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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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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

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.

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

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.

Austrian Reconstruction and the Collapse of Global Finance, 1921–1931

By Nathan Marcus

Harvard University Press
Hardcover (560 pages)

Austrian Reconstruction and the Collapse of Global Finance, 1921–1931
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In 1921 Austria became the first interwar European country to experience hyperinflation. The League of Nations, among other actors, stepped in to help reconstruct the economy, but a decade later Austria’s largest bank, Credit-Anstalt, collapsed. Historians have correlated these events with the banking and currency crisis that destabilized interwar Europe―a narrative that relies on the claim that Austria and the global monetary system were the victims of financial interlopers. In this corrective history, Nathan Marcus deemphasizes the destructive role of external players in Austria’s reconstruction and points to the greater impact of domestic malfeasance and predatory speculation on the nation’s financial and political decline.

Consulting sources ranging from diplomatic dossiers to bank statements and financial analyses, Marcus shows how the League of Nations’ efforts to curb Austrian hyperinflation in 1922 were politically constrained. The League left Austria in 1926 but foreign interests intervened in 1931 to contain the fallout from the Credit-Anstalt collapse. Not until later, when problems in the German and British economies became acute, did Austrians and speculators exploit the country’s currency and compromise its value. Although some statesmen and historians have pinned Austria’s―and the world’s―economic implosion on financial colonialism, Marcus’s research offers a more accurate appraisal of early multilateral financial supervision and intervention.

Illuminating new facets of the interwar political economy, Austrian Reconstruction and the Collapse of Global Finance reckons with the true consequences of international involvement in the Austrian economy during a key decade of renewal and crisis.

South Tyrol: A Minority Conflict of the Twentieth Century (Studies in Austrian and Central European History and Culture)

By Rolf Steininger

Routledge
Paperback (182 pages)

South Tyrol: A Minority Conflict of the Twentieth Century (Studies in Austrian and Central European History and Culture)
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South Tyrol, a region in the heart of the Alps about half the size of Connecticut, brings into sharp focus an important part of twentieth-century history. Tyrol, a province that had been part of Austria for over 500 years and was almost totally German-speaking, was split in two after World War I and the southern part awarded to Italy as "spoils of war."The first phase to follow after the split of Tyrol was systematic subjection by the Italian Fascists of what had been a regional majority in South Tyrol, but was now a minority within Italy. In a second phase, to gain an Italian majority, the country was settled with Italians from the south, who had a totally different mentality from the Italians residing in South Tyrol. With the emergence of National Socialism in Germany, and eventually with the Hitler-Mussolini Agreement of 1939, a third phase emerged: an experiment in "ethnic cleansing" called the "Option." Eighty-six percent of all South Tyroleans agreed to leave South Tyrol and become citizens of "Greater Germany." After World War II, the region was not returned to Austria: South Tyrol became the first victim of the Cold War. It took almost forty years of hard bargaining before South Tyrol was granted real autonomy in 1969. This resolution is now regarded as a model for solving minority conflicts.Rolf Steininger traces the history of this troubled region during several periods: 1918-1922, in which he covers the period from the division of Tyrol to the march on Bozen; 1922-1938, in which he reviews fascist policy towards South Tyrol; the "Option" of 1939; the resettlement and so-called reunification from 1943-1945; South Tyrol's role as a bargaining chip in the Cold War, and the Gruber-Gasperi Agreement of 1946; and the volume closes with a discussion of the plan negotiated in 1969 for a new autonomy for South Tyrol that came to be known as the "Package.".

A Short History of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Illustrated)

By Arthur Holland

Didactic Press
Released: 2013-10-28
Kindle Edition (88 pages)

A Short History of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Illustrated)
 
Product Description:
A lucid introduction to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, also known as the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, from the year 800 with Otto the Great to the eve of World War I at the start of the 20th century. Illustrated to enhance the reading experience.

Formatted for Kindle devices and the Kindle for iOS apps.


 
 
 

 
 
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