Austria Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Austria is an independent nation in Western Europe. With the capital city of Vienna, Austria 2020 population is estimated at 9,006,409 according to countryaah. Today’s Austria was ruled from 1276 by the Habsburg family, whose kingdom expanded over the centuries. In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian double monarchy was formed. During a visit to Sarajevo in 1914, the throne follower of the double monarch Franz Ferdinand was murdered, which became the beginning of the First World War. Austria-Hungary lost the war in 1918 and the double monarchy was dissolved in nation states, including Austria. In the 1930s, the country developed into a fascist dictatorship, and in 1938 it was incorporated into the German Empire and participated in the Second World War on the part of the Nazis.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Austria, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Farming people have lived in the eastern parts of what today constitutes Austria for at least 6,000 years. Kelter came to the area in the 400s BC and 300 years later founded a kingdom, Noricum, which was subjugated by the Roman Empire 9 BC. For Austria political system, please check computerminus.

During the migration period in the 400s AD, for example, females, ostrogoths and avars took control of certain parts. Germanic Bajuvar, Bavarian, colonized the area in the 600s before it was incorporated into France in 788. When this was divided in 843, Austria ended up in the East Frankish Empire and when the German-Roman Empire was established by Otto the first coronation of Emperor by Pope 962 Austria became part of it.

In 1156, Austria gained the status of duchy within the German-Roman Empire and from 1276 was ruled by the Habsburg family. From 1452 until the dissolution of the German-Roman Empire in 1806, the Emperor of the Empire was brought down with the exception of a few years in the 18th century from the Habsburg house.

Through marriage and inheritance, the kingdom expanded. During Karl V, who became emperor in 1519, the empire reached its greatest extent, including the Netherlands, parts of Italy and Spain with the Spanish-American colonies. Karl V’s brother, Ferdinand I, acquired through marriage the Kingdom of Bohemia and part of Hungary. Throughout the 16th century, there were battles with the Turks, who in 1529 made an unsuccessful attempt to invade Vienna.

A rebellion in Bohemia against the emperor in Vienna led in 1618 to the outbreak of the thirty-year war. In 1630–1648 Austria waged war against, among others, Sweden. In the east, confrontations with the Ottoman Empire continued (with the center of today’s Turkey). In 1699, the Ottomans were forced to resign almost all of Hungary and parts of present-day Croatia to Austria.

At the end of the 18th century, Austria participated in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, which severely shook the Habsburg monarchy. In the war against the French emperor Napoleon, Austria lost large territories, including Belgium. In 1806, Emperor Franz II chose to lay down the German-Roman crown. Two years earlier, he had been appointed emperor of Austria, made into an hereditary empire.

After the Vienna Congress of 1814-1815, when Austria regained some of the territories lost to Napoleon, the country was ruled by a conservative regime that suppressed all approaches to nationalism in the various countries. However, dissatisfaction continued beneath the surface and in 1848–1849 popular uprisings occurred, including in Hungary as a result of dissatisfaction with the central government in Vienna. After a defeat against Prussia in Austria in the German Unity War in 1866, Austria was put out of German unification and in addition lost Venice to Prussia’s ally Italy. In 1867 the relationship with the Hungarians was settled, when Austria agreed to form the Austro-Hungarian double monarchy. In so doing, Hungary was equated with Austria and gained its own government and parliament under the joint Habsburg emperor.

The following period was characterized by industrialization and some liberal reforms. General and equal suffrage for men was introduced in 1907, but Parliament played a subordinate political role.

At the end of the 19th century, political Zionism arose in Austria, that is, the movement which aimed to give the Jews of the world their own country. At the same time, Austrian politicians began to treat Jews as a inferior race. In this atmosphere, the young Austrian Adolf Hitler grew up. According to what Hitler himself said, he had acquired his racial ideology in Vienna.

Foreign-political, Austria-Hungary was linked to Germany. Contradictions in relations with Russia intensified over time, and tensions within their own multinational country increased in the Balkans, where a Serbian movement wanted to include the southern Slavonic territories of the double monarchy in a Greater Serbia. Austria, for its part, sought to establish a Slavic kingdom there that would be included as a third party in the double monarchy. On a visit to Sarajevo in 1914, the successor Franz Ferdinand was murdered, who emerged as the main advocate for these thoughts. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which became the beginning of the First World War.

The military defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1918 led to the fall of the empire and the dissolution of the double monarchy in a number of new nation states. The remaining Austrian republic had only 6.5 million residents, one-eighth of the population of Austria-Hungary, but in return the entire population was now German speaking. In 1920, Austria was given a constitution which stated that it would be a federal state with nine states. Adaptation to the new situation became difficult and the first post-war years were marked by a large food shortage. In all walks of life, a majority wanted Austria, considered by many as a remnant of the Habsburg Empire with little chance of survival, to join Germany. However, this was prohibited by the victorious powers.

Politically, the interwar period was characterized by bitter polarization. Strong contradictions arose between the Christian-social government party that oriented itself against the Italian leader Mussolini’s fascism and the opposition which represented radical socialism. Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss established an authoritarian regime in 1933 which, after a brief workers’ rebellion in 1934, developed into a fascist dictatorship. Neither Dollfuss, who was murdered during a coup attempt in 1934, nor his successor Kurt von Schuschnigg could handle the country’s social and economic problems. When German forces marched into Austria on March 12, 1938, they were met with enthusiasm in many places and several Austrians welcomed the country’s incorporation (“Anschluss”) into the German Empire. The Austrians who were openly critical of the event development were persecuted in many cases.

By joining Germany, Austria was withdrawn in World War II. 300,000 Austrians died as soldiers in the German armed forces and tens of thousands of Austrian Jews died in the Nazi extermination camp. In 1943, the Allies declared that the re-establishment of an independent Austria was one of their objectives, citing, among other things, that Austria was “Hitler’s first victim”. Thus, the Allied Austrians provided a central argument for not having to deal with their own Nazi past. The war and Nazism were seen as something only the Germans were responsible for and as a result of this view, former Nazis were allowed to take part in elections as early as 1949. Another reason was that the Austrian Nazis constituted an overly large group, over half a million, for that they would dare to put them out of society.

After the end of the Second World War, Austria and Vienna, as well as Germany and Berlin, were divided into four occupation zones. In the years immediately following the war, the Austrians struggled with great difficulties when it came to providing and rebuilding the country. The problems were compounded by the fact that the Soviet Union demanded war damages. However, Austria was financially supported by the UN and the US (through the Marshall Aid).

Austria Old History