Conquistadors


[An announcement: Nelli offered me the possibility to post my thoughts regarding „Maghiaromania” at this blog. As I felt myself honored I accepted it and in the future I will try to come up with posts occasionally. However, two preliminary remarks are necessary: I will post in English, as my active use of Romanian is far from being perfect and occasionally I would use historical evidence or illustrations due to my profession.]

The recent events in Cluj – the opening ceremony at the Main Square and the protests of Hungarians, referred to in the previous post as well – offer some insight into an interesting process generated by ethnicity/nationality, the division and occupation of physical and geographical space by entities confined to the same space. The whole story gives a clear outline of the dynamics of the social processes and actions shaping the respective perceptions of an urban environment and highlights how much it is not a foreordained and perennial fact but the result of the very same social actions and interactions. In this sense the post is not intended to be a judgement of the mayor’s actions, a decision whether he or his critiques has right. I would like to emphasize that irrespective of being right or wrong, having the possibility to enforce one’s concept on the others, the social action has its significance in defining a space’s ethnic/national specificities and therefore official prescriptions and the power in itself is almost insignificant regarding the outcome of such conflicts or negotiations.

The story began with an attempt to renovate and reshape the Main Square of the city. The plans were published and generated some discontent immediately, along two – in some cases interlocked – lines: the fear of loss of the traditional cityscape and the fear of loss of the „Hungarian” character of the space. Counterarguments were put forward defending trees, making allegations that the whole attempt is only a prelude to the removal of the statue of Mathias Corvinus, while many people simply feared that the new outlook of the square will be too „foreign” for a space with a very coherent 18-19. century architectural setting. Although it was not hard to unite these two lines as well – the traditional outlook is part of the Hungarian legacy of the town and its alteration will remove its characteristic of the city, the division of opinions that time was not simply a replication of ethnic/national division of the city. Hungarians supported the changes and Romanians were among its opponents as well. (A short excursus in order to grasp better the fears among Hungarians: the fact that the main square remained the center of the city’s life instead of deliberate attempts to create a new center around Avram Iancu Square was a small but not insignificant triumph for many Hungarians and a sign that the city itself resists forceful reorganization, the „Hungarian” Cluj – let’s use from now on „Kolozsvár” – is an organic entity.)

However, the end (or rather a the temporary end) of the process generated a kind of uproar, not independently from the developments regarding the trilingual tablets, that led to a suspicion regarding the mayor’s intentions. When it turned out that the invitation for he celebration was only issued in Romanian and the culture of the Hungarians as such won’t be represented at the event, a group decided to organize protest and some time later they protested once again. The former protest caused some unintelligent remarks from the mayor, referring to the protesters as not being „clujeni”, only people from Satu Mare, while the protesters raised the interest of the media with the action and with their message of claiming the right of the Hungarian inhabitants to be represented. The latter one not only repeated this message but expressed other concerns, for example regarding the disappearance of trees from the square.

In order to better grasp the importance of social action it is appropriate to ask after the state of the square before and after the celebration and the protests. Was it „Hungarian” before the mayer gave it over to the public? Did it became „Romanian” after the ceremony elapsed? And if not, was it saved by the protesters? In the physical sense of the word the square remained the same, neither „Hungarian” nor „Romanian”, of course. The dead stones of houses and pavement could never convey such meanings. The square remained a historical cityscape and a center of urban social life as it was and probably will be for decades. The ceremony changed nothing and even though the new outlook is accompanied by ideas of a reconfiguration of some aspects of the social settings of the city, it is intended to reinforce and not to diminish the central role the square plays. (Although as in every case the expedience of the changes are up to discussion.) Moreover, despite the ceremony and the protest everybody is allowed to think of the space as being either „Hungarian” or „Romanian” or simply an urban space. The ethnicity of the space (if it exists at all) is not given, it is a result of interpretation. But not only result of the interpretation of the respective urban setting, but the interpretation of the action aimed at it or brought about in it.

This interpretation is not without limits, of course. The natural limitations are some very profound convictions of what is considered as being ethnic in one sense or in the other. A main square full of houses built in Brancovenesc style is hard to accept as Hungarian even if every inhabitant would only speak this language and would be supporters of „Jobbik”, an extreme right, nationalist organization in Hungary. But inside these limitations interpretation and contextualization has a very wide room in deciding whether a space is national, national enough, authentically national etc. Or it is not national just urban, modern, cosmopolitan etc. Or it is national but in the wrong sense, i. e. belongs to the other nationality/ethnicity.

Anyhow, what we have seen recently was nothing else than a series of actions in order to define and redefine the ethnic/national affiliation and content of the space. The mayor invoked multiculturalism, but in a very limited sense although quite typical in Romania: the nation state makes no deliberate attempts to eliminate the national minorities. The protesters not only pointed out how distorted this interpretation is, but accused the mayor of deliberately „Romanizing” the square and with their protest they aimed to object it, upkeep the space’s Hungarian character. The important point is that these actions in themselves were enough and capable to convey national character to the otherwise natural square. The space suddenly became either „Romanian” or „Hungarian”, belonging to one of them or to both. The action and the conflict made the necessary definitions and provided them for the participants. Moreover, it is not necessary for both parties to conceive the situation in ethnic/national terms, it is enough if one of them perceives the other’s actions as national ones and defines them as such. If there is an attempt to „Romanize” , „Magyarize” etc. the square the reaction could only be a counteraction defending the differing national character of the space. But it is a common feature of all of these attempts to conceptualize the square beyond being a space of edificies and a setting of urban social life, transcending it as element of nationality. (For example a Hungarian speaker of the second protest referred to the „meaning” of the square to Hungarians as something beyond the practical and experiemental.)

However, not only national interpretations of the space were present, but references to the existence of an urban community as the user of it. The mayor’s dismissal of the protesters as being „strangers” consisted this element, similarly to a Hungarian protester asked by a radio station’s reporter, who answered, that she initially had opposed the plans of reconstruction and knows that there are people among „the others”, the „majority” who felt similarly. And one can also mention the protests against the elimination of flora from the square. But these references remained distorted and subordinated to the broader definition of national space.

It is important to note, that in multi-ethnic/multi-national communities the process of the nationalization of the space is not a rare occurence, rather a normal social process. It is always a negotiation between differing aims and concepts expressed by social action or discourses, therefore conflict is inevitably. Moreover, it has its own history, just as Károly Molter, a Hungarian writer described it in an article on the situation in Targu Mures at the beginning of the 1930s. Molter mentioned the case of the Petőfi statute, that was removed by the Romanian mayor, Emil Dandea, and the remaining pedestal was renamed as the monument of the unknown soldier. However, according to Molter, the local Hungarian community simply reinterpreted this public mark, and referred to Petőfi as the unknown soldier, whose grave is similarly unknown…

In the case of Cluj/Kolozsvár it is not necessary to decide whether the protesters or the mayor had right. The series of action at the end reaffirmed the existence of a „Hungarian” main square, because there were Hungarians who claimed to have such a space there. And this claim could unite liberals and nationalists, as there is no need to deny the existence of a similar Romanian space – a reason for liberals to protest – although it is possible – the reason for nationalists. As not only ethnic/national interpretations of the public space prevailed, these ones were inextricably bound to more pragmatic ones (modernization) and used arguments borrowed from them as well, at the same time affirming the probability to define the city as a community of its inhabitants, and not only a co-existence of national entities.

But there is one serious objection in the way of accepting modernization from the present Hungarian point of view. Although they exercise the interpretation and reinterpretation of public spaces, for many of them the national content is not conveyed by these social actions, but by a given architectural setting of the space, as part of a nationally defined legacy and inherent element of their national culture. Due to this approach every modification of this setting is measured and seen as a loss from this national content and even if this loss is clearly not aimed to install a different national meaning, it is rejected. The social actions have to manifest the existence and defense of a given – and in this sense authentic – national space, and are not a way to occupy and nationalize it. The result, on the one hand: eternity. As long as the Main Square in Cluj will be surrounded by „Hungarian” palaces there will be a „Kolozsvár”. Even though there won’t be any Hungarian living there. On the other hand, fragility and defencelessnes: even if a significant part of the population remains Hungarian, they can’t preserve the Hungarian “Kolozsvár” if they can’t preserve the present cityscape.

Anunțuri

41 de gânduri despre “Conquistadors

  1. „Molter mentioned the case of the Petőfi statute, that was removed by the Romanian mayor, Emil Dandea, and the remaining pedestal was renamed as the monument of the unknown soldier.”
    clear case of symbolic occupation of a space. Now, is it true Petofi had a few anti-romanian texts? I am jus curious for me, not for a justification of Dandea’s decision. As Eminescu also had xenophopic texts, which doesn’t meen he wasn’t a great poet, like Petofi was.

  2. Daca esti de acord, voi comenta de acum in romaneste, urmand ca tu sa raspunzi in engleza. Si ii putem incuraja si pe ceilalti sa faca la fel, eventual sa iti explice in engleza cand nu intelegi un cuvant. Cred ca posibilitatea de a comenta in Ro la un post in engleza il face mai atractiv pentru romanofoni.

  3. Sunt perfect de acord.

    As for Petőfi’s sentiments, it is possible, given the circumstances, but it was never echoed in his poems – although he was not quite productive in his last year, serving as a soldier. He rarely (I would say almost never) made a reference to other naionalities than Hungarian (in an inclusionary sense, champions of freedom), Poles (because of Jozef Bem) and Germans and Russians (being the enemy). Moreover in his description of his journey to Transylvania in January 1849 (after he was attached to Bem’s army) he lamented the fate of Reghin and the nearby Saxon villages (plundered by Szekler troops) in equally sorrowful terms as the fate of the villages around the Tara Motilor attacked by Romanian insurgents . (One can consider the exculsive use of the word „oláh” as an intentional insult, but in this case I would deny it.) But I wouldn’t exclude that under the pressure of the civil war in Tranylvania he nurtured less freindly thouths of his Romanian compatriots. Otherwise I always thought of him as being a bit naive and especially romantic as liberty was dealt with, not the sharp-minded thinkr who made refined distinctions between nation, natioinality, civic and linguistic understanding of the latter etc.

    Maybe it is telling, that as far as I can remember no piece from Petőfi was tought in school that was offending Romanians or any nationality.

  4. cred ca olah nu avea inca sensul peiorativ de azi, sau era in curs de a fi inlocuit cu roman. aici numai tu &alti maghiari imi puteti confirma/infirma

  5. @Olahus

    „cred ca olah nu avea inca sensul peiorativ de azi, sau era in curs de a fi inlocuit cu roman. aici numai tu &alti maghiari imi puteti confirma/infirma”

    Ma indoiesc ca atunci avea sens peiorativ. „Olah” nu este decat varianta maghiara a exonimului „vlah”, termen folosit de catre straini de nspe secole. Pe la 1800 chiar si romanii ardeleni care promovau daco-romanismul inca mai folosoeau „vlah” in actele oficiale trimise catre imparat.(Supplex Libellus Valachorum).

    Din cate stiu eu Olah devine cu adevarat peiorativ cam spre sfarsitul monarhiei dualiste din cauza frictiunilor etnice din aceea perioada si asa a ramas pana in zilele noastre. Este folosit la pachet cu „ruman” si „Rumania”, ambele avand acelasi scop , de a nega conexiunea cu Romanii.

    • Partea interesantă este că „român” a fost favorizat înaintea lui „rumân” tot din considerente naţionaliste.

      Dacă naţionalismul nu ar fi jucat niciun rol, cel mai probabil că s-ar fi impus „rumân” (în Evul Mediu încă erau alternative) iar azi am fi avut Rumânia în loc de România, cum dominanta legilor fonetice româneşti o cere.

      Iar acestea zic: o neaccentuat -> u (a se vedea potemus -> putem, etc). Plus că exceptându-i pe fărşeroţi (rămăni), cam toţi vlahii s-au denumit cu ‘u’ – ar(u)mân (în Macedonia), rumăr (în Istria), rumân (în Timoc), şamd.

      Oricum, etnonimul român este fixat de-acum, nu ar avea niciun rost să se revină la „rumân” doar din considerente puriste.

      Sunt de acord că „rumân” şi „Rumanian” sunt folosite cu scopuri (să le zicem) anti-româneşti, mai ales că în engleză s-a impus denumirea cu ‘o’ (Romanian, şi nu Roumanian sau Rumanian ca în trecut).

  6. @gregry:
    I somewhat disagree with your thesis (if I got it right): I don’t think the „nationalization” of public space is a normal and unavoidable process and that it is necessarily a struggle between different nationalities. If anything, I would prefer a „de-nationalization” of public space from both sides, and this might slowly happen in fact as things get back to normal. The national awakenings that started in the modern age are only a short part of the city’s history, the essence of a city (if there is such thing) is neither Romanian or Hungarian.

    Thus, I would prefer if streets and squares were named neither as „Iuliu Maniu” or „Mihai Viteazu” nor as „Bocskai” or „Szechenyi” but as „church street”, „fountain street”, „watermill street”, etc. as they were called since the early middle ages, keeping a continuous memory of city history. If there need be personalities as street names, I would prefer local „celebrities”, rather than national heroes, i.e. people who lived there or left their mark on the city.

    @Olahus:
    An interesting etymology of the word „Vlach”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_term_Vlach
    I am no linguist myself to judge the correctness of the description but according to the article the word is related to names of various latin people, for ex. the Hungarian term olasz (Italian) and the indo-european stem of the word is the same as for Welsh or for Walloon.

    • Laci@ „… as things go back to normal”. Things cannot go back to normal, since there is no normality behind us! They can go ahead to normal, which is desirable and I agree with you about a denationlzation of public space, in a sense that must yet be invented – it should be
      more than a policitally correct anonymization!

  7. @Laci

    I would also prefer a nice local community, more introspective and concerned of its own past – although in this case it is not easy to see what is a „common past” – rather then distant heroes, but it won’t make nationalization processes „avoidable” as long as there will be people ready to act accordingly. From this prepsective de-nationalization is just a similar project, forge a community around a different memory of he city. Not that it has no place or future, but as long as nations wouldn’t „die” it is not easy to perceive a world without nationalists or without people emotionally attached to such entities. Moreover, if you would ask me whether I would be ready to protest along nationalists I wouldn’t be sure of a positive answer, but I wouldn’t deny their rights to do it. (Well, if there is a real thesis in the text, it is rather the strange consequences of the defensive stance…)
    Unfortunately Cluj/Kolozsvár was the scene of determined nationalization processes at least from 1919, accompanied by symbolical violence and I fear it left its marks even on the citizens’ perceptions of the city.

    As for how far and when „oláh” was pejorative I will use a very interesting example in another post to demonstrate that it wasn’t necessarily pejorative as late as 1918, under the circumstances of the shifting of power from Hungary to Romania.

    • „Unfortunately Cluj/Kolozsvár was the scene of determined nationalization processes at least from 1919, accompanied by symbolical violence and I fear it left its marks even on the citizens’ perceptions of the city.”

      I would argue that the determined nationalization was there from 1867 at least, just the sides changed in 1919.

      What I mean is that the Hungarian character of the main square (for example the statue) that we cherish so much has not developed organically, but is to some extent the result of 19th century politics. I’m suggesting that when we are nostalgic for the Hungarian character of the city, we should be more selective and not just replace the nationalism of the other side with our own nationalism.

      In this sense I was saying that the pre-1919 names of some squares and streets (that my fellow Hungarians like to still use today) are often not „truer” to the character of the city than the Romanian names that replaced them.

  8. @Laci
    I would differentiate between the process before 1919, especially in the 19th century and the conflicting processes after 1919. The former happened in a less conflictual field, with no significant social group opposing it, especially because of the ethnic composition of the city. I wouldn’t use the world natural process, but couldn’t be hard to see it that way. (Especially as nationalizing a city that otherwise very much resembled other cities of the Habsburg Monarchy was a way to signify the difference, the specific aspects of this city.) The latter, just as the forthcoming Hungarian and again Romanian attempts, was aimed to overturn a well settled nationalized space in a nationally very divided community.
    It is quite telling, that the new Romanian administration proposed the changing of 18 street names as soon as November 7, 1919 and submitted a proposal to change 304 street names on March 9, 1920. However, even this first attempt was accompanied by the idea of preserving the urban setting as much as it is possible, although it led to very grotesque results. Not only were street names of secondary streets simply translated to Romanian, but public spaces carrying the name of significant personalities of a Hungarian-Transylvanian pantheon were renamed with the clear intention to replace these names with personalities of the Romanian pantheon similarly interpreted in one or in another sense. Just a few examples:

    Hunyadi tér – Piaţa Ştefan cel Mare (almost contemporaries, heroes of wars against the Turks)

    Csányi László tér – Piaţa Martirilor (Csányi, a government comissary of Transylvania in 1849 and later minister was executed on October 10, 1849.)

    Cserei (Mihály) tér – Piaţa Iosif Vulcan (Cserei was a Transylvanian historian in the late 17th, early 18th centuries)

    Bulcsú út – Str. Crişan (war and violence against the nation’s enemies, otherwise unimportant, a bit mythical)

    Csaba út – Str. Horea (war and violence against the nation’s enemies, otherwise unimportant, a bit mythical)

    Árpád út – Calea Traian (The legendary ancestors of the nation)

    Barcsay út – Str. Dimitrie Cantemir (Barcsay was a prince of Transylvania in the mid-17th century, almost contemporary of Cantemir or it can be Barcsay Ábrahám, late 18th century poet and member of the Royal Hungarian Noble Guard)

    Bethlen utca – Str. Baba Novac

    Batthyány Lajos utca – Str. Ecaterina Teodoriu (! – martyrs of the nation’s independence)

    Arany János utca – Str. Petru Maior (literary figures from the late 18th, 19th century)

    Bocskai tér – Piaţa Cuza Vodă (princes, heroes of independence)

    Rákóczi út – Str. General Grigorescu (! – heroes of independence)

    Honvéd út – Calea Dorobanţilor (the armed forces)

    Toldi Miklós tér – Piaţa Petru Rareş (at least both are medieval figures)

    Unió út – Str. Memorandului (! – the great national acts)

    Jókai út – Str. Nicolae Iorga (the great story-tellers of their respective nations)

    Kossuth Lajos (and Magyar) utca – Calea Victoriei (! – Kossuth and Hungarianness equals victory)

    Pekri utca – Str. General Praporgescu (Pekri Lőrinc was a brigadier-general of the army of Ferenc Rákóczi II.)

    In some cases the choice is clearly offending an revolting, even humiliating, but the intention is also evident: to preserve as much of the existing system and structure of street names as possible, replace them with names conveying a similar menaing for Romanians. It is, of course a very subtle attempt, maybe even cynical. Acknowledges in a sense the existence and importance of the urban community, but overturns it completly and replaces one history and collective memory not simply with another, but with the exact mirror image of it, reproduces it completly with the exact opposit meaning.

    • Nice list, and I agree in general with your account, without doubt there is a certain cynicism in the way the names were replaced.

      However I maintain that some of the names before 1919 did also have a planned, political element in them. The motivation might have been to demonstrate „Hungarianness” of the city, in the sense of being an integral part of the Hungarian political entity, as opposed to a distinct, local, Transylvanian character. This has to be seen in the context of the romantic currents of the time, for example some of the names are of mythical figures „rediscovered” in that age. Most of the names you mention can be found in any Hungarian city, they don’t tell us more about the city than the Romanian names. As I said, if we’d rewind the clock even further, we’d find names such as „watermill street”, „belltower square” or „street of the franciscan monks”. I can connect with those more easily than with either „pantheons” 🙂

      • While this vision of finding „denationalized” version of city streets is commendable in principle, it is utterly impractical and just as ‘cultish’ as the „nationalistic” version.

        I’ve said once that languages are, first and foremost, not cultural or ethnic phenomena but basic means of communication. You learn a language – even your mother tongue – to communicate first and to do other things (such as express your national identity) second.

        By the same token, a street is first and foremost a place where people live and walk, drive and do business on – and it’s an element of the person-community-physical space bondage only second.

        Now, the past reality when the streets were named after guilds, trades and big buildings corresponded to a reality of those times: people moved much less frequently than today and they were quite grounded to the place. A street in a city could have had a trade-name for 100 years or more (Drumul Sării, „Salt’s Drive” – the main avenue of salt transport in old Bucharest) because things changed very slowly back then.

        Hence, using „nationalist” means of naming was a natural process – nationalism became more important than the division along professional lines.

        What’s the status today: in the internet era it is even more far-fetched to proceed as in the pre-nationalistic era. There are no more people grounded, there are no more physically-bound guilds, I can communicate/trade/do business with you even tough you may be in Bucharest, in Kolozsvar or in Buenos Aires. I don’t even have to see you in person.

        So, the very basis of the „guild” system is gone. The „nationalist” system is still alive, since nationalism still counts. A „local figure” system would be better, but again – what’s ‘local’ in the internet era?

        A good system would be the American one: „number + street” for Est-West roads and „avenue + number” for Noth-South ones, but I guess, such system is non-applicable due to the semi-chaotic web that the street system of the European cities is.

      • @Egy gondolat bant:

        I think we mostly agree here. „Locality” has lost its significance and it would be fake to invent „local” names such as those that I was saying. If the purpose is to communicate, names of national heroes are as good as anything else (let’s ignore for a moment the fact that language is never _just_ for communication but also for signaling: i.e. negotiating positions and power-relationships).

        What I was advocating was to preserve the old names in historical towns that keep the memory of the city. „Drumul sării” is a wonderful example. Even though salt transport is not significant today, the name tells a nice story of city history, it can be a source of pride for locals and an interesting fact for tourists and visitors.

        Afterall, walls and city fortifications have also lost all their practical significance, but still we don’t start demolishing them right away.

        So I was suggesting just to keep these „speaking” street names. For newly built streets, yeah, whatever… I’m afraid the future is the „avenue+number” system anyway.

  9. „I would differentiate between he process before 1919, especially in the 19th century and the conflicting processes after 1919. The former happened in a less conflictual field, with no significant social group opposing it, especially because of the ethnic composition of the city. I wouldn’t use the world natural process, but couldn’t be hard to see it that way. (Especially as natinalizing a city that otherwise very much resembled other cities of the Habsburg Monarchy was a way to signify the difference, the sepcific aspects of this city.)”

    This is just a logical fallacy.

    There were no ” significant social group opposing it” not because they were less repressive, but exactly due to the fact that the semi-feudal-nationalist political system build around magyarization ( Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) acknowledge it like one of the most „illiberal” in Europe) simply didn’t allowed the existence of these groups.
    Its kinda impossible to quarrel over streets name and stuff when you`re almost non-existent from a political point of view, isn’t it ?

  10. Actually I would call a fallacy the use of references to Encyclopedia Britannica from 1910-1911, using nonsense terms like „semi-feudal-nationalist political system”. (How these were implemeted in Britan regarding Hungary is quite well portrayed in the only significant contribution to historiography by the former Hungarian minister of foreign affairs, Géza Jeszenszky and for example a dissertation on Robert Wiliam Seton Watson, written by Ágnes Beretzky .) I think it is at least debatable that the primary aim of the dualist political system would have been magyarization, albeit it became one of the core problems around the turn of the century. (But for example after a period of harsher line of the Budapest government a new, more reconciliant line of István Tisza emerged, exactly in 1910-1911 offering significant concessions to Romanians, who rejected it to the suggsetion of politicians around Franz Ferdinand and in Bucharest.) Not to speak of the problem, how far Cluj/Kolozsvár have been magyarized in the sense the term suggests: assimilating non-Hungarian inhabitants with drastical, forceful measures. According to official statistics the number of inhabitants after between 1880 and 1910 were as follows:

    1880: 29923
    1890: 32756
    1900: 49295
    1910: 60808

    the numer of persons giving Romanian as their mother tongue:

    1880: 3855 – 12,9%
    1890: 3226 – 9,8%
    1900: 6039 – 12,25%
    1910: 7562 – 12,43%

    (One could even say, that after a minor relapse between 1880 and 1890 the city was on the course of Romanization due to the forceful assimilation politics of Hungarians. 😀 )

    Putting aside bad humor, quite peculiarly the proportion of Romanian became lower in a decade when the city stagnated and assimilationst politics was less refined and less powerful than around the turn of the century, especially during the reign of the coalition governments between 1906 and 1909. And as soon as the city began to develop, the number and proportion of Romanians was growing quite significantly. It was of course the result of immigration, and one part of immigrants – students – were certainly more affected by the national idea, therefore they even could have national claims regarding the city as well. (And that is for example a reason not to see the developments of the decades after 1919, the growth of share of the Romanians only as the result of the assimilationist politics of the new sovereigns.) But I wouldn’t expect so intense national emotions from peasants and workers, I suppose they were just simply accepting the given facts and the outfit of the city. Or, with other words: they were not forming a significant social group contesting nationalization of the city. But not beacuse this group was eliminated previously, but simply because it didn’t appeared yet on the scene. If one accept that the nations were formed during this period than the nationalization of the city is just a part of this process and not necessarily part of the repression of other groups, especially when this group – later probably opressed was not constructed that time. (Opressing something nonexistent, that’s what I would call a logical fallacy. 🙂 )

    I do not deny the nationalization of the city, but there was no real contestant during the second half of the 19th century and it led to a lower level of tensions. Or, figuratively speaking, it was not the rape of the city, but rather a slow process of learning how to make love with the nation. Unfortunately the new generations were intensly watching the show and learning more quickly, but not aware of the concept of consent. 🙂

    • I’ll have to agree mostly with lvl100 here, the concessions of 1910, 1911 were too little too late and the rulers of the time have mostly ignored the political requests of the Romanians for half a century before.

      In the defense of the ruling class of that time, they didn’t know any better, and they could not see beyond their own context, which was that of romantic nationalism. Gegry, it might be as you say, that there was no organized opposition to this „nation-building” and it was the natural course of action. And naturally all this does not excuse the subsequent regimes for doing the same or worse. What my point of contention is that I feel if we try to revive this 19th century national character of the town, we are back at square one, we should try to come up with something more original in 2009 🙂

  11. „”(How these were implemeted in Britan regarding Hungary is quite well portrayed in the only significant contribution to historiography by the former Hungarian minister of foreign affairs, Géza Jeszenszky and for example a dissertation on Robert Wiliam Seton Watson, written by Ágnes Beretzky .)””

    Heh , trebuia sa ma astept la mentionarea lui Seton Watson.
    Pentru cei care nu au auzit de el, tipul era un jurnalist englez, maghiarofil si admirator al Regatului Ungariei.
    Avand ocazia sa calatoareasca prin Ungaria si vazand ca treaba nu e chiar asa roza, isi schimba radical opiniile si devine un critic al regatului.

    Datorita opiniilor sale despre situatia romanilor, serbilr, slovacilor, etc in Ungaria devine automat Inamicul numarul 1 si obiect al unei uri adanci.

    Care , chiar si azi exista, in dulcele stil clasic de victimizare, el fiind vazut ca sursa galactica care a deformat opinia globului pamantesc si a dus la Trianon.

    ” using nonsense terms like “semi-feudal-nationalist political system”. ”

    Care parte e deplasata aici ?
    Nationalismul e clar, asta nu e nici macar negat.
    Iar semi-feudalismul iarasi e corect.
    Dupa 1900 chiar si Austria adopta votul universal (pentru barbati) si un numar impresionant de minoritati in Parlament : in jur de 90 de reprezentanti a 5 etnii diferite.
    Prin comparatie in Ungaria avem un sistem cenzitar a carui formula permite participarea a cam 25% din populatie, iar in afara de ceva croati (Croatia , cel putin oficial nu era parte integranta a regatului ci facea parte dintr-o uniune) pe celelalte minoritati le cautai cu lupa sa dai de vreun reprezentant de al lor.

    „but there was no real contestant during the second half of the 19th century and it led to a lower level of tensions”

    Ahm, in tara in care autorii Memorandului Transilvanian doar pentru ca cer niste drepturi minime pentru romani sunt judecati pentru”tradare de tara”, „nivelul mic al tensiunilor” nu se poate explica decat prina armonie si buna intelegere. Tipic.

  12. @lvl100

    I’m not really used to that kind of argumentative strategy that is not discussing my points and statments but tries to imply and guess what I have thought and attacks these „imaginary” and alleged contents. Please, try to stick to what have been written and not what you implies into my statements due to your own bias and prejudice.

    Seton-Watson: my reference was not about his action but to two pieces of historiography, one of them not narrowed down to Seton-Watson, the other one – as a biographical attempt – quite naturally placing him in the focus. Pointing out others works as ones covering the topic do not necessarily means agreement with their whole content. Not to speak of your probable knowledge of these works, that are not replicating the interwar animosity regarding Seton-Watson, the are rather critical of the Hungarian politics. Even though Seton-Watson was far from biased, neither before, nor after his personal experiences. Probably would be better to get more familiar with them?

    semi-feudal-nationalistic regime:
    a, if you treat the universal suffrage (or represenatation of minorities, especially as it was typical in „feudal” systems – in reality in systems where representation was based on the rights of estates and priviliged groups, it is not a coincidence that Hungarian politicains argued agianst the upkeeping of the Saxon autonomy on the basis that it would mean feudal remanats in a civic society) as a characteristic of a non-feudal system as opposed to semi-feudal one, you will find a surprisingly large number of „semi-feudal” countries in Europe around 1910 or even before 1918. Including Great-Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland. And would exculde frome this categroy states like germany, the Eastern provinces of wich were more similar to Hungary than Britain or the Low Countries.
    Feudalism is a social system depending on the legal difference of individuals status belonging to different, legally homogenous groups and where the sociaty is organized through chains of legally based personal subordinations or dependent relationships. After eliminiation of such legal distinctions there is no way to speak of feudalism, not to speak of the problem whether feudalism existed at all in Hungary. (A very contested concept by social historians today, and not because it would somehow lift historical responsibility.)
    b, Semi-feudalism is not an analytical category, it is a publicistic and ideological one, widely used by politicians to denounce their opponents, even by Hungarians against Hungarians and literary intellectuals. Even if it is found in Encyclopedia Britannica. (A propos! Would you refer to the Encyclopedia Britannica in case of atomic theory, genetics, radio technology etc as an up-to-date reference? If not, why are you so convinced that its politological content is still valid?) Semi-feudalism was aimed to highlight backwardness and the existence of patterns and forms of personal relationships and informal submission in agrarian and rural communities detemrining the life, the lack of economic relationships based on the market and negotiations accordingly. And sometimes state violence was referred to as well. But it is not the characteristic of the political syystem, that was far from being semi-feudal, rather a sign of a slow transformation. Not to speak of the fact, that it was not a category that could have been applied for the whole of the country.

    Who contested and what: up to this moment I thought – and behaved, argued accordingly – that the discussion is about the urban space of Cluj/Kolozsvár and its changes during the 19th and 20th century. It is the first occasion I hear about the contents of the Memorandum in this context. Maybe you could give me an example, how the „memorandişti” wanted to rename there streets, what kind of statue they propsed to be erected etc. If it is not in the Memorandum, please not mix it with the intended nationalization of the urban landscape and the tensions this process supposed to be led to. Once again, please, if I’m not dealing with problems, because they are not part of the discussion do not imagine or guess what is my „real” opinion on those historical problems. It is a cheap way to „eliminate” ones opinion with denouncing what he or she hasn’t stated.

  13. I feel we are getting off on a tangent here (nothing wrong with that of course :)…

    Gegry feels that we have mixed different topics here, the national character of public space on the one hand and the political rigths of an ethnic group on the other.

    Lvl100 brought up the topic of political rights with the argument that it is a necessary condition before a community can even think of influencing the public space. I tend to agree here. It would be difficult to name streets in your language when in fact you are not allowed to write your own name in your own language. This is a hyperbole to some extent.

    If one looks at turn-of-the-century photos of the city, they can see shops with names of owners that have Hungarian, German, Romanian, Jewish, Armenian sound to them. So the „unofficial” public space was perhaps more multicultural than the „official” public space (street names, statues, etc.). The regimes that followed were perhaps even worse in sweeping under the rug these multiple identities of the city.

    @gegry: it might be too much to ask from blog commenters (such as myself) to use completely rigorous terminology. I agree that I would not get my quantum physics from Encyclopedia Britannica but neither would I debate it in obscure blog comments 🙂 So I guess we can live with a bit of sloppiness here 🙂

    Of course semi-feudalism is a publicistic term. I haven’t heared it before, but I would define it for example as the lack of a strong middle class. Afterall the palaces that give the identity of the main square were, as far as I know built mostly by noblemen, descendents of great families, and only gradually more and more by wealthy lawyers, doctors, merchants, etc.

    Ironically this coincided with the identity of big cities becoming less uniformly „national”, as many prominent members of these classes were Jewish or German speaking. In conservative newspapers of the time one can read complaints about how the big cities have lost their „true” Hungarian character. Perhaps the official stance was to counteract this phenomena. Again, admitting this I don’t see as something extremely bad. It was the context of the times and worse things were to follow.

      • Don’t worry about it, it’s ok to use both languages. I only regret I can’t allow comments in hungarian, as only a few people speak it here

        Reamintesc, pentru cine comunica mai bine in romaneste, ca se poate raspunde lui Gegry si in limba noastra. De asemenea, il incurajez pe Lv100 sa continuie in romaneste, chiar daca sunt sigur ca scrie foarte bine si in engleza. de dragul diversitatii pe care ne-o permite bilingvismul* lui Gegry

        –––––––––––––
        *prin asta ma refer la faptul ca stie si ro si en. el e de fapt cel putin trilingv, daca adaugam si maghiara.

  14. In primull rand as vrea sa-l felicit pe Laci pentru ca a reusit sa sintetizeze in doar cateva randuri ce mi-a luat mie vreo 50.

    „I’m not really used to that kind of argumentative strategy”

    In schimb eu sunt obisnuit cu sofismele atat de dragi unei anumite parti a maghiarilor.
    De exemplu :

    „If it is not in the Memorandum, please not mix it with the intended nationalization of the urban landscape and the tensions this process supposed to be led to. Once again, please, if I’m not dealing with problems, because they are not part of the discussion do not imagine or guess what is my “real” opinion on those historical problems.”

    Dimpotriva, tu incerci sa impui idei false prin abstractizare si izolare artificiala a subiectului.
    Clujul nu era parte a Regatului Botwsanei Unite si nici macar a unui Principat autonom transilvanean , ci datorita centralismului ( atat de injurat si reprosat romanilor dupa 1820) era parte integranta a Ungariei dupa Ausgleich (creearea dualismului)
    Incercarea de a disocia Clujul de politicile la nivel national, si in cazul memorandistilor chiar local, e pur si simplu copilareasca.

    E ca si cum ai spune ca daca pe vremea lui Ceausescu , Securitatea baga la beci jumatate din satul X , iar in celelalte sate adiacente toata lumea de frica tace, asta nu au nici o legatura. Doar in satul X au fot conflicte, in celelalte sate ( despartite ohoo mult, de o vale de X) este pace si lumea se dezvolta facand dragoste pe Barry White sau ce comparatii poetice mai faceai despre fostul regim.

    „t is not a coincidence that Hungarian politicains argued agianst the upkeeping of the Saxon autonomy on the basis that it would mean feudal remanats in a civic society) as a characteristic of a non-feudal system as opposed to semi-feudal one, you will find a surprisingly large number of “semi-feudal” countries”

    Asta e o alta chestie haioasa, desi e o minciuna, nici macar un sofism.
    Sasii deja fusesera deposedati de drepturile abosolutiste cu mult timp inainte de dualism chiar de austrieci. Nefiind nationalisti in sensul clasic dezvoltarea lor democratica este una accelerata. Inainte de Dualism si dupa , ei trimit petitii pentru reorganizarea unei autonomii relativ democratice in cadrul Regatului(sasii sunt primii in Transilvania care incep sa dea drepturi politice mai insemnate romanilor traind in regiunea lor)
    Ungurii chiar ar fi avut multe de invatat de la organizarea sasilor pe plan politic.

    „Semi-feudalism is not an analytical category, it is a publicistic and ideological one, widely used by politicians to denounce their opponents”

    Un alt strawman clasic.

    Cand m-am referit la sistemul politic, Britannica il definea ca „neliberal”
    Termenul de „semi-feudal” imi apartine (daca nu erai sigur puteai simplu sa ma intrebi)
    Si am oferit si argumentele mele ( situatia politica concreta si comparatia cu jumatatea austriaca)
    In loc sa te ocupi de acele argumente, te legi aiurea de cuvantul in sine, si unde ar trebuii sa apara si cine ar trebuii sa il foloseasca.

    „”Including Great-Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland. And would exculde frome this categroy states like germany, the Eastern provinces of wich were more similar to Hungary than Britain or the Low Countries.””

    Pura dezinformare.In 1900, cu exceptia a 2-3 tari cu franciza electorala asemanatoare Regatului Ungariei (25%)–> ( Italia 27% si Suedia 25%) majoritatea celelalte tari au intre 50-60% ( Olanda ; UK) sau intre 80-90% ( jumatatea austriaca !!!, Franta, Norvegia etc etc etc) –
    Nota -> procentele sunt pentru populatia de sex masculin Votul femeilor in Ungaria ca si in restul Europei va mai avea de asteptat destul timp)

  15. Intervin pe subiect pentru a face un apel la discutii calme si a-i indemna pe participanti sa isi citeze sursele (carti, site-uri) ori de cate ori si le amintesc.

    De asemenea, tin sa cred ca in acest caz Gegry are dreptate, chestiunea reprezentarii sau nereprezentarii romanilor in Ungaria este periferica. Atatat timp cat ei reprezentau circa 12% din populatia Clujului, ce voce puteau sa aiba in alegerea denumirilor strazilor? Ungurii sunt azi 19% si nu au atata influenta cat ar dori. Apropo de statistici, as dori ca Gegry, sa ne precizeze sursa, aici am gasit niste cifre usor diferite si care arata o scadere procentuala a romanilor din 1880 pana la 1910.

    Chestiunea reprezentarii romanilor la nivel national devine relevanta daca demonstram ca Budapesta, nu edilii Clujului hotarau ce nume revine fiecarei strazi si fiecarui bulevard. Un fenomen putin probabil, oricat de mult centralism ar fi existat in Regatul Ungariei.

    Ce ne intereseaza aici este: exista vot universal la nivel local? Daca da, ce putere aveau reprezentantii locali (consilieri, etc) intr-un oras. Ce putere avea primarul? Cum s-a schimbat situatia dupa 1918? Ce administratie a decis schimbarea numelor strazilor si cum a fost aleasa/numita ea?

    Cred ca astea sunt chestiunile care au legatura cu subiectul si nu cum se vota in Marea Britanie si nici chiar pe ansamblul Regatului Ungariei/Romaniei Mari.

  16. Thank you very much your intervention, I deleted the outline of a heated reply…
    But I would be greatful if lvl100 wouldn’t like to demask me as a dangeorus and typical Hungarian nationalist, especially if he or she hasn’t read a line of my historical works., that – I fear – is quite probable.

    Anyway, I would like to adress the issue of political rights and representation:

    1. It is distorting to view the problem through the lens of national level and especially through the lens of one – however scandalous -event. Contrary to the opinion expressed above by others, Romanian newspapers existed in the country, Romanian civic societies, associations, economic organizations etc. A Romanian Party sent candidates into the electoral struggle in 1905, 1906 and 1910. (I would like to ask everybody not to assume I’m not aware of the fact of the influence of local administration on the results, the sometimes violent scenes, for example in 1910 in Făgăraş, but it do not confute that politicians like Vaid-Voevod, Aurel Vlaicu, Ştefan Pop-Cicio, Iuliu Maniu, Nicolae Şerban held electoral rallies, gave speeches there and these were covered by the press – not only by the Romanian one.) The Romanian press – or a part of its organs – engaged in long debates with Hungarian newspapers over incidents, grievances, wicked and weird scenes, the misuse of power and as no censorship existed these articles were published freely. (Once again, I know that the regulation allowed an indictment of the authors later, sometimes it also happened, although it was excerised not exclusively against minorities and newspaper editors used to employ people nominally repsonsible for the content of the paper and going into jail if necessary, for example.) Books were issued, social events with speeches held etc. The Romanian’s grievances, claims and demands were well known or could have been well known for anyone, they had the necessary institutional framework to articulate their own demands, also in Cluj. They didn’t, at least regarding the cityscape and streetnames although they were more active in this sense in cities like Braşov or Sibiu. And tensions can arose not only from political action but from social one, from simply expressing the respective demands. (There were really fierce debates between Hungarian, Romanian or German newspapers.)
    2. What made Cluj a different place? The number of Romanians. Just one exmaple: the Philharmonical Society was organized only in 1920, while Romanian philharmonies were established earlier in the above mentioned two cities. (The latter also is a sign, that the authorities didn’t necessarily denied their permission to nationally shaped associations…) And the person who acted at last was not a Clujean, but someone from Sibiu or Braşov.
    One more, unfortunately indirect proof of the significant difference. At the elections in June 1920 (with universal male suffrage) the number of electors taken at the electoral rolls and the number who casted their ballots was as follows in some constutuencies:
    Name of constituency – number of electors – casted ballots
    Alba Iulia –––––- 8947 ––––- 3869
    Blaj –––––––11986 ––––––6999
    Arad oraş –––––4339 –––––– -951
    Pecica româna ––––15000–––––- -4083
    Oradea Mare ––––2721 ––––––-353
    Aleşd ––––––-6973 ––––––-2822
    Braşov ––––––6683 ––––––-3250
    Caran-Sebeş ––––12263 ––––––4976
    Thulgieş –––––-12568 ––––––2253
    Mercurea-Ciucului ––-9275 ––––––-619
    Gheorghieni ––––-15926 ––––––483
    Cluj oraş –––––-7850 ––––––-518
    Cojocna –––––-11148 ––––––3954
    Gilau ––––––-9966 ––––––-1825
    Făgăraş –––––-9103 ––––––-4002
    Deva ––––––-8470 ––––––-3645
    Ilia –––––––10029––––––4605
    Sighet ––––––8606 ––––––1660
    Câmpulung (la Tisa) ––8965 ––––––1373
    Târgu-Murăş oraş ––-2154 ––––––849
    Reghin ––––––11357 ––––––5244
    Zălău ––––––9940 ––––––-2752
    Jibou ––––––16570 ––––––3941
    Sibiu ––––––10200––––––-4879
    Răşinari –––––6799 ––––––-3712
    Satu Mare ––––10444 ––––––1823
    Timişoara oraş –––4758 ––––––2380

    The above examples are only a mixture, but it is clear that higher middle class Hungarian proportion of the population tended to make participation lower. The number of casted votes in Cluj is exteremly low, and the rate of participation as well. If one takes into account that the electors had a chance to choose between Ion G. Duca (PNL) and Aurel Socol (PNR) it can be surprisingly low. But konwing that there was no Hungarian candidate and a siginifcant part of the Hungarian population deliberately withdraw themselves from the public life as long as the peace treaty is not signed and ratified (it happened at 4 June, the election for the lower house were held at 3 June, ratification only even later – and I’m not agreeing with this argumentation, nor contesting it, only repeating it) this number gives some insight to the number of the politically active Romanian population there. (The number of casted ballots was lower then 1000 only in seven constituencies: Arad, Oradea, Cluj, Gheorghieni, Târgu Mureş, Miercurea Ciuc, Carei. All with huge Hungarian majorities. In some cases in larger cities like Satu Mare or Timişoara the participation was higher, but in these cases the social democrats also fielded a candidate that even won the respective seats. In Braşov the competitors was exculsively Romanians, the Saxon candidates withdrew from the race, in Sibiu only two Saxons fought. But in both cases, given the share of the Romanians or the Saxons it was enough for a better mobilization. And once again, I’m not stating that only about 500 hundred politically active Romanian were in the city, just that it is indicating the potential strength of a Romanian political movement there, locally.)

  17. @olahus:

    I took the data from here:
    http://varga.adatbank.transindex.ro/
    It is the most comprehensive database of census data from 1850 to 1992 and one can find at the site the 2002 results as well. Actually th author is acknowledged by his Romanian colleuages as an expert on Transylvanian poulation movements.

  18. @Laci and @Egy gondolat bánt
    I fear the important difference between the interpretation of spaces from above, through the lense of the nationalist activist and the conceptualization of them by inhabitants and the significance of the convyed national contents in practice are a very fascinating topic, deserving its own post.
    In general I would emphasize that even though streets could be given names of national heros or events taken from a mythizied national history or places from the same it does not necessarily mean that for the everyday users the nema is meaningful as a sign of national possession. For most people – I think – street names are only means of geographical orientation and a way to represent geography in a more abstract way, providing them some help for this not so easy task. I would dare to say, that many people simply don’t know who or what is behind that name. Or they do not find it important. And there are cases when practicality overcomes sympolic claims, especially in case of changing the street names, when many inhabitants begin to count the costs of such changes. The impact on their personal financial situation. But one can mention, that not so long ago there was a critique of the practice of the Hungarian press in Cluj/Kolozsvár, that is always using both names in its articles. The criticism was based on the assumption that for the bulk of the young Hungarians there, recently immigrating, these names are menaingless, without significance. It do not signify their own „Kolozsvár”, that is the contemporary one, as they has no connection to that lost one.

  19. @olahus

    The streetnames was changed (or rather the proposals were initiated) by a commision set up by the mayor of the city. (The adminsitration was appointed by the Consiliul Dirigent and the prefect, that was also delegated by the Consilul Dirigent.) The commission consisted:

    Dr. Pompei Micşă, cheif judge at the Court of Appeal
    Colonel Vlădescu, the commander of the railway station
    Octavian Utalea, vice-prefect
    Ion Agârbiceanu
    V. Ciortea, engineer
    Alexandru I. Lapedatu
    Dr. Amos Frâncu
    Emil Daianu
    Mureşan, administrator of the city birth and marriage certificates
    Vasile Crăinic, consilier of the mayor
    Emil Dandea, first secretary .

    According to a letter from the mayor (Iulian Pop) to the prefect, the proposals would have needed „the opinion of every factor who should have been taken into consideration” and later approved by the city senate, that time consisiting delegated members.

    (And I think a solved the mystery of the population number: Varga E. Árpád gives the figures for the present day territory of Cluj and spearately the for villages of Mănăştur and Someşeni. I used the data on Cluj/Kolozsvár proper.)

  20. „De asemenea, tin sa cred ca in acest caz Gegry are dreptate, chestiunea reprezentarii sau nereprezentarii romanilor in Ungaria este periferica. Atatat timp cat ei reprezentau circa 12% din populatia Clujului, ce voce puteau sa aiba in alegerea denumirilor strazilor?”

    Pai tocmai aici e baiul. Tu esti temptat sa analizezi rezultatul (12%) fara ca macar sa analizezi problema.
    Si tocmai aici sta si capcana logica a lui gegry.

    Clujul nu este Miercurea Ciuc .
    Clujul era inconjurat de o populatie numeroasa romana. Si o parte din ei incepuse sa devina chiar prospera, iar nu de putine ori chiar bogata , cu ajutorul unor banci finante in general de regateni.
    Si ca sa vezi dracie, nimeni nu vroia dom`le sa se mute in Clujul la o aruncatura de bat.Le placea viata la tara !

    Sau poate, doar poate , sistemul de maghiarizare la nivel national, care nu prea a dat rezultate la sat, dar la orase rezultate ridicol deputernice ar putea sa aiba vreo influenta.
    Peste noapte zeci de mii de „minoritari” descopera peste noapte ca toata viata lor a fost o minciuna si ca de fapt se trag direct din Atilla Hunul.
    Au trebuit sa isi maghiarizeze pana si Budapesta, care undeva pe la mijlocul anilor 1800 avea mai multi germanii si slovaci decat unguri.

    Si asta s-a facut pe baza unui sistem care asigura disproportionat de multe avantaje pentru maghiari si in acelasi timp o mobilitate ce tindea spre zero dinspre rural spre urban.
    Si tocmai de aia maghiarii s-au tinut cu dintii de acel sistem semi-feudal pana in ultimul ceas, pentru ca el bloca emanciparea si urbanizarea minoritatilor.

    In conditii nu democratice, dar macar semi-decente, Clujul trebuia sa arate ceva gen Timisoara , unde in aceasi vreme, toate etniile erau relativ proportional reprezentate ( vreo 30% sarbi, 30% romani, 25% sau cam asa ceva maghiari etc)
    No bine, Timisoara a fost pentru multa vreme sub conducere directa a austriecilor si probabil asa se explica minunea.

    In cazul Clujului, disproportia intre etniile orasului si procentul de etnii al intregii zone este extrem de mare. Nu vreau sa ma apuc sa speculez cat ar fi trebuit sa fie , dar e clar ca destul peste 12%.

  21. „But I would be greatful if lvl100 wouldn’t like to demask me as a dangeorus and typical Hungarian nationalist”

    As aprecia daca nu mi-ai mai pune in gura cuvinte de la tine

    „especially if he or she hasn’t read a line of my historical works., that – I fear – is quite probable.”

    Chit ca expresia de sus este un chiar definitia ad-hominem-ului abuziv, totusi m-ati facut serios.
    Si cam ce mare istoric sunteti sa lasati sa se inteleaga ca daca nu v-am citit cartea pornesc cu handicap in discutia asta ?

    „Contrary to the opinion expressed above by others, Romanian newspapers existed in the country,”

    Asta e alta eroare logica, simplul fapt ca ziare romanesti existau nu demonstreaza absolut nimic in sine.
    Publicatii in maghiara erau si pe vremea lui Ceausescu.

    „A Romanian Party sent candidates into the electoral struggle in 1905, 1906 and 1910.”

    Acelasi lucru. Au participat. Super tare.

    Hmm, eu am uitat , dar poate imi aduci tu aminte. Si dupa toate „electoral struggle” astea, cam cati romani erau in Parlament ?
    Si cam cati alti minoritari erau in parlament ( ignorand croatii) ?

  22. Just a little observation for Laci: the naming of the streets reflects, basically, collective memory: what a community or society (or, one may argue, the powerful/ in that community/society ) hold as valuable. The nationalisation of public space occurs because there is a decisional majority that still holds national values; it may be because the creations of all our cultural classics and Romania’s greatest socio-economical devellopement happened in late XIXth century- early XXth century; an historical period which is associated (all over Europe) with a great deal of nationalism. People tend to look with nostalgia to those times- and the values corresponding to them- which, of course, may be seriously unfit for our times.
    I too believe tha a de-nationalized space shared by a close-knit but diverse community is desirable; what I am trying to point out is that before de-nationalizing the space we need to de-nationalize our minds

  23. Lvl100, ignori statisticile prezentate de Gegry

    „“especially if he or she hasn’t read a line of my historical works., that – I fear – is quite probable.”

    Chit ca expresia de sus este un chiar definitia ad-hominem-ului abuziv, totusi m-ati facut serios.

    Si cam ce mare istoric sunteti sa lasati sa se inteleaga ca daca nu v-am citit cartea pornesc cu handicap in discutia asta ? ”
    Aici tin sa fac mai multe observatii:
    1)Argumentul lui Gegry este chiar ad-hominem, din pacate.
    2)Gegry nu spune ca pornesti cu un handicap pentru ca nu i-ai cerut cartea, ci sugereaza ca il tratezi ca pe un nationalist, fara sa fi citit lucrarile lui, caz in care ti-ai fi dat seama ca nu este

  24. @Olah
    „ci sugereaza ca il tratezi ca pe un nationalist”

    Ca pe un nationalist , nu. Nu are virulenta ilogica specifica lor.

    In schimb,pentru cineva care a citit biblioteca on-line Corvinus cap- coada si alte asemanatoare, nu pot sa nu recunosc sofismele si eschivele logice folosite pe larg acolo.

    Eu am fost primul care sa ii sara in cap lui Raducu cand incepuse cu Ip si Traznea, dar asta e valabil si pentru cealalta parte.

    1) Am mentionat cu statistici si procente clare sistemul inapoiat politic al acelei vremi.
    In loc sa se raspunda strict la alea ,mi se raspunde cu atacuri la credibilitatea Britannica ( de parca ea ar fi inventat faptul ca in afara de Ungaria , celelalte tari aveau o franciza electorala net superioara, hello ! e istorie moderna, sunt mii de surse pentru verificarea sistemelor electorale). Si cu analize morfologice daca ar trebuii sa punem sau nu cratima intre semi si feudal.

    2)faza cu sasii a fost iarasi tare. Si cu adevarat ironica,pentru ca sasii erau exact cum e secuimea in 2009. Nu vroiau decat o autonomie democratica pentru pastrarea identitatii.
    Iar aici sunt transformati in monstri medievali care doar datorita politicii super liberal a regatului nu sunt lasati sa traiasca ca la 1400.

    3)creearea unor paradigme false : daca nu sunt de acord ca maghiarizarea s-a facut incet si placut caun act sexual dintr-un roman siropos, automat ma situez la polul extrem. Vezi faza cu „da, dar mai erau si ziare si politicieni romani. (de parca eu as fi incercat sa promovez ideea ca romanii erau vanati si impuscati ca animalele si cei care supravietuiau erau pusi in slavie sa construiasca piramide sau alta viziune apocaliptica de asta care nu a existat niciodata in argumentatia mea)

    In fine sunt o gramada de giumbuslucuri de astea.

    „Lvl100, ignori statisticile prezentate de Gegry”

    Care anume, cele ale lui Varga ?M-am uitat pe site, dar poate ca fiind in maghiara , nu am vazut decat componenta Clujului ( aia in care maghiarii cresc cu 100% la fiecare cativa ani si romanii cu 10% din cand in cand).
    E undeva si componenta intregii regiuni ?

  25. @lvl100

    1. Unfortunately you can’t make a difference between citation and agreement. If one paraphrases an argumentation – like in the case of the Saxons – if there is no clear sign of disagreement, you automatically seem to think that it is a sign of supportive stance, acceptance of the content etc. I fear you might be wrong. As long as history has an element of reconstruction there will always be citations, paraphrases etc. without immediately signalling positive or negative stance towards the content. That’s why you are behaving Quixotic…

    2. You do not necessarily have to know my works – I apologize for the insult – but as long as you are not familiar with my views on issues and are not ready to stick to the post, or accept that I know what I have meant with my words and not you, I’m compelled to note that you would have an opportunity to. You would have find some online as well – a dissertation on the saxons and their banks in the 19th century that was also published this year as a book in Romania – unfortunately most of them in Hungarian. But as you refer to the Corvinus online library as a site consisting mainstream Hungarian histroiography I sincerely would advise you to move beyond that works if you would like to adress the present state of affairs. I usually don’t use them because they are representants of a nationalist current. If you feel to find their phrases reapeted by me, I fear you either misread of my text or you are so prejudiced that can’t make the difference. (Just as like in case of the Saxon paraphrase.) And maybe also contributes to this deplorable situation the fact that you perceive the history as a black-and-white territory, where no such positions are conceivable as mine: I’m not a fan of assimilationist politics, I think of it as a historical failure and responsibility – although this latter is not necessarily a historical topic therefore this judgement is not always part of my texts – but I don’t think that it would make it feasible to accept nonsenses – some serious or violent oppression of Romanians in Cluj/Kolozsvár during the second half of the ninteenth century – and I’m not ready to abandon historical facts just because they are not in line with my prejudices. History is a territory of many strange, fascinating, exciting stories and the most fascinating used to be those gray ones. History should not be seen always through this lense, not to speak of the distorting feature of always taking laws, regulations, speeches at face value.

    3. Cluj, Timişoara: your first wrong assumption is that no city can be an ethnic island in the sea of its rural background. Cities from Prague to Cernăuţi, Vilnius, Pressporek(Bratislava)/Pressburg/Pozsony and for a while Cluj are clear examples of the opposite. With time this island character faded – partly as results of „natural” or rather unavoidable social processes partly because of administrative measures. (But it is sad that while you think of finding those typical nationalist assumptions in my text, you are for eample not aware of such remarks, as for example mine regarding the rural background of the city and explicitly telling that becasue of it I don’t think that the Romanisation of the city was exclusively a result of the assimilationist politics of the administrations.) Moreover, Cluj/Kolozsvár had Hungarian rural background, only not as large as the Romanian. I simply don’t understan what you mean abut the immigration from villages to cities? Was it banned according to your understanding? Or was it state-organised? However you feel about it, migration was legally free and and from rural areas people moced to cities. Even to Cluj and even Romanians. (It would be nonsense from Hungarain politicians to object this process as many of them honestly believed – supported by contemprorary sociological writings – that cities are the actual places of assimilation while the rural population is more resistent. Just for you: it is a paraphrase no agreement nor denial.) Moerover, Timişoara could hav been from a judiciary point of view – as a center of a province colonized in the 18th century – more open than traitional and continously existing cities with their medieval privileges that often rstricted immigration even up to the mid-19th century. But I don’t know, it is just a suggestion.
    Oh, and just one little fact: Tribuna Popurului, the organ of he activist movement in PNR has 5(!) subscribers in Cluj county in 1904, while 107 in Arad county, 100 in Arad town, 93 in Timiş county, 55 in Sibiu county, 46 in Braşov. I would dare to say that it is also a proof that Cluj was not the center of the Romanian national movement. (The judiciary case against the memorandişti becaue there was the seat of the responsible court and beacuse the sate prsecution wnated a real show, that at the end backfired.)

    4. Your historical understanding seems to be quite ahistorical. For you the nation and the nationalism seems not to be a phenomenon of the modern age but something eternal. At least references to the Austrian administration of Timişora as a cause of it being ethnically more divided than Cluj is only partially justified at best, because in the age of nationalism the city was under Hungarian controll and therefore could be fully affected by the same politics. Without thorough analysis of the develpoment of both cities it is hard to explain the differences in their entirety, but even in case of the former the initial ethnic/national setting played an important role. But even in Timişoara the proprotion of people giving Romanian as their mother tongue was slightly above 10% in 1910. You could have mentioned Braşov – one of my favoruite counterexamples to Cluj – where the ethnic composition of the city was really close to the 1/3-1/3-1/3 and where one really could find discontent with the cities Saxon character. From you reasoning about rural immigration I would conclude that you assume that rural immigrants have a full-fledged and complete national consciuosness, not different from that of the intellectuals and they can not identify themselves otherwise – for example by social status and position, class consicousness etc. It is also ahistorical, an not corresponding with the results of anthropological, sociologicakl research as well. Rural immigrants are not necessarily a crowd to mobilize automatically by nationalist politics. This resembles the very powerful an popular perception from the interwar period, describing peasants as the untainted keepers of the national essence.
    Not to speak of the fact, that in many areas Romanian peasants tended to vote for non-Romanian or non-PNR Romanian candidates at elections, even without considerable administrative pressure. Even in 1905 besides 9 MPs of the PNR 9 Romanian MPS of the Libeal Party took seats in the Parliament. (caveat: I’m not discussing whether it was rightful share, enough, less than deserved etc. I’m not dealing here with the suffrage. I just give the facts.) In 1910 besides 6 PNR MPs 6 were elected as MPs of the Party of National Labor. According to one estimate at best only maximum 35% of the 110000 enfranchised Romanians gave their votes to RNP candidates and in the bast case 65% of the Romanina electors in the constituencies where the RNP fielded a candidate. Even though these estimates can not calculate or guess the distortive effect of administrative pressure. However, Romanian historian Viorel Achim did not contest these figures in a review on the respetive volume, rather emphasized the importance of the research made on the electoral histoy of RNP in pre-WWI Hungary.

    5. semi-fedualism: Once again you show very little understanding of science if you demand to accept that scintific texts written in any period should be treated as entirely such without taking into account their contexts. Not to speak of the „development” of the sinces. I fear the issue is not purely semiotic one, it goeas to the heart of our difference. As long as you use such phrases that were coined and intended to stigmatize and desavouate you step outside proper discussion. You can not use such words because they are not describing facts, their aim is to signall that the object of the discussion is negative in itself. And this is in fact the result of your use of the phrase. It makes any kind of argumentation, showing pre-WWI Hungary not black and white but different and diverse, suspicious and nationalits, allegedly defending something very wrong.

    6. Some fact: Romanian banks were not financed from the Old Kingdom, but by the deposits of local people and by credit of the Österreichis-Ungarische Bank and large banks in Vienna and Budapest. The Romanian banking system and its conscious activity to finance only Romanians and buy landed property from Hungarians to give it to Romanians is one of the most interesting histroical myths, that was constructed – once again – by Hungarian politicians to denounce their opponents and later taken over by the RNP leadership as an easy means to legitimize themselves as heros of the national unity. However Mihai Drecin and his disciples tried to replicate this myth lately, but it do not withstand the facts, published also in those books or in the contemporary press. Beyond this, Romanian banks willingly offered large chunks of land their bought to the Hungarian government if they saw a good business opportunity and willingly sold the property of their Romanian borrowers if they couldn’t have come up with the rates due.
    Newspapers: I can’t do nothing but deny the implied menaing of your words that in Hungary censorship prevented Romanian nespapers to publish their views and political claims. It is a fact, you can dwell on it for centuries but it won’t alter history. Or read some articles. They were their own organs and politics is far from being confined to electoral campaigns. (Well, in 1906 13 PNR candidates were elected and later one at a byelection, besides them 4 as inependent or members of the Party of Constitution. Before 1904 the PNR abstained from the elections on political grounds.) As I mentioned in some cases the government or its local representatives made an indictment afterwards and it is also true that the jury at Sibiu/Hermannstadt – in these cases the decision falled to a jury for a long time, a semi-feudal institution I fear 😀 – was dissolved because it too often acquitted minority journalists. But, in fact, even this circumstance, that minority journalist were trialed in front of the Sibiu jury shows that their newspapers existed in Southern-Transylvania and not in Cluj.
    Some mistakes of yours: in 1907 in the first Reichsrat elected with universal male suffrgae only 233 German representaives were sitting from 516, the others being non-German, significantly higher than your figure of „around 90”.
    Sweden actually was a semi-feual country around 1910?

    7. Anyhow, I can’t help to feel that your are arguing on the basis of a very persistent myth of some ethernal Romanian Cluj, a center of romanism that were destroyed by foreigners but regained. Unfortunately it is a typical nationalist myth, even though if you are not aware of it.

    8. My post was not intended to deal with the fate of minorities in the 19th century Hungary in general, nor with Romanians. Maybe I will dedicate another post to it and express my views on this topic. But from my side the debate is closed here on this issue, what do not mean that you are not allowed or invited to make your closing remarks. I just feel that it is becoming pointless.

  26. gegry@ : My post was not intended to deal with the fate of minorities in the 19th century Hungary in general, nor with Romanians.

    No problem they practically share aproximatly the same fate.
    Intre 1867 si 1910 maghiarii ( sau ma rog cei asimilati lor pentru ca recensamintele succesive din epoca retineau datele in functie de limba vorbita si nu de nationalitate) prezinta o crestere procentuala de aproape 55% fapt ce este unic in istoria europeană. Ori cum maghiarii nu au ca ocupatie principala pastoritul ca sa punem aceasta fecunditate nemaiintilnita pe seama consumului in exces de brinza si lapte ca in cazul ciobanilor valahi si cum o crestere alarmanta a libidoului populatiei ,care sa duca la acest spor demografic nemai intilnit , nu a fost inregistrat atunci putem presupune ca mare parte a acestei cresteri procentuale se datoreaza procesului de asimilare , mai mult sau mai putin benevolă.Stiu ca in general in istoriografia maghiara perioada respectiva este prezentata ca un model de interculturalitate si toleranta totusi trebuie sa analizam situatia din mai multe perspective respectiv si din punctul de vedere al interesului national nu numai al românilor dar si al slovacilor , sîrbilor , croatilor , slovenilor , ucrainenilor , germanilor.

  27. lvl100@ : iar in afara de ceva croati (Croatia , cel putin oficial nu era parte integranta a regatului ci facea parte dintr-o uniune) pe celelalte minoritati le cautai cu lupa sa dai de vreun reprezentant de al lor.

    Ai perfecta dreptate , in 1890 de exemplu cei cateva milioane de slovaci trimiteau in parlamentul de la budapesta frumoasa sumă de….3 reprezentanti ! Adevarul ca era o suma excesiva , probabil ca chiar si cei trei se cam calcau pe picioare si nu isi justificau existenta , le trebuia un referendum ca asta propus de Base pentru scaderea numarului de parlamentari. Referitor la români ei cei drept aveau ceva mai multi reprezentatnti insa de exemplu primul discurs in româneste rostit in plenul parlamentului maghiar ( de catre Vaida-Voevod si cam tot dupa 1890) a fost primit cu un cor de proteste autorul fiind vehement acuzat de „trădare de patrie” . De altfel multe din minutele sedintelor parlamentare din forul maghiar sint traduse in româneste eu am avut ocazia sa citesc cateva din ele dintr-o lucrare numita „Unirea de la 1918 in izvoare narative” in care sint reproduse multe documente relevante pentru realizarea unirii , documente care acopera perioada premergatoare 1880-1910. Foarte educative , recomand oricui sa urmareasca activitatea politica a reprezentantilor românilor in parlamentul budapestan dupa 1967 .

  28. Heh la inceput ma irita faza, acum a inceput doar sa ma amuze. Domnul gegry se pare ca are ceva cunostiinte care ar putea sa ajute la discutie,sunt intotdeauna dispus sa invat ceva nou, dar din pacate continua sa ingroape acele informatii in manipulari argumentative la granita cu atacul la persona.

    „Unfortunately you can’t make a difference between citation and agreement……./like in the case of the Saxons – if there is no clear sign of disagreement,…../reconstruction there will always be citations, paraphrases etc. without immediately signalling positive or negative stance towards the content. ”

    1)Asta nu inseamna ca poti sa arunci la intamplare tot felul de citate/opinii si dupa aia sa dai din umeri : „e ziceam si eu….”
    2)mai ales ca citatul „pe care tu nu il judeci/nu-l aprobi/nu-l negi” se potriveste ca o manusa cu ideea principala a argumentatiei tale, cea impotriva semi-feudalismului.

    Cum ar fi sa argumentez eu despre tratamentul BUN al maghiarilor in ROmania si sa arunc un citat din Vadim, ca maghiarii au fost tratati oricum mult mai bine decat meritau.
    Iar daca cineva sare, stai ba ca citezi un retardat nationalist nu are sens/relevanta, eu sa dau din umeri si sa zic : nu stiu frate, ziceam si eu, asa e in argumentatie, aruncam fraze pentru care nu ne asumam nici o raspundere.
    Hai ma ce naiba, parca suntem copii.

    „But as you refer to the Corvinus online library as a site consisting mainstream Hungarian histroiography ”

    Strawman jenant. NU am emis nicaieri absolut nici o judecata despre NATURA sau APARTENENTA ideologica a respectivei librarii.

    „And maybe also contributes to this deplorable situation the fact that you perceive the history as a black-and-white territory”

    Ad-hominem. Hai sa ignoram toate statisticile si parerile ( corecte sau nu) prin defaimarea adversarului.

    „but I don’t think that it would make it feasible to accept nonsenses – some serious or violent oppression of Romanians in Cluj/Kolozsvár”

    Strawman super-jenant. Argmentatia mea s-a bazat pe existenta unui sistem politic nefavorabil minoritatilor. Mai mult, in afara de memorandum, chiar AM EVITAT exemplele de violenta fizica, axandu-ma pe parghiile economico-politice folosite.
    NICAIERI n-am spus ca nevaforabil = genocid sau ceva de genu asta.
    Dar nu-i problema, lasa ca spui tu pentru mine. LOL

    „I can’t do nothing but deny the implied menaing of your words that in Hungary censorship prevented Romanian nespapers to publish their views and political claims”
    Strawman deja explicat.

    „Anyhow, I can’t help to feel that your are arguing on the basis of a very persistent myth of some ethernal Romanian Cluj”

    Ha ha ha ha cat de jos poti sa te cobori. In curand nici Groapa Marianelor nu o sa fie deajuns de adanca.
    Deci faptul ca am discutat NUMAI ultimii 50 de ani pana la dezintegrarea Dualismului ( cum e si normal, nationalismul si inceperea mobilitatii catre centrele urbane se accelereaza tocmai in aceasta perioada) , in viunea domnului gegry eu devin un mic Savescu sau mai stiu ce alte tampenii de astea cu „clujul etern”
    Du-te ba si plimba cercul.

    O mai fii scris omul si ceva valabil prin postul ala, dar sunt la servici si n-am timp sa stau 3 ore sa filtrez informatia relevanta de tonele de strawman-uri si ad-hominem-uri

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