A Báró Wesselényi Miklós Alapítványi Általános Iskola Gimnázium Szakgimnázium és Alapfokú Művészeti Iskola, a BWM tagja a hetedikes DREWITT BRADLEY


Francis II Rákóczi (painted by Ádám Mányoki)

Born: Borsi,Slovakia (March 27. 1676.) Passed: Rodostó,Turkey (April 8. 1735.)

Leader of the Rákóczi War of Independence, the prince of Hungary, prince of Transylvania.

His name is closely related to the Rákóczi War of Independence, which it started in 1703, in order to regain Hungary’s full independence in order to become a state independent of the Habsburg Empire. For this purpose he was duly elected the prince of Transylvania and Hungary, to which he was perfectly fit, as he was descendant of Zsigmond Rákóczi, prince of Transylvania, in addition to his great-grandfather and grandfather György I. Rákóczi and II. György Rákóczi and his father Ferenc Rákóczi I were princes of Transylvania.

His struggle did not achieve the desired result, but it was a partial success: the Habsburgs recognized Transylvania as a sovereign and did not colonize it. He still lives in the memory of the Hungarians as an honest and honest leader, because he refused to accept the pardon offered and persisted in the cause of Hungarian independence.

Origin, family

His father was Ferenc Rákóczi I., who died in infancy. Grandfather, great-grandfather and great-grandfather, I and II. György Rákóczi and Zsigmond Rákóczi were both princes of Transylvania. His mother, Ilona Zrínyi, daughter of Péter Zrínyi Croatian Ban and Katalin Frangepán, niece of the poet Miklós Zrínyi. Sister Julianna Rákóczi.

After his university studies, young Rákóczi (his brother-in-law, Counselor Aspremont Ferdinand) decided on his own marriage and, without permission of the court, married Amalia Sarolta, Princess Hesse-Wanfriedi, father of Charles Hesse-Wanfriedi and Hessian-Wanfriedi (1649-1711). Countess of Dagsburg (1651-1703). The wedding was held on September 26, 1694, at the Cologne Cathedral, and the party was assembled by the electorate Joseph Kelemen of Bavaria in front of the main altar. (Rákóczi’s wife’s aunt, the Duchess of Orléans, was also related to Louis XIV of France.)

Three children were born from the marriage:

Lipót (May 28, 1696 – September 1699)

Joseph (August 17, 1700 – November 10, 1738)

George (August 8, 1701 – June 22, 1756)

(Amalia Sarolta gave birth to a little girl on November 16, 1706, but she lived only a few weeks, and who certainly wasn’t Rákóczi’s father.)

His education

As the orphan’s mother, Ilona Zrínyi, wanted to be placed under her guardianship, however, the counsellors of Emperor Lipót I insisted that the guardianship of Rákóczi and his sister belonged to Lipót, mainly because he recommended his son Lipót in his will.

It was through difficulties that the guardianship of the Rákóczi orphans was transferred to their mother, Ilona Zrínyi, while maintaining Lipót’s main custody. The family first lived in the towns of Munkács, Sárospatak and Regéc, then from 1680 (after the death of their grandmother, Zsófia Báthory) finally moved to their castle in Munkács, which kept their attraction until Rákóczi’s death. In addition to his mother, György Kőrössy (chamberlain) and János Badinyi also took part in his education.

Later, Lipó Kollonich became the official guardian of Bishop of Győr (later Archbishop of Esztergom), who raised him with the Jesuits in Prague and Jindřichuv Hradec. He suffered a lot here, in the cold, unloving environment. Rákóczi had already gone to university when Imre Thököly, who lives in Turkey, offered that if his wife, Ilona Zrínyi, was released, he would release a captured imperial general. Lipo I reluctantly, but agreed to the exchange. However, he did not allow Ferenc Rákóczi to say goodbye to his mother. Rákóczi’s planned marriage was also thwarted by the Vienna court. No wonder the young lord hated the Habsburgs wholeheartedly. His friend, Count Miklós Bercsényi, also encouraged him to marry his mother and confront the emperor.

End of the Thokoly Freedom Fight

Ilona Zrínyi’s second husband, Imre Thököly, did not intervene in the education of the children, but rather focused on politics. The Turks’ failure at the siege of Vienna dragged on the plans of the „king of the Kuruc”, and the distrust of the Ottoman Empire increased. He wanted to use Rákóczi for his personal purposes and sent him to Constantinople as a guarantor; however, her mother did not want to divorce her son.

In 1686, Antonio Caraffa laid siege to Munkács, which was already besieged by imperial troops in November of the previous year. The castle was successfully defended by Ilona Zrínyi for 2 years, but was finally forced to surrender on 17 January 1688. After the capitulation they returned all the possessions of the Rákóczi orphans, who, however, were themselves placed under the tutelage of Lipót I, according to their father’s will. Together with Ilona Zrínyi, they were escorted to Vienna, where they could only leave with the permission of the emperor.

On July 1, 1697, the Kurucai hiding in Thököly made a riot on the Hegyalja at Rákóczi’s estate, using public sentiment. They surprised and captured the fortresses of Tokaj, Patak and Újhely and wanted to win Rákóczi as their leader. However, he avoided the disorganized, peasant-revolutionary movement. He hastily left for Vienna, where he tried to clear himself of the suspicion before the courtyard

The peace in Karlovac on January 26, 1699 forced Thököly and Ilona Zrínyi into exile. The young Rákóczi remained in Vienna, under the emperor’s hands.

Rákóczi was considered the enemy of the Habsburgs in XIV. Louis turned to the King of France for help, with whom he was related through his wife. The exacerbation of the Bourbon-Habsburg conflict was to be expected only because of the vacancy of the Spanish throne (the Spanish Succession War); . The young lord was therefore arrested on 18 April 1701 in Nagysaros Castle and transported first to Prešov, then to Košice, Miskolc, Buda and Mosonmagyaróvár to Vienna. The investigation revealed that the verdict (as in the case of his grandfather Péter Zrínyi at that time) could only be fatal. So Rákóczi escaped on the night of November 7, 1701, with the help of his wife and the prison commander, Captain Gottfried Lehmann, and escaped to Poland, accompanied by his great-grandson Adam Berzeviczy. Here he met Bercsényi again and contacted the French court again

Due to the Spanish War of Succession, most of the imperial troops were deported from Hungary. At Munkács a new uprising led by the Kurucas began, and Rákóczi was asked to be their leader. He saw the time come and fulfilled their wish. On June 15, 1703, beside Lawoczne, Tamás Esze’s troops joined him, raising the army to 3,000. Bercsényi came to the prince with some French money and a team of 600 mercenary Polish mercenaries.

Most of the nobles, however, did not stand by, for the whole revolt was regarded as a peasant rebellion; Rákóczi seemed to have issued his manifesto to the nobility of Szabolcs in vain. He was the first to convince the Hajdú, so by the end of September 1703, Hungary was under the control of the Danube, and soon he was able to occupy much of Transdanubia.

As the Austrians had to fight on several fronts, they were forced to negotiate with Rákóczi. However, when the united Franco-Bavarian army was defeated with English aid in the Battle of Höchstädt in August 1704, they not only prevailed in the Spanish Succession War, but also prevented the Kuruc army from joining the Bavarian-French auxiliary. This put Rákóczi in a difficult position, both militarily and financially. French aid began to decline, the army should have been increased, and the supply of weapons and food at that time exceeded its strength. Therefore, to counteract the lack of money, he beat copper; this, however, was not easy to circulate in Hungary, accustomed to silver money.

On July 3, 1705, the prince delivered a speech to his soldiers in Gyömrő, the effect of which was reflected in the further military successes of the War of Independence.  (Complete work in the single handwriting)

The Parliament of Szécsény, held in September 1705, elected Rákóczi (although he appointed a 24-member Senate) as leader, then authorized them to conduct foreign affairs (and peace negotiations).

At the initiative of England and the Netherlands, peace talks resumed on October 27, 1705, between the Allied Order and the Emperor. Both sides had adapted their strategy to the ever-changing military situation and had not reached a venue for Transylvania; neither the emperor nor Rákóczi wanted to give it up. The deal with the French was not progressing, so the prince decided to declare independence to make it easier for him to negotiate as a negotiating party.

Battles were fought on the battlefield, but after 1706 Rákóczi’s armies gradually declined.

On June 13, 1707, at the suggestion of Rákóczi, with the support of Bercsényi, the Parliament of Ónod proclaimed the looting of the Habsburg House. However, neither this nor attempts to curb copper inflation have yielded the expected results. XIV. Louis still did not sign any alliance with the Hungarian prince, so the freedom fighters remained on their own. The prospect of a treaty with the Russians arose, but that hope was not fulfilled.

On August 3, 1708, at the Battle of Trenčín, the prince’s horse collapsed and Rákóczi fell from him, faint. Because the Kuruts believed he was dead, the whole war ran. This battle loss was no longer discovered. As more and more Kuruc leaders moved to the Emperor’s camp, hoping for impunity, Rákóczi was pushed back to the area of ​​Munkács and Satu Mare. By recruiting French, Polish, and Swedish mercenaries, the prince tried to reorganize his forces and risked an open battle at Rom Check against a relatively smaller imperial army. In the battle, the Swedes fenced or smashed the Austrian columns, and, with the victory in mind, Rákóczi allowed his soldiers to be robbed, and the Austrians settled some of their ranks and, with their counterattack, expelled the Swedes from the battlefield and destroyed the Kuruc units. Not trusting in the words of the emperor’s negotiator, János Pálffy, the prince left Hungary on 21 February 1711, heading for Poland.

The Peace Treaty

When Rákóczi left, he assigned Alexander Károlyi the command of his troops. Károlyi continued the negotiations he had previously begun with Pálffy as imperial commissioner and did everything he could to make peace. After Rákóczi’s total rejection, Károlyi finally came to the conviction that in order to avoid military defeat, peace with the prince was also required. According to this, on April 30, 1711, with 12,000 insurgents, he laid down his weapon, handed over his flags and swore an oath of allegiance near Satu Mare.

Important dates

From birth to the beginning of the War of Independence, March 27, 1676 – II. Birth of Ferenc Rákóczi

January 26, 1699 – The Peace in Karlovac forcing Imre Thököly and Ilona Zrínyi to hide

November 1, 1700 and February 11, 1701. – In a letter, Rákóczi requests XIV. Louis the King of France

April 18, 1701 – captured by the Emperors, he can only escape from Vienna on November 7

The War of Independence May 6, 1703 – Tamás Esze the serf of Tarpa and Prince Rákóczi meet in person at the castle of Brezna (Poland) and publish a proclamation „Beginning of all the princes and republics of the Christian world …” in Brno. [7]

15 June 1703 – The Prince receives Thomas Esze and his men on the border of Poland and Hungary

June 16, 1703 – At Rákóczi Verecke he enters the territory of Hungary and leads the uprising

September 26, 1703 – By this time much of the country was in the power of the prince

13 August 1704 – The Germans destroy the united army of the French and the Bavarian, and Rákóczi loses an important ally

September 20, 1705 – The Constituent Assembly of Szécsény

15 May 1705 – Death of Leopold I, Joseph I coming to power

October 27, 1705 – The beginning of the peace negotiations

March 28, 1707 – The election of Ferenc Rákóczi as prince of Transylvania. This, the most glorious triumph of the victory of law, was also the last parliament held in Tirgu Mures.

June 13, 1707 – The Parliament of Onnod declares the Habsburgs to be thrown away

Losses August 3, 1708 – In Trenčín, the Kuruts are defeated

January 22, 1710 – Battle of Romany, defeated

Disarmament and Peace February 21, 1711 – Before further bloodshed, Rákóczi leaves his country forever

May 1, 1711 – Disarmament near Satu Mare

Buzzing and Dying January 13, 1713 – Landing in Dieppe

October 10, 1717 – Landing in Turkey

April 8, 1735 – The Prince died in Rodostó