The views of Ferenc Deák on the national economy
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Ferenc Deák (1803-1876) was primarily a jurist and statesman. He did not deal with political economy in detail. However, as a jurist, he was faced with the economic content of laws and regulations and took positions that had economic bearings and effects, while as a statesman, he expressed opinions on essential economic-policy issues that reflected a decisive economic view of the world, backed up by adequate arguments. He directly examined economic issues mainly in the first half of his career. He expressed opinions in the reform diets on landed property relations, the question of feudal dues, credit, commerce and transport, including railways - to a decisive extent during the processes of drafting and debating legislation. The paper also presents Deák's position on two important aspects of economic policy: joining the German 'Zollverein' and the question of the 'Védegylet', a society for promoting Hungarian industry. His attitude to the 'Védegylet' is especially interesting, because his public arguments, based on a considered political stance, differed from his private opinion. At the height of his career and influence around the time of the 'Ausgleich' in 1867, Deák left the direct handling of economic matters to expert advisers.
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