History of Hungary

Last Árpáds
Béla IV of Hungary ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1242 Jan 1 - 1299

Last Árpáds


After the Mongol withdrawal, Béla IV abandoned his policy of recovering former crown lands.[29] Instead, he granted large estates to his supporters, and urged them to construct stone-and-mortar castles.[30] He initiated a new wave of colonization that resulted in the arrival of a number of Germans, Moravians, Poles, and Romanians.[31] The king re-invited the Cumans and settled them in the plains along the Danube and the Tisza.[32] A group of Alans, the ancestors of the Jassic people, seems to have settled in the kingdom around the same time.[33]

New villages appeared, consisting of timber houses built side by side in equal parcels of land.[34] Huts disappeared, and new rural houses consisting of a living room, a kitchen and a pantry were built.[35] The most advanced agricultural techniques, including asymmetric heavy ploughs,[36] also spread throughout the kingdom. Internal migration was likewise instrumental in the development of the new domains emerging in former royal lands. The new landholders granted personal freedom and more favorable financial conditions to those who arrived in their estates, which also enabled the peasants who decided not to move to improve their position.[37] Béla IV granted privileges to more than a dozen towns, including Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia) and Pest.[38]

When Ladislaus IV was murdered in 1290, the Holy See declared the kingdom a vacant fief.[39] Although Rome granted the kingdom to his sister's son, Charles Martel, crown prince of the Kingdom of Naples, the majority of the Hungarian lords chose Andrew, the grandson of Andrew II and son of a prince of dubious legitimacy.[40] With Andrew III's death, the male line of the House of Árpád became extinct, and a period of anarchy began.[41]

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