My dissertation scrutinizes the emigration
activity of the great Hungarian statesman, Louis Kossuth. It provides an
insight into the attitude of the American political circles, mainly
that of the Congress towards Kossuth's theory, concerning their
non-interventionist policy. Furthermore, we can get acquainted with the
clashing options of different ethnic groups and nationalities regarding
the support of the Hungarian Revolution. Of course, each person
interpreted the personality, habit, intention and speeches of Kossuth in
a totally different way.
His almost 8-month stay in America convinced him as well as
others, who had hoped for some kind of an assistance from the US, that
it was fully impossible to live up to the expectations of all the
states, parties, decision-makers and organizations in the country.
On the one hand, it is understandable barely 10 years before the
outbreak of the American Civil War, which made the nation turn against
itself for four years.
On the other hand, America was characterized already in the
1850's by ethnic diversity, resulting distinct traditions, beliefs,
religions and ideologies.
This is not to suggest that Kossuth wanted to please every
individual or social group, his intention was just to take a neutral
standpoint on topics related to American domestic affairs, as it can be
seen later, it was not an easy task.
Kossuth was the first European statesman (after Lafayette) who
managed to break out of the " semidarkness of grizzle" and attested an
international diplomat behaviour, which was unique from an East European
politician even at that time.
He never intended to become a real immigrant, during his stay in
America, he delivered several speeches, recruited supporters for the
Hungarian cause and printed the famous Kossuth-dollars.
The fate of the Hungarian Revolution and Kossuth himself, was
not left to the American citizens, but to the international politics,
which the US distanced herself from with her non-interventionist
What did 'we' actually lost and what did we gain?
Unfortunately, Hungary did not get the military support that
Kossuth wanted but it gained a large reputation in the US and all over
the world: the Americans learned that this East-European country
existed, and it had fought fiercely for her freedom, just like the
American colonies had done from 1775 until 1783.
And this is may its most lasting achievement for Hungarian citizens.