The Magyars have been living for centuries near the mouth of the Don, as vassals of the Khazars. From 889 they spend a few years in the Balkans in the service of the Byzantine emperor, but soon they move on to the northwest, through the Carpathian mountains. Since 890 their leader had been Arpad, elected prince by the chieftains of the seven Magyar tribes.
The Carpathian Basin occupied by the conquering Magyars had been inhabited since prehistoric times. According to the archaeological evidences found at Vertesszölös, the Carpathian Basin had already been the dwelling place of prehistoric man half a million years ago.
The Hungarian crown was competed for in 1301 by three candidates – from Bohemia, Bavaria and the Naples branch of the house of Anjou. The struggle for the Hungarian crown lasted eight years, but the Angevin prince was finally enthroned at Buda in 1309 as Charles I of Hungary. Charles and his son, Louis I, ruled for more than seventy years.
Exhilarated by this gradual process of liberation from their Muslim overlord, the Hungarian diet – meeting at Pressburg in 1687 – granted more of Leopold I's demands than he might normally have expected. They gave up their ancient claim to elect the king, allowing instead a hereditary Habsburg right to the crown of St Stephen.
By 1918, the fate of the Monarchy was sealed. Before its capitulation on November 3, a National Council had already come into existence. Headed by Count Mihaly Karolyi, it demanded a separate peace, Hungarian independence, the recognition of the right of self-determination for the national minorities, land reform, and universal suffrage.
A period of reconstruction followed the war. Hungary became a republic, democratic elections were held, and a coalition government was formed. The Hungarian Communist Party, however, supported by the occupying Soviet army and the KGB, did not accept the result of the democratic process. The communists assumed power, introduced a reign of terror.
Based on the agreements concluded by the representatives of the Hungarian government and of the parties of the opposition, general elections were held in April, 1990. The newly elected parliament revised the Constitution and elected the president of the Hungarian Republic. In September 1990, municipal elections were held, completing the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Hungary.
Since then, Hungary had become the member of NATO March 12, 1999, a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004 and a member of the Schengen zone on December 21, 2007.