History of Austria

By | April 28, 2022

During the era of the Great Migration of Peoples, the territory of Austria was invaded by various tribes, in clashes between which the foundations of the future national-territorial structure of the Austrian lands were laid. In the 6th c. German tribes (Bavarians) settle in western Austria, and Slavs (mainly Slovenes) settle in central and eastern Austria.

From the 10th c. in the Margraviate of Austria, the Bavarian dynasty of the Babenbergs established itself, making Vienna their residence. In 1156, under Margrave Henry II Jazomirgott, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa raised the status of a margraviate to a duchy, which was finally separated from Bavaria. This year is considered the year of the emergence of the Austrian state.

In 1246, according to historyaah, the Babenberg dynasty ended, and after a short Czech rule, in 1278 the Austrian territories were captured by Rudolf I of Habsburg (originally from Swabia), who in 1282 transferred Austria and Styria to his two sons. This marked the beginning of the domination of the Habsburgs in Austria, which lasted until 1918. In the 14th century. Carinthia, Carniola and Tyrol were annexed to Austria. But until the end. 15th c. Austria remained fragmented into lands connected only by dynastic ties.

In the 16th century rapid economic development begins, primarily in the mining industry, controlled by the South German capital of the Fuggers and Hochstetters. At the same time, the offensive of the Ottoman Empire began in Southeastern Europe, and in 1529 the Turks laid siege to Vienna. In the 16th-18th centuries heavy Austro-Turkish wars are being waged. Violent forms took the clashes of supporters of the Reformation and counter-reformation. The anti-Habsburg Czech uprising of 1618–20 gave impetus to the all-European Thirty Years’ War, which devastated all of Central Europe. In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, according to which Austria ceded part of its territories to France. But in con. 17th-18th centuries Austria conquered vast new territories.

Maria Theresa (ruled 1740–80) carried out important economic and administrative reforms, strengthening the power of the center. The institution of the civil service was established, manufactories were encouraged, a policy of mercantilism and protectionism was pursued, the army and the general education system were reformed. Austria begins to acquire the glory of the “country of great musicians.” The reform was continued by the son of Maria Theresa, Joseph II, but ran into strong resistance from the nobility.

The Napoleonic Wars turned into heavy military defeats, territorial losses and financial collapse for Austria. But by decision of the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), Austria regained part of what had been lost. Economically backward feudal Austria under chancellor K. von Metternich became a stronghold of reaction in Europe. See ehistorylib for more about Austria history.

From the beginning 19th century factory production is developing in the country, the first railway was built in 1822, and an agrarian reform was carried out in 1848. The foreign policy of Austria was unsuccessful. Having suffered defeat in the Austro-Prussian and Austro-Italian wars in 1866, Austria actually lost the status of a great European power. A multinational Austria-Hungary was formed in 1867, but this did not strengthen the position of the remaining purely reactionary monarchy. In foreign policy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was under the complete influence of Germany.

After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, thus starting World War I. The defeat in it led to the fall of the Habsburgs and the collapse of Austria-Hungary. November 12, 1918 Austria was proclaimed a republic. On October 1, 1920, the Constitution of the Republic was adopted, providing for a federal structure of the state. But in 1929, changes were made to it, which soon led to authoritarian management.

In March 1938, the “Anschluss” took place – the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany. As an integral part of the Reich, Austria took part in the 2nd World War. After its completion, Austria and Vienna, as a special district, were divided into four zones of occupation. In 1946–48, heavy industry was nationalized in the country, as well as three large banks. Since 1948, Austria has participated in the Marshall Plan.

On May 15, 1955, in Vienna, representatives of the four victorious countries and Austria signed the State Treaty on the restoration of an independent and democratic Austria. The occupation of the country was terminated, and on October 26, 1955, a law on the permanent neutrality of Austria was adopted. During the Cold War, Vienna became one of the centers of diplomatic efforts to defuse and establish cooperation between West and East. January 1, 1995 Austria became a member of the EU.