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07 June 2019

The Regional Identity and the Unions of the Transylvanian Estates during the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Terra Sebvs. Acta Mvsei Sabesiensis
The Regional Identity and the Unions of the Transylvanian Estates during the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

This study examines the collective activities of the Transylvanian estates, namely the nobles, the Saxons and Szeklers, during the first four decades of the fifteenth century. The research continues previous analyses focusing on the development of the regional identity of Transylvanian nobility in the fourteenth century. In 1437 and 1438, during the uprising of the tenant peasants in northwestern Transylvania, two agreements between the community of tenant peasants and the community of nobles of Transylvania were negotiated and signed. Although many historians regarded the agreements as a pretext for winning time by the nobility and tended to minimize their importance due to their short lives, they nevertheless represented significant instances of instrumental regional identity in which two Transylvanian communities tried to fix their differences. Other significant developments occurring during the peasant uprising was the first signing of the political unions between the nobles, Saxons and Szeklers. In the sixteenth century, the unio trium nationum became a principle of the political collaboration of the three estates. However, during the first half of the fifteenth century, the cooperation of the privileged estates depended on the mediation of royal dignitaries. Although royal dignitaries such as the voivode, deputy voivode and counts of Szeklers acted as intermediaries between the king and the political estates, an official statute regarding the collaboration of the privileged estates was not created before 1437. Various royal decrees or orders attempted to solve issues occurring in the interactions between the nobility, Saxons, and Szeklers. In these interactions the king was approached with petitions or claims by representatives of one estate or the clergy, demanding redress of grievances arising from abuses made against their interests by other parties. The king ordered various measures in order to satisfy the grievances brought to his attention. There is no indication in the document record of direct contacts or attempts to solve such issues directly, without appealing to the monarch or his dignitaries in Transylvania.

Source: Cosmin Popa-Gorjanu (2016). The Regional Identity and the Unions of the Transylvanian Estates during the First Half of the Fifteenth Century. Terra Sebvs. Acta Mvsei Sabesiensis. 8: 211-225

Source web-site: https://www.cclbsebes.ro/docs/Sebus_8_2016/7_CosminPG.pdf

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