The richest and the most influential families played an important part in the history of all societies – be it European or non-European. Influential noble families were also the main pillars of the Habsburg monarchy. In Hungary in the late 15th century and mainly in the 16th and 17th centuries many old families died out and their place was gradually occupied by others. In the 19th and early 20th centuries there was a change in the distribution of power within this class. After the break-up of the monarchy – in interwar Czechoslovakia – their members could not establish a relationship with any of the new main political powers; and after the abolition of the privileges of the estates and titles, they gradually lost also economical influence.
The publication is one of the first ones published in Slovakia clarifying the development of this unique social class and fortunes of its members – in the countries of Habsburg monarchy and in postwar Czechoslovakia.
The authors of the individual parts are renowned Slovak, Czech and Hungarian historians.