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Austria

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Zebra57
824894.  Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:59 pm Reply with quote

Republic of Austria

Capital: Vienna
Population: 8.4 million (2010)
Area: 83,871 sq km (32,383 sq miles)
Major language: German
Currency - Euro

Austria dates back to start of the Habsburg dynasty as a part of the Holy Empire.

Austria was to become a superpower with a large empire. (From 1867 Austria-Hungary.)

The Habsburg Empire was dismantled in 1918 with the end of World War I. Austria was left as a rump landlocked state with union with Germany prohibited by the Treaty of Saint Germain. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919.

In the 1938 Austria was occupied, annexed and absorbed by Nazi Germany. In 1945, Austria recovered its independence but under a four power military occupation. In 1955 Austria the occupation ends and the Declaration of Neutrality which stated that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.

A member of the EU since 1995 today Austria is one of the World's wealthiest nations.

 
Brickie
846714.  Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:37 am Reply with quote

The Austrian/Austro-Hungarian empire was a real oddity.

It was essentially medieval in character - that is, the only thing which really connected the various constituent parts was the monarchy and its institutions. Just as in the middle ages, it mattered less what language you spoke and more whose land you lived on and their loyalties when deciding which army you'd join when called up, the Austrian Empire wasn't really an Empire as much as it was a sort of agglomeration of all the various territories picked up by marriage or war by the Habsburgs over the centuries.

In fact, until 1815, there was no "Austrian Empire". Austria was an Archduchy that just happened to be the seat of the Habsburg family who, by the turn of the 16th century, pretty much had the (technically elected) crown of the Holy Roman Empire in their pocket. The Empire included Austria and some - but not all - of the Habsburgs' own dynastic territories. Bohemia was in, Hungary was out, for example.

So when Napoleon dismantled the HRE in 1815 - long after it had ceased to mean anything anyway - the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II simply invented a new Empire to be Emperor of and had himself crowned Francis I of Austria.

The 19th century saw a rise of nationalist sentiment, and the Czechs, Poles, Slovakians, Italians, Croatians, Romanians, Slovenians, Ruthenians and above all the Hungarians of the Austrian Empire got more and more discontented as the century wore on, while the court in Vienna concentrated on trying to keep hold of its lands while also challenging Prussia for leadership within the area vaguely defined as "Germany".

In 1866, Prussia defeated Austria in battle at Königgrätz and as a direct result, the Austrian Empire almost imploded as the various nationalities scented blood. In the end, the only thing that kept the Empire together was the "Compromise" (Ausgleich) of 1867 which split the empire in half. From now on, the Kingdom of Hungary would have equal status with the Austrian Empire, would be run from its own parliament in Budapest, would speak Hungarian and administer some of the minority areas itself (Slovakia and Croatia, notably). Rulers would now be crowned Emperor in Vienna and King in Budapest. There would be a common Postal service, railway and foreign ministry (designated K.u.k for Kaiserlich und Königlich - Imperial and Royal), but everything else was devolved, including much of the army. For home defence, there was the Austrian Landwehr and the Hungarian Honved, and a smaller common force, the K.u.k. Armee for any foreign adventures that might present themselves. In wartime, the Landwehr and Honved would both come under K.u.k command.

And that strained, ad-hoc state of affairs persisted another half-century until the whole house of cards fell down in 1918.

 
Zebra57
864304.  Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:49 pm Reply with quote

The flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire briefly fluttered on the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean from 1778 - 1783. In the mistaken belief that the Danish had abandoned their claims to the islands the Austrians set up shop. They left because Vienna refused to actively support the new colony. The Danes returned.

In September 7th 1901 0.61km2 of Tianjin in China became an Austrian concession. This gave the Austrians administration over their own affairs and trade in the sector. The Chinese declared war on Austrian-Hungary and ended the concession August 14th 1917. The legacy of Austrian style buildings is reported to still survive in the city today.

 

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