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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

Austria Hungary

By Gerldine Mitton

Released: 2015-08-22
Kindle Edition (167 pages)

Austria Hungary
 
Product Description:
This was published in 1914, just at the star of World War I. At the end of that devastating war, Austria-Hungary was no more. This is a last look at that Empire with 32 Color Illustratioons

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.

Habsburg Monarchy 1809 To 1918

By A J Taylor

Penguin UK
Released: 1990-09-04
Paperback (304 pages)

Habsburg Monarchy 1809 To 1918
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  • Hapsburg
  • Austro-Hungarian
  • World War I
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A history of the Habsburg monarchy from the end of the Holy Roman Empire to the monarchy's dissolution in 1918. The book offers an insight into the problems inherent in the attempt to give peace, stability and common loyalty to a hetergeneous population.

The War of the Austrian Succession

By Reed S. Browning

St. Martin's Griffin
Released: 1995-05-15
Paperback (480 pages)

The War of the Austrian Succession
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Reed S. Browning explores the often-changing war aims of the major belligerents-Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, Piedmont-Sardinia, and Spain-and links diplomatic and military events to the political and social context from which they arose.

Classical Economics (LvMI) (An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought Book 2)

By Murray N. Rothbard

Ludwig von Mises Institute
Released: 2010-04-13
Kindle Edition (544 pages)

Classical Economics (LvMI) (An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought Book 2)
 
Product Description:
The appearance of the famous (and massive) volumes of Rothbard's History of Economic Thought in a new edition is cause for great celebration. They have been out of print for many years, and were previously only available at a price exceeding $200 for the set. They are at last accessible again, in beautiful hardcover, and at an affordable price.

Classical Economics, the second volume of the series, offers new perspectives on both Ricardo and Say and their followers. The author suggests that Ricardianism declined after 1820 and was only revived with the work of John Stuart Mill. The book also resurrects the important Anglo-Irish school of thought at Trinity College, Dublin under Archbishop Richard Whatley. Later chapters focus on the roots of Karl Marx and the nature of his doctrines, and laissez-faire thought in France including the work of Frederic Bastiat. Also included is a comprehensive treatment of the bullionist versus the antibullionist and the currency versus banking school controversies in the first half of the nineteenth century, and their influence outside Great Britain.

Many scholars believe this was his most important work. The irony is that it is not the work it was supposed to be, and thank goodness. He was asked to do a short overview of the modern era. He ended up writing more than 1,000 pages of original ideas that remade the whole of intellectual history up through the late 19th century.

Once Rothbard got into the project, he found that most all historians have made the same error: they have believed that the history of thought was a long history of progress. He found that sound ideas ebb and flow in history. So he set out to rescue the great ideas from the past and compare them with the bad ideas of the "new economics."

His demolition of Karl Marx is more complete and in depth than any other ever published. His reconstruction of 19th-century banking debates has provided enough new ideas for a dozen dissertations, and contemporary real-money reform. His surprising evisceration of John Stuart Mill is cause to rethink the whole history of classical liberalism.

Most famously, Rothbard demonstrated that Adam Smith's economic theories were, in many ways, a comedown from his predecessors in France and Spain. For example, Smith puzzled over the source of value and finally tagged labor as the source (a mistake Marx built on). But for centuries prior, the earliest economists knew that value came from within the human mind. It was a human estimation, not an objective construct.

Rothbard was a pioneer in incorporating the sociology of religion into the history of economic ideas. He saw that the advent of Christianity had a huge impact on the theory of the state. He observed the rise of absolutism and theory of nationalism that came with the reformation. He traced the changes in the Western view toward lending and interest payments over the course of a thousand years.

This set is a monument to Rothbard's genius, a resource that will be valuable to intellectuals for generations, and a great read too!

To search for Mises Institute titles, enter a keyword and "LvMI" (short for Ludwig von Mises Institute); e.g., "Depression LvMI"

Art in Vienna 1898–1918: Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele and their contemporaries

By Peter Vergo

imusti
Hardcover (240 pages)

Art in Vienna 1898–1918: Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele and their contemporaries
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The artistic stagnation of Vienna at the end of the 19th century was rudely shaken by the artists of the Vienna Secession. Their work shocked a conservative public, but their successive exhibitions, their magazine Ver Sacrum, and their application to the applied arts and architecture soon brought them an enthusiastic following and wealthy patronage. Art in Vienna, 1898–1918: Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele and their Contemporaries, now published in its 4th edition, brilliantly traces the course of this development. Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele were the leading figures in the fine arts; Wagner, Olbrich, Loos and Hoffmann in architecture and the applied arts. In other fields, Mahler, Freud and Schnitzler were influencing the avant‐garde.

The book includes eye‐witness accounts of exhibitions, the opening of the Secession building and other events, and the result is a fascinating documentary study of the members of an artistic movement which is much admired today. Some 150 color images and 75 black and white archival illustrations make this a sumptuous and historically engrossing study of a period when Vienna was the centre of the European art world.



 
 
 

 
 
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