By Denis Sinor
Hungarian Studies Vol. 14, no. 2 (2000)
Excerpt: In the course of Hungarian history I see but two instances of a definitive change of direction. The second of these was reached in 1945 and marked the end of a continuum. It was a definitive break with a political construct which lasted for about 950 years, from the founding of the kingdom of Hungary by Stephen I, or, as he is called, St. Stephen, to the probably definitive creation of a Hungarian republic.
To assess the role of St. Stephen in Hungarian history one must compare the state of the land in the second half of the 10th century with that prevailing after the end of Stephen’s reign. The transformation was enormous. In seventy years a weak, militarily battered tribal organization, destined to be absorbed by the preponderantly Slavic population of the region, and to be integrated into the neighboring Germanic world, became an independent regional power.