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1.a geographical area in central and eastern Europe; broken into separate countries at the end of World War I
Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie (de)
Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia (hu)
Indivisibiliter ac Inseparabiliter
"Indivisible and Inseparable"
Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze / Unsern Kaiser, unser Land!
"God preserve, God protect / Our Emperor, our country!"
|Capital||Vienna (main capital) and Budapest|
German, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian, Italian, Serbian
Slovak, Slovene, Bosnian, Rusyn, Yiddish 
|Religion||Roman Catholicism; also Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Judaism, and Sunni Islam after the annexation of Bosnia|
|Government||Constitutional monarchy, personal union through the Dual Monarchy|
|- 1867–1916||Francis Joseph I|
|- 1916–1918||Charles I|
|- 1867||Friedrich von Beust (first)|
|- 1918||Heinrich Lammasch (last)|
|- 1867–1871||Gyula Andrássy (first)|
|- 1918||János Hadik (last)|
Diet of Hungary
|- Upper house||Herrenhaus,
House of Magnates
|- Lower house||Abgeordnetenhaus,
House of Representatives
|Historical era||New Imperialism / WWI|
|- 1867 Compromise||30 March 1867|
|- Czecho-Slovak indep.||28 October 1918|
|- State of SCS indep.||29 October 1918|
|- Vojvodina||25 November 1918|
|- Dissolution||31 October 1918|
|- Dissolution treaties¹||in 1919 & in 1920|
|- 1914||676,615 km2 (261,243 sq mi)|
|- 1914 est.||52,800,000|
|Density||78 /km2 (202.1 /sq mi)|
Krone (from 1892)
|Today part of|| Austria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|1) Treaty of Saint-Germain signed 10 September 1919 and the Treaty of Trianon signed 4 June 1920.|
|Official Long names
(and English translation thereof)
|en: The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen de: Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder und die Länder der heiligen ungarischen Stephanskrone hu: A birodalmi tanácsban képviselt királyságok és országok és a magyar Szent Korona országai|
Austria-Hungary (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austro-Hungarian monarchy or k.u.k. Monarchy), more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in Central Europe. The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, under which the House of Habsburg agreed to share power with the separate Hungarian government, dividing the territory of the former Austrian Empire between them. The Austrian and the Hungarian lands became independent entities enjoying equal status. Austria-Hungary was a multinational realm and one of the world's great powers at the time. The dual monarchy existed for 51 years until it dissolved on 31 October 1918 before a military defeat on the Italian front of the First World War.
The realm comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, large parts of Serbia and Romania and smaller parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine.
The Habsburg monarch ruled as Emperor of Austria over the western and northern half of the country that was the Austrian Empire (Cisleithania or Lands represented in the Imperial Council) and as King of Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania or Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen) which enjoyed a great deal of sovereignty with only a few joint affairs (principally foreign relations and defence). The division was so marked in fact that there was no common citizenship: a person was either an Austrian or a Hungarian citizen (as nobody was allowed to hold both citizenships at the same time).[clarification needed] Certain regions, such as Galicia (within Cisleithania) and Croatia (within Hungary) enjoyed special status with their own unique governmental structures (essentially a form of autonomy).
The two capitals of the Monarchy were Vienna for Austria and Buda for Hungary, the latter united with neighbouring Pest as Budapest from 1870. Vienna, however, would serve as the nation's primary capital. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,538 square kilometres (239,977 sq mi) in 1905), and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire). The Cisleithan part contained about 57% of the combined realm's population and a larger share of its economic resources. Today, the territory it covered has a population of about 69 million.
|12.31.1910 census||Territory in km2||Population|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||51,027||1,931,802|
|Sandžak/ Raška (occupied until 1909)||8,403||135,000|
The Monarchy bore the name internationally of "Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie" (on decision by Franz Joseph I in 1868). Its full name, Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder und die Länder der Heiligen Ungarischen Stephanskrone, meant "The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen".
|History of Austria|
This article is part of a series
|March of Austria|
|House of Habsburg|
|Holy Roman Empire|
|Archduchy of Austria|
|World War I|
|Assassination of Franz Ferdinand|
|World War I|
|First Republic of Austria|
|Austrofascism/Federal State of Austria|
|World War II|
|World War II|
|Second Austrian Republic|
|History of Hungary|
This article is part of a series
|Hungary before the Hungarians|
|Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin|
|Middle Ages (895–1541)|
|Principality of Hungary
|Medieval Kingdom of Hungary
|Early Modern history|
|Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary
|Eastern Hungarian Kingdom
|Principality of Transylvania
|Late modern period
|Rákóczi's War of Independence
|Hungarian Revolution of 1848
|Lands of the Crown of
|Hungary in World War I|
|Kingdom of Hungary
|World War II|
(1946 to present)
|Republic of Hungary
|Revolution of 1956|
|Republic of Hungary
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, which inaugurated the empire's dual structure in place of the former unitary Austrian Empire (1804–67), originated at a time when Austria had declined in strength and in power—both in the Italian Peninsula (as a result of the Second Italian War of Independence of 1859) and among the states of the German Confederation (where it had been replaced by Prussia as the dominant German power following the Austro-Prussian War, also named the German War, of 1866).
Other factors in the constitutional changes were continued Hungarian dissatisfaction with rule from Vienna and increasing national consciousness on the part of other nationalities of the Austrian Empire. Hungarian dissatisfaction arose partly from Austria's suppression, with Russian support, of the Hungarian liberal revolution of 1848–1849. However, dissatisfaction with Austrian rule had grown for many years within Hungary, and had many other causes.
By the late 1850s, however, a large number of Hungarians who had supported the 1848–49 revolution were willing to accept the Habsburg monarchy. They argued that while Hungary had the right to full internal independence, under the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 foreign affairs and defense were "common" to both Austria and Hungary.
After the Austrian defeat at Königgrätz, reconciliation with Hungary was needed to regain status of a great power, and the new foreign minister Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust wanted to conclude the stalemated negotiations with the Hungarians. To shore up support for the monarchy, Emperor Franz Joseph began negotiations for a compromise with the Hungarian nobility to ensure their support. In particular, Hungarian leaders demanded and received the Emperor's coronation as King of Hungary, and the re-establishment of a separate parliament at Budapest with powers to enact laws for the lands of the Hungarian crown.
From 1867 onwards, the abbreviations heading the names of official institutions in Austria-Hungary reflected their responsibility: K. u. k. ("kaiserlich und königlich" or Imperial and Royal) was the label for institutions common to both parts of the Monarchy, e.g. the k.u.k. Kriegsmarine (War Fleet) and, during the war, the k.u.k. Armee (Army). There were only three k.u.k. ministries:}
The last of these was responsible only for financing the Imperial and Royal household, the diplomatic service, the common army and the common war fleet. All other state functions were to be handled separately by each of the two states.
From 1867 onwards, common expenditure was allocated 70% to Austria and 30% to Hungary. This split had to be negotiated every 10 years, and, by 1907, the Hungarian share had risen to 36.4%. The negotiations in 1917 ended with the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy.
The common army changed its label from k.k. to k.u.k. only in 1889, at the request of the Hungarian government.
Three distinct elements ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire:
Hungary and Austria maintained separate parliaments, each with its own prime minister. Linking/co-ordinating the two fell to a government under a monarch, wielding power absolute in theory but limited in practice. The monarch’s common government had responsibility for the army, for the navy, for foreign policy, and for the customs union.
A common Ministerial Council ruled the common government: it comprised the three ministers for the joint responsibilities (joint finance, military, and foreign policy), the two prime ministers, some Archdukes and the monarch. Two delegations of representatives (60–60 members), one each from the Austrian and Hungarian parliaments, met separately and voted on the expenditures of the Common Ministerial Council, giving the two governments influence in the common administration. However, the ministers ultimately answered only to the monarch, and he had the final decision on matters of foreign and military policy.
Overlapping responsibilities between the joint ministries and the ministries of the two halves caused friction and inefficiencies. The armed forces suffered particularly from overlap. Although the unified government determined overall military direction, the Austrian and Hungarian governments each remained in charge of "the quota of recruits, legislation concerning compulsory military service, transfer and provision of the armed forces, and regulation of the civic, non-military affairs of members of the armed forces". Each government could have a strong influence over common governmental responsibilities. Each half of the Dual Monarchy proved quite prepared to disrupt common operations to advance its own interests.
Relations over the half-century after 1867 between the two parts of the Empire featured repeated disputes over shared external tariff arrangements and over the financial contribution of each government to the common treasury. Under the terms of the "Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867", an agreement, renegotiated every ten years, determined these matters. There was political turmoil during the build-up to each renewal of the agreement. The disputes between the two parts of the Empire culminated in the mid-1900s in a prolonged constitutional crisis—triggered by disagreement over the language of command in Hungarian army units, and deepened by the advent to power in Budapest (April 1906) of a Hungarian nationalist coalition. Provisional renewals of the common arrangements occurred in October 1907 and in November 1917 on the basis of the status quo.
Legally, besides the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 there were no common laws in Austria-Hungary. All laws, even the ones with identical content like the compromise of 1867, had to pass the parliaments both in Vienna and Budapest and were published in the respective official medium (in the Austrian half it was called Reichsgesetzblatt and was issued in eight languages). To conclude on identical texts, the two parliaments elected delegations of 60 of their members each, which discussed motions of the Imperial & Royal ministries separately and tried to find a compromise.
The first prime minister of Hungary after the Compromise was Count Gyula Andrássy. The old Hungarian Constitution was restored, and Franz Joseph was crowned as King of Hungary. During this time Austria-Hungary was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,537 km2 (239,977 sq mi)), and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire).
The Empire relied increasingly on a cosmopolitan bureaucracy – in which Czechs played an important role – backed by loyal elements, including a large part of the German, Hungarian, Polish and Croat aristocracy.
The political opponents of the "conservative liberal" aristocracy and gentry class were the leftist liberal "cosmopolitan" political parties in the parliaments of Vienna and Budapest. These leftist liberal parliamentary parties were backed by the big industrialists, bankers, businessmen and the predominant majority of newspaper "media moguls". During the war,[clarification needed] they had a important functions in the organization of strikes, protests and civil unrest in the Empire. After the war (as consequent republicans) that parties had key-role in the disintegration and collapse of the monarchy in Austria and Hungary, and proclamation of the republics in Vienna and Budapest.
Like the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire frequently employed liberal economic policies and practices. From the 1860s liberal businessmen succeeded in industrializing parts of the Empire, and prosperous members of the bourgeoisie erected conspicuously large homes, giving themselves a prominence in urban life that rivaled the aristocracy's. They persuaded the government to search out foreign investment to build up infrastructure such as railroads in the early period of the Empire.
The influence of liberals in Austria, most of them ethnic Germans, weakened under the leadership of Count Edouard von Taaffe, Austrian prime minister from 1879–1893. Taaffe used a coalition of clergy, conservatives and Slavic parties to weaken the liberals. In Bohemia for example, he designated Czech as an official language of the bureaucracy and school system, thus breaking the German speakers' monopoly on holding office. Reforms motivated other ethnic groups to push for even greater autonomy. By playing nationalities off one another, the government ensured the monarchy's central role in holding together competing interest groups in an era of rapid change.
By the late 1860s, Austrian ambitions in Italy and Germany had been choked off by the rise of new national powers. With the decline and failed reforms of the Ottoman Empire, Slavic opposition in the occupied Balkans grew, and Russia and Austria-Hungary saw an opportunity to expand in this region. In 1876, Russia offered to partition the Balkans, but Andrássy declined for Austria-Hungary was already a "saturated" state and it could not cope with additional territories. The whole monarchy was thus drawn into a new style of diplomatic brinkmanship, first conceived of by Andrássy, centering on the province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a predominantly Slavic area of the Ottoman Empire, which was transferred to Austro-Hungarian control in 1878, by the Congress of Berlin. This brinkmanship led to war following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Sarajevo in 1914.
The Austro-Hungarian economy changed dramatically during the Dual Monarchy. The capitalist way of production spread throughout the Empire during its 50-year existence replacing medieval institutions. Technological change accelerated industrialization and urbanization. The gross national product per capita grew roughly 1.76% per year from 1870–1913. That level of growth compared very favorably to that of other European nations such as Britain (1%), France (1.06%), and Germany (1.51%). However, in a comparison with Germany and Britain, the Austro-Hungarian economy as a whole still lagged considerably, as sustained modernization had begun much later. In 1873, the old Hungarian capital Buda and Óbuda (Ancient Buda) were officially merged with the third city, Pest, thus creating the new metropolis of Budapest. The dynamic Pest grew into Hungary's administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Many of the state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary were established during this period. Economic growth centered on Vienna and Budapest, the Austrian lands (areas of modern Austria), the Alpine region and the Bohemian lands. In the later years of the 19th century, rapid economic growth spread to the central Hungarian plain and to the Carpathian lands. As a result, wide disparities of development existed within the empire. In general, the western areas became more developed than the eastern.
However, by the end of the 19th century, economic differences gradually began to even out as economic growth in the eastern parts of the Empire consistently surpassed that in the western. The strong agriculture and food industry of the Kingdom of Hungary with the center of Budapest became predominant within the empire and made up a large proportion of the export to the rest of Europe. Meanwhile, western areas, concentrated mainly around Prague and Vienna, excelled in various manufacturing industries. This division of labour between the east and west, besides the existing economic and monetary union, led to an even more rapid economic growth throughout Austria-Hungary by the early 20th century. The most important trading partner was Germany (1910: 48% of all exports, 39% of all imports), followed by Great Britain (1910: almost 10% of all exports, 8% of all imports). Trade with the geographically neighboring Russia, however, had a relatively low weight (1910: 3% of all exports /mainly machinery for Russia, 7% of all imports /mainly raw materials from Russia).
The empire's heavy industry has mostly focused on machine building, especially for the electric power industry, locomotive industry and automotive industry, while in light industry the precision mechanics industry was the most dominant. Throughout the years leading up to WWI the country has become the 4th biggest machine manufacturer of the world.
Rail transport expanded rapidly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its predecessor state, the Habsburg Empire, had built a substantial core of railways in the west, originating from Vienna, by 1841. At that point, the government realized the military possibilities of rail and began to invest heavily in construction. Pozsony (Bratislava), Budapest, Prague, Kraków, Graz, Laibach (Ljubljana) and Venedig (Venice) became linked to the main network. By 1854, the empire had almost 2,000 km (1,200 mi) of track, about 60–70% of it in state hands. The government then began to sell off large portions of track to private investors to recoup some of its investments and because of the financial strains of the 1848 Revolution and of the Crimean War.
From 1854–1879, private interests conducted almost all rail construction. What would become Cisleithania gained 7,952 km (4,941 mi) of track, and Hungary built 5,839 km (3,628 mi) of track. During this time, many new areas joined the railway system and the existing rail networks gained connections and interconnections. This period marked the beginning of widespread rail transportation in Austria-Hungary, and also the integration of transportation systems in the area. Railways allowed the empire to integrate its economy far more than previously possible, when transportation depended on rivers.
After 1879, the Austrian and the Hungarian governments slowly began to renationalize their rail networks, largely because of the sluggish pace of development during the worldwide depression of the 1870s. Between 1879–1900, more than 25,000 km (16,000 mi) of railways were built in Cisleithania and Hungary. Most of this constituted "filling in" of the existing network, although some areas, primarily in the far east, gained rail connections for the first time. The railway reduced transportation costs throughout the empire, opening new markets for products from other lands of the Dual Monarchy. In 1914, of a total of 22,981 km (14,279.73 mi) of railway tracks on Austrian part of the Empire, 18,859 (82%) were state owned. By 1910, the total length of the rail networks of Hungarian Kingdom reached 22,000 km (13,670 mi), the Hungarian network contained more than 1,490 railway stations.
The most significant seaport was Trieste (today part of Italy), where the Austrian merchant navy with their two most important navigation companies (Austrian Lloyd and Austro-Americana) and with several shipyards was settled. The k.u.k. navy used the port also for constructing new naval ships. The upturn started with the decline of Venice, which additionally could not be a rivalry for the Austrians from 1815 until 1866, because it was part of the monarchy. The merchant navy could not reach significance by the time Venice had been such a strong competitor. Also the navy became very significant during the time of the k.u.k. monarchy. For long time a navy was not established because the Habsburg family lacked the funds to do so.
The most important seaport for the Hungarian part of the k.u.k. was Fiume, where the Hungarian navigation companies like the famous Adria were operating. The largest Hungarian shipbuilding company was the Ganz-Danubius. Another significant seaport was Pola – especially for the navy. In 1889 the Austrian merchant navy counted 10,022 ships, with 7,992 fishing vessels. Both 1,859 sailboats with crews of 6,489 men and a load capacity of 140,838 tons were used for the coast and sea trade and 171 steamers with a load capacity of 96,323 tons and a crew of 3,199 men.
The first Danubian steamer company (Donau-Dampfschifffahrt-Gesellschaft, DDSG) was the largest inland shipping company in the world until the collapse of the k.u.k. The Austrian Lloyd was one of the biggest ocean shipping companies of those time with voyages to the Orient and since the construction of the Suez Canal also to Asia. Until the beginning of the World War I the company owned 65 middle-sized and big steamers. The Austro-Americana owned one third of them and the biggest Austrian passenger ship, the SS Kaiser Franz Joseph I. In comparison to the Austrian Lloyd the Austro-American concentrated on destinations in North and South America.
In July 1849, the Hungarian Revolutionary Parliament proclaimed and enacted the first laws on ethnic and minority rights in the world. (The next such laws were in Switzerland.) But these were overturned after the Russian and Austrian armies crushed the Hungarian Revolution. When Hungary made a compromise with the dynasty in 1867 one of the first acts of the restored Parliament was to pass a Law on Nationalities (Act Number XLIV of 1868). It was a liberal piece of legislation, and offered rather extensive language and cultural rights, but refused to recognize the non-Hungarians as state-forming elements with territorial autonomy.
The "Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867" created semi-independent states of Hungary and Austria linked by personal union, and entailed the rise of an assertive Magyar identity within the Kingdom of Hungary. Nationalism prevalent in the Empire of Austria also created tension between ethnic Germans and ethnic Czechs. In addition, the emergence of national identity in newly independent Romania and Serbia also contributed to ethnic issues in the empire.
Article 19 of the 1867 "Basic State Act" (Staatsgrundgesetz), valid only for the Cisleithanian (Austrian) part of Austria-Hungary, said:
All races of the empire have equal rights, and every race has an inviolable right to the preservation and use of its own nationality and language. The equality of all customary languages ("landesübliche Sprache") in school, office and public life, is recognized by the state. In those territories in which several races dwell, the public and educational institutions are to be so arranged that, without applying compulsion to learn a second country language ("Landessprache"), each of the races receives the necessary means of education in its own language.
The implementation of this principle led to several disputes, as it was not clear which languages could be regarded as "customary". The Germans, the traditional bureaucratic, capitalist and cultural elite, demanded the recognition of their language as a customary language in every part of the empire. Italian was regarded as an old "culture language" (Kultursprache) by German intellectuals and had always been granted equal rights as an official language of the Empire, but the Germans had difficulty in accepting the Slavic languages as equal to German. On one occasion Count A. Auersperg (Anastasius Grün) entered the diet of Carniola carrying what he claimed to be the whole corpus of Slovene literature under his arm to provide evidence that the Slovene language could in his view not be substituted for German as a medium of higher education.
Nevertheless the following years saw an emancipation of several languages, at least in Cisleithania. From 1867, laws awarded Croatian equal status with Italian in Dalmatia. From 1882, there was a Slovene majority in the diet of Carniola and in the capital Laibach (Ljubljana), which replaced German as the dominant official language. Polish was introduced instead of German in 1869 in Galicia as the normal language of government. The Poles themselves systematically disregarded the large Ukrainian minority in the country, and Ukrainian was not granted the status of an official language.
The language disputes were most fiercely fought in Bohemia where the Czech speakers formed a majority and sought equal status for their language. German speakers lost their majority in the Bohemian diet in 1880 and their dominating position in the cities of Prague and Pilsen (while retaining a slight numerical majority in the city of Brno (Brünn)) and found themselves in an unfamiliar minority position. The old Charles University in Prague, hitherto dominated by the German speakers, was divided into German and Czech parts in 1882.
At the same time, Hungarian dominance faced challenges from the local majorities of Romanians in Transylvania and in the eastern Banat, of Slovaks in today's Slovakia, of Croats and Serbs in the crown lands of Croatia and of Dalmatia (today's Croatia), in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the provinces known as the Vojvodina (today's northern Serbia). The Romanians and the Serbs also looked to union with their fellow nationalists in the newly-founded states of Romania (1859–78) and Serbia.
Hungary's leaders were generally less willing than their Austrian counterparts to share power with their subject minorities, but they granted a large measure of autonomy to the Croatia in 1868, paralleling to some extent their own accommodation within the Empire the previous year. The Croatian government, in spite of nominal autonomy, was in fact an economic and administrative arm of Hungary, which the Croatians resented.
Language was one of the most contentious issues in Austro-Hungarian politics. All governments faced difficult and divisive hurdles in deciding on the languages of government and of instruction. The minorities sought the widest opportunities for education in their own language, as well as in the "dominant" languages—Hungarian and German. On one notable occasion, the "Ordinance of 5 April 1897", the Austrian Prime Minister Count Kasimir Felix Badeni gave Czech equal standing with German in the internal government of Bohemia, leading to a crisis because of nationalist German agitation throughout the empire. Badeni was dismissed.
The Hungarian Minority Act of 1868 gave the minorities (Slovaks, Romanians, Serbs, et al.) individual (but not also communal) rights to use their language in offices, schools (although in practice often only in those founded by them and not by the state), courts and municipalities (if 20% of the deputies demanded it). From June 1907, all public and private schools in Hungary were obliged to ensure that after the fourth grade the pupils could express themselves fluently in Hungarian; which led to the closing of several minority schools, mostly Slovak and Rusyn.
It was not rare for the two kingdoms to divide spheres of influence. According to Misha Glenny (The Balkans, 1804–1999), the Austrians responded to Hungarian persecution of Czechs by supporting the Croatian national movement in Zagreb.
Emperor Franz Joseph realised that he reigned in a multiethnic country, and spoke German, Hungarian and Czech fluently, and Polish and Italian to some degree.
The situation of Jews, who numbered about two million in 1914, was ambiguous. Antisemitic parties and movements existed, but Vienna and Budapest did not initiate pogroms or implement official antisemitic policies – mainly for fear that such ethnic violence could ignite other ethnic minorities and result in violence that could spin out of control. The antisemitic parties remained on the periphery of political sphere due to their low popularity among voters in the parliamentary elections. The majority of Jews lived in small towns in Galicia and rural areas in Hungary and Bohemia, although there were large communities in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other large cities. Of the pre-World War military forces of the major European powers, the Austro-Hungarian army was almost alone in its regular promotion of Jews to positions of command. While the Jewish population of the lands of the Dual Monarchy was about five percent, Jews made up nearly eighteen percent of the reserve officer corps.
In the Austrian Empire 36.8% of the total population spoke German as a mother tongue and more than 71% of the inhabitants spoke some German. In the Kingdom of Hungary 54.4% of the total population spoke Hungarian as a mother tongue. Not counting autonomous Croatia, more than 64% of the inhabitants of the Hungarian Kingdom spoke Hungarian.
of Austria–Hungary as a whole
|Land||Most common language||Other languages (more than 2%)|
|No. of speakers||% of population||No. of speakers||% of population|
|Hungarian||9 944 627||54.5%||105 948||4.1%|
|Romanian||2 948 186||16.0%||846||<0.1%|
|Slovak||1 946 357||10.7%||21 613||0.8%|
|German||1 903 657||10.4%||134 078||5.1%|
|Serbian||461 516||2.5%||644 955||24.6%|
|Ruthenian||464 270||2.3%||8 317||0.3%|
|Croatian||194 808||1.1%||1 638 354||62.5%|
|Others and unspecified||401 412||2.2%||65 843||2.6%|
|Total||18 264 533||100%||2 621 954||100%|
Note that some languages are considered dialects of more widely-spoken languages. For example, Rusyn and Ukrainian were both counted as "Ruthenian" in the census, and Rhaeto-Romance languages were counted as "Italian".
In the Kingdom of Hungary,
|Kingdom of Hungary||Hungary proper & Fiume||Croatia & Slavonia|
|Roman Catholic||49.3% (9,010,305)||71.6% (1,877,833)|
|Calvinist||14.3% (2,603,381)||0.7% (17,948)|
|Greek Orthodox||12.8% (2,333,979)||24.9% (653,184)|
|Greek Catholic||11.0% (2,007,916)||0.7% (17,592)|
|Lutheran||7.1% (1,306,384)||1.3% (33,759)|
|Jewish||5.0% (911,227)||0.8% (21,231)|
|Unitarian||0.4% (74,275)||0.0% (21)|
|Other or no religion||0.1% (17,066)||0.0 (386)|
Russian Pan-Slavic organizations sent aid to the Balkan rebels and so pressured the tsar's government that Russia declared war on Turkey in 1877 in the name of protecting Orthodox Christians. Unable to mediate between Turkey and Russia over the control of Serbia, Austria-Hungary declared neutrality when the conflict between the two powers escalated into a war. With help from Romania and Greece, Russia defeated the Ottomans and by the Treaty of San Stefano created a large pro-Russian Bulgaria. This treaty sparked an international uproar that almost resulted in a general European war. Austria-Hungary and Britain feared that an enlarged Bulgaria would become a Russian satellite that would enable the tsar to dominate the Balkans. British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli moved warships into position against Russia in order to halt the advance of Russian influence in the eastern Mediterranean so close to Britain's route through the Suez Canal.
The Congress of Berlin rolled back the Russian victory, by partitioning the large Bulgarian state that Russia had carved out of Ottoman territory, and denying any part of Bulgaria full independence from the Ottomans. Austria occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina as a way of gaining clout in the Balkans. Serbia and Montenegro became fully independent. Nonetheless the Balkans remained a site of political unrest, teeming ambition for independence and great power rivalries. At the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Gyula Andrássy (Minister of Foreign Affairs) managed to force Russia to retreat from further demands in the Balkans. As a result, Great Bulgaria was broken up and Serbian independence was guaranteed. In that year, with Britain's support, Austria-Hungary stationed troops in Bosnia, to prevent the Russians from expanding into nearby Serbia. In another measure to keep the Russians out of the Balkans, Austria-Hungary formed an alliance, the Mediterranean Entente, with Britain and Italy in 1887 and concluded mutual defence pacts, with Germany in 1879 and with Romania in 1883, against possible Russian attack. Following the Congress of Berlin the European powers attempted to guarantee stability through a complex series of alliances and treaties.
Anxious about Balkan instability and Russian aggression, and to counter French interests in Europe, Austria-Hungary forged a defensive alliance with Germany in October 1879 and in May 1882. In October 1882, Italy joined this partnership in the Triple Alliance largely because of Italy's imperial rivalries with France. Tensions between Russia and Austria-Hungary remained high, so Bismarck replaced the League of the Three Emperors with the Reinsurance Treaty with Russia to keep the Habsburgs from recklessly starting a war over Pan-Slavism.
On the heels of the Great Balkan Crisis, Austro-Hungarian forces occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 1878 and the monarchy eventually annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 1908 as a common holding of Cis- and Transleithania under the control of the Imperial & Royal finance ministry, rather than attaching it to either territorial government. This occupation was a response to Russia's advances into Bessarabia. The annexation in 1908 led some in Vienna to contemplate combining Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatia to form a third, Slavic component of the Empire. The deaths of Franz Joseph's brother, Maximilian (1867), and only son, Rudolf, made the Emperor's nephew, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne. The Archduke was rumoured to have been an advocate for this trialism, as a means to limit the power of the Magyar aristocracy.
On 28 June 1914, Franz Ferdinand visited the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, where Bosnian Serb militants of the nationalist group Mlada Bosna, supplied by the Serbian militant group Black Hand, ambushed his convoy and assassinated him. There were several members of the Black Hand in Sarajevo that day. Before Franz was shot, somebody had already tried to kill him and his wife. A member of the Black Hand threw a grenade at the car, but missed. It injured some people nearby and Franz Ferdinand made sure they were given medical attention before the convoy could carry on. The convoy took a wrong turn into a street where Gavrilo Princip was. Princip took a pistol from his pocket and shot and killed Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The reaction among the Austrian common people was mild, almost indifferent. As historian Z.A.B. Zeman later wrote, "the event almost failed to make any impression whatsoever. On Sunday and Monday [June 28 and 29], the crowds in Vienna listened to music and drank wine, as if nothing had happened."
The empire's military spending had not even doubled since the 1878 Congress of Berlin, while German spending had risen fivefold, and British, Russian, and French threefold. The empire had lost ethnic Italian areas to Piedmont because of nationalist movements sweeping through Italy, and many Austro-Hungarians perceived as imminent the threat of losing to Serbia the southern territories inhabited by Slavs. Serbia had recently gained considerable territory in the Second Balkan War of 1913, causing much distress in government circles in Vienna and Budapest.
Some members of the government, such as Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, had wanted to confront the resurgent Serbian nation for some years in a preventive war, but the Emperor, 84 years old and enemy of all adventures, disapproved. But now the leaders of Austria-Hungary, especially General Count Leopold von Berchtold, backed by its ally Germany, decided to confront Serbia militarily before it could incite a revolt; using the assassination as an excuse, they presented a list of ten demands called the July Ultimatum, expecting Serbia would never accept. When Serbia accepted nine of the ten demands but only partially accepted the remaining one, Austria-Hungary declared war. Franz Joseph I finally followed the urgent counsel of his top advisors.
Over the course of July and August 1914, these events caused the start of World War I, as Russia mobilized in support of Serbia, setting off a series of countermobilizations. Italy initially remained neutral, although it had an alliance with Austria-Hungary. In 1915, it switched to the side of the Entente powers, hoping to gain territory from its former ally.
General von Hötzendorf was the Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff. Franz Joseph I, who was much too old to command the army, appointed Archduke Friedrich von Österreich-Teschen as Supreme Army Commander (Armeeoberkommandant), but asked him to give Von Hötzendorf freedom to take any decisions. The latter remained in effective command of the military forces until Emperor Karl I took the supreme command himself in late 1916 and dismissed Conrad von Hötzendorf in 1917.
At the start of the war, the army was divided in two: the smaller part attacked Serbia while the larger part fought against the formidable Russian army. The invasion of Serbia in 1914 was a disaster: by the end of the year, the Austro-Hungarian Army had taken no territory but had lost 227,000 out of a total force of 450,000 men (see Serbian Campaign (World War I)). However in autumn 1915, the Serbian Army was defeated by the Central Powers, which led to the occupation of Serbia. Near the end of 1915, in a massive rescue operation involving more than 1,000 trips made by Italian, French and British steamers, 260,000 Serb soldiers were transported to Corfu, where they waited for the chance of the victory of Allied Powers to reclaim their country. Corfu hosted the Serbian government in exile after the collapse of Serbia, and served as a supply base to the Greek front. In April 1916 a large number of Serbian troops were transported in British and French naval vessels from Corfu to mainland Greece. The contingent numbering over 120,000 relieved a much smaller army at the Thessaloniki front and fought alongside British and French troops.
On the Eastern front, things started out equally poorly. The Austro-Hungarian Army was defeated at the Battle of Lemberg and the great fortress city of Przemyśl was besieged and fell in March 1915. The Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive started as a minor German offensive to relieve the pressure of the Russian numerical superiority on the Austro-Hungarians, but the cooperation of the Central Powers resulted in huge Russian losses and the total collapse of the Russian lines, and their 100 km long retreat into Russia. The Russian Third Army perished. In summer 1915, the Austro-Hungarian Army, under a unified command with the Germans, participated in the successful Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive. From June 1916, the Russians focused their attacks on the Austro-Hungarian army in the Brusilov Offensive, recognizing the numerical inferiority of the Austro-Hungarian army. By the end of September 1916, Austria-Hungary could mobilise and concentrate new divisions, and the successful Russian advance was halted and slowly repelled; but the Austrian armies took heavy losses (about 1 million men) and never recovered. However the huge losses in men and material inflicted on the Russians during the offensive contributed greatly to their two revolutions of 1917, and it caused an economic crash in the Russian Empire.
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In May 1915, Italy joined the Triple Entente and attacked Austria-Hungary. Italy was the only military opponent of the Empire which had similar degree of industrialization and economic level. The bloody but indecisive fighting on the Italian Front would last for the next three and a half years. It was only on this front that the Austrians proved effective in war, managing to hold back the numerically superior Italian armies in the Alps and at the Isonzo river, through alternating phases, until the last month of war. In 1917, the Battle of Caporetto was a decisive victory of the Central Powers: the Austro-Hungarian and German forces advanced more than 100 km (62.14 mi) in the direction of Venice, but could not cross the Piave River. The military and economic crisis of Italy was resolved by also with the supports from the Allied powers: by 1918, amounts of war materials and American, British, and French divisions arrived in the Italian battle zone to aid the Italian army to stop the advance of the empire.
On 27 August 1916, Romania proclaimed war against Austria-Hungary. The Romanian army crossed the borders of Eastern Hungary (Transylvania). By November 1916, the Central Powers had defeated the Romanian army and occupied the southern and eastern parts of Romania. On 6 December the Central Powers captured Bucharest, the Romanian capital city.
The Austro-Hungarian war effort became more and more subordinated to the direction of German planners. The Austrians viewed the German army favorably, but by 1916 the general belief in Germany was that it was "shackled to a corpse". The operational capability of the Austro-Hungarian army was seriously affected by supply shortages, low morale and a high casualty rate, and by the army's composition of multiple ethnicities with different languages and customs.
The last two successes for the Austrians, the Romanian Offensive and the Caporetto Offensive, were German-assisted operations. As the Dual Monarchy became more politically unstable, it became more and more dependent on German assistance. The majority of its people, other than Hungarians and German Austrians, became increasingly restless.
Austria-Hungary held on for years, as the Hungarian half provided sufficient supplies for the military to continue to wage war. This was shown in a transition of power after which the Hungarian prime minister, Count István Tisza, and foreign minister, Count István Burián, had decisive influence over the internal and external affairs of the monarchy. By late 1916, food supply from Hungary became intermittent and the government sought an armistice with the Entente powers. However, this failed as Britain and France no longer had any regard for the integrity of the empire because of Austro-Hungarian support for Germany.
The setbacks that the Austrian army suffered in 1914 and 1915 can be attributed to a large extent to Austria-Hungary becoming a military satellite of Imperial Germany from the first day of the war. They were made worse by the incompetence of the Austrian high command. After attacking Serbia, its forces soon had to be withdrawn to protect its eastern frontier against Russia's invasion, while German units were engaged in fighting on the Western Front. This resulted in a greater than expected loss of men in the invasion of Serbia. Furthermore it became evident that the Austrian high command had had no plans for a possible continental war and that the army and navy were also ill-equipped to handle such a conflict.
Former ambassador and foreign minister Count Alois Aehrenthal had assumed that any future war would be in the Balkan region. In 1917, the Eastern front of the Allied (Entente) Powers completely collapsed. The Austro-Hungarian Empire then withdrew from all defeated countries. Despite great eastern successes, Germany suffered complete defeat in the more decisive western front. By 1918, the economic situation had deteriorated. Leftist and pacifist political movements organized strikes in factories, and uprisings in the army had become commonplace. During the Italian battles, the Czechoslovaks and Southern Slavs declared their independence. On 31 October Hungary ended the personal union officially dissolving the Austro-Hungarian state. At the last Italian offensive Austro-Hungarian Army took to the field without any food and munition supply, and fought without any political supports for a de facto non-existent empire. On the end of the decisive joint Italian, British and French offensive at Vittorio Veneto, the disintegrated Austria-Hungary signed a general armistice in Padua on 3 November 1918.
In the autumn of 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed. In the capital cities of Vienna and Budapest the leftist and liberal movements and politicians (the opposition parties) strengthened and supported the separatism of ethnic minorities. These leftist or left-liberal pro-Entente maverick parties opposed the monarchy as a form of government and considered themselves internationalist rather than patriotic. Eventually, the German defeat and the minor revolutions in Vienna and Budapest gave political power to the left/liberal political parties. As it became apparent that the Allied powers of the British Empire, France, Italy and the United States would win World War I, nationalist movements which had previously been calling for a greater degree of autonomy for various areas started pressing for full independence.
As one of his Fourteen Points, U.S. president Woodrow Wilson demanded that the nationalities of the empire have the "freest opportunity to autonomous development". In response, Karl I agreed to reconvene the imperial parliament in 1917 and allow the creation of a confederation with each national group exercising self-governance. However the leaders of these national groups no longer trusted Vienna and were now determined to get independence.
On 14 October 1918 Foreign Minister Baron István Burián von Rajecz asked for an armistice based on the Fourteen Points. In an apparent attempt to demonstrate good faith, Karl I issued a proclamation ("Imperial Manifesto of 16 October 1918") two days later which would have significantly altered the structure of the Austrian half of the monarchy. The Polish majority regions of Galicia and Lodomeria were granted independence, and it was understood that they would join their ethnic brethren in Russia and Germany in forming a Polish state. The rest of Cisleithania was transformed into a federal union composed of four parts—German, Czech, South Slav and Ukrainian. Each of these was to be governed by a national council that would negotiate the future of the empire with Vienna, and Trieste was to receive a special status. No such proclamation could be issued in Hungary, where Magyar aristocrats still believed they could subdue other nationalities and maintain the "Holy Kingdom of St. Stephen".
It was all in vain: four days later, on 18 October United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing replied that the Allies were now committed to the causes of the Czechs, Slovaks and South Slavs. Therefore, Lansing said, autonomy for the nationalities – the tenth of the Fourteen Points – was no longer enough and Washington could not deal on the basis of the Fourteen Points any more. In fact, a Czechoslovak provisional government had joined the Allies on 14 October. The leaders of the South Slavs had already declared in favor of uniting with Serbia in a large South Slav state by way of the 1917 Corfu Declaration signed by members of the Yugoslav Committee.
The Lansing note was, in effect, the death certificate of Austria-Hungary. The national councils had already begun acting more or less as provisional governments of independent countries. With defeat in the war imminent after the Italian offensive in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto on 24 October Czech politicians peacefully took over command in Prague on 28 October (later declared the birthday of Czechoslovakia) and followed up in other major cities in the next few days. On 30 October, the Slovaks followed in Martin. On 29 October, the Slovenes declared their independence from Austria and joined the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs as had the Croatians, who had been ignoring orders from Budapest since the beginning of October. The Hungarian government terminated the personal union with Austria by 31 October, officially dissolving the Austro-Hungarian state. There was now nothing left of the Habsburg realm except its majority-German Alpine and Danubian provinces.
The last Habsburg Emperor-King, Charles (Karl I in Austria and Károly IV in Hungary), was persuaded by his Austrian prime minister, Heinrich Lammasch, that he was in an impossible situation. By this time, the German-Austrian state council was challenging his authority in the German-speaking areas of his realm. On 11 November, he issued a proclamation which recognized Austria's right to determine the form of the state and renounced the right to participate in Austrian affairs of state. He also released the officials in the Austrian half of the empire from their oath of loyalty to him. Two days later, he issued a similar proclamation for Hungary. However, he did not abdicate, remaining available in the event the people of either state should recall him.
In Austria and Hungary, republics were declared at the end of the war in November. The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (between the victors of World War I and Austria) and the Treaty of Trianon (between the victors and Hungary) regulated the new borders of Austria and Hungary. The Allies assumed without question that the minority nationalities wanted to leave Austria and Hungary, and also allowed them to annex significant blocks of German- and Hungarian-speaking territory. As a result, the Republic of German Austria lost roughly 60% of the old Austrian Empire's territory. It also had to drop its plans for union with Germany, as it was not allowed to unite with Germany without League approval. The Hungarian Democratic Republic lost roughly 72% of the pre-war territory of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The decisions of the nations of the former Austria-Hungary and of the victors of the Great War, contained in the heavily one-sided treaties, had devastating political and economic effects. The previously rapid economic growth of the Dual Monarchy ground to a halt because the new borders became major economic barriers. All the formerly well established industries were designed to satisfy the needs of an extensive realm. As a result, the emerging countries were forced to make considerable sacrifices to transform their economies. The treaties created major political unease. As a result of these economic difficulties, extremist movements gained strength; and there was no regional superpower in central Europe.
The new Austrian state was, at least on paper, on shakier ground than Hungary. While what was left of Austria had been a single unit for over 700 years, it was united only by loyalty to the Habsburgs. By comparison, Hungary had been a nation and a state for over 900 years. However, after a brief period of upheaval and the Allies' foreclosure of union with Germany, Austria established itself as a federal republic. Despite the temporary Anschluss with Nazi Germany, it still survives today.
Hungary, however, was severely disrupted by the loss of 72% of its territory, 64% of its population and most of its natural resources. The Hungarian Democratic Republic was short-lived and was temporarily replaced by the communist Hungarian Soviet Republic. Romanian troops ousted Béla Kun and his communist government during the Hungarian-Romanian War of 1919. In March 1920, a monarchist revival resulted in the restoration of the Kingdom of Hungary. Royal powers were entrusted to a regent, Miklós Horthy, who had been the last commanding admiral of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and had helped organize the counter-revolutionary forces.
In March and again in October 1921, ill-prepared attempts by Károly IV (Karl I in Austria) to regain the throne in Budapest collapsed. The initially wavering Horthy, after receiving threats of intervention from the Allied Powers and neighboring countries, refused his cooperation. Subsequently, the British took custody of Karl and removed him and his family to the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he died the following year.
The following successor states were formed (entirely or in part) on the territory of the former Austria-Hungary:
Austro-Hungarian lands were also ceded to the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Italy. The Principality of Liechtenstein, which had formerly looked to Vienna for protection, formed a customs and defense union with Switzerland, and adopted the Swiss currency instead of the Austrian. In April 1919, Vorarlberg – the westernmost province of Austria – voted by a large majority to join Switzerland; however, both the Swiss and the Allies disregarded this result.
Kingdoms and countries of Austria-Hungary:
Cisleithania (Empire of Austria): 1. Bohemia, 2. Bukovina, 3. Carinthia, 4. Carniola, 5. Dalmatia, 6. Galicia, 7. Küstenland, 8. Lower Austria, 9. Moravia, 10. Salzburg, 11. Silesia, 12. Styria, 13. Tirol, 14. Upper Austria, 15. Vorarlberg;
Transleithania (Kingdom of Hungary): 16. Hungary proper 17. Croatia-Slavonia; 18. Bosnia and Herzegovina (Austro-Hungarian condominium)
The following present-day countries and parts of countries were located within the boundaries of Austria-Hungary when the empire was dissolved:
Possessions of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
Other parts of Europe had been part of the Habsburg monarchy once but had left it before its dissolution in 1918. Prominent examples are the regions of Lombardy and Veneto in Italy, Silesia in Poland, most of Belgium and Serbia, and parts of northern Switzerland and southwestern Germany.
Like the German Empire, that of Austria-Hungary frequently employed liberal economic policies and practices. From the 1860s liberal businessmen succeeded in industrializing parts of the empire and the prosperous middle classes erected conspicuously large homes, thus gaining a prominence in urban life that rivalled that of the aristocracy. They persuaded the government to search out foreign investment to build up infrastructure such as railroads. Despite these measures, Austria-Hungary remained resolutely monarchist and authoritarian.
Liberals in Austria, most of them ethnic Germans, saw their influence weaken under the leadership of Count Edouard von Taaffe, Austrian prime minister from 1879–1893. Building a coalition of clergy, conservatives and Slavic parties, Taaffe used its power to weaken the liberals. In Bohemia, for example, he designated Czech as an official language of the bureaucracy and school system, thus breaking the German speakers' monopoly on office holding. These reforms outraged the ethnic groups that lost out, while those who won concessions, such as Czechs, clamored for even greater autonomy. By playing nationalities off one against another, the government preserved the monarchy's central role in holding together competing interest groups in an era of rapid change.
Russian Pan-Slavic organizations sent aid to the Balkan rebels and so pressured the tsar's government that Russia declared war on Turkey in 1877 in the name of protecting Orthodox Christians. With help from Romania and Greece, Russia defeated the Ottomans and by the Treaty of San Stefano created a large pro-Russian Bulgaria. This treaty sparked an international uproar that almost resulted in a general European war. Austria-Hungary and Britain feared that an enlarged Bulgaria would become a Russian satellite that would enable the tsar to dominate the Balkans. Austrian officials worried about an uprising of their own restless Slavs. British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli moved warships into position against Russia in order to halt the advance of Russian influence in the eastern Mediterranean, so close to Britain's route through the Suez Canal.
The public was drawn into foreign policy: the music halls and newspapers of England echoed a new jingoism or political sloganeering that throbbed with sentiments of war: "We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do / We've got the ships, we've got the men, We've got the money too." The other great powers, however, did not want a Europe-wide war and in 1878 they attempted to revive the concert of Europe by meeting at Berlin under the auspices of Bismarck, who was a calming presence on the diplomatic scene.
Although Austria-Hungary did not have a common flag (a "national flag" could not exist since both halves of the Dual Monarchy consisted of inhabitants of several nationalities), a common civil ensign (introduced in 1869) did exist. The k.u..k. War Fleet until 1918 continued to carry the Austrian ensign it had used since 1786. The regiments of the k.u.k. Army until 1918 carried the double-eagle flags they had used before 1867, as they had a long history in many cases. New ensigns created in 1915 had not been implemented until 1918 due to the war. At state functions, in Austria black-yellow and in Hungary red-white-green were exposed.
The colours black-yellow were used as the flag of the Austrian part. The Hungarian part used a red-white-green Tricolour defaced with the Hungarian coat of arms.
The double-headed eagle of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty was used as the coat of arms of the common institutions of Austria-Hungary between 1867 and 1915. In 1915 a new one was introduced, which combined the coat of arms of the two parts of the empire and that of the dynasty.
Additionally each of the two parts of Austria-Hungary had its own coat of arms.
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|Historical development of Hungary|
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