Archduchy of Austria
Erzherzogtum Österreich (German)
Timeline: German Heritage
Flag of Austria.svg Austria Bundesadler.svg
Flag of Austria Coat of arms
Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
Austria (German Heritage).png
CapitalCoat of Arms of Vienna Vienna
Largest city Vienna
Official languages Austrian-Bavarian German
Regional Languages Italian
Religion Catholic Christian
Demonym Austrian
Government Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
 -  Monarch (Archduke) Karl II von Habsburg
 -  Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (CS)
Legislature Parliament
 -  March 2019 estimate 9,300,000 
Currency Schilling (ATS)
Time zone CET
Date formats
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .at

The Archduchy of Austria (German: Erzherzogtum Österreich), commonly known as Austria (German: Österreich), is a nation comprised of Nine States located in Central Europe.

It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Yugoslavia, the Venetian Republic and Italian Republic to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.

Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century. As an archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire's dissolution, Austria founded its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. Subsequent to the Austro-Prussian War and the establishment of a union with Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was created. In 1919, the federalised United States of Greater Austria was created, and would exist until the nationalist Hungarian movement declared independence, which spelt the end for the union. After Greater Austria collapsed, Austria fought against German expansionism and struggled to maintain their sphere-of-influence over Montenegro, Ukraine and Romania.

Today, Austria is consistently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world and has developed a high standard of living. It is also part of the League of United Nations, the European Community and the German Association.


Austria-Hungary barely pulled through World War I as a victor in 1918. Originally, an annexation of swathes of Italian, Polish and Montenegrin land was planned, however, the near-revolutionary conditions in the Austrian interior led to Austria comprising and creating various “client states”. The Kingdom of Montenegro, initially envisioned as a province of Austria-Hungary, became a independent kingdom under a Habsburg Archduke. Serbia was placed under the rule of George Obrenović, and the Venetian Republic was reestablished. With the new order in Europe established, Emperor Karl’s focus moved onto the main problem effecting his rule - giving the Austro-Hungarian Empire some much-needed reform.

Karl I (1917-1924)

Charles I of Austria, who was responsible for many of the reforms in 1918-1920.

In October 1918, Baron Max Hussarek von Heinlein passed the Federalisation Act in the Cisleithanian Parliament. The Federalisation Act created ethnicly-based states and autonomous areas in the Austrian portion of the Empire (Cisleithania), much to the joy of Czech, Polish and Yugoslav nationalists such as Antonín Švehla and Ante Pavelić. In Hungary, however, the reforms were not met with the same enthusiasm. Hungarian Minister-President Sándor Wekerle denied a similar reform of Transleithania, which annoyed many of the ethnic minorities in Hungary such as the Slovaks and Romanians.

Minister-President von Heinlein convinced Emperor Karl to compromise and reform Cisleithania first, creating stability. Once this was accomplished, Karl could shift his resources into reforming the Hungarian Side. Despite this, Karl I pushed for the federalisation of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, then a component of the Hungarian Crown. Though the Hungarians initially denied, a series of Pan-Slavic riots in the major cities resulted in the Hungarians relenting.

All German lands (barring the German-inhabited Czech lands) were unified into the State of Austria, which also contained autonomous regions for Slovenes and Czechs. The Bohemian Crown Lands became the State of Bohemia, which was further made up of the Provinces of German Bohemia, German Moravia-Silesia, Czech Bohemia[1]and Czech Moravia. Located within the Bohemian State was also autonomous regions for minorities. The Kingdom of Dalmatia was united with Croatia-Slavonia, and Carniola became a state. The Polish-Ukrainian regions of the Empire became the states of East and West Galicia.

Though supported by the Social Democrats and many in the right, Anschluss was opposed by the Christian Social Party, Catholics and, more importantly, the Archduke Karl. Popular support was still supportive of Habsburg Austrian independence, though many in the province of Tyrol favoured joining the German Empire. A referendum was held in July 1936, which resulted in 58% of Austrians voting for an independent Austria.

Austro-Hungarian mountain corps

Austrian Mountain Corps in Trentino, 1943

In 1938, Fascist Italy under its expansionist ideology invaded the Venetian Republic, sparking the Austro-Italian War.

As the Cold War began to divide the world after WWII, Karl and his government began looking towards a “third position” in the Cold War. Along with Czechoslovakia, the Venetian Republic and Yugoslavia, Austria became a founding member of the Pan-European Democratic Alliance, which was built on the already existing Austro-Czech Alliance. The PDA, as it came to be known, became the leading force in the Non-aligned movement, which unlike the opposing Berlin Pact or NATO, was neutral in world affairs. The PDA was also an economic union, though supported by the German European Economic Union and the American Marshal Plan.


Austria has a multi-party system. Of the over 700 registered political parties, only few are known to the larger public. Since the 1980s, three parties have consistently received enough votes to get seats in the national parliament.

The Christian Social Party (German: Christlichsoziale Partei, CS) is a conservative christian democratic political party that was founded in 1891. The party is also affiliated with Austrian nationalism that seeks to keep Catholic Austria out of the state of Germany founded in 1871, which it views as Protestant Prussian-dominated. It is a member of the Pan-European Catholic Democratic Union (PECDU), which specially caters to catholic christian democrats.
The Social Democratic Party of Austria (German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs, SPÖ) is a social-democratic political party that is, along with the Christian Social Party, one of the country's two traditional major parties. It succeeded the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria (German: Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Österreichs, SDAPÖ), and has close ties to the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK). Though German Nationalist and republican from its inception, the SPÖ moderated its platform after World War II, in which Austria faced considerable losses against the Communist Italians.
The Freedom Party of Austria (German: Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) is a right-wing populist and national-conservative political party that was founded out of more secular and nationalist members of the Christian Social Party.
The German People’s Party of Austria (German: Deutsche Volkspartei von Österreich, DVÖ) is a right-to-far-right-wing populist, republican and German Nationalist political party that emerged from the Anschluss-supporting Nationalist undercurrent in Austria.


  1. "Czech Bohemia" was an unofficial term used to differentiate between the Czech-inhabitated Province of Bohemia and German-inhabitated Province of German Bohemia.
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