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Hungary was founded in 896 by the Magyars. Some suggest that the name Hungary derives from "On-Ogur" which means "Ten Arrows" in Turkic, but historians have yet to come to a consensus on this issue. The capital of Hungary is Budapest.

The Magyars, a people who spoke a Finno-Ugric language, were forced out of Khazaria in what is now Northern Russia in 895 and came to settle in the Carpathian Basin.

Peoples that comprise the population of modern Hungary include Hungarians, Kuns (descendants of Kipchak Turks), Gypsies, Ashkenazim, and others.

Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed in World War I. It fell under communist rule following World War II. A revolt in 1956 and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact was met with massive military intervention by Moscow. In the more open Gorbachev years, Hungary led the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and steadily shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented economy. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Hungary developed close political and economic ties to Western Europe. It joined NATO in 1999 and is a frontrunner in a future expansion of the EU.

Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and to work toward accession to the European Union. Over 85% of the economy has been privatized. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms has been widespread with cumulative foreign direct investment $21 billion by 1999. Hungarian sovereign debt is now rated investment grade. Inflation, while diminished, is still high at 10%. Economic reform measures include regional development, encouragement of small- and medium-size enterprises, and support of housing.