Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/367

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were mere pretences. Bohemia, after the fashion of small States hard pressed on all sides by an overpowering empire, was naturally led to intensify her powers of resistance by fanatic nonconformity, and her religious warriors (Ziska, the two Procops) held large parts of central Germany in terror for several years (1419-34). In Hungary there were no such motives for religious isolation and fanaticism, and the relations of the Kings of Hungary to the German Emperors were purely international or political.

Yet notwithstanding all these differences there is, in historical antecedents and in institutions, an unmistakable similarity between Bohemia and Hungary. Until the beginning of the fourteenth century both these countries were under native Kings, Hungary till 1301, Bohemia till 1306. Then followed in 'both of them foreign dynasties,—in Hungary the Angevins, in Bohemia the Luxemburgs; and so it came about that in both the Crown was made elective. In both countries, during the latter half of the fourteenth and the former half of the fifteenth century, the Estates won political ascendancy, and in both the protectorate of successful leaders in war or politics led to the throne,—in Hungary in the person of Matthias Corvinus, in Bohemia in that of George Podiebrad. Neither of these very able princes was, however, fortunate enough to found a new dynasty; and both were succeeded by two princes of the Polish House of the Jagellos, Wladislav and his son Louis, each of whom, though incapable and unworthy of his position, became King of Bohemia and of Hungary at the same time.

This profound parallelism, indicated by the mere external sequence and form of rule, becomes still more striking and symptomatic of deeper analogies when we turn to the social and political structure of the two kingdoms.

In the last quarter of the fifteenth century Bohemia consisted legally of Bohemia proper, together with the margravate of Moravia, the duchy of Silesia, and Lower Lusatia. Since the Peace of Olmiitz in 1477, most of Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia were under Hungarian sovereignty, Matthias Corvinus having forced Wladislav of Bohemia to cede these territories. The population of Bohemia was not over 400,000; and then, as now, it was made up of German and of Slav-speaking inhabitants. The Bohemians were settled in the centre, and the "Germans" around them.

Hungary was in 1490 a very large kingdom, stretching from the eastern portion of the modern kingdom of Saxony through Silesia and Moravia, to Hungary proper, occupying wide tracts of fortified lands on the Drave, Save, Una, Bosna and Drina, as far as the Aluta or Olt river, thus comprising large portions of modern Bosnia, Servia and of western Rumania. The population of Hungary amounted towards the end of the sixteenth century to about 1,100,000; we may