100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Assassination Attempt On Prime Minister In Hungary

Count Istvan Tisza is president of the lower house of parliament in Hungary. He had been the president of a bank and on the board of several companies when he was elected Prime Minister in 1903. To suppressed Socialist unrest he passed a modification to the rules of the House of Parliament to crush the obstruction of the opposition.
The Liberal Party dissolved and unified into the Federal Opposition. In 1910 Tisza established the National Party of Work which fought against the voting rights for all Hungarians thinking it would weaken the Magyar supremacy over ethnic minorities. He and his fellow conservatives feared the Left, “demagogues would manipulate peasants with the majority of the votes to put in power such groups whose aims are against democracy, supported by the urban intellectuals.” He was elected President of the Court, presiding over parliament.

In May 1912 Tisza wanted to pass an army bill that would strengthen the military and the Hungarian influence in the military. The Left opposed this move against ethnic minorities. In a stormy debate on June 4 the Opposition used toy horns and noise-makers to drown out all debate in Parliament. Tisza called in the police and had many deputies ejected from the House. As soon as Tisza’s opposition was cleared from Parliament, the Army Bill was passed.

On June 7, 1912 Prime Minister Tisza was again in a Parliament. Members of the Opposition party tried to enter as a group. They were not stopped but were surrounded by police and asked to leave. They were finally driven out of the hall by the police. “Now that the House is cleared there is no fear of the repetition of Wednesday’s disgraceful scenes. We will proceed to work.” Gyula Kovács, a legislator in the Hungarian House of Deputies forced his way into the press gallery and shouted “There is still a member of the Opposition in the House! They are not all driven forth. I am here.” Kovacs then produced a gun and took three shots at Tisza. He then pointed the gun to his head and fired. As he lay dying, he gasped “This is not the last shot that will be fired here.” Count Tisza was unharmed.

The Parliament in Budapest, Hungary – 1912


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