This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations . (October 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Kaisertum Österreich (German)
Anthem: Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
"God Save Emperor Francis"
The Austrian Empire in 1815, with the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire in dotted lines
The Austrian Empire at its greatest extent (1850s)
|Common languages||German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ruthenian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, Lombard, Venetian, Friulian, Ladin, Italian, Ukrainian|
|Franz Joseph I|
|Klemens von Metternich (first)|
|Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust (last)|
|House of Lords|
|House of Deputies|
|Historical era||19th century|
|11 August 1804|
|6 August 1806|
|8 June 1815|
|20 October 1860|
|14 June 1866|
|30 March 1867|
|1804||698,700 km2 (269,800 sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||AT|
Part of a series on the
|History of Austria|
The Austrian Empire (Austrian German : Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling Kaisertum Österreich) was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire (621,538 square kilometres; 239,977 sq mi). Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.
The Kingdom of Hungary — as Regnum Independens — was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary.
Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt (1797–1799) and Regensburg (1801–1803). On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess (German : Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6. This measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire. Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors.
In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, who was also ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years. He did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French; Francis II eventually abandoned the title of German-Roman Emperor later in 1806. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was especially demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status that was affirmed by Article X, which was added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions (King and Diet) as they had been beforehand. Thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government.
The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm. The French victory resulted in the capture of 20,000 Austrian soldiers and many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805.
The French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire. On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December. Each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg (today Bratislava, Slovakia) on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria.
Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg (26 December 1805), which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in Germany were passed to French allies—the King of Bavaria, the King of Württemberg and the Elector of Baden. Austrian claims on those German states were renounced without exception.
On 12 July 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine was established, comprising 16 sovereigns and countries. This confederation, under French influence, put an end to the Holy Roman Empire. On 6 August 1806, even Francis recognized the new state of things and proclaimed the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, as he did not want Napoleon to succeed him. This action was unrecognized by George III of the United Kingdom who was also the Elector of Hanover and had also lost his German territories around Hanover to Napoleon. His claims were later settled by the creation of the Kingdom of Hanover which was held by George's British heirs until Queen Victoria's accession, when it split into the British and Hanoverian royal families.
Klemens von Metternich became Foreign Minister in 1809. He also held the post of Chancellor of State from 1821 until 1848, under both Francis II and his son Ferdinand I. The period of 1815-1848 is also referred to as the "Age of Metternich".During this period, Metternich controlled the Habsburg Monarchy's foreign policy. He also had a major influence in European politics. He was known for his strong conservative views and approach in politics. Metternich's policies were strongly against revolution and liberalism. In his opinion, liberalism was a form of legalized revolution. Metternich believed that absolute monarchy was the only proper system of government. This notion influenced his anti-revolutionary policy to ensure the continuation of the Habsburg monarchy in Europe. Metternich was a practitioner of balance-of-power diplomacy. His foreign policy aimed to maintain international political equilibrium to preserve the Habsburgs' power and influence in international affairs. Following the Napoleonic Wars, Metternich was the chief architect of the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Austrian Empire was the main beneficiary from the Congress of Vienna and it established an alliance with Britain, Prussia, and Russia forming the Quadruple Alliance. The Austrian Empire also gained new territories from the Congress of Vienna, and its influence expanded to the north through the German Confederation and also into Italy. Due to the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Austria was the leading member of the German Confederation. Following the Congress, the major European powers agreed to meet and discuss resolutions in the event of future disputes or revolutions. Because of Metternich's main role in the architecture of the Congress, these meetings are also referred to as the "Metternich congress" or "Metternich system". Under Metternich as the Austrian foreign minister, other congresses would meet to resolve European foreign affairs. These included the Congresses of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818), Carlsbad (1819), Troppau (1820), Laibach (1821), and Verona (1822). The Metternich congresses aimed to maintain the political equilibrium among the European powers and prevent revolutionary efforts. These meetings also aimed to resolve foreign issues and disputes without resorting to violence. By means of these meetings and by allying the Austrian Empire with other European powers whose monarchs had a similar interest in preserving conservative political direction, Metternich was able to establish the Austrian Empire's influence on European politics. Also, because Metternich used the fear of revolutions among European powers, which he also shared, he was able to establish security and predominance of the Habsburgs in Europe.
Under Metternich, nationalist revolts in Austrian north Italy and in the German states were forcibly crushed. At home, he pursued a similar policy to suppress revolutionary and liberal ideals. He employed the Carlsbad Decrees of 1819, which used strict censorship of education, press and speech to repress revolutionary and liberal concepts.Metternich also used a wide-ranging spy network to dampen down unrest.
Metternich operated very freely with regard to foreign policy under Emperor Francis II's reign. Francis died in 1835. This date marks the decline of Metternich's influence in the Austrian Empire. Francis' heir was his son Ferdinand I, but he suffered from an intellectual disability.Ferdinand's accession preserved the Habsburg dynastic succession, but he was not capable of ruling. The leadership of the Austrian Empire was transferred to a state council composed of Metternich, Francis II's brother Archduke Louis, and Count Franz Anton Kolowrat, who later became the first Minister-President of the Austrian Empire. The liberal Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire forced Metternich's resignation. Metternich is remembered for his success in maintaining the status quo and the Habsburg influence in international affairs. No Habsburg foreign minister following Metternich held a similar position within the empire for such a long time nor held such a vast influence on European foreign affairs.
Historians often remember the Metternich era as a period of stagnation: the Austrian Empire fought no wars nor did it undergo any radical internal reforms.However, it was also thought of as a period of economic growth and prosperity in the Austrian Empire. The population of Austria rose to 37.5 million by 1843. Urban expansion also occurred and the population of Vienna reached 400,000. During the Metternich era, the Austrian Empire also maintained a stable economy and reached an almost balanced budget, despite having a major deficit following the Napoleonic Wars.
From March 1848 through November 1849, the Empire was threatened by revolutionary movements, most of which were of a nationalist character. Besides that, liberal and even socialist currents resisted the empire's longstanding conservatism. Although most of the revolution plans failed, some changes were made; significant lasting reforms included the abolition of serfdom, cancellation of censorship and a promise made by Ferdinand I of Austria said to implement a constitution throughout the whole Empire.
After the death of Prince Felix of Schwarzenberg in 1852, the Minister of the Interior Baron Alexander von Bach largely dictated policy in Austria and Hungary. Bach centralized administrative authority for the Austrian Empire, but he also endorsed reactionary policies that reduced freedom of the press and abandoned public trials. He later represented the Absolutist (or Klerikalabsolutist) direction, which culminated in the concordat of August 1855 that gave the Roman Catholic Church control over education and family life. This period in the history of the Austrian Empire would become known as the era of neo-absolutism, or Bach's absolutism.
The pillars of the so-called Bach system (Bachsches System) were, in the words of Adolf Fischhof, four "armies": a standing army of soldiers, a sitting army of office holders, a kneeling army of priests and a fawning army of sneaks.[ citation needed ] Prisons were full of political prisoners, like Czech nationalist journalist and writer Karel Havlíček Borovský who was forcibly expatriated (1851–1855) to Brixen. This exile undermined Borovský's health and he died soon afterwards. This affair earned Bach a very bad reputation amongst Czechs and subsequently led to the strengthening of the Czech national movement.
However, Bach's relaxed ideological views (apart from the neo-absolutism) led to a great rise in the 1850s of economic freedom. Internal customs duties were abolished, and peasants were emancipated from their feudal obligations.
In her capacity as leader of the German Confederation, Austria participated with volunteers in the First War of Schleswig (1848–1850).
Sardinia allied itself with France for the conquest of Lombardy–Venetia. Austria was defeated in the 1859 armed conflict. The Treaties of Villafranca and Zürich removed Lombardy, except for the part east of the Mincio river, the so-called Mantovano.
The Constitution of 1861 created a House of Lords (Herrenhaus) and a House of Deputies (Abgeordnetenhaus). But most nationalities of the monarchy remained dissatisfied.
After the second war with Denmark in 1864, Holstein came under Austrian, Schleswig and Lauenburg under Prussian administration. But the internal difficulties continued.Diets replaced the parliament in 17 provinces, the Hungarians pressed for autonomy, and Venetia was attracted by the now unified Italy.
After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the German Confederation was dissolved, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted. By this act, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria as two separate entities joined together on an equal basis to form the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary.
The frequent abbreviation K.u.K. (Kaiserliche und Königliche, "Imperial and Royal") does not refer to that dual monarchy but originated in 1745, when the "royal" part referred to the Apostolic Kingdom of Hungary.[ citation needed ]
The Napoleonic Wars dominated Austrian foreign policy from 1804 to 1815. The Austrian army was one of the most formidable forces the French had to face. After Prussia signed a peace treaty with France on 5 April 1795, Austria was forced to carry the main burden of war with Napoleonic France for almost ten years. This severely overburdened the Austrian economy, making the war greatly unpopular. Emperor Francis II therefore refused to join any further war against Napoleon for a long time. On the other hand, Francis II continued to intrigue for the possibility of revenge against France, entering into a secret military agreement with the Russian Empire in November 1804. This convention was to assure mutual cooperation in the case of a new war against France.
Austrian unwillingness to join the Third Coalition was overcome by British subsidies, but the Austrians withdrew from the war yet again after a decisive defeat at the Battle of Austerlitz. Although the Austrian budget suffered from wartime expenditures and its international position was significantly undermined, the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg provided plenty of time to strengthen the army and economy. Moreover, the ambitious Archduke Charles and Johann Philipp von Stadion never abandoned the goal of further war with France.
Archduke Charles of Austria served as the Head of the Council of War and Commander in Chief of the Austrian army. Endowed with the enlarged powers, he reformed the Austrian Army to preparedness for another war. Johann Philipp von Stadion, the foreign minister, personally hated Napoleon due to an experience of confiscation of his possessions in France by Napoleon. In addition, the third wife of Francis II, Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, agreed with Stadion's efforts to begin a new war. Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, located in Paris, called for careful advance in the case of the war against France. The defeat of French army at the Battle of Bailén in Spain on 27 July 1808 triggered the war. On 9 April 1809, an Austrian force of 170,000 men attacked Bavaria.
Despite military defeats—especially the Battles of Marengo, Ulm, Austerlitz and Wagram—and consequently lost territory throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (the Treaties of Campo Formio in 1797, Luneville in 1801, Pressburg in 1806, and Schönbrunn in 1809), Austria played a decisive part in the overthrow of Napoleon in the campaigns of 1813–14. It participated in a second invasion of France in 1815, and put an end to Murat's regime in south Italy.
The latter period of Napoleonic Wars featured Metternich exerting a large degree of influence over foreign policy in the Austrian Empire, a matter nominally decided by the Emperor. Metternich initially supported an alliance with France, arranging the marriage between Napoleon and Francis II's daughter, Marie-Louise; however, by the 1812 campaign, he had realised the inevitability of Napoleon's downfall and took Austria to war against France. Metternich's influence at the Congress of Vienna was remarkable, and he became not only the premier statesman in Europe but the virtual ruler of the Empire until 1848—the Year of Revolutions—and the rise of liberalism equated to his political downfall. The result was that the Austrian Empire was seen as one of the great powers after 1815, but also as a reactionary force and an obstacle to national aspirations in Italy and Germany.
During this time, Metternich was able to maintain an elaborate balance between Prussia, the lesser German states, and Austria in the German Confederation. Thanks to his efforts, Austria was seen as the senior partner with Prussia keeping watch over Germany as a whole. Further, Metternich opposed the weakening of France in the years after Napoleon, and viewed the new monarchy in Paris as an effective tool in keeping Russia at bay. From 1815 to 1848, Metternich steered Austria Imperial foreign policy, and indeed the mood of Europe, and managed to keep peace on the continent despite the growing liberal and radical movements inside most major powers. His resignation in 1848, forced by moderates in the court, and revolutionaries in the streets, may have caused the spread of the revolutions throughout the monarchy. It is stipulated that Metternich's departure emboldened liberal factions in Austria and Hungary, but this cannot be confirmed for certain.
Crown lands of the Austrian Empire after the 1815 Congress of Vienna, including the local government reorganizations from the Revolutions of 1848 to the 1860 October Diploma:
The old Habsburg possessions of Further Austria (in today's France, Germany and Switzerland) had already been lost in the 1805 Peace of Pressburg. From 1850 Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Slavonia and Military Frontier constitute a single land with disaggregated provincial and military administration, and representation.
German was the primary language of higher education in the empire.
Francis II was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the first Doppelkaiser in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia as Francis I. He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.
The history of Austria covers the history of Austria and its predecessor states, from the early Stone Age to the present state. The name Ostarrîchi (Austria) has been in use since 996 AD when it was a margravate of the Duchy of Bavaria and from 1156 an independent duchy of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
Franz Josef I or Francis Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia, and monarch of other states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 2 December 1848 until his death. From 1 May 1850 to 24 August 1866 he was also President of the German Confederation. He was the longest-reigning emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, as well as the fourth-longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history.
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 established the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. The compromise put an end to the 18 years long military dictatorship and absolutist rule over Hungary, which was introduced by Francis Joseph after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The Compromise partially re-established the former sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hungary, however being separate from, but no longer subject to the Austrian Empire. The agreement also restored the old historic constitution of the Kingdom of Hungary.
The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.
The Confederation of the Rhine was a confederation of client states of the First French Empire. It was formed initially from sixteen German states by Napoleon after he defeated Austria and Russia at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Treaty of Pressburg, in effect, led to the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, which lasted from 1806 to 1813.
Habsburg Monarchy is an umbrella term used by historians for the numerous lands and kingdoms of the Habsburg dynasty, especially for those of the Austrian line. Although from 1438 until 1806 a member of the House of Habsburg was also Holy Roman Emperor, the Empire itself is not considered a part of the Habsburg Monarchy.
The Kingdom of Hungary between 1526 and 1867, while outside the Holy Roman Empire, was part of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy that became the Empire of Austria in 1804. After the Battle of Mohács of 1526, the country was ruled by two crowned kings. Initially the exact territory under Habsburg rule was disputed because both rulers claimed the whole kingdom. This unsettled period lasted until 1570 when John Sigismund Zápolya abdicated as King of Hungary in Emperor Maximilian II's favor.
Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria-Este was a son of Holy Roman Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresa of Austria. He was the founder of the House of Austria-Este and Governor of the Duchy of Milan between 1765 and 1796. He was also designated as the heir to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, but he never reigned, owing to the Napoleonic Wars.
The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery.
The Duchy of Salzburg was a Cisleithanian crown land of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary from 1849–1918. Its capital was Salzburg, while other towns in the duchy included Zell am See and Gastein.
The House of Habsburg-Lorraine originated from the marriage in 1736 of Francis III, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, and Maria Theresa of Austria, later successively Queen of Bohemia, Queen of Hungary and Archduchess of Austria. Its members are the legitimate surviving line of the House of Habsburg and the House of Lorraine, inheriting their patrimonial possessions and vocation to the Empire from the female descendants of the House of Habsburg and the male line of the House of Lorraine.
Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, also known as Maria Ludovika of Modena, was the daughter of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este (1754–1806) and his wife, Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este (1750–1829). She was a member of the House of Austria-Este, a branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
The Venetian Province was the name of the territory of former Republic of Venice ceded by the French First Republic to the Habsburg Monarchy under the terms of the 1797 Treaty of Campo Formio that ended the War of the First Coalition. The province's capital was Venice.
"The German Question" was a debate in the 19th century, especially during the Revolutions of 1848, over the best way to achieve the unification of Germany. From 1815 to 1866, about 37 independent German-speaking states existed within the German Confederation. The Großdeutsche Lösung favored unifying all German-speaking peoples under one state, and was promoted by the Austrian Empire and its supporters. The Kleindeutsche Lösung sought only to unify the northern German states and did not include Austria; this proposal was favored by the Kingdom of Prussia.
Friedrich Karl Wilhelm, Fürst (prince) zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen was a general in the military service of the House of Habsburg during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was born in Ingelfingen, in southwest Germany, on 16 February 1752.
The fourth Peace of Pressburg was signed on 27 December 1805 between Napoleon and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II as a consequence of the French victories over the Austrians at Ulm and Austerlitz. A truce was agreed on 4 December, and negotiations for the treaty began. The treaty was signed in Pressburg, Hungary, by Johann I Josef, Prince of Liechtenstein, and the Hungarian Count Ignác Gyulay for the Austrian Empire and Charles Maurice de Talleyrand for France.
The Imperial Army, Imperial Troops, or Imperialists (Kaiserliche) for short, was a name used for several centuries, especially to describe soldiers recruited for the Holy Roman Emperor during the Early Modern Period. The Imperial Army of the Emperor should not be confused with the Army of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsarmee), which could only be deployed with the consent of the Imperial Diet. The Imperialists effectively became a standing army of troops under the Habsburg emperor from the House of Austria, which is why they were also increasingly described in the 18th century as "Austrians", although its troops were recruited not just from the Archduchy of Austria but from all over the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire occurred de facto on 6 August 1806, when the final Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, abdicated his title and released all imperial states and officials from their oaths and obligations to the empire. Since the Middle Ages, the Holy Roman Empire had been recognized by Western Europeans as the legitimate continuation of the ancient Roman Empire due to its emperors having been proclaimed as Roman emperors by the Papacy. Through this Roman legacy, the Holy Roman Emperors claimed to be universal monarchs whose jurisdiction extended beyond their empire's formal borders to all of Christian Europe and beyond. The formation of the first modern sovereign territorial states in the 16th and 17th centuries, which brought with it the idea that jurisdiction corresponded to actual territory governed, threatened the universal nature of the Holy Roman Empire.
The grand title of the Emperor of Austria was the official list of the crowns, titles, and dignities which the emperors of Austria carried from the foundation of the empire by Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor's imperial proclamation of August 11, 1804 until the end of the monarchy in 1918.
From the perspective of the Court since 1723, regnum Hungariae had been a hereditary province of the dynasty's three main branches on both lines. From the perspective of the ország, Hungary was regnum independens, a separate Land as Article X of 1790 stipulated …….. In 1804 Emperor Franz assumed the title of Emperor of Austria for all the Erblande of the dynasty and for the other Lands, including Hungary. Thus Hungary formally became part of the Empire of Austria. The Court reassured the diet, however, that the assumption of the monarch's new title did not in any sense affect the laws and the constitution of Hungary
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Austrian Empire .|