- Deák, Ferenc
- (1803–1876)A Hungarian statesman, Ferenc Deák was born in Söjtör, Hungary, in October 1803. His father belonged to the landowning elite of Hungary. Ferenc Deák studied law, joined the civil service, and became a member of the Hungarian Diet for the first time in 1833. As a leader of the reform movement, Deák grew to political prominence. The Revolution of 1848 led to a new independent Hungarian ministry, and Deák served in this government as minister of justice and was therefore responsible for drafting the “April Laws” of 1848, the legal basis for Hungarian independence under a Habsburg king. He left government in September 1848 and his political career suffered a severe setback in the aftermath of Hungarian defeat in the war against Austria in 1849.In the following decade of neoabsolutist rule, Deák was the leader of the opposition in Hungary and played a decisive role in the negotiations with the Viennese authorities that finally led to the Ausgleich of 1867. The reestablishment of Hungarian independence within the framework of the Dual monarchy was the major achievement of Deák and his supporters. He died in Budapest in January 1876.See also <
>; < >.FURTHER READING:Kann, Robert A. A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974;Sinor, Denis. History of Hungary. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1976.GUENTHER KRONENBITTER
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.