Gyula Andrássy

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Gyula Count Andrássy de Csíkszentkirály et Krasznahorka (3 March 1823 – 18 February 1890) was a Hungarian statesman, who served as Prime Minister of Hungary (1867–1871) and subsequently as Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary (1871–1879). He was sometimes called Count Julius Andrassy in English.

Contents

Biography

The son of Count Károly Andrássy and Etelka Szapáry, he was born in Vlachovo (now in Rožňava District, Slovakia) in the then Kingdom of Hungary. The son of a liberal father who belonged to the political opposition, at a time when to be in oppose the government was very dangerous, Andrássy at a very early age threw himself into the political struggles of the day, adopting at the outset the patriotic side.

Count István Széchenyi was the first adequately to appreciate his capacity, when in 1845 the young man first began his public career as president of the society for the regulation of the waters of the Upper Tisza river.

In 1846, he attracted attention by his bitter articles against the government in Lajos Kossuth's paper, the Pesti Hírlap, and was returned as one of the Radical candidates to the diet of 1848, where his generous, impulsive nature made him one of the most thorough-going of the patriots.

When the Croats under Josip Jelačić attempted to return Međimurje, which was then part of Hungary, to Croatia, Andrássy placed himself at the head of the gentry of his county, and served with distinction at the battles of Pákozd and Schwechat, as Arthur Görgey's adjutant (1848).

Towards the end of the war Andrássy was sent to Constantinople by the revolutionary government to obtain at least the neutrality of Ottoman Empire during the struggle.

After the catastrophe of Világos he migrated first to London and then to Paris. On 21 September 1851 he was hanged in effigy by the Austrian government for his share in the Hungarian revolt.

He employed his ten years of exile in studying politics in what was then the centre of European diplomacy, and it is memorable that his keen eye detected the inherent weakness of the second French empire beneath its imposing exterior.

Andrássy returned home from exile in 1858, but his position was very difficult. He had never petitioned for an amnesty, steadily rejected all the overtures both of the Austrian government and of the Magyar Conservatives (who would have accepted something short of full autonomy), and clung enthusiastically to Ferenc Deák's party.

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