Golden Bull of 1222

Golden Bull of 1222

Kingdom of Hungary Early Medieval

Golden Bull of 1222
Golden Bull of 1222 ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1222 Jan 1

Golden Bull of 1222

Esztergom, Hungary

The Golden Bull of 1222 was a golden bull, or edict, issued by Andrew II of Hungary. King Andrew II was forced by his nobles to accept the Golden Bull (Aranybulla), which was one of the first examples of constitutional limits being placed on the powers of a European monarch.


The Golden Bull was issued at the year 1222 diet of Fehérvár. The law established the rights of the Hungarian nobility, including the right to disobey the King when he acted contrary to law (jus resistendi). The nobles and the church were freed from all taxes and could not be forced to go to war outside of Hungary and were not obligated to finance it. This was also a historically important document because it set down the principles of equality for all of the nation's nobility.


The charter's creation was influenced by the emergence of a nobility middle class, unusual in the nation's feudal system. As a regular gesture of generosity, King Andrew often donated property to particularly faithful servants, who thereafter gained new economic and class power. With the nation's class system and economic state changing, King Andrew found himself coerced into decreeing the Golden Bull of 1222 to relax tensions between hereditary nobles and the budding middle class nobility.The Golden Bull is often compared to Magna Carta; the Bull was the first constitutional document of the nation of Hungary, while Magna Carta was the first constitutional charter of the nation of England.

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