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The Domestic Politics of the Bethlen Government, 1921-1925

Lorman, Thomas; (2001) The Domestic Politics of the Bethlen Government, 1921-1925. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis does not seek to provide a comprehensive overview of the first five years of the premiership of Istvan Bethlen. Instead, each of its six chapters deals with a specific question relating to the operation of his government, and from these general conclusions can be drawn. It begins with a short introduction relating to Bethlen's background and Hungary in 1921. This thesis will also discuss the sources that the research is based upon. The first chapter analyses Bethlen's relationship with the parties that initially supported his government and his attempt to create a 'Unified Party'. The second chapter examines the way he sought to normalize relations with the Magyarorszagi Szocialdemokrata Part, (MSZDP), (Hungarian Social Democratic Party), break their election boycott and bring them back into the fold of parliamentary life prior to the 1922 elections. The third chapter analyses the 1922 elections and considers the franchise, the parties involved and the outcome. The fourth chapter uses an analysis of the struggle between Bethlen and the right-radical wing of the party through 1922-1923 as a means of measuring the extent to which the Unified Party was genuinely unified and/or controlled by Bethlen. The fifth chapter asks why his attempt to modernize and expand the Unified Party was unsuccessful and failed to provide a greater role for the party within the government. The sixth chapter considers the reasons why the government's relations with the MSZDP began to deteriorate from 1922 onwards to the point that Bethlen was faced with a parliamentary boycott at the end of 1924. It elucidates how and why Bethlen allowed this situation to come about and how he was able to crush the boycott without seriously affecting either the policies or credibility of his government. The conclusion establishes that Bethlen did have an ideology which sought to continue and in some areas develop the pre-war 'system' established by Istvan Tisza. This ideology shaped Bethlen's approach to each of the political issues raised in the preceding six chapters. This thesis, based on extensive primary and secondary sources, provides a basis from which a truly comprehensive history of the Bethlen government can be written.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Domestic Politics of the Bethlen Government, 1921-1925
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Bethlen, Istvan
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100173
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