Historical Self-representation of Sáros County and a National Minority Policy Press Campaign in the Early 20th Century

Sáros County, within its limits, also tried to get involved in local history research and historical self-representation. It did this by drawing up a historical monograph on Sáros at the county´s own expense. In addition, attempts were made to establish a museum, which was eventually accomplished with the powerful support of the Széchényi Circle in Eperjes. The Sáros intelligentsia, building upon the linguistic uniqueness of the county, i.e. the East Slovak dialect, wanted to establish an independent identity for the county’s Slovak-speaking inhabitants. Using the dialect, the intellectual elite of the county wanted to steer the Slovaks toward the path of later assimilation. The Széchényi Circle, an initiative of the county, was a product of the impatient period of Kálmán Tisza, promoting Hungarianization. In spite of the Magyarization efforts, we can say that the Circle has done a great deal of work and achieved considerable goals in the promotion of cultural and intellectual development among the urban and rural population (bourgeoisie and peasantry). The county leadership found that the best way to struggle against Slovak nationalism was to establish a social association. The sole purpose of it was to publish a patriotic spirited newspaper in the eastern Slovak language that would, using the same instruments, oppose Slovenský týždenník published by Milan Hodža.