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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 72444 views
Science/Economics paper by Bodnár, Éva (all papers)
The Charitable Bank: Fáy András and the First Domestic Savings Bank of Pest
Before 1848 in Hungary society was divided legally into four groups of people: prelates, lords of the realm, lesser aristocrats and city burghers. These identities had existed since medieval times, but they no longer completely reflected changing social realities. Identities stubbornly refuse to correspond to limited boundaries or borders. The peasants were excluded from the protection of the constitution, as were new social groups on the scene, such as the middle classes and the working poor urbanites.
One person who saw this problem and attempted to do something about it was Fáy András. He thought that the elimination of economic barriers or borders between advantaged and disadvantaged social groups would help bridge the gap between the poor, the middle classes and the aristocracy. Common embourgeoisement would produce greater social harmony, which would in turn produce a renewed, more unified county. To this end, he was instrumental in founding a portion of the savings institution which would grow into the OTP we know today.
Fáy’s vision of social cohesion through elimination of income inequality scuttled, unusually, as a result of its own success. Where did he go wrong? This subject has a special timeliness, because the notions of the Hungarian middle classes and what constitutes poverty have become the subject of renewed social discourse.
Brief Professional Bio:
Eva Bodnar received her PhD degree in March 2011, in History from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; M.A. in History in 1999 from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; and B.A. Honours in Comparative Literature and History from McMaster University. Her scholarly fields are Nineteenth Century Hungarian History, Habsburg History, the Reform Era of Hungary, and Revolutionary Europe.