The fall of the medieval Hungarian state and the Turkish conquest 1490-1526

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Matthias died prematurely and without a legal successor in 1490. The powerless rulers from the Jagelló dynasty that followed bought the benevolence of ever more unbridled lords by granting them concessions. Hungary's international role was wasted, its political stability shaken, and social progress was deadlocked. Matthias' conquests - Moravia, Silesia and part of Austria - were lost.

The constant infighting and unlawful acts committed during the feudal anarchy imposed intolerable burdens on the peasantry in Hungary. Their bitterness resulted in the peasant war of 1514, which is part of the European peasant revolt from the Hussite uprisings to 1525 German peasant war. The uprising led by György Dózsa was brutally crushed and the lords took revenge. Hungary was in a state of anarchy and discord when the Ottoman Empire, by now near the peak of its power, prepared itself to wage a new campaign against Europe, and subsequently reached Hungary's southern borders.

mohacsi vszThe dreaded event occurred at the battle of Mohács in 1526. The 70,000-80,000-strong army led by Suleiman I (The Great) (1520-1566) reached the battlefield on August 29. The Hungarian army, outnumbered three to one, mad a vain attempt to halt the advance: in just 90 minutes the cream of the infantry and Hungarian elite was lost. The Hungarian King, Lajos (Louis) II (1515-1526), was drowned in a swollen stream while fleeing. The Sultan marched into Buda, capital of Hungary, two weeks later.

 

 

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