Victor Karady


The Social Conversion of the Nobility in Modern Hungary, as Exemplified in Distinctive Student Peregrinations Abroad.[1]


 in Kuiper Y., Bijleveld N., Dronkers J. (eds.), Nobilities in Europe in the Twentieth Century. Reconversion Strategies, Memory Culture, and Elite Formation, Groningen, Peeters, 2015, (Groningen Studies in Cultural Change) 


The problem raised in this study, the position occupied by Hungarian noblemen in the market of higher education of the Dual Monarchy, is both a historically specific one – since it refers mostly to Hungarian subjects in Viennese institutions of higher education -, and a very general one – since it concerns the major historical process of the transformation of the erstwhile feudal elite into a modern ruling class or – at least – into one of the constituent clusters of the latter. With the benefit of historical hindsight one can state that this process assumed a much greater importance in the modernisation of post-feudal Hungary and its becoming a modern nation state than elsewhere in Europe (may be outside Poland and Croatia) for a number of reasons, which should be reminded hereafter as an introduction into our problem area.


The nobility. Historical status, proportions, stratification and reconversions

Historically, the social standing of the nobility was rooted in Hungary (like in most of Western Europe) in its legal, economic and political privileges of feudal origin. Among the latter its almost exclusive right of land ownership and political representation was shared only to some extent by the Catholic Church and (in a corporate manner) by free citizens of the “royal cities”. The feudal ‘natio’ consisted essentially of the nobility, and only secondarily of the Church and the ‘royal cities’. The main division line inside the nobility ran between the titled aristocracy – the ‘magnates’ -, mostly endowed with very large estates, and the rest. But the latter were also markedly divided between owners of big landed properties – the bene possessionati – and those with smaller households (‘kurialists’) or others without even any land - the ‘armalists’ (who possessed only ‘coats of arms’ – hence their name – or letters patent of nobility while living in conditions similar to peasant commoners).[2]

The Hungarian nobility ere modern times – the beginning of which can be dated between the 1848 Revolution and the 1867 national Compromise (Ausgleich) with Austria – was among the largest in Europe in terms of its proportion in the general population, between 4 and 5 % globally, according to various estimates. Following the first quasi-modern census in this respect (1787) the share of the nobility in the population was 4,8 % in historic Hungary proper, 4,4 % in Croatia-Slavonia and 3 % in Transylvania.[3] By 1848 these proportions have not much changed with respective figures of 4,6 %, 3,1 % and 3,3 % for the three territorial units, though the wealth, the economic and civic functions as well as even the legal status of the nobility varied somewhat in the various regions constituent of the post-1867 ‘Hungarian Empire’.[4] Such differences remained blatant even inside administrative sub-regions, opposing for example in Croatia a large body of noblemen (over 10 000 persons during the nineteenth century) to some 700 merely in the Slavonian counties.[5] In some Easternmost counties of historic Hungary (Máramaros, Szabolcs, Szatmár) the demographic proportion of noblemen reached 14-17 %, while in the Transylvanian Székely land it stayed below the regional average. Anyhow, inside Europe such high figures were exceeded apparently in the former Polish-Lituanian commonwealth only.

 Had such calculations ever been attempted, the size of the nobility ought to have been set actually at much higher levels within the Magyar speaking groups (as well as, probably, among those of Slovak or German Catholic origin) in this heavily multi-ethnic country - with no global ethnic or confessional majority at all in the population during most of the nation building process.[6] Some of the culturally distinct clusters present in the country (like the Romanians, the Ruthenians) had indeed hardly participated in the ’Hungarus’ nobility of the kingdom. One estimation of those having middle size estates in the outgoing 19th century sets the proportion of ethnic Magyars (nobles and commoners together) at 69 % of the whole cluster.[7] The distribution in 1900 of the then remaining big landowners still reflects – though only approximately - this state of affairs, since initially the nobility represented the absolute bulk of the landowning strata. Self-declared Magyar speakers made up at that time 51 % of all active men in the country,[8] but as many as 90 % of male big landowners with over 1000 acres[9] and 72 % of those having between 100 and 1000 acres[10]. These are demonstrative indicators, even if they include the outcome of the movement of linguistic Magyarisation – or linguistic loyalty in the collective self-definition – an ongoing development that accompanied the ‘nationalisation’ of elite groups during the long 19th century. Hungarian society of the old regime was uniquely multi-cultural, but its hereditary nobility belonged largely to Magyar ethnic clusters. This is why its leaders could act as a titular elite of sorts in the nation building process accelerating since the Vormärz – the “Era of reform” in Hungarian historical memory.

One of the major ensuing consequences of the Magyar hegemony in the historic nobility was, among other things, that the virtual percentage of those with noble descent (unaccounted for in published statistics) must become significantly higher in the post-1919 Hungarian rump state, since – given the loss of most of the ethnically mixed territories of the “Empire” at the Trianon Peace Treaty after World War I - the remaining population of the country was henceforth composed almost exclusively (over 90 %) by those of Magyar ethnic origin. Thus any proportional data, which can be cited (as below) on the continuously large share of noblemen in administrative or political functions during the inter-war years, should logically be revised on the decrease (in relative terms) in comparisons with the pre-1919 Dual Monarchy – since the latter had an ethnically still largely exogenous population.

Besides the dominant Magyar majority, the Hungarian nobility was strongly distinguished by the significant over-representation of Western Christians among them.[11] This fact correlates with the weakness of the representation of non Magyars, especially Romanians, Ruthenians and Serbs as well as – obviously enough – Jews (who were granted civic equality in 1867 only). To use a similar post festum approach as above, in 1900 there were only 2,3 % of Greek Orthodox or Uniates (Greek Catholics) among owners of more than 1000 acres[12] as against 25 % among professionally active males[13], when a majority of this propertied class was still of noble descent (in spite of some 18 % of Jewish newcomers[14]). 

As stated above, this feudal and post-feudal nobility was a highly stratified social bracket. It ranged from the titled aristocracy – some 600-700 families in the second part of the 19th century - with often enormous estates, representing globally one fourth of all ararable land,[15] down to the petty gentry with small plots or even without any landed property. By the end of the century one could count 231 estates of more than 10 000 holds as well as 495 of more than 5000 holds, mostly in the hands of the aristocracy.[16] The Upper Chamber of 1880 was composed – among members of Church hierarchies and high standing civil servants – of 17 Princes, 297 counts and 216 barons. Below the aristocratic landlords one could estimate that some 7000 noble families had middle sized landed estates in this period.[17] 

The nobility was also divided between noblemen of old stock and those ennobled by the Habsburgs for various – military and other – services, especially after 1711, end of the anti-imperial uprising led by prince Rákóczi and also during the 19th century. Even before their legal emancipation some Jews were knighted by Vienna, so much so that in the early 20th century over 280 Jewish families (346 following an apparently more precise estimation[18]) could boast with noble titles, among them some 28 baronial families.[19] But this could hardly have an impact on the internal social hierarchy of the nobility, though it meant that a significant portion of the upcoming industrial and commercial bourgeoisie sought ways to convert its economic success into social gentrification as well, an explicit recognition of sorts of the still dominant symbolic position of the nobility in established social hierarchies. Investment in or the tenancy of landed estates by bourgeois entrepreneurs, especially Jewish ones, expressed the continued attribution of high social value to the manorial or castle culture and rural way of life of the old nobility, even if it also represented the economic venture at agricultural modernisation by some of the new elite. By 1910 21 % of owners of landed estates over 1000 holds and exactly half of tenants of estates above 100 holds were Jewish.[20] This meant an actually even higher degree of Jewish entry into gentry circles due to converts. (Among the above mentioned 280 odd ennobled Jewish families some 51 could be identified as baptised by the inter-war years.[21]) But this borderline case of the gentrification of the bourgeoisie concerned only the upper crust of the urban entrepreneurial strata.

Still such integration of some social outsiders, like Jews, in the landed aristocracy marked already the process of economic decline, indeed the ruination, of large sectors of the traditional ruling class in the period of post-feudal social and political modernization epitomized in the nation building process. It is a well attested historical fact that the traditional landed gentry was rapidly losing its economic leverage even before the emancipation of the bonded peasantry in 1848, which could only accelerate this development. Most of the noble estates could not sustain themselves and develop into modern agricultural enterprises, except some large latifundia, many of the latter being protected against bankruptcy by becoming inalienable (fideicommissio) by the maintenance and even the renovation of a feudal type legislation, especially thanks to legal facilities granted by the Emperor (1862).[22] This could not save many other noble estates - in spite of the absence of any real land reform comprising expropriations till 1945 and the financial compensations that noble landowners received from the state after 1848 for the disappearance of free peasant services up to then secured by feudal right. The large scale ruin of the gentry was characterised by an author cited above as follows: „Between 1867 and 1895 holdings in the 200- to 1000-acre category, the type most closely associated with the gentry, declined…from 16,8 to 9,1 percent of all arable land in the country. In 1809 the general conscription of the nobility listed 27000 landowners in the middle-income category. In 1875, there were 13.748 landowners who qualified as such, but in 1890 there were only 9.592, of whom not more than two-thirds were descendants of the original seigneurial proprietors.”[23]

            Now, this was manifestly the loss of property which obliged many offspring of the gentry to an often painful conversion from membership in a ruling leisure class to another, economically more active status. Out of an estimated 130 000-140 000 noble families at the fall of feudalism, only one fifth or one sixth could continue to live off their landed properties in the early capitalist era.[24] On the lower edge of the scale, many petty noblemen had to satisfy themselves with integration in the petty bourgeoisie (especially among craftsmen). Following an estimation, as many as 40 000 to 50 000 noblemen became members of the state bureaucracy in the two decades after the 1867 Compromise.[25] Those with more educational capital and some means to afford secondary or higher studies would find positions in the civil service or accept office work in the burgeoning private industrial or banking sector, especially in the local public or semi-private services (railways, municipal firms, schools, transportation, communications), which were henceforth accessible only via educational qualifications. Indeed the 1883 ‘Qualification Law’ prescribing the levels of schooling necessary for the access of various positions in the civil service, explicitly required formal education for any given position in the state bureaucracy. The stipulations of this law were more or less closely followed in the private economy. Contrary to earlier gentry privileges, access to most middle class occupations and positions became thus conditioned by certified schooling, that is by degrees and graduation – starting already with 4 secondary school classes as a minimal level for non manual occupations.


Reasons of the survival of a feudal elite in modern times

            How comes then that the nobility could, as a virtually distinct body politic in a capitalist, parliamentary nation state under rapid modernisation and urbanisation, maintain its social prestige as a traditional elite, serve in many respects as a model for the life style of most new middle class clusters (including many Jews) and even keep to a large extent its political influence, almost up to the very end of the regime change in 1945 ? The reasons for this persistence of the social standing of the nobility had manifestly to do with its inherited assets, transformed in the modern era into continued (and sometimes exclusive and spectacular) endowment with several forms of promotional ‘capitals’ in Bourdieu’s sense.[26]

Among surviving inherited assets, the ‘political capacity’ can be regarded as the foremost one. It meant in feudal times the almost exclusive, indeed overwhelming privilege of suffrage and eligibility in the Lower Chamber of the Diet for the lower nobility (shared only very partially with the royal cities), while titled magnates could attend meetings with voting rights in the Upper Chamber (a privilege shared only with the princes of the Catholic Church). Now, the electoral entitlements of the nobility were maintained after the April Laws in 1848, which abolished, by principle, all noble privileges and extended the suffrage to commoners with specific educational or property qualifications. The ‘political capacity’ of the nobility was hence, not eliminated, only somewhat widened to other elite clusters in the first stages of the political modernization, so as to provide for the continuity of the very strong leverage if not domination of local and national politics by noblemen, on both county and country levels. Since the post-1867 nation state became a parliamentary democracy with limited male suffrage only, the nobility, by its mere size, kept a large share among the politically active brackets. In 1848 some 10 % of the population was endowed with voting rights, in 1874 6,4 % – a proportion which was maintained approximately up to the end of the Dual Monarchy in 1918, so that men of noble background must have made up a majority of electors till the inter-war years.[27] This situation was clearly manifested in the ruling positions in government maintained by the nobility even well beyond the Liberal regime. As a mere illustration, let us remind that in 1875-1918 members of the gentry headed during 77 % of the period (in months) the four key ministries (prime minister, interior, commerce and finance)[28]. They also held 62 % of seats in Parliament in the years 1887-1910[29]. The very landowning class itself, with still a majority of noblemen among them, occupied 34 % of seats in parliament during the same period[30]. Their positions did not seem to decline with time, since in 1875 some 11 % of MPs were titled aristocrats, but these occupied by 1905 more than 14 % of the seats of the Lower Chamber.

One reason for the continuation of gentry and aristocratic influence in matters political was due to the historic success of the liberal nobility, as the leading force in the nation building process, which lent prestige and authority in the long run for the stratum. Since the Hungarian Vormärz (1825-1848) their representatives were pushing ahead the modernization of public institutions with notable results, completed by the April Laws in 1848, implementing in practical terms the termination of feudalism. After the failure of the bloody civil war remembered in national historiography as the War of Independence against direct Habsburg rule in 1848-49 and the ensuing decade of ‘absolutist rule’, it was thanks to the very representatives of the liberal gentry and aristocracy that the 1867 Compromise (Ausgleich) could be achieved, securing the internal autonomy of the nation state within the so-called Dual Empire. In this function the liberal nobility played the same role as the revolutionary bourgeoisie of the West since the French Revolution. Hence the identification of the gentry with the nation building middle class, an interpretation commonly accepted in Hungarian historiography. Hence too the maintenance of the public image of the nobility as the dominant element of the emerging new elite, however diversified it became due to contemporary processes of industrialisation, urbanisation and political modernisation.[31]

 The positions of the gentry in the politically ruling establishment apparently weakened somewhat, but not decisively, in the inter-war years under the aegis of the authoritarian parliamentary regime called (significantly and not innocently – due to its anti-Jewish trends) ‘Christian Course’. They remained even then vastly over-represented in the domineering administrative and political elites. In 1927 they still made up more than half (57 %) of well identified staff members of the key ministries[32] and their share in government positions oscillated between 25 % to 75 % in various cabinets between 1919 and 1944.[33] The Nazi type puppet government, seizing power on the 15th of October 1944 thanks to the German occupying forces, was the first one without significant aristocratic participation in modern Hungary. The upcoming radical regime change, due to the disastrous participation and defeat of Hungary in the Second World War as ‘the last Nazi satellite’, and the building up of a Sovietized socio-political system completed the degradation of the nobility. It came to be exposed to systematic expropriation (via land reform in 1945), frequent police persecution (many members being assigned to forced residence in the countryside in the years 1950-53) and general public stigmatisation throughout the socialist era.

The persistence of the political influence and the social prestige of the nobility had obviously to do with its continued possession of what Bourdieu regards as its ‘symbolic capital’, independently from economic power,[34] as well as the public belief of the latter’s importance for the upkeep of legitimate social hierarchies.[35] Even after its partial economic demise, membership in the nobility thus preserved a veritable social charisma, very much like it was analysed in very different contexts by the founding fathers of sociology like Durkheim, Mauss or Max Weber.[36] Due to this magic type of collective aura, the presence of noblemen was considered till the end of the old regime as an added value, allegedly convertible into specific benefits and advantages in most (particularly in conservative) political parties, on directorial boards of big industrial enterprises (especially when they were grounded on Jewish investments), in many movements and initiatives of civil society. The very fact that offspring of a good part of the ruined nobility got converted in the civil service, contributed to enhance the prestige of the nobility via the authority of the state. The gentry way of life, however counter-productive it proved to be for career promotion in the upcoming modern middle classes (among professionals, private executives or technical experts of the civil service), detained thus its charm and attractiveness well within the most modernist sectors of the elite, in spite of the parallel development of modernising elite clusters of mostly Jewish and German ethnic background.[37]

This could not happen without a measure of closure of the nobility as a collective body, a corporatio in a society without corporations.[38] Self-segregation and self-distinction go always together for an elite cluster which succeeds in keeping its standing in any given society. Hence the importance social homogamy on the matrimonial market, preferential options for some Church schools (those of the Catholic teaching congregations, above all) and some institutions and branches of higher education, as it will become manifest below. In such a way gentry networks for mutual assistance and class solidarity could be strengthened and maintained via personal contacts, friendships, experiences and all forms of alliances in concrete terms.       

            The economic decline of the nobility could thus, for long, be compensated by this social prestige, which remained commonly acknowledged and even, paradoxically enough, extended in some ways. Indeed, in spite of its loss of privileges, its weakening economic positions and its large scale professional conversion into the state bureaucracy and other specific sectors of the new middle classes, emerging in the wake of the state building process and the capitalist development accelerated during the Gründerzeit of the 1860s, the nobility succeeded globally to maintain – even beyond its political influence - its social pre-eminence and symbolic elite status. Many members of the upcoming new middle strata, the entrepreneurial bourgeoisie and the professional intelligentsia also tended to adopt gentry ways, manners and values, so much so, that, paradoxically enough, instead of the Verbürgerlichung (embourgeoisement) of the nobility, expected and sought for by the leaders of the national reform movement (like Széchenyi and Kossuth) following West European models, the post-feudal modernisation of the country was marked by the large scale gentrification of the new middle class of common background. The relative weakness and the globally alien (Jewish, German, Slave) background of the ‘bourgeois’ middle classes put the offspring of the ‘national’ nobility in a central position within the new ‘nation building’ middle class. By the way, the trend of gentrification of the commoners within the latter was even officially sponsored by the State and the influential sectors of the ruling elites. Thus, male members of the new middle class – certified by educational credentials (Matura or/and university degrees) – were gratified with publicly recognised gentry type distinctions. They were entitled to shorter military service as ‘volunteers’, they could become reserve officers following a brief training process. They were granted the right – a social privilege reserved formerly for noblemen only - to carry a sword and fight duels (Satisfaktionsfähigkeit) or – with some local reservations – getting access to aristocratic or high bourgeois salons (Salonsfähigkeit). But even the ennoblement of sons of the bourgeoisie could, paradoxically in this context, only strengthen the common belief – as Bourdieu puts it – in the special – ‘noble’ – social standing of the nobility.[39]

The acceptation of the common lot in markets of middle class employment appeared for many descendants of the nobility a humiliating social degradation for various reasons. In feudal times civil service positions were reserved unconditionally for the nobility. The higher posts in the administration of the imperial state went to the magnates, who often were often expected to occupy them as a nobile officium, without remuneration, while lower positions represented salaried employment for the poor nobility. This system was first modified by law in 1844, when educated commoners – ‘honoratiors’ - were allowed to carry out in principle any kind of public functions. But they had to belong at that time to one of the ‘received denominations’, excluding Jews and some other minor religious clusters. This arrangement was completely transformed by the arrival of educated newcomers (often of alien cultural stock) as candidates to middle class positions after the abolition of feudalism (1848), the emancipation of Jews (progressively accomplished between 1840 and 1867) and the Gründerzeit of capitalist industrialisation (1860s). In the Dual Monarchy noblemen looking for public or private middle class employment had to face, at least potentially (differently in the different sectors of activity), the competition of educated Jews and other former social outsiders. Sons of the propertied peasantry, those coming from the ‘assimilated’ German-Lutheran or German-Catholic lower bourgeoisie or Slovakian petty intellectuals of common origin (teachers, Lutheran ministers) swarmed to fill openings in the fast increasing civil service sector of the newly founded nation state after 1867, while the upcoming Jewish middle class took an ever growing share in the equally growing free professions (lawyers, medical doctors, engineers, journalists, vets, etc.) as well as among executives of capital intensive new industries (mostly established thanks to Jewish entrepreneurship).    

Such competition was implemented henceforth in more or less egalitarian – that is, at least in theory, meritocratic – conditions. The school market itself was apparently grounded on purely meritocratic principles, where no prerogatives of birth were expected to prevail over academic performance. Still, one has to take into account forms of tacit preferences granted to offspring of ‘good families’, let alone cases of mild corruption, whereby for example bearers of historic aristocratic titles could hardly be failed at a crucial exams. But some employment markets of the elites could be operated according to much less exclusively meritocratic tenets following - among other things - the actual weight and leverage the nobility had succeeded to keep in the given sector even after the elimination of its formal privileges as the feudal ruling class. The effect of such class cohesion and solidarity could notoriously be identified in the recruitment pattern of army units (the cavalry), the diplomacy, some branches of the high civil service (like the ministry of agriculture), local administration (county officials, government appointed lord lieutenants heading the county administrations), etc. It is understandable that the educational strategies of the nobility also were preferentially directed to training agencies preparing for positions in fields where noble origins or titles could still apply as a form of promotional capital or at least in fields of limited or less professional resistance, due to their inaccessibility or difficulty of access for commoners and social marginals (like Jews). The imprint of such options will be duly detected in the educational preferences presented below among students from Hungary abroad.


The social uses of student peregrinations in Dualist Hungary

Before embarking upon this inquiry in concrete historical terms, based on a data bank collected for the circumstance, one has to put into historical perspective the actual meaning of studies abroad, especially in Vienna, for members of the would-be educated middle class born in Hungary throughout the long 19th century. In an analytical shortcut I cannot but summarise the indeed manifold and historically somewhat changing functions of studies abroad for the various clusters concerned.[40] The Hungarian provision for higher education in the 19th century – with one classical university only up to 1872[41], one Polytechnical college and an academy of forestry and mining, a number of law academies and a few technical colleges of agriculture – was notoriously under-developed as compared to its counterpart in the other Habsburg provinces. Besides technical colleges, from the early 19th century onwards the latter had two large (Vienna and Prague) and a number of smaller universities dispersed over the various provinces of the empire (Pavia, Padua and Venice in the Italian provinces up to 1859-1866 , Graz and Innsbruck in Danubian Austria, Olmütz (till 1854) in Bohemia, Cracow and Lemberg in Galicia, Czernovitz after 1875 in Bukovina).[42] By the end of  the Dualist period the Hungarian half of the Monarchy had still only one polytechnics and two classical universities as against eight universities and seven polytechnics in the other half of the Habsburg Empire for a population size in Hungary amounting in 1910 to 43 % of that of the whole Empire. Moreover, Hungarian institutions of higher education remained more or less under-equipped and under-staffed for long, their technical upgrading having not been completed before the outgoing 19th century. In 1876 the Hungarian half of the Dual Monarchy employed a university staff of 242 as against 793 in the Austrian half.[43] Many vocational academies and colleges did not even demand secondary school graduation before 1905. Such relative under-development applied particularly to faculties and schools necessitating heavy instrumental investments in laboratories, special lecture halls, technical facilities like those of Medicine, experimental Sciences or Polytechnics. All this acted as a recipe for the stimulation of studies abroad. This explains why internationally recognised masters in special Western branches of erudition abroad, mostly employed by major universities abroad like those of Vienna, also attracted many students from Hungary. In 1876 still close to a quarter of university students born in Hungary were studying in Austria, mostly in Vienna.[44] In 1880/81 one can find abroad up to 42 % of students of Medicine and 36 % of students of Polytechnics from Hungary, while the proportions were much lower in other disciplines : 27 % in the Arts and Sciences (‘Philosophical Faculties) and only 12 % in Law.[45]

Though the share of studies abroad for students from Hungary cannot be precisely estimated as yet, for lack of reliable information throughout the long 19th century on non Germanic academic institution of peregrination and on colleges and academies outside universities, the global proportion of such students abroad were on the whole certainly diminishing by the end of the period. One estimation, based on official Hungarian statistics on universities and polytechnics only, suggests that in 1881-1890 as much as 18,2 % of such students from Hungary were studying abroad, in 1891-1900 12,5 %, in 1901-1910 9,2 % and in 1911-1914 a mere 9 %.[46]

Within those abroad however, the absolute numbers cited in table 1. below suggest clearly that the predominance of Vienna remained strong throughout the century, if not paramount in every study track, in spite of the growing attraction exerted by German universities after 1900.[47] As against some 76 % in Vienna among students from Hungary abroad in all kinds of German language institutions of higher education in the early 19th century, there were still some 56 % of such students in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century. (See table 1.) Within the Habsburg Empire the attractiveness of Vienna appears to have been uncontested for long. Following one estimation, between 1790 and 1850 Vienna absorbed 84 % of all students from Hungary abroad.[48] There are no comparative data for later periods up to 1881, when the Hungarian Bureau of statistics started to publish relevant information in this matter, but only on classical universities and polytechnics. From these data one can conclude that the relative domination of Vienna on this level of studies was maintained till the end of the Monarchy, though to a fast diminishing degree. The share of Vienna universities among students from Hungary abroad was thus 73 % in 1881/2, 65 % in 1890/91, 54 % in 1899/1900, but it fell to 37 % by 1901/10.[49]

It is probable that these students from Hungary identified in Viennese institutions belonged to the most ambitious and the best endowed (financially) of the cluster, as well as to those social circles which tried to draw the maximum benefit from higher studies. Ideal-typically one can consider that they represent a student elite of sorts, both academically and socially, in which the participation of sons and (after 1895) daughters of the nobility must be particularly substantial.

Anyhow, a closer scrutiny of students from Hungary in Vienna might be justified by other reasons as well. The Viennese academic institutions were certainly the most reputed for their scholarly prestige in the Empire and beyond, as well as they represented the most complete range of study options and specialisations in one location, offering practically almost all major study choices available in contemporary academe (with the exception of a Bergschule for mining and forestry). Moreover, since the technical feasibility of such inquiries depend fully upon the exhaustiveness of the available documentation, one has the chance to rely upon exceptionally rich prosopographical inventories of students concerned. They have been elaborated over the last decades by a highly ambitious, competent and dedicated research team. The published materials on students from Hungary abroad seem to be for all practical purposes the most complete and accomplished with the highest professional standards among studies of student peregrinations in Europe for the period up to 1919[50]. Besides, noblemen appear to be also much more systematically identified in the German and Austrian sources as in Hungary itself, where well known offspring of noble families would, by the end of the 19th century, tend to omit any reference to their noble particle at enrolment. This was more true in university faculties than elsewhere, where there was an ever increasing clientele of common – especially Jewish or otherwise alien – background, who would disregard the symbolic prestige of noblemen and even could press for the implementation of democratic principles in the registration of students. Such process of democratisation of academic mentalities had less affected the student body in the Austrian part of the Monarchy, let alone that of the German Empire. Thus the data from Germanic academic institutions we are going to scrutinise hereafter appear lend themselves more reliably than those from Hungary to an investigation focusing on differences between students of noble and non noble background. 

Before embarking upon a closer scrutiny of data related to schooling strategies of students of noble background abroad, an essential technical remark is in order. When discussing the Hungarian involvement in foreign higher education, one deals not necessarily with ethnic Magyars – indeed far from it -, but young people born and/or having residence in Hungary. Among them, obviously enough, there were many of non Magyar ethnic stock, mostly Jews, Germans or Slaves. This must be kept in mind, all the more because ethnic aliens (with non Magyar surnames, for example) may be found in significant proportions among the noble students from Hungary we are going to deal with as well.


The nobility among students abroad


  1. Table

The Share of Noblemen (in % of all) from Hungary in Major Institutions of Higher Education in Germany and Austria (1817-1918)[51]









University of Berlin

10,7% (270)

15,7% (229)

11,6% (584)

10,5 % (884)

5,9% (991)

Other German universities 

3,8% (583)

7,1% (854)

8,9% (1637)

7,3% (1332)

6,9 (1713)

Polytechnics in Germany

4,6% (24)

11,5 (95)

8 % (627)

6 % (620)

9,4% (554)

Schools of agronomy in Germany

42 % (50)

61,4% (88)

34,3% (137)

25,8% (93)

11,5% (156)

University of Vienna

6,5% (1707)

10,5% (2016)

7,3 %


9,5% (2059)

7,3 %


 Polytechnics in Vienna

6,7% (1202)

6,4% (1534)

7,6 %




5,1 %



The first conclusion to be drawn from Table 1. is rather unexpected. The nobility was throughout the long 19th century present among students from Hungary in Vienna with a quite average representation, hardly exceeding the approximate demographic share of noblemen in the kin population. Offspring of elite groups should have, normally, taken a significantly larger share in study tracks leading to elite positions in the early period of the expansion and modernization of the educational provision, thanks to their expectable interest to strengthen via educational assets their social positions – liable to be contested after the elimination of their feudal privileges -, as well as due to their financial means to pay for the expenses of studies abroad. One can recognise here the impact of two factors. On the one hand, the relative global weakness of the investment of the nobility in expensive higher education abroad may be attributed to the economic decline of many of its members. On the other hand educational mobility and advancement was manifestly not particularly stressed as a priority in noble families, not much more than in most other social strata engaged in higher studies. The only branch where a substantial noble over-representation among students can be observed in table 1 was in German schools of agronomy. Sons of the landowning class – though very few in raw numbers – made there a considerable relative showing, but this was the only case with such results, according to the above sources.

The other rather unexpected global conclusion concerns the lack of significant development in time of the proportion of noblemen among students abroad. In a period of general educational expansion, like the post 1867 era, one could expect a rising tide of students from the traditional elites, all the more because, as observed above, many sons of the latter could maintain their elite positions only on the strength of professional conversion operated via the acquisition of more and more substantial academic credentials, like the ones obtainable in German language institutions of higher education. If one compares the yearly averages of student numbers abroad, as in Table 1, the proportion of noblemen was globally 7,2 % in 1817-1850, 9,8 % in 1851-1867, 8,1 % in 1868-1890, 8,5 % in 1891-1905 and only 7,1 % in 1906-1918. Part of the reason for this relative stagnation can be found in the accelerated educational mobilisation and mobility of upcoming new strata in the market of higher studies, above all Jews, but also some other alien or lower middle class clusters, who would not (or not often) send their children to universities before the end of noble privileges in civil service (1844) or before achieving full civil rights (emancipation of Jews, 1867). The ong term stagnation of the share of noblemen among students abroad from Hungary corresponded indeed among other things to the multiplication of Jewish students and their investment of (for them historically new) study tracks, like Law, Philosophy, Agriculture or Polytechnics. Even if Jews were allowed, in principle (since the ‘toleration decrees’ of the enlightened Emperor Joseph II. in 1782), to get enrolled in these branches of study much before legal emancipation, they could have done so without any professional prospects, since most positions (except for health care) in the respective intellectual careers remained closed to them.  


  1. Table

The Evolution of the Share of Noblemen (in % of all) among Students from Hungary in Academic Institutions in Vienna by Study Branches[52]







Faculty of medicine

3,7 % (379)

4,7 % (676

2,9 % (627)

Faculty of Law

21,6 % (134)

25,4 % (468)

21,9 % (689)

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

13,5 % (96)

4,8 %  (86)

7 % (258)

Faculties of Theology

3 % (370)

0,9 % (321)

1,3 % (387)

Faculty of Pharmacy

1 % (89)

9,2 % (326)

4,3 % (93)


6,7 % (1202)

7,3 % (1226)

5,9 % (775)

Academy of Fine Arts

1,8 % (425)

3,1 % (226)

4,9 % (103)

Academy of Military Engineering

60 % (187)

33,6 % (122)

21,5 % (414)

School of Artillery


26,2 %(84)


Theresianum (Military college)

19,9 % (136)


23,4 % (1186)

Consular Academy

100 % (20)

50 % (4)

68,2 % (66)

Veterinary School

2,1 % (189)

- (253)


Export (Commercial) Academy



0,9 % (557)

School of Agronomy

100 % (2)


17,2% (215)


8,7 % (3542)

8,7 % (4034)

13,2 % (5370)


Table 2. offers a closer view of the distribution of noblemen in Viennese institutions of advanced learning by the main study tracks, as pursuable in different faculties, colleges and academies in the imperial capital city during most of the long 19th century.

Some of the results are simple to summarise. On the one hand, globally, taken all study tracks together, one can reach the same conclusion as above that there was only a small growth of the relative proportion of noblemen among Viennese students from Hungary. On the other hand, throughout the century the most important study choices of noblemen differed very significantly from those of the rank and file students of common background.

 Noblemen tended to almost monopolise the Consular Academy, a small study track, where the titled aristocracy and their acolytes could capitalise on their historic family names, social relationships and titles. They also provided strong streams of students in Law, a traditional ground of noble intellectual interests, since it could lead to the higher positions in the state apparatus. Besides this they continued to invest in the most traditional civil service profession, the military. Training schools for officers received noblemen continuously, though in diminishing proportions (as in the Academy of Military Engineering). Thus, except for the latter institution, there is not much change to be perceived in the educational orientation of students of noble background throughout the century. On the contrary. The frequency of options for these most traditional tracks appears to have increased over time. All noble students in Vienna gathered together, in 1890-1918 as much as 80,3 % of their choices fell on these branches as against ‘only’ 61 % in 1830-1848. (The intermediate years cannot be interpreted in this respect for lack of data on the Theresianum, the famous preparatory school for army officers.) Thus, instead of relaxing, the model of educational traditionalism of noble students appears to be manifestly confirmed in the outgoing decades of the Dual Monarchy.

Table 3 gives the picture of the same educational inequalities and divergences, but in a different view.


Table 3.

The Distribution of Study Choices of Noblemen and Commoners from Hungary in Viennese Institutions of Higher Education (1890-1918)[53]





Arts and Sciences















Military Engineering



Fine Arts



Consular Academy






Theresianum (military prep school)



Export (Commercial) Academy



Agricultural Academy










Let us stress here the weaknesses of the noblemen’s options, as opposed to those of  commoners. As for the majority choices of noblemen for military and diplomatic tracks, they gather only a little more than a quarter of students of common origin, as against four fifth of noblemen. But some discrepancies between rare choices of noblemen with much more frequent choices of commoners are perhaps even more striking. These concern above all theology, the Export Academy and medicine.

The case of theology is very different from the two others. The nobility has apparently almost completely abandoned this track in the nineteenth century, probably because it was leading mostly to the rather modest social standing of petty intellectuals, except for a few power positions in church hierarchies. Though traditional enough, for all practical purposes, theology became neglected indeed on two scores. Options for theology were no more regarded as offering high standing public careers in sufficient numbers and they countered the progressive spread of religious indifference, if not secularism proper, in gentry milieus. Such withdrawal from theology (both among Catholics and Protestants) occurred without much competitive pressure from social outsiders, since there were no Jews but only traditional lower class elements (mostly sons of the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie) among candidates to the clergy.

Noblemen only exceptionally aspired for Medicine or the school of international trade (Export Academy), since here, obviously enough, their professional careers would involve heavy competition with Jews and other social outsiders as well as – partly as a consequence – the experience of a social degradation of sorts. Medicine has to do with intellectual but also manual services offered to people of all social standing. Even if it provided a position of authority or command in social terms as well, it consisted in the dispensation of rather bodily services liable to be regarded as undue to gentlemen (nicht standesgemäss). International trade was at that time summarily qualified as a Jewish activity proper, so that it could hardly appeal to status conscious noblemen’s sons.

Discrepancies were less marked but still quite significant in some other study branches following data in Table 3. Commoners chose twice as often or more in relative terms the Arts and Sciences (Philosophical faculty, teacher training), Pharmacy (a paramedical track), the School of fine arts and Polytechnics (engineering, chemistry, architecture), that is, the educational branches leading to the most recently professionalised intellectual careers. The only remaining option commoners made less often than noblemen (in terms relative to their own student body) concerned agriculture. It is easily understandable that descendants of an erstwhile exclusively landowning class (whether they had preserved their properties or not, by that time) were more inclined than others to study agronomy. This was liable to help some of them to modernise their remaining estates as knowledgeable experts, or secure good positions on large latifundia as land-stewards or estate managers to those without landownership, thanks also to their social networks in the landed nobility. 

The interpretation of the above mostly very expressive discrepancies hardly can dispense with a recourse to the survival of the gentry habitus in Bourdieu’s sense. This involved predominant interest for some traditional occupations (regarded as the only standesgemäss ones, fit for a born gentleman), since they implied the representation or exercise of state power (army positions, high civil service, diplomacy). Thus the continuation of earlier gentry functions over the generations, performed even before the fall of feudalism, could be secured. Educational tracks leading to them remained systematically preferred by the gentry to all others, whether new (international trade, fine arts, engineering) or old (theology, medicine, pharmacy).

But such traditional choices responded not only to values, patterns of collective self-perception, images of the noble cluster and representations of the social dignity of members of a gentlemanly ruling class. They had a much more pragmatic implication as options demanding relatively less efforts than other study tracks, considered as more difficult (Polytechnics), outright longer (like medicine, which required five years of study - ten semesters - as against four - eight semesters - in all other university faculties), or based on particular gifts, proclivities or specialised interests (like fine arts, philosophy, mathematics, literary studies). Sons of the gentry, a former leisure class, had an obviously less developed work ethics and perhaps also less in-built stimuli for professional agency to comply with the requirements of specialised and difficult studies. Law and military training belonged at that time to study tracks where few if any bright alumni of secondary education got enrolled. A representative survey of secondary school graduates in Hungary for the years 1900-1914 proved that though Law and Medicine attracted students of similar academic achievements (with average marks of 2,33 on a scale where 1 was the best and 4 the fail mark), military academies (with an average mark of 2,67) and those of agronomy (with an average mark of 2,79) were much less demanding, that is, precisely those which were preferentially chosen by offspring of the gentry.[54] 

 However it was, options of the gentry for high civil service professions conditioned by legal, military or diplomatic studies could be justified not only negatively. A positive motivation for such options was provided by the nation building process in which the liberal gentry assumed leadership functions since the Vormärz, across the 1848-49 revolution and fight for national independence as well as in the post-1867 era. The political field remained a central domain of gentry activities and activism under the Dual Monarchy and beyond, as indicated already in the introduction of this study. This might have, by its own logic, assured the continuity of educational options for sons of the nobility leading to political, administrative or judicial occupations connected to the service of the state.

            Nevertheless such options had a negative social condition as well, that is, an endeavour to avoid the academic competition of and the mixing on the benches of university institutions with social outsiders, like Jews. This may have been a significant motivation for some gentry offspring to avoid getting involved in engineering, veterinary science, medicine and the like, that is in disciplines more and more invested in time by Jews. This does not necessarily mean that the gentry as a whole would have represented a particularly anti-Jewish sector of contemporary Hungarian society. On the contrary, It is well known that the Liberal gentry and aristocracy acted efficiently since the Vormärz in favour of Jewish emancipation, the first stages of which were reached in Hungary much earlier than elsewhere in Central, let alone Eastern Europe (with a semi-liberating law in 1840 and law of full emancipation passed by the revolutionary parliament in the last days of its operations, in June 1849, just before its collapse). But the most recent generations of the gentry shared, possibly, less than their fathers’ generations those liberal principles, following the rise of anti-Semitic political movements starting in 1875 and accelerated after the ‘Tiszaeszlár crisis’ (in the months of the infamous blood libel trial of 1882-83).

The fact is that Jewish educational choices mirrored almost everywhere negatively those of sons of the gentry. Where too many Jews got enrolled, one finds significantly less noblemen, and vice versa. The only exception here was Law, almost equally pursued by Jews and the gentry, except that – as a rule - Jewish legal graduates would join the Bar, while their noble counterparts would rather take civil service jobs. The same principle applied to sons of the lower classes in academe who would opt for study tracks (like theology, arts and sciences) avoided by the gentry.




            We can reach thus the general conclusion that noble students, as demonstrated in the study choices abroad, would direct their studies towards fields liable to assure the maintenance of their social standing and positions as a ruling elite with historic entitlements, even if the latter were not legally guaranteed since 1848. Such choices operated objectively to the detriment of heavier investments in intellectual innovations or even modernity. The gentry thus demonstrated on the whole rather weak motivations and propensities for educational mobility in Hungary, at least up to the end of the Dual Monarchy.

In these apparently purely intellectual choices a measure of continued social separatism - if not self-segregation outright – may have played some role. This can be interpreted as a logical reaction to the competition of upcoming social outsiders in the various markets of social self-assertion and status seeking where noblemen had a stake in conditions of a modern parliamentary nation state. Such separateness in options for some traditional educational tracks could both maximise the expected social profits of educational investments in fields of activity where the symbolic capital of the gentry remained an efficient career factor (diplomacy, army), on the one hand, and contribute to maintain what Bourdieu would call the ‘symbolic power’ of the nobility in a period when it had lost since long its formal legal privileges.[55] Those cluster-specifically distinct study tracks could contribute to the preservation of the social distinctiveness of the nobility – together with all its manifestations in terms of high career expectations in the civil service – almost to the very end of the old regime. This was a complementary scheme for the naturalisation in the public mind of the otherwise quite arbitrary attribution to members of the nobility of virtues, qualities and forms of propriety as collective givens, beyond the necessity of proof.[56]







[1] This study has benefited from the support of the European Research Council (Advanced Team Leadership Grant, 2008). 

[2] Ulrika Harmat, Magnaten und Gentry in Ungarn, in Helmut Rumpler, Peter Urbanitsch (Hrg.), Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848-1918, Band IX., Soziale strukturen, Wien, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2010, 1043-1089, especially 1047-1049.

[3] Ibid. 1049.

[4] Károly Vörös in Magyarország története 1790-1848, ed. By Gyula Mérei, Károly Vörös, Budapest, Akadémiai kiadó, 1980, vol. I. 486. 

[5] Mirjana Gross, The position of the nobility in the organisation of the elite in Northern Croatia at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, in Ivo Banac, Paul Bushkovitch (ed.), The Nobility in Russia and Eastern Europe, New Haven, Yale Concilium on International and Area Studies , 1983, 137-176, see 138.

[6] Such estimations could be carried out on the lists of noble families as published in several relevant prosopographical data banks. See especially János József Gudenus, A magyarországi főnemesség 20. századi genealógiája /Geneology of the Hungarian aristocracy in the twentieth century/, 5 volumes, Budapest, Heraldika, 1990-1999. (Also in Arcanum Adatbázis Kft., Budapest, 2005 – as an electronic data base); János J. Gudenus with László Szentirmay, Összetört címerek /Broken coats of arm/, Budapest, Mozaik, 1989; Iván Nagy, Magyarország családai címerekkel és nemzedékrendi táblákkal, /Hungarian families with coats of arm and genealogical tables/, 13 volumes, Pest, 1856-1867, (available also in CD rom); Béla Kempelen, Magyar nemesi családok /Hungarian noble families/, CDRom, Budapest, Arcanum digitéka, 2001.

[7] Peter Hanák, Ungarn in der Donaumonarchie. Probleme der bürgerlichen Umgestaltung eines Vielvölkerstaates,  Wien – München – Paris, 1984, 366.

[8] Magyar statisztikai közlemények, /Hungarian statistical reports/ nr. 27, 86.

[9] Ibid. 94.

[10] Ibid. 102.

[11] Ulrike Harmat, 1046.

[12] Ibid. 96.

[13] Ibid. 88.

[14] Ibid. 97.

[15] Magyarország története 1848-1890, /history of Hungary, 1848-1890/, vol. 6/1, Budapest, Akadémiai kiadó, 1979, 582.

[16] Ibid. loc.cit.

[17] Harmat, 1077.

[18] William McCagg, Jewish Nobles and Geniuses in Modern Hungary, New York, 1972, 80.

[19] Magyar zsidó lexikon /Hungarian Jewish encyclopaedia/, Budapest, 1929, 642-647.

[20] Julianna Puskás, Jewish leaseholders in the course of agricultural development in Hungary, 1850-1930, in Michael K. Silber (ed.), Jews in the Hungarian economy 1760-1945, Jerusalem, The Magnes Press, 1992, 106-123, especially 120.

[21] Magyar zsidó lexicon, loc.cit.

[22] Harmat, 1054.

[23] Ibid. 120.

[24] György Szabad, Az önkényuralom kora (1848-1867), in Endre Kovács and László Katus, (ed.), Magyarország története, /History of Hungary/, 6/1, Budapest, Akadémiai, 1979,  587-588.

[25] Harmat, 1086.

[26] Pierre Bourdieu, Postface. Capital social et capital symbolique, sous la direction de Didier Lancien et Monique de Saint-Martin, Anciennes et nouvelles aristocraties de 1880 a nos jours, Paris, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2007, 385-397.

[27] Magyar történelmi fogalomtár, /The collection of Hungarian historical concepts/, vol 2. Budapest, Gondolat, 1989, 231.

[28] János 111.

[29] Ibid. 137.

[30] Ibid. 136.

[31] Péter Hanák, The Bourgeoisification of Hungarian Nobility – Reality or Utopia in the 19th Century, in Études Historiques Hongroises I, 1985, 403-421;

[32] Ibid. 251.

[33] Ibid, 282.

[34] Bourdieu, op. cit. 388-389.

[35] Ibid. 390-391.

[36] Bourdieu cited Max Weber as follows : « Ce que j’appelle charisme, c’est ce que Durkheim appelle mana. » Ibid. 388.

[37] Victor Karady, Une élite dominée. La bourgeoisie juive et la noblesse en Hongrie, in Anciennes et nouvelles aristocraties de 1880 a nos jours, op. cit. 307-330.

[38] Bourdieu, op. Cit. 387-388.

[39] Bourdieu 396. « ...les parvenus apportent un renfort de croyance, par leur intégration dans la noblesse (c’est le cas, par exemple, de ces Juifs qui étaient l’antithèse absolue du noble – le stigmate est un capital symbolique négatif – et qui, par la reconnaissance qu’impliquait leur entrée, et par leur croyance de convertis, renforcaient la croyance dans la gentry)... »

[40] For more substantial approach see some of my other relevant studies : „Les migrations internationales d’étudiants avant et après la Grande Guerre.”, Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, 145, décembre 2002, 47-60; „Les logiques des échanges inégaux : contraintes et stratégies à l’oeuvre dans les migrations d’étudiants en Europe (avant les années 1930).”, in Universitäten als Brücken nach Europa/Universités : ponts á travers l’Europe. Etudes sur l’histoire des migrations étudiantes, sous la direction de Hartmut Rüdiger Peter et Natalia Tikhonov, Frankfurt/M., Peter Lang, 2003, 7-33;  “Student Mobility and Western Universities. Patterns of Unequal exchange in the European Academic Market (1880-1939)”, in Ch. Charle, P. Wagner, J. Schriewer (ed.), Transnational Intellectual Networks. Forms of Academic Knowledge and the Search for Cultural Identities, Frankfurt, New York, Campus Verlag, 2004, 361-399.


[41] A second university was founded in Kolozsvár in 1872 and as late as 1912 two additional universities in Pozsony and Debrecen. But the latter started to operate very partially only (without Medical faculties) during the Dualist period. 

[42] See Gustav Otruba, Die Universitäten in der Hochschulorganisation der Donau-Monarchie. Nationale Erziehungsstätten im Vielvölkerreich, 1850 bis 1914, in Otto Neuloh, Walter Ruegg (Hrg.), Student und Hochschule im 19. Jahrhundert, Studien und Materiale, Göttingen, Vandenbroeck und Ruprecht, 1875, 75-155.

[43] Sánor Konek, A Magyar birodalom statisztikai kézikönyve folytonos tekintettel Ausztriára, /Statistical handbook of the Hungarian Empire with continuous reference to Austria/, Budapest, 1878, 537.

[44] Ibid. loc. cit.

[45] Data from Magyar statisztikai évkönyv /Hungarian statistical yearbook /, 1893, 292-297.

[46] Gyula Janik, Magyar honos hallgatók külföldi főiskolákon /Students from Hungary in institutions of higher education abroad/, Magyar statisztikai szemle, 1926/11, 662-664, particularly 664.

[47] On this whole problem area see my study : « Funktionswandel der österreichischen Hochschulen in der Ausbildung der ungarischen Fachintelligenz vor und nach dem I. Weltkrieg », in Victor Karady, Wolfgang Mitter (eds.), Sozialstruktur und Bildungswesen in Mitteleuropa / Social Structure and Education in Central Europe, Köln, Wien, Böhlau Verlag, 1990, 177-207.

[48] László Szögi, Magyarországi diákok a Habsburg Birodalom egyetemein. /Students from Hungary in universities of the Habsburg Empire/ I. 1790-1850, Budapest-Szeged, 1994, 38.

[49] Data from the statistics of students abroad in the yearly issues of Magyar statisztikai évkönyv /Hungarian statistical yearbook /.

[50] The research team in question is directed by László Szögi, head of the University Library and the University Archives in Budapest.  The historical scope of their investigations stretch out from 1526 (the first invasion of the country by the Ottomans) till 1919 (fall of the Dual Empire and end of the historical Kingdom of Hungary in its reputedly ‘millenary’ territory).  Outcome of the research project in question have been published hitherto in 16 volumes, the 17th being prepared for print. See the collection under Magyarországi diákok egyetemjárása az újkorban, /Peregrination of students from Hungary in the modern age/, Budapest, Az Eötvös Lóránd Tudományegyetem Levéltára /Archives of the University Lóránd Eötvös/.

[51] Absolute numbers of students from Hungary in brackets. The source for German institutions is as follows : László Szögi, Ungarländische Studenten an den deutschen Universitäten und Hochschulen, 1789-1919, Budapest, 2001. Sources for Viennese institutions are besides data bank received by courtesy from László Szögi: Gábor Patyi, Magyarorszái diákok bécsi egyetemeken és főiskolákon, 1890-1918, / Students from Hungary in universities and institutions of higher education in Vienna, 1890-1918/, Budapest, 2004; László Szögi, Magyarországi diákok a Habsburg Birodalom egyetemein I. 1790-1850, /Students from Hungary in the universities of the Habsburg Empire, I. 1790-1850/, Budapest, 1994; László Szögi, József Mihály Kiss, Magyarországi diákok bécsi gyetemeken és főiskolákon, 1849-1867, /Students from Hungary in Viennese universities and institutions of higher education, 1849-1867/, Budapest, 2003.

[52] Absolute numbers of all students from Hungary in brackets as to the study track and the period concerned.  Sources for Viennese institutions as for Table 1. The period 1868-1890 is not documented here because relevant data are not yet available for all study branches concerned, like before or after this period.

[53] Source : Gábor Patyi, op. cit.

[54] See details in my book : Zsidóság és társadalmi egyenlőtlenségek, 1867-1945), /Jewry and social inequalities, 1867-1945/, Budapest, Replika, 2000, 204 sq.

[55] Bourdieu 393. “Le pouvoir symbolique, c’est le pouvoir de transformer des differences arbitraires, historiques, reposant sur la violence, sur la domination, en differences naturelles, évidentes, taken for granted”.

[56] Ibid. loc. cit. “La noblesse, c’est la naturalisation de l’arbitraire social.”