Through the prism of the Habsburg monarchy : Hungary in American diplomacy and public opinion during the First World War
This is a study of American attitudes towards Hungary during the First World War. The focus is on the American images of Hungary and of key Hungarian politicians, such as Tisza, Apponyi, Andrassy and Karolyi. The opinions of President Wilson are given special attention both before and during the war. Other prominent Americans discussed include Theodore Roosevelt, various members of Wilson's cabinet (Lansing, Baker, Daniels) as well as his private advisors (Colonel House, Creel, the Inquiry), his Ambassadors (Penfield, Gerard, Stovall) and American intelligence agents. A second set of opinions has been obtained from dismemberment propaganda in America and from the survey of various American daily and weekly newspapers and the Hungarian·American press. Another major theme is the re·evaluation of Wilson's Habsburg diplomacy, which was prompted by new developments in Wilson research on the one hand and by many observations during my studies on the other. It is argued that claims that lansing, dismemberment propaganda and separatist politicians from the Habsburg Monarchy decided Wilson's actions do not hold water: the President made his decisions alone in the Habsburg case in response. to a series of events between April and June 1918. It is also pointed out that despite the growing American involvement in the war the prewar lack of interest in· Hungary was maintained, although the romanticized concept based upon the Kossuth· myth was replaced by another extreme interpretation based upon dismemberment propaganda. The fact that no, American authority decided to obtain a genuine picture of early twentieth century Hungary meant that American policies were based upon cliches and misconceptions, which were also carried into the Peace Conference period. Another thing to remember is the fact that Hungary was part of the Austro·Hungarian Empire during the First World War, which ruled out a separate Hungarian policy on the part of the Wilson administration. To get around this awkward situation the focus of the thesis is constantly shifted between Hungary and the Monarchy, with concentrating on Hungary when and where possible.