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Deák Ferenc, (October 17, 1803, Söjtör - January 28, 1876, Budapest), was a Hungarian statesman, known as "The Wise Man of the Nation".

He first went into politics in 1833 when he attended the assembly of Pressburg (now Bratislava) instead of his older brother. This was the beginning of the career of one of the most important persons in the Hungarian reformed politics of the 1840's. His name became known as a result of his involvement in the suit of Miklós Wesselényi and his success in declaring the Hungarian Assembly's right to create laws.

In 1836 he wrote and distributed a document about the cases he supported without the permission of the censors; while it was confiscated it was already widespread and made his name familiar for the important circles. He was involved in creation of the 1839-40 laws of the Assembly and became honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. After the death of his brother in 1842 he liberated his villeins (servants) and voluntarily chose to pay taxes to show that he was sincere about his reforms.

In 1846 after the bloody end of the Galitian-Polish uprising the reformers gained popularity and they released the "Ellenzéki nyilatkozat" (Manifesto of the Opposition) under the name of Deák, while it was really created by Kossuth. During the revolution of 1848 Deák stayed calm and opposed violence as a political tool. He accepted a position in the Batthyány government mostly to show his support of Batthyány.

After he was put on the rack he became the leader of the passive resistance. With the help of István Széchenyi his land was obtained again so he was able to lead the Hungarian politics from Budapest. He supported the "Compromise" (Ausgleich, Kiegyezés, 1867) with all his possible strength. After 1867 his health weakened; the continuous work and the attacks on him used up most of his strength. His reformist ideas were often rejected by the Parliament.

He died on January 28, 1876, and Parliament created a law to remember his excellent service and ordered that a statue should be created from national donations.hu:Deák Ferenc de:Ferenc Deák he:פרנץ דאק pl:Franciszek Deák

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