Alternate History

Hungary (The Kalmar Union)

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Kingdom of Hungary
Timeline: The Kalmar Union
Flag of Hungary (The Kalmar Union).svg Hungary COA
Flag Coat of Arms
(and largest city)
Language Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian & Romanian
King Josef IV
Prime Minister Bela Zrínyi
Population 21,225,750 
Independence 1574
Currency HGF

The Kingdom of Hungary, Hungary, Magyar Királyság, is a large autocratic monarchy in central and eastern Europe. It is bordered by Austria-Bohemia, Poland-Lithuania, Byzantium and Venice. The capital is Budapest and the population is around 21 million.

The head of state is King Josef IV.

The official languages are Hungarian, Slovak, Croatian and Romanian.

The currency is the Hungarian Florint (HGF).


A regular focal point for tribes moving westward from the steppes the former Roman province of Pannonia received its current name from the Huns who threatened Rome in the 5th century. Its local name, Magyar Királyság, comes from the invasion of the Magyars and their related tribes in the 9th century. Frequent incursions westward threw off all German pretence of influence over Pannonia and destroyed the Kingdom of Moravia.

Largely forced to stop their devastating yearly western raids by the defeat at Lechfeld in 955 the tribal leaders consolidated their positions and then, under King Stephen I, joined mainstream European society with his baptism. Thereafter it projected its power eastward, alternately fighting for, then against Byzantium and the tribes of the steppes. In 1241 however it was completely overwhelmed by the Mongol Horde despite valiant efforts and with the flower of Hungarian nobility crushed, it took to rebuilding its eastern defences, largely allowing Venice to strengthen its hold over several Dalmatian cities. Soon after the kingdom was inherited by the Bezier dynasty of Naples. Falling out with both the Pope and Emperor Olaf they would soon be embroiled in a seemingly never-ending series of conflicts to regain their Italian possessions which were lost to Aragon, as well as oppose Venetian and Byzantine encroachments on 'St. Stephen's Kingdom'.

The Bezier dynasty gave way to the Luxembourgs in 1395 after Adelaide died and her husband Wenceslaus II took full power. Joined to the Holy Roman Empire politically, though never a part of it, it was used as a handy supply of money and men to fight Luxembourg's wars. The men of the so-called Black Legion became renowned throughout Europe for professionalism, determination and quite often, brutality.

With the conversion of Henry to Lutheranism in 1568 Hungary revolted. Secretly supported by enemies of the Luxembourgs it elected Stephen VI Zápolya as its new monarch, vowing never again to have a foreign prince rule over the country. This would be reversed almost immediately however as Stephen found the job of king too much of a strain, even after Luxembourg finally relinquished its claims, and abdicated in 1579. The Polish Jagiellon family took the throne and led the country through a sustained period of consolidation, suppressing internal revolt, lessening the powers of the nobility but also failing to capture the Dalmatian coast which Venice largely held. Unable to rely on the old trusted tactics of mounted cavalry against the new style armies appearing during the Fifty Years War Louis III and Mary II's advisors reformed the army and built a small navy too. A minor player during the War of the Mediterranean against the Caliphate only led to another war with Byzantium but the reforms appeared to do the trick.

Increasingly confident in itself the Esterházy kings were pulled into a series of wars usually known in the west as the 'Hungarian Wars'. The 1st (1699-1710) was a Papal sponsored struggle to return Austria to Catholicism and showed the potential for the new Hungarian army but achieved little. The 2nd (1740-1781) was really two wars; the Austrian act saw the capture of Pressburg (Pozsony) from a bankrupt Austria in 1742, while the longer Polish act saw Louis IV pursue a claim to the Polish throne but only resulted in the capture of most of Slovakia from its northern neighbour. The third (1784-1790) saw a renewed attempt to wrest Dalmatia away from Venice and largely succeeded as Germany was preoccupied by the War of Regensburg Succession and pushed Venice off the mainland.

It allied with del Olmo's Hispania during the Iberian Revolution splitting the Austrian forces and allowing the Hispanic armies to capture Northern Italy but a shortage of funds and fears of stoking its own revolution with punitive taxation cut its involvement short after the defeat at Kosice by Polish forces. A further war in 1837-1839 saw Poland capture Moldova but the borders agreed at its conclusion have so far held. Apart from during the Iberian Revolution, Hungary has been supported by the Kalmar Union which has long seen it as a counterweight to Polish and German machinations in Central Europe.

In 1924 Hungary finally came to an agreement with Byzantium over the division of Bosnia taking the Bosniak-Croat areas. Both states have subsequently struggled with independence movements and the general lawlessness of the Danube is something successive Hungarian governments have only recently begun to get to grips with. The glaring hypocrisy in suppressing its own peoples while stirring up others has been frequently noted, and challenged. It is generally understood that Hungary will fully support Moldova if it ever rises in full rebellion against Polish rule.


As a autocratic monarchy most decisions flow through the crown and the royal council. There are elections for the Diet, and women can vote, but the franchise is limited to landowners earning 3,000 HGF per year.

The Head of State is King Josef IV and his Prime Minister is Bela Zrínyi.

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