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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Austria   >   History

   
 

Austrian History


Austria can trace its history back to the dawn of civilization. In pre-Roman times, the country was occupied by various Celtic tribes including the Celtic kingdom of Noricum.

In Roman times, Noricum was annexed by the Romans and became a province of the Empire. In fact, most of what is now Austria (all parts to the South of the Danube River) were part of the Roman Empire.

When the Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century, Austria was invaded by tribes of Bavarians, Avars and Slavs. Most of Austria was eventually conquered by the Charlemagne in 788, and eventually became part of Eastern Francia ("Francia Orientalis"), and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976.

The first reference to to the name "Österreich" comes from 996, where the term "Ostarrîchi" is used to refer to the Babenberg lands (also known as "marchia Orientalis").

Beginning in the 14th century, the Habsburgs began to gain more and more land around Austria. They also acquired more and more power in the Germany (which at that time fell within the Holy Roman Empire - after 1438, every single emperor but one, of the Holy Roman Empire, was a Habsburg). Eventually, through marriage, they also acquired Spain, Spanish lands in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the New World. Additionally, their victories over the Ottoman Turks in 1526 at the Battle of Mohacs, and again in 1683 at the siege of Vienna, eventually brought Hungary and Bohemia (the area that is today the Czech Republic) under Habsburg control.

By the 18th century however, things had begun to change. The last Spanish Habsburg, Charles II, died childless in 1700, and rule of Spain passed to the Bourbon, Philippe of Anjou (King Philip V of Spain). Moreover, following the War of Austrian Succession (1740 to 1748), Prussia began to first match, and eventually displace, the Habsburg Empire as the dominant power in German affairs.

In 1804 the Austrian Empire (German: Kaisertum Österreich) was formed by Holy Roman emperor Francis II (who became Austrian emperor Franz I), although the Holy Roman Empire itself came to an end in 1806 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars. Despite many defeats at the hands of the French during the Napoleonic Wars, the Austrian Empire eventually emerged on the winning side, and played an important part in that victory, and ended up, together with Prussia, being a leading member of the German Confederation.

In 1864, Prussia and Austria cooperated in a war against Denmark in order to free the Dutchies of Schleswig and Holstein from the Danish Crown. However, following the war, the two countries could not agree on how these provinces hould be administered, and the Prussian-Austrian War of 1866 was a result. As a result of its defeat in this war, Austria had to leave the German Confederation, and end its participation in German politics.

In 1867, the Ausgleich ("Compromise") was signed by emperor Franz Joseph and a Hungarian delegation led by Ferenc Deák. The Ausgleich provided for a Hungarian government of near equal status to the Austrian government in Vienna, presided over by a single monarch (Franz Joseph) who had responsibility the military and foreign policy. This arrangement was known as the "dual monarch", and by this arrangement the Austrian Empire became the Austria-Hungary.

Austria-Hungary in 1900 CISLEITHANIA
1. Bohemia
2. Bukovina
3. Carinthia
4. Carniola
5. Dalmatia
6. Galicia
7. Kustenland
8. Lower Austria
9. Moravia
10. Salzburg
11. Silesia
12. Styria
13. Tirol
14. Upper Austria
15. Vorarlberg

TRANSLEITHANIA
16. Hungary
17. Croatia & Slavonia

18. BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

The 1914 assassination of the Austrian Archduke, Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, was the trigger that led to World War I. Austria-Hungary was among the defeated Central Powers, and the Empire broke up along ethnic lines. The German speaking parts of the Empire became the Republic of German Austria (German: Republik Deutschösterreich), but the name was changed at the insistence of the Entente powers to the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich). The new state was also forbidden to ever unite with Germany.

The First Austrian Republic came to an end in 1933, when the Chancellor, Engelbert Dollfuß, shut down parliament and established an authoritarian regime in an attempt to stabilize the country - paramilitary armies belonging to the Social Democrats and Conservatives were fighting each other on the streets, and a growing Nazi movement was advocating union with Germany.

Engelbert Dollfuß was assassinated in 1934, during an attempted Nazi coup, and succeeded by Kurt Schuschnigg. In 1938 however, German troops marched into Austria, and Adolf Hitler (who himself was Austrian) proclaimed the "Anschluss", the annexation of Austria into Greater Germany.

At the close of World War II, with the defeat of the Nazi regime, Austria, like Germany, was divided into American, British, French and Soviet Occupation Zones. However, just before the surrender, Austrian politican, Karl Renner, declared the separation of Austria from Germany, and set up a Provisional Government in Vienna. This government was in fact recognized by the Allies, and as a result, Austria was treated as the first victim of the Third Reich.

Allied Occupation Zones in Austria, 1945 to 1955

In 1955, as a result of the Austrian State Treaty (German: Österreichischer Staatsvertrag) , the country regained its independence. As part of the agreements surrounding this treaty, Austria became permanently neutral, a status which it maintains to this day.

Austria joined the European Union in 1995, and became part of the Eurozone which it was established in 1999.

Here are some books about the history of Austria:


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Books about Austrian History


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Introducing Austria: A Short History. (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought)

By Lonnie Johnson

Brand: Ariadne Pr
Paperback (196 pages)

Introducing Austria: A Short History. (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought)
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INTRODUCING AUSTRIA provides in compact form a comprehensive overview of the country's rich past and present. The first half of the book deals with Austria before 1918. Each chapter and subchapter approaches Austria's diverse, thousand-year-old heritage from a different perspective to illuminate its essential features. The second half of the book deals with Austria's turbulent history from 1918 to the present. Controversial issues are presented objectively and without oversimplification. Overall the book conveys a differentiated picture of the country and its people and should give readers a feeling for the continuity and change of the Austrian idea.

The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey

By Gordon Brook-Shepherd

Brand: Basic Books
Paperback (512 pages)

The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey
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This is a masterful survey of Austria's controversial place at the heart of European history. From the Reformation through the Napoleonic and Cold Wars to European Union, a superb history of Austria's central role in uniting Western civilization is covered. 24 pages of photographs and maps are included. "Connoisseurs of Austria and its delightful and infuriating inhabitants will agree that Mr. Brook-Shepherd has got it just about right.'—The Wall Street Journal "Engrossing, elegantly written history.'—Publishers Weekly

Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

By Simon Winder

Picador USA
Released: 2015-01-13
Paperback (576 pages)

Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
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LONGLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE, A CHARMINGLY PERSONAL HISTORY OF HABSBURG EUROPE BY THE AUTHOR OF GERMANIA

From the end of the Middle Ages to the First World War, Europe was dominated by one family: the Habsburgs. Their unprecedented rule is the focus of Simon Winder's vivid third book, Danubia.

Winder's approach is friendly, witty, personal; this is a narrative that, while erudite and well researched, prefers to be discursive and anecdotal. In his survey of the centuries of often incompetent Habsburg rule which have continued to shape the fate of Central Europe, Winder does not shy away from the horrors, railing against the effects of nationalism, recounting the violence that was often part of life. But this is a history dominated above all by Winder's energy and curiosity. Eminently readable and thrillingly informative, Danubia is a treat that readers will be eager to dip into.

Austria History: The Celtic and Roman Eras, The Early Medieval Era, Rise of the Habsburg Empire, The Thirty Years' War, 1618-48, Economy, Government, Politics, Tourism

By Henry Albinson

Released: 2016-03-02
Kindle Edition (241 pages)

Austria History: The Celtic and Roman Eras, The Early Medieval Era, Rise of the Habsburg Empire, The Thirty Years  War, 1618-48, Economy, Government, Politics, Tourism
 
Product Description:
Entire information on Austria, Austria history, early history and recent, Austria economy, Austria tourism, Austria government and politics, Austria information book, for education, tourism, business engagements
Knowing about Austria and the people inside it. Germanic tribes were not the first peoples to occupy the eastern Alpine-Danubian region, but the history and culture of these tribes, especially the Bavarians and Swabians, are the foundation of Austria's modern identity. Austria thus shares in the broader history and culture of the Germanic peoples of Europe. The territories that constitute modern Austria were, for most of their history, constituent parts of the German nation and were linked to one another only insofar as they were all feudal possessions of one of the leading dynasties in Europe, the Habsburgs

A Short History of Austria (Illustrated)

By John Abbott

Didactic Press
Released: 2013-09-04
Kindle Edition (442 pages)

A Short History of Austria (Illustrated)
 
Product Description:
This beautifully written history of Austria covers the period from 1232 to 1792. A series of excellent paintings complement the work to enhance the reading experience.

Contents include:

RUDOLF OF HAPSBURG.
From 1232 to 1291.

REIGNS OF ALBERT I, FREDERIC, ALBERT AND OTHO.
FROM 1291 TO 1347.

RUDOLF II., ALBERT IV. AND ALBERT V.
From 1339 to 1437.

ALBERT, LADISLAUS AND FREDERIC.
From 1440 to 1489.

THE EMPERORS FREDERIC II. AND MAXIMILIAN I.
From 1477 to 1500.

MAXIMILIAN I.
From 1500 to 1519.

CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.
From 1519 to 1531.

CHARLES V. AND THE REFORMATION.
From 1531 to 1552.

CHARLES V. AND THE TURKISH WARS.
From 1552 to 1555.

FERDINAND I.—HIS WARS AND INTRIGUES.
From 1555 To 1562.

DEATH OF FERDINAND I.—ACCESSION OF MAXIMILIAN II.
From 1562 to 1576.

CHARACTER OF MAXIMILIAN II.—SUCCESSION OF RUDOLF III.
From 1576 to 1604.

RUDOLF III. AND MATTHIAS.
From 1604 to 1609.

RUDOLF III. AND MATTHIAS.
From 1609 to 1612.

MATTHIAS.
From 1612 to 1619.

FERDINAND II.
From 1619 to 1621.

FERDINAND II.
From 1621 to 1629.

FERDINAND II. AND GUSTAVUS ADOLPHUS.
From 1629 to 1632.

FERDINAND II., FERDINAND III. AND LEOPOLD I
From 1632 to 1662.

LEOPOLD I.
From 1662 to 1697.

LEOPOLD I. AND THE SPANISH SUCCESSION.
From 1697 to 1710.

JOSEPH I. AND CHARLES VI.
From 1710 to 1717.

CHARLES VI.
From 1716 to 1727.

CHARLES VI. AND THE POLISH WAR.
From 1727 to 1735.

CHARLES VI. AND THE TURKISH WAR RENEWED.
From 1735 to 1730.

MARIA THERESA.
From 1739 to 1741.

MARIA THERESA.
From 1741 to 1743.

MARIA THERESA.
From 1743 to 1748.

MARIA THERESA.
From 1748 to 1759.

MARIA THERESA.
From 1759 to 1780.

JOSEPH II. AND LEOPOLD II.
From 1780 to 1792.

The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918 : A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary

By A. J. P. Taylor

University of Chicago Press
Released: 1976-05-15
Paperback (280 pages)

The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918 : A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary
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First published in 1941, The Habsburg Monarchy has become indispensable to students of nineteenth-century European history. Not only a chronological report of actions and changes, Taylor's work is a provocative exploration into the historical process of the most eventful hundred years of the Habsburg monarchy.

From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism

By Bruce F. Pauley

Brand: University of North Carolina Press
Hardcover (456 pages)

From Prejudice to Persecution: A History of Austrian Anti-Semitism
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According to Simon Wiesenthal, nearly half of the crimes associated with the Holocaust were committed by Austrians, who comprised just 8.5 percent of the population of Hitler's Greater German Reich. Bruce Pauley's book explains this phenomenon by providing a history of Austrian anti-Semitism and Jewish responses to it from the Middle Ages to the present, with a particular focus on the period from 1914 to 1938. In contrast to works that view anti-Semitism as an inherent national characteristic, his account identifies many sources and varieties of the anti-Semitic sentiment that pervaded Austrian society on the eve of the Holocaust.

Austria - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

By Peter Gieler

Kuperard
Paperback (168 pages)

Austria - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
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Austria has produced some of the world’s finest composers, dazzled us with an imperial Baroque architecture, and led the way with groundbreaking psychoanalysis. It has taught us to waltz, defined what a real coffee house is, and given us one of Europe’s most popular winter playgrounds. All this from one small nation, roughly the size of South Carolina. Historically the country was a land of transit along the Danube route, and the meeting of Germanic, Mediterranean, and Eastern European peoples helped to shape the Austrians of today. They have turned their heritage and culture to good advantage, developed new high-tech industries, established relationships with their former Communist neighbors as well as their EU partners, and have enjoyed a small economic miracle. Culture Smart! Austria describes the real people in the picture postcard, offering key insights into everyday Austrian life and equipping you to discover for yourself the many qualities of this lively people.

The World of Yesterday

By Stefan Zweig

University of Nebraska Press
Paperback (472 pages)

The World of Yesterday
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By the author who inspired Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Written as both a recollection of the past and a warning for future generations, The World of Yesterday recalls the golden age of literary Vienna—its seeming permanence, its promise, and its devastating fall.

Surrounded by the leading literary lights of the epoch, Stefan Zweig draws a vivid and intimate account of his life and travels through Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London, touching on the very heart of European culture. His passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the edge of extinction.

This new translation by award-winning Anthea Bell captures the spirit of Zweig’s writing in arguably his most revealing work.



 
 
 

 
 
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