managed to incorporate some of Danubia's most prominent politicians - including General Edvard Francois Masaryk - the commanding officer of the Second Southern Army. Often compared to the French Jacobin movement, the Radical Union desired a rapid shift to egalitarian policies, and the purge of the remaining royalist contigencies. Their promotion of centralized control quickly made them a public enemy in Budapest, where citizens called for de Nyitra to ban the party upon his "inevitable election."

Károly feared that the Pan-Danubian Party and the RUF would become natural allies - their leftist bonds beginning to ferment into a possible political alliance. In order to prevent this "evil alliance," de Nyitra proposed a coalition to the Pan-Danubian Party. However, the PDP would only accept if de Nyitra withdrew from the presidential race and endorsed a jointly-decided politician. Subtly promoting himself, independent Vice-President, Ion Horsa Codrinaru, was chosen to replace Nikolić - receiving the combined endorsements of the ADCP and the PDP. Codrinaru would then proceed to triumph over the RUF in one of the greatest political coups - Hungary, by coalition, aligning with the former Vice-President. 

The Uprising

Immediately after the results of the coalition poured into Hungary, the infuriated population took to the streets.  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 climbed until the 7th of March, when 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 of Hungary, elected leader of the Hungarian state, 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.  [1]A small engraving of the protests in the city of Budapest, March 1853Hungary 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. 

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.

On March 15th, Hungarian Nationalists and Regionalists armed themselves and amassed into a formidable force. These agitated civilians refused to accept the independence of the Slovakian state, which was viewed as rightful Hungarian territory. Intending to halt the liberation of the territory, the mob marched to Sándor Palace under heavy militia fire. 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.

No matter the circumstances, the executive order was legal due to holes in regional policy. The nationalists had managed to prevent the independence of Slovakia - but their city remained under siege. To make matters worse, their besieger was none other then the RUF supporter, General Edvard Francois Masaryk, who ordered an assault on the city walls to suppress the uprising. Joined by militia forces, the Second Southern Army attacked the city, and restored order after five further hours of heavy fighting. 


Directly, the nationalists had managed to achieve their set of limited goals - Slovak statehood was once again repulsed thanks to one man's intransigence - Nagy, the traitor of the Magyars, had been shot - but the city itself was placed under temporary Federal occupation. The actions of March 15th would eventually inspire a independence movement in Hungary that would threaten the very fabric of the Federation. 

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