KOSSUTH, LOUIS, the leader of the Hungarian revolution; born in Monok in Hungary in 1802. His family was of noble rank, but his parents were poor. He studied law at the Protestant col lege of Sarospatak, and practiced for a time. In 1832 he commenced his politi cal career at the Diet of Presburg as the deputy of absent magnates. The publi cation of a lithographed paper led, in May, 1837, to Kossuth's imprisonment. He was liberated in 1840, and became the editor of the "Pesti Hirlap," a newspa per in which he advocated views which took strong hold of the youth of the country. In 1847 he was sent by the county of Pest as deputy to the Diet, and soon became the leader of the opposition. He advocated the emancipation of the peasants, the abolition of all feudal rights and privileges, and, after the French revolution of 1848, openly de manded an independent government for Hungary and constitutional government in the Austrian hereditary territories. To his speeches must in great part be ascribed not only the Hungarian revolu tion, but the insurrettion in Vienna in March, 1848. On the resignation of the ministry in September, 1848, he found himself at the head of the Committee of National Defense, and prosecuted with extraordinary energy the measures nec essary for carrying on the war.
He was now appointed provisional gov ernor of Hungary; but being disap pointed in his hopes for the intervention of the Western Powers, and finding the national cause jeopardized by the inter ference of Russia, he endeavored to arouse the people to a more desperate effort. The attempt was vain. After the defeat at Temesvar on Aug. 9, 1849, he found himself compelled to flee into Turkey, where he was made a prisoner; but, though his extradition was de manded both by Austria and Russia, the Porte resisted their claims. In Septem
ber, 1851, he was liberated by the in fluence of England and the United States, and, sailed in an American frig ate to England, where he was received with every demonstration of public re spect and sympathy. In December of the same year he landed in the United States, where he met with a most en thusiastic reception.
He returned in June, 1852, to England, and there he chiefly resided, till Sar dinia and France prepared for war with Austria; when, on condition of some thing definite being done for Hungarian independence, he proposed to Napoleon to arrange a Hungarian rising against Austria. He secured England's neu trality in the event of the war extending to Hungary. The peace of Villafranca bitterly disappointed Kossuth, but did not dishearten him. He made two other attempts (in 1860-1861, in conjunction with Cavour and with the help of Na poleon; in 1866, with the aid of Victor Emmanuel) to bring about a rising against Austrian rule in his native coun try, but without final success. When in 1867 Deak effected the reconciliation of Hungary with the dynasty, and initiated a modus vivendi between the two parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Kos suth retired from active political life. He refused to avail himself of the gen eral amnesty (1867), and to return to his native land to take the oath of fealty to the dynasty he had once dethroned. In 1880-1882 he published three volumes of "Memories of My Exile"; others fol lowed in 1890. He died in Turin, March 21, 1894.