Tisza, Count Stephen

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Count Stephen Tisza, 1861–1918, Hungarian premier (1903–5, 1913–17); son of Kálmán Tisza. He believed in strong personal government and sought to make Hungary a forceful partner in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. He took repressive measures against the Serbian and Romanian minorities of Hungary, seeking to block their secessionist tendencies. Tisza strongly opposed the aggressive policy of Count Berchtold, the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister at the outbreak (1914) of World War I, but at last consented to declaring war on Serbia after being assured that no Serbian territory was to be annexed. Tisza's influence waned after the death of Emperor Francis Joseph and the accession of Charles I. His ministry fell in 1917, and Tisza took a military command on the Italian front. He was assassinated at Budapest by soldiers who believed him a chief instigator of the war.