Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed
during World War I. The country fell under communist rule following World
War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact
were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. In the more open
GORBACHEV years, Hungary led the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and
steadily shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented economy.
Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Hungary developed close
political and economic ties to Western Europe. It joined NATO in 1999 and
is a frontrunner in a future expansion of the EU.