Eőtvös Károly Institute

The Eötvös Károly Institute strives to improve and strengthen the citizens political culture based on the spirit of solidarity.



Károly Eötvös was born on March 11, 1842, in the village  of Mezőszentgyörgy , to a gentry family who managed their own estate.

Following secondary studies in the Calvinist College of Pápa, in 1863 he started working for the County as a civil servant.

He established a paper and became representative for the precinct of Veszprém at the age of 30. He joined Ferenc Deák’s Party and was named editor of Pesti Napló, the paper that served as the official organ of that party.

In 1878, in Budapest he founded what was to become one of the first law firms in . At the same time, he was reelected to Parliament on an opposition platform upholding the principles of 1848. Having served as senior columnist for Egyetértés, the independence-partisan periodical, in 1881 he accepted a parliamentary mandate for the town of Nagykőrös .

1882 saw the start of the Tiszaeszlár blood libel. Károly Eötvös agreed to represent the defense at the trial. His involvement was frowned upon by his own Independence Party, and even the noted novelist Mikszáth was concerned over his role.

Károly EötvösDuring the Parliamentary elections of 1884, he ran for a seat in several districts, but failed to secure a mandate. The fiasco drove him to retire from politics for a while, until he was reelected as Member of Parliament for Nagykőrös in 1887.

In 1892, Eötvös was reelected to represent Nagykőrös once again. Following the death of Dániel Irányi, he briefly served as president of the ’48 Independence Party. Until 1910, he remained Member of Parliament, mainly as an independent liberal representative.

Eötvös devoted most of the last decade of his life to his literary endeavors. Plans to publish his collected works were announced in the fall of 1900, and 24 volumes actually appeared in print over the next ten years.

Eötvös’s opus entitled The Great Trial can be read as belles lettres, sociography, or a “proto-ombudsman’s report.” In all of these readings, it is certainly one of the outstanding works of its genre.

He died on April 13, 1916.