Lajos Kossuth

Lajos Kossuth

Lajos Kossuth was born in Monok, Hungary, in 1802. A lawyer with radical political views, he was constantly in trouble with the authorities and in 1837 was imprisoned for publishing attacks on the government.

After being released in 1840 Kossuth became editor of the Pesti Hirlap. Elected to the Hungarian Diet, Kossuth became the leader of the extreme liberals and after the French Revolution of 1848 demanded an independent government for Hungary.

When Austria and Hungary went to war at the end of 1848 Kossuth became provisional governor of the country. The following year Kossuth declared Hungary's independence with himself as president. Hungary managed to repulse the Austrian Army but the regime collapsed when Russia joined the war.

Kossuth fled to Turkey where he was made a prisoner until being released in September, 1851. Later that year he moved to the United States where he joined a group of Hungarian political refugees who had established the community of New Buda in Decatur County, Iowa. Over the next few years Kossuth also lived in England and Italy.

Despite his strenuous efforts, Kossuth was unable to return to power in Hungary. In his retirement he completed his three volume work, Memories of my Exile.

Lajos Kossuth died in 1894.