Theodore Roosevelt’s Visit to Hungary: Addition to HungarianAmerican Relations in the Twentieth Century
It is a well-known fact that Theodore Roosevelt was and still is one of the most popular presidents of the United States. It is also somewhat known that he had a relatively brief, and relatively good relationship with Count Albert Apponyi, one of the most definitive politicians of Hungary in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Perhaps a somewhat lesser known fact is that Roosevelt visited Hungary in 1910. As part of a European tour in the spring of that year, Theodore Roosevelt spent three days in Hungary. The courtesy visit was made into a huge and significant-looking event in Hungary behind which there were certain wishes, bitterness, and propaganda aims on the part of the Hungarian political leadership. Hungary hoped by the virtue of the ex-President’s visit to prove the country’s equal standing with Austria within the Dual Monarchy. Furthermore, the well-educated Roosevelt knew exactly what his hosts wanted to hear and, accordingly, although inadvertently, he kindled the flames of Hungarian independence, a concept with which he did not agree. The paper wishes to tell the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s short stay in Hungary as well as the importance, and lack of consequences, of such a visit.
The Outbreak of World War I and the Austro-Hungarian Albania Project
During its half-century-long existence, Austria-Hungary's diplomacy always paid special attention to the Balkans. With a little exaggeration, we could argue that Austro-Hungarian foreign policy was more or less a Balkan policy, inasmuch as the foreign affairs of the empire almost always bore some relevance – at least indirectly – to the Balkans. From the last two decades of the 19th century, this policy towards the Balkans was showing an ever growing interest in the Albanian question. A plan to create a nominally independent Albania, which in reality would have been under Austro-Hungarian influence, was among the long-term foreign policy goals of the Monarchy since 1906, after Aehrenthal had taken office, but it was only during the Balkan Wars that it became manifest. The Albanian state that emerged in 1913 was only partly in accordance with the Austro-Hungarian plans. Taking advantage of the fact the Monarchy's military was busy elsewhere, its greatest rival, Italy, which remained neutral in the First World War that broke out in the summer of 1914, did secure important positions in Southern Albania. The mere preservation of the neutrality of Italy demanded great sacrifices from Austria-Hungary, therefore the government in Vienna was bound to acquiesce in temporarily giving up its plans related to the Western Balkans. Russia's entering the war on the side of the Entente as well as the end of the Triple Alliance gave more leeway to the Monarchy's foreign policy. After the successful campaign against Serbia in 1915, realizing the Austro-Hungarian Albania project was within reach again. However, soon it turned out that the Monarchy was unable to defend its interest against both Italy, which had become an enemy in the meantime, and its own German and Bulgarian allies.
The “Battleships”* of the Imperial and Royal Navy in World War I
In 1890, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was not considered a naval power, the small fleet of the Imperial and Royal Navy consisted primarily of outdated, obsolete ships built mostly abroad or from parts made abroad. By 1914, however, the situation had changed considerably. When the Great War broke out, the Austro-Hungarian navy ranked as the seventh most powerful naval force in the world – trailing the British, German, American, French, Japanese and Italian fleets, but preceding the Russian –, with its most state-ofthe-art units built in local shipyards almost exclusively from local raw materials and industrial goods. The “battleship program” of the Imperial and Royal Navy was especially spectacular: in the beginning smaller, lightly armed ships of the line, essentially utilizable as coast-guard vessels only, were manufactured, but in the years before the war, real state-ofthe-art heavy units such as the Radetzky class semi-dreadnought battleships and the Tegetthoff-class warships were built. At the outbreak of the great war, the Imperial and Royal Navy was meant to carry out offensive tasks according to the naval plans accepted by the Triple Alliance in 1913. But Italy's neutrality transformed completely the strategic balance of power in the Mediterranean, as a result of which the Austro-Hungarian navy got stuck in the Adriatic Sea, and the heaviest ships – partly because of the threat by torpedo boats, submarines and mine fields, partly because of the chronic lack of coal – saw little action. There were only four larger operations in which they participated in great numbers: one in 1914 and 1915, respectively, and two in 1918. It is revealing that only on one occasion did the heaviest units open fire on the enemy.
Visual Perceptions of the Great War through the Filters of Power. An Analysis of the Drawings of Borsszem Jankó, Figaro and Kladderadatsch
In my paper I attempt to study a popular genre of the time: the illustrations of World War I published in satirical magazines. After briefly discussing the peculiarities of the sources, the press regulation of the era and the distinctive features of propaganda, I describe the style and the motif structure of pictures that slipped through the dense web of censorship and were deemed suitable for propaganda purposes. The drawings were published in satirical magazines in Vienna (Figaro), Berlin (Kladderadatsch) and Budapest (Borsszem Jankó). Before analyzing the symbol system of the caricatures, I describe the elements of a special type of pictures (“genre pictures” from the front line) used exclusively in Borsszem Jankó. Looking at the symbols and the propaganda tools in the caricatures we can conclude that their creators, walking in the footsteps of their 19th-century predecessors, used well-known symbols in their drawings over and over again, such as characters from ancient or German myths or Biblical stories. Caricaturists could visually degrade the enemy not only by altering the myths, but also by the distorted depictions of heraldic beasts and of persons or leading politicians representing the hostile countries. Another means of debasement was emphasizing how uncivilized and uncultivated the Entente countries were, as well as depicting how they oppressed smaller nations. I also mention a topic which cropped up exclusively in Borsszem Jankó: in the early stages of the war references were made to the 1848–1849 war of independence in connection with Serbia and Russia, as then it seemed that the time for a revenge had come. Finally, I discuss the territorial claims of the emerging new states as expressed in the caricatures.
The Tragedy of Géza Csáth. Psyche and history
Mostly practiced by psychologists, psychobiography is the historical application of any explicit, scientific and systematic psychology to life stories, but in such works the dominance of psychological approach usually means that less attention is paid to the historical-social environment. By shifting scientific focus, it is possible to construct a biography that is not influenced by the current psychological theories, yet uses a psychological approach, while focusing on the soul and the personality. In other words, we can construct a personality history that consequently does not free itself from historical-social embeddedness. As psychobiographies rarely study the whole lifespan of an individual but rather just a certain period of his life and try to answer a single central question, this personality history paper asks the following questions. What caused the tragedy of writer and psychologist Géza Csáth? What role did World War I, the historical background to the suicide play in this? Building the narrative from the perspective of the war is unsuitable for answering the question, so to avoid one-sidedness we have to take into consideration more factors simultaneously. Accordingly, I make an attempt to answer the questions on the basis of the system of Csáth’s medical book published in 1912, The Psychic Mechanism of Mental Disorders. I study each area of the self (sexual, health, financial, moral, racial, religious), this way drawing attention to the possible harmful consequences of the psychoanalytic compulsion to perform self-analysis. To answer the question, however, it is necessary to take into account the factors that shape the personality as well, that is the previous milestones in his life. As a result, in our dynamic, double cross-section we can see the personality in its synchronicity and its constantly changing form at the same time.
“All of them Will be Back by Autumn!” The Prisoner of War Question and Hungarian Society in the Columns of the Pesti Hírlap, 1920–1923
The peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk (Russia's separate peace), which ended World War I, did not automatically bring about the possibility for the hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war taken by Russia to return to their home country. Prisoners of war held in the territories east of the Ural, in Turkestan and Siberia, often had to wait years to see their motherland again. A couple of factors, including the Russian-Hungarian diplomatic relations, the general conditions in Soviet Russia and the limited financial means of the Hungarian government, stood in the way of their return. At the beginning of the 1920s, the prisoner of war question was a topic Hungarian society was concerned with on a daily basis, which was mirrored in the columns of one the most popular dailies at the time, the Pesti Hírlap. The newspaper echoed the official views of the government on this topic, but it also encouraged direct social involvement: its articles emphasized that opening diplomatic negotiations and finding the financial means required for bringing the captives home were both essential to the successful settlement of the prisoner of war problem. The articles published in the newspaper used graphic descriptions to illustrate the fate of those languishing in Russian captivity, which resulted in the launch of a then unprecedented fundraising campaign to which almost all social groups contributed. Thanks to the money collected and the settlement of the diplomatic relations, it became possible to bring the prisoners of war home, and the newspaper did not fail to report on how they were welcomed, either. But from the flower-adorned railway stations and passionate words of welcome, the one-time prisoners of war were taken to disarmament camps, and subsequently even to detention camps in some cases, where the ex-soldiers were also accompanied by the correspondent of the daily.
Official America and the Question of Hungarian Revisionism between the World Wars
The dismemberment of historic Hungary by the Trianon Peace Treaty was an overarching national tragedy for the Hungarian nation. Trianon became a common denominator for Hungarians during the period between the wars, and it provided the Horthy regime with a powerful unifying force, and the revision of Hungary’s frontiers was considered to be inevitable. Consequently, revisionist propaganda assumed great importance. Since it could not be directly part of the official political discourse, propaganda found new semi-official and popular channels. Hungarian revisionist policies and propaganda were primarily directed toward European powers such as France, Great Britain, and, from the second half of the 1930s, Italy and Germany. At the same time, the study of archival as well as secondary sources has revealed that Hungarians during the interwar period (especially in the 1920s) had high expectations toward the United States of America as a potential supporter of the revision of the Treaty of Trianon. Nothwithstanding the fact that the United States pursued the policy of political non-entanglement relative to the affairs of Europe after World War I, and completely withdrew from the Paris peace project and did not become a member of the League of Nations, Hungarians cherished the hope that the United States would support Hungary’s search to revise the terms of the Trianon Peace Treaty. Based on the documents of the American State Department, including the official as well as the personal papers and/or the memoirs of American officials in charge of Hungarian affairs between the wars, and the views of Senator William Edgar Borah of Idaho on the revision of the Treaty of Trianon, the present essay offers to analyze the official American position toward Hungary and the revision of the Treaty of Trianon, and sets out to answer the question whether such expectations were well-grounded or rather amounted to wishful thinking.