Austria

Coordinates: 47°20′N 13°20′E / 47.333°N 13.333°E

Republic of Austria

Republik Österreich  (German)
Anthem: 
Location of  Austria  (dark green) – in Europe  (green & dark grey) – in the European Union  (green)  –  [Legend]
Location of  Austria  (dark green)

– in Europe  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)  –  [Legend]

Capital
and largest city
Vienna
48°12′N 16°21′E / 48.200°N 16.350°E
Official and national languageAustrian German[a][b]
Recognised languagesHungarian (41,000)
Slovene (25,000)
Burgenland Croatian (19,500)[1][2]
Ethnic groups
(2012)
Demonym(s)Austrian
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic
• President
Alexander Van der Bellen
Sebastian Kurz
Heinz-Christian Strache
Wolfgang Sobotka
Brigitte Bierlein
LegislatureParliament
Federal Council
National Council
Establishment history
976
1156
1453
1804
1867
1918
1934
• Anschluss
1938
since 1945
• State Treaty in effect
27 July 1955
14 December 1955
1 January 1995
Area
• Total
83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) (113th)
• Water (%)
1.7
Population
• October 2018 estimate
Increase 8,857,960[4] (96th)
• Density
104/km2 (269.4/sq mi) (106th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$461.432 billion[5]
• Per capita
$51,936[5] (17th)
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$477.672 billion[5] (29th)
• Per capita
$53,764[5] (14th)
Gini (2017)Negative increase 27.9[6]
low · 14th
HDI (2017)Increase 0.908[7]
very high · 20th
CurrencyEuro ()[c] (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+2 (CEST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+43
ISO 3166 codeAT
Internet TLD.at[d]
  1. ^ There is an official dictionary, the Österreichisches Wörterbuch, published on commission by the Austrian Ministry of Education.
  2. ^ Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Romani, Slovak, and Slovene are officially recognised by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML).
  3. ^ Austrian schilling before 1999; Virtual Euro since 1 January 1999; Euro since 1 January 2002.
  4. ^ The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Austria (/ˈɒstriə/ (listen), /ˈɔːs-/;[8] German: Österreich [ˈøːstɐraɪç] (listen)), officially the Republic of Austria (German: Republik Österreich, listen ), is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft).[9] The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language,[10] and German in its standard form is the country's official language.[11] Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.[9]

Austria played a central role in European History from the late 18th to the early 20th century. It initially emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and later archduchy. In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal houses in history. As 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. Austria was involved in both world wars; it started the first one under Emperor Franz Joseph and served as the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, who provoked the second one.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of government. Major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms. The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and[12] joined the European Union in 1995.[9] It harbours the OSCE and OPEC and is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol.[13] Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995,[14] and adopted the euro currency in 1999.[15]

Etymology

Ostarrichi
The first appearance of the word "Ostarrîchi", circled in red. Modern Austria honours this document, dated 996, as the founding of the nation.

The German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the Old High German Ostarrîchi, which meant "eastern realm" and which first appeared in the "Ostarrîchi document" of 996.[16][17] This word is probably a translation of Medieval Latin Marchia orientalis into a local (Bavarian) dialect. Another theory says that this name comes from the local name of the mountain whose original Slovenian name is "Ostravica" (sharp mountain) - because it is very steep on both sides. Austria was a prefecture of Bavaria created in 976. The word "Austria" is a Latinisation of the German name and was first recorded in the 12th century.[18] At the time, the Danube basin of Austria (Upper and Lower Austria) was the easternmost extent of Bavaria.

History

The Central European land that is now Austria was settled in pre-Roman times by various Celtic tribes. The Celtic kingdom of Noricum was later claimed by the Roman Empire and made a province. Present-day Petronell-Carnuntum in eastern Austria was an important army camp turned capital city in what became known as the Upper Pannonia province. Carnuntum was home for 50,000 people for nearly 400 years.[19]

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by Bavarians, Slavs, and Avars.[20] Charlemagne, King of the Franks, conquered the area in AD 788, encouraged colonization, and introduced Christianity.[20] As part of Eastern Francia, the core areas that now encompass Austria were bequeathed to the house of Babenberg. The area was known as the marchia Orientalis and was given to Leopold of Babenberg in 976.[21]

The first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as Ostarrîchi, referring to the territory of the Babenberg March.[21] In 1156, the Privilegium Minus elevated Austria to the status of a duchy. In 1192, the Babenbergs also acquired the Duchy of Styria. With the death of Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished.[22]

As a result, Ottokar II of Bohemia effectively assumed control of the duchies of Austria, Styria, and Carinthia.[22] His reign came to an end with his defeat at Dürnkrut at the hands of Rudolph I of Germany in 1278.[23] Thereafter, until World War I, Austria's history was largely that of its ruling dynasty, the Habsburgs.

Middle Ages

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Habsburgs began to accumulate other provinces in the vicinity of the Duchy of Austria. In 1438, Duke Albert V of Austria was chosen as the successor to his father-in-law, Emperor Sigismund. Although Albert himself only reigned for a year, henceforth every emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was a Habsburg, with only one exception.

The Habsburgs began also to accumulate territory far from the hereditary lands. In 1477, Archduke Maximilian, only son of Emperor Frederick III, married the heiress Maria of Burgundy, thus acquiring most of the Netherlands for the family.[24][25] In 1496, his son Philip the Fair married Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian, African, and New World appendages for the Habsburgs.[24][25]

In 1526, following the Battle of Mohács, Bohemia and the part of Hungary not occupied by the Ottomans came under Austrian rule.[26] Ottoman expansion into Hungary led to frequent conflicts between the two empires, particularly evident in the Long War of 1593 to 1606. The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times,[27] of which some are cited as "burning, pillaging, and taking thousands of slaves".[28] In late September 1529 Suleiman the Magnificent launched the first Siege of Vienna, which unsuccessfully ended, according to Ottoman historians, with the snowfalls of an early beginning winter.

17th and 18th centuries

Vienna Battle 1683
The Battle of Vienna in 1683 broke the advance of the Ottoman Empire into Europe.

During the long reign of Leopold I (1657–1705) and following the successful defence of Vienna against the Turks in 1683 (under the command of the King of Poland, John III Sobieski),[29] a series of campaigns resulted in bringing most of Hungary to Austrian control by the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699.

Emperor Charles VI relinquished many of the gains the empire made in the previous years, largely due to his apprehensions at the imminent extinction of the House of Habsburg. Charles was willing to offer concrete advantages in territory and authority in exchange for recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction that made his daughter Maria Theresa his heir. With the rise of Prussia, the Austrian–Prussian dualism began in Germany. Austria participated, together with Prussia and Russia, in the first and the third of the three Partitions of Poland (in 1772 and 1795).

19th century

CongressVienna
The Congress of Vienna met in 1814–15. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.

Austria later became engaged in a war with Revolutionary France, at the beginning highly unsuccessfully, with successive defeats at the hands of Napoleon, meaning the end of the old Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Two years earlier,[30] the Empire of Austria was founded. From 1792 to 1801, the Austrians had suffered 754,700 casualties.[31] In 1814, Austria was part of the Allied forces that invaded France and brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars.

It emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as one of the continent's four dominant powers and a recognised great power. The same year, the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) was founded under the presidency of Austria. Because of unsolved social, political, and national conflicts, the German lands were shaken by the 1848 revolution aiming to create a unified Germany.[32]

Deutscher Bund
A map showing the German Confederation (1815-1836) with its 39 member states.

The various different possibilities for a united Germany were: a Greater Germany, or a Greater Austria or just the German Confederation without Austria at all. As Austria was not willing to relinquish its German-speaking territories to what would become the German Empire of 1848, the crown of the newly formed empire was offered to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. In 1864, Austria and Prussia fought together against Denmark and secured the independence from Denmark of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. As they could not agree on how the two duchies should be administered, though, they fought the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. Defeated by Prussia in the Battle of Königgrätz,[32] Austria had to leave the German Confederation and subsequently no longer took part in German politics.[33][34]

The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Ausgleich, provided for a dual sovereignty, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I.[35] The Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various Slavic groups, including Croats, Czechs, Poles, Rusyns, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes, and Ukrainians, as well as large Italian and Romanian communities.

As a result, ruling Austria–Hungary became increasingly difficult in an age of emerging nationalist movements, requiring considerable reliance on an expanded secret police. Yet, the government of Austria tried its best to be accommodating in some respects: The Reichsgesetzblatt, publishing the laws and ordinances of Cisleithania, was issued in eight languages; all national groups were entitled to schools in their own language and to the use of their mother tongue at state offices, for example.

Austria Hungary ethnic
An ethno-linguistic map of Austria–Hungary, 1910

Many Austrians of all different social circles such as Georg Ritter von Schönerer promoted strong pan-Germanism in hope of reinforcing an ethnic German identity and the annexation of Austria to Germany.[36] Some Austrians such as Karl Lueger also used pan-Germanism as a form of populism to further their own political goals. Although Bismarck's policies excluded Austria and the German Austrians from Germany, many Austrian pan-Germans idolized him and wore blue cornflowers, known to be the favourite flower of German Emperor William I, in their buttonholes, along with cockades in the German national colours (black, red, and yellow), although they were both temporarily banned in Austrian schools, as a way to show discontent towards the multi-ethnic empire.[37]

Austria's exclusion from Germany caused many Austrians a problem with their national identity and prompted the Social Democratic Leader Otto Bauer to state that it was "the conflict between our Austrian and German character."[38] The Austro-Hungarian Empire caused ethnic tension between the German Austrians and the other ethnic groups. Many Austrians, especially those involved with the pan-German movements, desired for the reinforcement of an ethnic German identity and hoped that the empire would collapse which would subsequently allow an annexation of Austria with Germany.[39]

A lot of Austrian pan-German nationalists protested passionately against minister-president Kasimir Count Badeni's language decree of 1897, which made German and Czech co-official languages in Bohemia and required new government officials to be fluent in both languages. This meant in practice that the civil service would almost exclusively hire Czechs, because most middle-class Czechs spoke the German language, but not the other way around. The support of ultramontane Catholic politicians and clergy for this reform triggered the launch of the "Away from Rome" (German: Los-von-Rom) movement, which was initiated by supporters of Schönerer and called on "German" Christians to leave the Roman Catholic Church.[40]

20th century

Franzferdinand
Archduke Franz Ferdinand (right), whose assassination sparked World War I, one of the most disastrous conflicts in human history

As the Second Constitutional Era began in the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary took the opportunity to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908.[41] The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip[42] was used by leading Austrian politicians and generals to persuade the emperor to declare war on Serbia, thereby risking and prompting the outbreak of World War I, but it was not the only cause of the war. which eventually led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.[43]

On 21 October 1918, the elected German members of the Reichsrat (parliament of Imperial Austria) met in Vienna as the Provisional National Assembly for German Austria (Provisorische Nationalversammlung für Deutschösterreich). On 30 October the assembly founded the Republic of German Austria by appointing a government, called Staatsrat. This new government was invited by the Emperor to take part in the decision on the planned armistice with Italy, but refrained from this business.

This left the responsibility for the end of the war, on 3 November 1918, solely to the emperor and his government. On 11 November, the emperor, advised by ministers of the old and the new governments, declared he would not take part in state business any more; on 12 November, German Austria, by law, declared itself to be a democratic republic and part of the new German republic. The constitution, renaming the Staatsrat as Bundesregierung (federal government) and Nationalversammlung as Nationalrat (national council) was passed on 10 November 1920.

GermanAustriaMap
German-speaking provinces claimed by German-Austria in 1918: The border of the subsequent Second Republic of Austria is outlined in red

The Treaty of Saint-Germain of 1919 (for Hungary the Treaty of Trianon of 1920) confirmed and consolidated the new order of Central Europe which to a great extent had been established in November 1918, creating new states and altering others. The German-speaking parts of Austria which had been part of Austria-Hungary were reduced to a rump state named The Republic of German-Austria (German: Republik Deutschösterreich).[44][45] The desire for Anschluss (annexation of Austria to Germany) was a popular opinion shared by all social circles in both Austria and Germany.[46] On 12 November, German-Austria was declared a republic, and named Social Democrat Karl Renner as provisional chancellor. On the same day it drafted a provisional constitution that stated that "German-Austria is a democratic republic" (Article 1) and "German-Austria is an integral part of the German reich" (Article 2).[47] The Treaty of Saint Germain and the Treaty of Versailles explicitly forbid union between Austria and Germany.[48][49] The treaties also forced German-Austria to rename itself as "Republic of Austria" which consequently led to the first Austrian Republic.[50][51]

Over 3 million German-speaking Austrians found themselves living outside the new Austrian Republic as minorities in the newly formed or enlarged states of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Italy.[52] These included the provinces of South Tyrol (which became part of Italy) and German Bohemia (Czechoslovakia). The status of German Bohemia (Sudetenland) later played a role in sparking the Second World War.[53]

The status of South Tyrol was a lingering problem between Austria and Italy until it was officially settled by the 1980s with a great degree of autonomy being granted to it by the Italian national government. Between 1918 and 1919, Austria was known as the State of German Austria (Staat Deutschösterreich). Not only did the Entente powers forbid German Austria to unite with Germany, but they also rejected the name German Austria in the peace treaty to be signed; it was, therefore, changed to Republic of Austria in late 1919.[53]

The border between Austria and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) was settled with the Carinthian Plebiscite in October 1920 and allocated the major part of the territory of the former Austro-Hungarian Crownland of Carinthia to Austria. This set the border on the Karawanken mountain range, with many Slovenes remaining in Austria.

Interwar period and World War II

After the war, inflation began to devalue the Krone, which was still Austria's currency. In autumn 1922, Austria was granted an international loan supervised by the League of Nations.[54] The purpose of the loan was to avert bankruptcy, stabilise the currency, and improve Austria's general economic condition. The loan meant that Austria passed from an independent state to the control exercised by the League of Nations. In 1925, the Schilling was introduced, replacing the Krone at a rate of 10,000:1. Later, it was nicknamed the "Alpine dollar" due to its stability. From 1925 to 1929, the economy enjoyed a short high before nearly crashing after Black Tuesday.

The First Austrian Republic lasted until 1933, when Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss, using what he called "self-switch-off of Parliament", established an autocratic regime tending towards Italian fascism.[55][56] The two big parties at this time, the Social Democrats and the Conservatives, had paramilitary armies;[57] the Social Democrats' Schutzbund was now declared illegal, but was still operative[57] as civil war broke out.[55][56][58]

In February 1934, several members of the Schutzbund were executed,[59] the Social Democratic party was outlawed, and many of its members were imprisoned or emigrated.[58] On 1 May 1934, the Austrofascists imposed a new constitution ("Maiverfassung") which cemented Dollfuss's power, but on 25 July he was assassinated in a Nazi coup attempt.[60][61]

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1987-0922-500, Wien, Heldenplatz, Rede Adolf Hitler
Hitler speaking at Heldenplatz, Vienna, 1938

His successor Kurt Schuschnigg acknowledged Austria as a "German state" and that Austrians were "better Germans" but wished for Austria to remain independent.[62] He announced a referendum on 9 March 1938, to be held on 13 March, concerning Austria's independence from Germany. On 12 March 1938, Austrian Nazis took over government, while German troops occupied the country, which prevented Schuschnigg's referendum from taking place.[63] On 13 March 1938, the Anschluss of Austria was officially declared. Two days later, Austrian-born Hitler announced what he called the "reunification" of his home country with the "rest of the German Reich" on Vienna's Heldenplatz. He established a plebiscite confirming the union with Germany in April 1938.

Parliamentary elections were held in Germany (including recently annexed Austria) on 10 April 1938. They were the final elections to the Reichstag during Nazi rule, and took the form of a single-question referendum asking whether voters approved of a single Nazi-party list for the 813-member Reichstag, as well as the recent annexation of Austria (the Anschluss). Jews and Gypsies were not allowed to vote.[64] Turnout in the election was officially 99.5%, with 98.9% voting "yes". In the case of Austria, Adolf Hitler's native soil, 99.71% of an electorate of 4,484,475 officially went to the ballots, with a positive tally of 99.73%.[65] Although most Austrians favoured the Anschluss, in certain parts of Austria the German soldiers were not always welcomed with flowers and joy, especially in Vienna which had Austria's largest Jewish population.[66] Nevertheless, despite the propaganda and the manipulation and rigging which surrounded the ballot box result, there was massive genuine support for Hitler for fulfilling the Anschluss,[67] since many Germans from both Austria and Germany saw it as completing the long overdue German unification of all Germans united into one-state.[68]

KZ Mauthausen
The liberation of Mauthausen concentration camp, 1945

On 12 March 1938, Austria was annexed to the Third Reich and ceased to exist as an independent country. The Aryanisation of the wealth of Jewish Austrians started immediately in mid-March, with a so-called "wild" (i.e. extra-legal) phase, but was soon structured legally and bureaucratically to strip Jewish citizens of any assets they possessed. The Nazis renamed Austria in 1938 as "Ostmark"[63] until 1942, when it was again renamed and called "Alpine and Danubian Gaue" (Alpen-und Donau-Reichsgaue).[69][70]

OstmarkMap
Austria in 1941 when it was known as the "Ostmark".

Though Austrians made up only 8% of the population of the Third Reich,[71] some of the most prominent Nazis were native Austrians, including Adolf Hitler, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Franz Stangl, and Odilo Globocnik,[72] as were over 13% of the SS and 40% of the staff at the Nazi extermination camps.[71] Vienna fell on 13 April 1945, during the Soviet Vienna Offensive, just before the total collapse of the Third Reich. The invading Allied powers, in particular the Americans, planned for the supposed "Alpine Fortress Operation" of a national redoubt, that was largely to have taken place on Austrian soil in the mountains of the eastern Alps. However, it never materialised because of the rapid collapse of the Reich.

Karl Renner and Adolf Schärf (Socialist Party of Austria [Social Democrats and Revolutionary Socialists]), Leopold Kunschak (Austria's People's Party [former Christian Social People's Party]), and Johann Koplenig (Communist Party of Austria) declared Austria's secession from the Third Reich by the Declaration of Independence on 27 April 1945 and set up a provisional government in Vienna under state Chancellor Renner the same day, with the approval of the victorious Red Army and backed by Joseph Stalin.[73] (The date is officially named the birthday of the second republic.) At the end of April, most of western and southern Austria were still under Nazi rule. On 1 May 1945, the federal constitution of 1929, which had been terminated by dictator Dollfuss on 1 May 1934, was declared valid again.

Total military deaths from 1939 to 1945 are estimated at 260,000.[74] Jewish Holocaust victims totalled 65,000.[75] About 140,000 Jewish Austrians had fled the country in 1938–39. Thousands of Austrians had taken part in serious Nazi crimes (hundreds of thousands died in Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp alone), a fact officially recognised by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in 1992.

Contemporary era

Uno City Kaiserwasser
The United Nations Office in Vienna is one of the four major UN office sites worldwide.

Much like Germany, Austria was divided into American, British, French, and Soviet zones and governed by the Allied Commission for Austria.[76] As forecast in the Moscow Declaration in 1943, a subtle difference was seen in the treatment of Austria by the Allies.[73] The Austrian government, consisting of Social Democrats, Conservatives, and Communists (until 1947), and residing in Vienna, which was surrounded by the Soviet zone, was recognised by the Western Allies in October 1945 after some doubts that Renner could be Stalin's puppet. Thus, the creation of a separate Western Austrian government and the division of the country was avoidable. Austria, in general, was treated as though it had been originally invaded by Germany and liberated by the Allies.[77]

On 15 May 1955, after talks which lasted for years and were influenced by the Cold War, Austria regained full independence by concluding the Austrian State Treaty with the Four Occupying Powers. On 26 October 1955, after all occupation troops had left, Austria declared its "permanent neutrality" by an act of parliament.[78] This day is now Austria's National Day, a public holiday.[79]

Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081)
Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007.

The political system of the Second Republic is based on the constitution of 1920 and 1929, which was reintroduced in 1945. The system came to be characterised by Proporz, meaning that most posts of political importance were split evenly between members of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) and the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP).[80] Interest group "chambers" with mandatory membership (e.g. for workers, business people, farmers) grew to considerable importance and were usually consulted in the legislative process, so hardly any legislation was passed that did not reflect widespread consensus.[81]

Since 1945, governing via a single-party government has occurred twice: 1966–1970 (ÖVP) and 1970–1983 (SPÖ). During all other legislative periods, either a grand coalition of SPÖ and ÖVP or a "small coalition" (one of these two and a smaller party) ruled the country.

Kurt Waldheim, a Wehrmacht officer in the Second World War accused of war crimes, was elected President of Austria from 1986 to 1992.[82]

Following a referendum in 1994, at which consent reached a majority of two-thirds, the country became a member of the European Union on 1 January 1995.[83]

The major parties SPÖ and ÖVP have contrary opinions about the future status of Austria's military nonalignment: While the SPÖ in public supports a neutral role, the ÖVP argues for stronger integration into the EU's security policy; even a future NATO membership is not ruled out by some ÖVP politicians (ex. Dr Werner Fasslabend (OVP) in 1997). In reality, Austria is taking part in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, participates in peacekeeping and peace creating tasks, and has become a member of NATO's "Partnership for Peace"; the constitution has been amended accordingly. Since Liechtenstein joined the Schengen Area in 2011, none of Austria's neighbouring countries performs border controls towards it anymore.

Politics

Wien - Hofburg, Leopoldinischer Trakt
The Leopoldine Wing of Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna, home to the offices of the Austrian president.

The Parliament of Austria is located in Vienna, the country's largest city and capital. Austria became a federal, representative democratic republic through the Federal Constitution of 1920. The political system of the Second Republic with its nine states is based on the constitution of 1920, amended in 1929, which was reenacted on 1 May 1945.[84]

The head of state is the Federal President (Bundespräsident), who is directly elected by popular vote. The chairman of the Federal Government is the Federal Chancellor, who is appointed by the President. The government can be removed from office by either a presidential decree or by vote of no confidence in the lower chamber of parliament, the Nationalrat. Voting for the Federal President and for the Parliament used to be compulsory in Austria, but this was abolished in steps from 1982 to 2004.[85]

The Parliament of Austria consists of two chambers. The composition of the Nationalrat (183 seats) is determined every five years (or whenever the Nationalrat has been dissolved by the federal president on a motion by the federal chancellor, or by Nationalrat itself) by a general election in which every citizen over 16 years (since 2007) has voting rights. While there is a general threshold of 4% for all parties at federal elections (Nationalratswahlen), there remains the possibility to gain a direct seat, or Direktmandat, in one of the 43 regional election districts.

The Nationalrat is the dominant chamber in the formation of legislation in Austria. However, the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has a limited right of veto (the Nationalrat can—in almost all cases—ultimately pass the respective bill by voting a second time. This is referred to as 'Beharrungsbeschluss, lit. "vote of persistence"). A convention, called the Österreich -Konvent[86] was convened on 30 June 2003 to decide upon suggestions to reform the constitution, but failed to produce a proposal that would receive the two-thirds of votes in the Nationalrat necessary for constitutional amendments and/or reform.

With legislative and executive, the courts are the third column of Austrian state powers. Notably the Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) may exert considerable influence on the political system by ruling out laws and ordinances not in compliance with the constitution. Since 1995, the European Court of Justice may overrule Austrian decisions in all matters defined in laws of the European Union. Austria also implements the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, since the European Convention on Human Rights is part of the Austrian constitution.

Since 2006

Wien - Bundeskanzleramt1
Federal Chancellery on Ballhausplatz.

After general elections held in October 2006, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) emerged as the strongest party, and the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) came in second, having lost about 8% of its previous polling.[87][88] Political realities prohibited any of the two major parties from forming a coalition with smaller parties. In January 2007 the People's Party and SPÖ formed a grand coalition with the social democrat Alfred Gusenbauer as Chancellor. This coalition broke up in June 2008.

Elections in September 2008 further weakened both major parties (SPÖ and ÖVP) but together they still held 70% of the votes, with the Social Democrats holding slightly more than the other party. They formed a coalition with Werner Faymann from the Social Democrats as Chancellor. The Green Party came in third with 11% of the vote. The FPÖ and the deceased Jörg Haider's new party Alliance for the Future of Austria, both on the political right, were strengthened during the election but taken together received less than 20% of the vote.

In the legislative elections of 2013, the Social Democratic Party received 27% of the vote and 52 seats; People's Party 24% and 47 seats, thus controlling together the majority of the seats. The Freedom Party received 40 seats and 21% of the votes, while the Greens received 12% and 24 seats. Two new parties, Stronach and the NEOS, received less than 10% of the vote, and 11 and nine seats respectively.

After the Grand Coalition broke in Spring 2017 a snap election was proclaimed for October 2017. The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) with its new young leader Sebastian Kurz emerged as the largest party in the National Council, winning 31.5% of votes and 62 of the 183 seats. The Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) finished second with 52 seats and 26.9% votes, slightly ahead of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), which received 51 seats and 26%. NEOS finished fourth with 10 seats (5.3 percent of votes), and PILZ (which split from the Green Party at the start of the campaign) entered parliament for the first time and came in fifth place with 8 seats and 4.4% The Green Party failed with 3.8% to cross the 4% threshold and was ejected from parliament, losing all of its 24 seats. The ÖVP has decided to form a coalation with the FPÖ, the new government between the center-right wing and the right-wing populist party under the new chancellor Sebastian Kurz was sworn in on 18 December 2017.

Foreign relations

Inauguration EYE2014 Parlement européen Strasbourg 9 mai 2014
The European Parliament: Austria is one of the 28 EU members.

The 1955 Austrian State Treaty ended the occupation of Austria following World War II and recognised Austria as an independent and sovereign state. On 26 October 1955, the Federal Assembly passed a constitutional article in which "Austria declares of her own free will her perpetual neutrality". The second section of this law stated that "in all future times Austria will not join any military alliances and will not permit the establishment of any foreign military bases on her territory". Since then, Austria has shaped its foreign policy on the basis of neutrality, but rather different from the neutrality of Switzerland.

Austria began to reassess its definition of neutrality following the fall of the Soviet Union, granting overflight rights for the UN-sanctioned action against Iraq in 1991, and since 1995, it has developed participation in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. Also in 1995, it joined NATO's Partnership for Peace and subsequently participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia. Meanwhile, the only part of the Constitutional Law on Neutrality of 1955 still fully valid is not to allow foreign military bases in Austria.

Austria attaches great importance to participation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other international economic organisations, and it has played an active role in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As an OSCE-participating State, Austria's international commitments are subject to monitoring under the mandate of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.

Military

The manpower of the Austrian Armed Forces (German: Bundesheer) mainly relies on conscription. All males who have reached the age of eighteen and are found fit have to serve a six months compulsory military service, followed by an eight-year reserve obligation. Both males and females at the age of sixteen are eligible for voluntary service.[9] Conscientious objection is legally acceptable and those who claim this right are obliged to serve an institutionalised nine months civilian service instead. Since 1998, women volunteers have been allowed to become professional soldiers.

The main sectors of the Bundesheer are Joint Forces (Streitkräfteführungskommando, SKFüKdo) which consist of Land Forces (Landstreitkräfte), Air Forces (Luftstreitkräfte), International Missions (Internationale Einsätze) and Special Forces (Spezialeinsatzkräfte), next to Joint Mission Support Command (Kommando Einsatzunterstützung; KdoEU) and Joint Command Support Centre (Führungsunterstützungszentrum; FüUZ). Austria is a landlocked country and has no navy.

Branches of the Austrian Armed Forces
Leopard 2A4 Austria 4
Austrian Army
Leopard 2 main battle tank
Eurofighter Typhoon AUT
Austrian Air Force
Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft

In 2012, Austria's defence expenditures corresponded to approximately 0.8% of its GDP. The Army currently has about 26,000[89] soldiers, of whom about 12,000 are conscripts. As head of state, Austrian President is nominally the Commander-in-Chief of the Bundesheer. Command of the Austrian Armed Forces is exercised by the Minister of Defence, as of March 2018: Mario Kunasek.

Since the end of the Cold War, and more importantly the removal of the former heavily guarded "Iron Curtain" separating Austria and its Eastern Bloc neighbours (Hungary and former Czechoslovakia), the Austrian military has been assisting Austrian border guards in trying to prevent border crossings by illegal immigrants. This assistance came to an end when Hungary and Slovakia joined the EU Schengen Area in 2008, for all intents and purposes abolishing "internal" border controls between treaty states. Some politicians have called for a prolongation of this mission, but the legality of this is heavily disputed. In accordance with the Austrian constitution, armed forces may only be deployed in a limited number of cases, mainly to defend the country and aid in cases of national emergency, such as in the wake of natural disasters.[90] They may generally not be used as auxiliary police forces.

Within its self-declared status of permanent neutrality, Austria has a long and proud tradition of engaging in UN-led peacekeeping and other humanitarian missions. The Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit (AFDRU), in particular, an all-volunteer unit with close ties to civilian specialists (e.g. rescue dog handlers) enjoys a reputation as a quick (standard deployment time is 10 hours) and efficient SAR unit. Currently, larger contingents of Austrian forces are deployed in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Administrative divisions

As a federal republic, Austria is divided into nine states (German: Bundesländer).[9] These states are then divided into districts (Bezirke) and statutory cities (Statutarstädte). Districts are subdivided into municipalities (Gemeinden). Statutory Cities have the competencies otherwise granted to both districts and municipalities. The states are not mere administrative divisions but have some legislative authority distinct from the federal government, e.g. in matters of culture, social care, youth and nature protection, hunting, building, and zoning ordinances. In recent years, it has been discussed whether today it is appropriate for a small country to maintain ten parliaments.

Austria location map
State Capital Area
(sq km)
Population
(1 January. 2017)
Density km2 GDP (euro)
(2012 Eurostat)
GDP per capita
Burgenland Eisenstadt 3,965 291,942 73.6 7.311 bn 25,600
Carinthia Klagenfurt 9,536 561,077 58.8 17.62 bn 31,700
Lower Austria Sankt Pölten 19,178 1,665,753 86.9 49.75 bn 30,800
Salzburg Salzburg 7,154 549,263 76.8 23.585 bn 44,500
Styria Graz 16,401 1,237,298 75.4 40.696 bn 33,600
Tyrol Innsbruck 12,648 746,153 59.0 28.052 bn 39,400
Upper Austria Linz 11,982 1,465,045 122.3 53.863 bn 38,000
Vienna 415 1,867,582 4.500 81.772 bn 47,300
Vorarlberg Bregenz 2,601 388,752 149.5 14.463 bn 38,900
[91][92]

Corrections system

The Ministry in charge of the Austrian corrections system is the Ministry of Justice.[93] The Ministry of Justice is based out of the UK and is supported through multiple European countries.[93] The head of the prison administration falls under the title of Director General.[93] The current Director General is Christian Schnattler. The total prison population rate as of July 2017 is 8,290 people, and that does not include an additional 719 people in psychiatric care and home arrest.[93] The prison population rate per 100,000 of national population is 94. The prison population rate has been fairly steady since 2010. The population percentages of the prison system is broken down into 4 categories with the percentages being from July 2017. The categories are pre-trial detainees, female prisoners, juvenile prisoners, and foreign prisoners. Pre-trial detainees make up 23.6%, female prisoners make up 5.7%, juveniles make up 1.4%, and foreign prisoners make up 54.2% of the prison system.[93] The Austrian corrections system consists of 27 institutions, with an official capacity of 8,738 people. As reported in July 2017 they are currently at 94.9% maximum capacity(“Austria.”). The population percentage for Austria's prison system has had very little fluctuation since 2010. Since 2000 the population has risen over 2,000 and has stayed pretty well stabilized at over 8,000.[93] Austria is ranked number 105 in prison pollution in the world("Highest to Lowest - Occupancy level (based on official capacity)”).

Geography

Austria is a largely mountainous country due to its location in the Alps.[94] The Central Eastern Alps, Northern Limestone Alps and Southern Limestone Alps are all partly in Austria. Of the total area of Austria (84,000 km2 or 32,433 sq mi), only about a quarter can be considered low lying, and only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft). The Alps of western Austria give way somewhat into low lands and plains in the eastern part of the country.

Austria lies between latitudes 46° and 49° N, and longitudes and 18° E.

It can be divided into five areas, the biggest being the Eastern Alps, which constitute 62% of the nation's total area. The Austrian foothills at the base of the Alps and the Carpathians account for around 12% and the foothills in the east and areas surrounding the periphery of the Pannoni low country amount to about 12% of the total landmass. The second greater mountain area (much lower than the Alps) is situated in the north. Known as the Austrian granite plateau, it is located in the central area of the Bohemian Mass and accounts for 10% of Austria. The Austrian portion of the Vienna basin comprises the remaining 4%.

Oesterreich topo
A topographic map of Austria showing cities with over 100,000 inhabitants.

The six highest mountains in Austria are:

Name Height Range
1 Großglockner 3,798 m High Tauern
2 Wildspitze 3,772 m Ötztal Alps
3 Kleinglockner 3,770 m High Tauern
4 Weißkugel 3,739 m Ötztal Alps
5 Pöschlturm 3,721 m High Tauern
6 Hörtnagelturm 3,719 m High Tauern

Phytogeographically, Austria belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Austria can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, Alps conifer and mixed forests and Western European broadleaf forests.

1 hallstatt austria

View of Hallstatt

Krems and mautern from ferdinandswarte

View of Krems at the end of Wachau valley

Vorderhopfreben Üntschenspitze 1

Austrian rural area of Schoppernau in summer

Heiligenblut kirche2

View of the Großglockner from Heiligenblut

Climate

The greater part of Austria lies in the cool/temperate climate zone, where humid westerly winds predominate. With nearly three-quarters of the country dominated by the Alps, the alpine climate is predominant. In the east—in the Pannonian Plain and along the Danube valley—the climate shows continental features with less rain than the alpine areas. Although Austria is cold in the winter (−10 to 0 °C), summer temperatures can be relatively high,[96] with average temperatures in the mid-20s and a highest temperature of 40.5 °C (105 °F) in August 2013.[97]

According to the Köppen Climate Classification Austria has the following climate types: Oceanic (Cfb), Cool/Warm-summer humid continental (Dfb), Subarctic/Subalpine (Dfc), Tundra/Alpine (ET) and Ice-Cap (EF). It is important to note though that Austria may experience very cold, severe winters, but most of the time they are only around as cold as those in somewhat comparable climate zones, for example Southern Scandinavia or Eastern Europe. As well, at higher altitudes, summers are usually considerably cooler than in the valleys/lower altitudes. The subarctic and tundra climates seen around the Alps are much warmer in winter than what is normal elsewhere due in part to the Oceanic influence on this part of Europe.[97][98][99]

Economy

Austria consistently ranks high in terms of GDP per capita,[100] due to its highly industrialized economy, and well-developed social market economy. Until the 1980s, many of Austria's largest industry firms were nationalised; in recent years, however, privatisation has reduced state holdings to a level comparable to other European economies. Labour movements are particularly influential, exercising large influence on labour politics and decisions related to the expansion of the economy. Next to a highly developed industry, international tourism is the most important part of the economy of Austria.

Germany has historically been the main trading partner of Austria, making it vulnerable to rapid changes in the German economy. Since Austria became a member state of the European Union, it has gained closer ties to other EU economies, reducing its economic dependence on Germany. In addition, membership of the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market and proximity to the aspiring economies of the European Union. Growth in GDP reached 3.3% in 2006.[101] At least 67% of Austria's imports come from other European Union member states.[102]

BlueEurozone
Austria is part of a monetary union, the eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market.

Austria indicated on 16 November 2010 that it would withhold the December installment of its contribution to the EU bailout of Greece, citing the material worsening of the Greek debt situation and the apparent inability of Greece to collect the level of tax receipts it had previously promised.[103]

The Financial crisis of 2007–2008 dented the economy of Austria in other ways as well. It caused, for example, the Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International to be purchased in December 2009 by the government for 1 euro owing to credit difficulties, thus wiping out the €1.63bn of BayernLB. As of February 2014, the HGAA situation was unresolved,[104] causing Chancellor Werner Faymann to warn that its failure would be comparable to the 1931 Creditanstalt event.[105]

Since the fall of communism, Austrian companies have been quite active players and consolidators in Eastern Europe. Between 1995 and 2010, 4,868 mergers and acquisitions with a total known value of 163 bil. EUR with the involvement of Austrian firms have been announced.[106] The largest transactions with involvement of Austrian companies[107] have been: the acquisition of Bank Austria by Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank for 7.8 billion EUR in 2000, the acquisition of Porsche Holding Salzburg by Volkswagen Group for 3.6 billion EUR in 2009,[108] and the acquisition of Banca Comercială Română by Erste Group for 3.7 bil. EUR in 2005.[109]

Tourism in Austria accounts for almost 9% of its gross domestic product.[110] In 2007, Austria ranked 9th worldwide in international tourism receipts, with 18.9 billion US$.[111] In international tourist arrivals, Austria ranked 12th with 20.8 million tourists.[111]

Infrastructure

In 1972, the country began construction of a nuclear-powered electricity-generation station at Zwentendorf on the River Danube, following a unanimous vote in parliament. However, in 1978, a referendum voted approximately 50.5% against nuclear power, 49.5% for,[112] and parliament subsequently unanimously passed a law forbidding the use of nuclear power to generate electricity although the nuclear power plant was already finished.

Austria currently produces more than half of its electricity by hydropower.[113] Together with other renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass powerplants, the electricity supply from renewable energy amounts to 62.89%[114] of total use in Austria, with the rest being produced by gas and oil power plants.

Austria A2 moedling

The eight-lane A2 Süd Autobahn motorway, between the exits Wiener Neudorf and Mödling/SCS

GuentherZ 2001 Schiff in Wien IMG0064

Passenger ship on Danube River

Demographics

AuVorarlberg5
Children in Austria, near Au, Vorarlberg
Foreign-born population (2014)[115]
Country Pop.
 Germany 210,735
 Turkey 159,958
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 155,050
 Serbia 132,553
 Romania 79,264
 Poland 66,802
 Hungary 55,038
 Czech Republic 40,833
 Croatia 39,782
 Slovakia 32,633
 Russia 30,249
 Italy 27,720
 Macedonia 22,430
 Slovenia 19,663
 Bulgaria 18,481
United Nations Other countries 323,433

Austria's population was estimated to be nearly 9 million (8.83) in 2018 by the Statistik Austria.[116] The population of the capital, Vienna, exceeds 1.8 million[117] (2.6 million, including the suburbs), representing about a quarter of the country's population. It is known for its cultural offerings and high standard of living.

Vienna is by far the country's largest city. Graz is second in size, with 265,778 inhabitants, followed by Linz (191,501), Salzburg (145,871), and Innsbruck (122,458). All other cities have fewer than 100,000 inhabitants.

According to Eurostat, in 2010 there were 1.27 million foreign-born residents in Austria, corresponding to 15.2% of the total population. Of these, 764,000 (9.1%) were born outside the EU and 512,000 (6.1%) were born in another EU Member State.[118]

Statistik Austria estimated in 2011 that 81% or 6.75 million residents[119] had no migration background and more than 19% or 1.6 million inhabitants[119] had at least one or more parents of migration background. There are more than 415,000 descendants of foreign-born immigrants[119] residing in Austria, the great majority of whom have been naturalised.

185,592 Turks[119] (including a minority of Turkish Kurds) make up the second biggest single ethnic minority in Austria after Germans (2.5%), representing 2.2% of the total population.

13,000 Turks were naturalised in 2003 and an unknown number have arrived in Austria at the same time. While 2,000 Turks left Austria in the same year, 10,000 immigrated to the country, confirming a strong trend of growth.[120] Together, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Slovenes make up about 5.1% of Austria's total population.

The total fertility rate (TFR) in 2013 was estimated at 1.42 children born per woman,[121] which is lower than the replacement rate of 2.1. In 2015, 42.1% of births were to unmarried women.[122] The life expectancy in 2016 was estimated at 81.5 years (78.9 years male, 84.3 years female).[123]

COB data Austria
The birthplaces of foreign-born naturalised residents of Austria

Language

Standard Austrian German is Austria's official language, though used primarily just in education, publications, announcements and websites. It is mostly identical to the Standard German of Germany but with some vocabulary differences. This Standard German language is used in formal contexts across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well as among those with significant German-speaking minorities: Italy, Belgium and Denmark. However, the common spoken language of Austria is not the Standard German taught in schools but Austro-Bavarian: a group of Upper German local dialects with varying degrees of difficulty being understood by each other as well as by speakers of non-Austrian German dialects. Taken as a collective whole, German languages or dialects are thus spoken natively by 88.6% of the population, which includes the 2.5% German-born citizens who reside in Austria, followed by Turkish (2.28%), Serbian (2.21%), Croatian (1.63%), English (0.73%), Hungarian (0.51%), Bosnian (0.43%), Polish (0.35%), Albanian (0.35%), Slovenian (0.31%), Czech (0.22%), Arabic (0.22%), and Romanian (0.21%).[10]

Continental West Germanic languages
The national and regional standard varieties of the German language

The Austrian federal states of Carinthia and Styria are home to a significant indigenous Slovene-speaking minority while in the easternmost state, Burgenland (formerly part of the Hungarian portion of Austria–Hungary), there are significant Hungarian- and Croatian-speaking minorities. Of the remaining number of Austria's people that are of non-Austrian descent, many come from surrounding countries, especially from the former East Bloc nations. Guest workers (Gastarbeiter) and their descendants, as well as refugees from the Yugoslav wars and other conflicts, also form an important minority group in Austria. Since 1994 the RomaSinti (gypsies) have been an officially recognised ethnic minority in Austria.

According to census information published by Statistik Austria for 2001[10] there were a total of 710,926 foreign nationals living in Austria. Of these, the largest by far are 283,334 foreign nationals from the former Yugoslavia (of whom 135,336 speak Serbian; 105,487 Croatian; 31,591 Bosnian – i.e. 272,414 Austrian resident native speakers in total, plus 6,902 Slovenian and 4,018 Macedonian speakers).

The second largest population of linguistic and ethnic groups are the Turks (including minority of Kurds) with a number of 200,000 to 300,000 who currently live in Austria. The Turks and the Kurds are the largest single immigrant group in Austria,[124] closely followed by the Serbs.[125]

The next largest population of linguistic and ethnic groups are the 124,392 who speak German as their mother tongue even though they hail from outside of Austria (mainly immigrants from Germany, some from Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, Romania, or the former Soviet Union); 123,417 English; 24,446 Albanian; 17,899 Polish; 14,699 Hungarian; 12,216 Romanian; 10,000 Malayali; 7,982 Arabic; 6,891 Slovak; 6,707 Czech; 5,916 Persian; 5,677 Italian; 5,466 Russian; 5,213 French; 4,938 Chinese; 4,264 Spanish; 3,503 Bulgarian. The numbers for other languages fall off sharply below 3,000.

In 2006, some of the Austrian states introduced standardised tests for new citizens, to assure their language ability, cultural knowledge and accordingly their ability to integrate into the Austrian society.[126] For the national rules, see Austrian nationality law – Naturalisation.

Ethnic groups

Oberwart - Felsőőr
Bilingual sign of Oberwart (in Hungarian Felsőőr) in Burgenland.

Historically Austrians were regarded as ethnic Germans and viewed themselves as such, although this national identity was challenged by Austrian nationalism in the decades after the end of World War I and even more so after World War II.[127][128][129] Austria was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until its ending in 1806 and had been part of the German Confederation, a loose association of 39 separate German-speaking countries, until the Austro-Prussian war in 1866, which resulted in the exclusion of Austria from the German Confederation and the creation of the North German Confederation led by Prussia. In 1871, Germany was founded as a nation-state, Austria was not a part of it. After World War I and the breakup of the Austrian monarchy, politicians of the new republic declared its name to be "Deutschösterreich" (Republic of German-Austria) and that it was part of the German Republic. A unification of the two countries was forbidden by the treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye as one of the conditions imposed by the victorious Allies of World War I upon the vanquished nation, to prevent the creation of a territorially extensive German state. After the events of World War II and Nazism, Austria as a country has made efforts to develop an Austrian national identity among its populace, and nowadays most do not consider themselves Germans.[130] However, a minority of Austrians still consider themselves to be Germans and advocate for a "Greater Germany", arguing that the historic boundaries of the German people goes beyond the boundaries of modern-day countries, especially Austria and Germany.

Austrians may be described either as a nationality or as a homogeneous Germanic ethnic group,[131] that is closely related to neighboring Germans, Liechtensteiners and German-speaking Swiss.[132] Today 91.1% of the population are regarded as ethnic Austrians.[133]

Serbs form one of the largest ethnic groups in Austria, numbering around 300,000 people.[134][135][136] Historically, Serbian immigrants moved to Austria during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when Vojvodina was under Imperial control. Following World War II the number of Serbs expanded again, and today the community is very large. The Austrian Serbian Society was founded in 1936. Today, Serbs in Austria are mainly found in Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz.

An estimated 13,000 to 40,000 Slovenes in the Austrian state of Carinthia (the Carinthian Slovenes) as well as Croats (around 30,000)[137] and Hungarians in Burgenland were recognised as a minority and have had special rights following the Austrian State Treaty (Staatsvertrag) of 1955.[78] The Slovenes in the Austrian state of Styria (estimated at a number between 1,600 and 5,000) are not recognised as a minority and do not have special rights, although some believe the State Treaty of 27 July 1955 states otherwise.

The right for bilingual topographic signs for the regions where Slovene and Croat Austrians live alongside the German-speaking population (as required by the 1955 State Treaty) is still to be fully implemented in the view of some, while others believe that the treaty-derived obligations have been met (see below). Many Carinthians are afraid of Slovenian territorial claims, pointing to the fact that Yugoslav troops entered the state after each of the two World Wars and considering that some official Slovenian atlases show parts of Carinthia as Slovene cultural territory. The recently deceased governor, Jörg Haider, has made this fact a matter of public argument in autumn 2005 by refusing to increase the number of bilingual topographic signs in Carinthia. A poll by the Kärntner Humaninstitut conducted in January 2006 states that 65% of Carinthians are not in favour of an increase of bilingual topographic signs, since the original requirements set by the State Treaty of 1955 have already been fulfilled according to their point of view.

Another interesting phenomenon is the so-called "Windischen-Theorie" stating that the Slovenes can be split in two groups: actual Slovenes and Windische (a traditional German name for Slavs), based on differences in language between Austrian Slovenes, who were taught Slovene standard language in school and those Slovenes who spoke their local Slovene dialect but went to German schools. The term Windische was applied to the latter group as a means of distinction. This politically influenced theory, dividing Slovene Austrians into the "loyal Windische" and the "national Slovenes", was never generally accepted and fell out of use some decades ago.

Religion

Religion in Austria (2017)[138][139][140]

  Catholic Church (56.9%)
  Protestantism (3.3%)
  Islam (8%)
  Buddhism (0.3%)
  None or other (22.7%)

In 2001, about 74% of Austria's population were registered as Roman Catholic,[141] while about 5% considered themselves Protestants.[141] Austrian Christians, both Catholic and Protestant,[142] are obliged to pay a mandatory membership fee (calculated by income—about 1%) to their church; this payment is called "Kirchenbeitrag" ("Ecclesiastical/Church contribution"). Since the second half of the 20th century, the number of adherents and churchgoers has declined. Data for 2018 from the Austrian Roman Catholic Church list 5,050,000 members, or 56.9% of the total Austrian population. Sunday church attendance was 605,828 or 7% of the total Austrian population in 2015.[143] The Lutheran church also recorded a loss of 74,421 adherents between 2001 and 2016.

The 2001 census report indicated that about 12% of the population declared that they have no religion;[141] according to ecclesiastical information this share had grown to 20% by 2015.[144] Of the remaining people, around 340,000 were registered as members of various Muslim communities in 2001, mainly due to the influx from Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.[141] The number of Muslims has doubled in 15 years to 700,000 in 2016.[145] About 180,000 are members of Orthodox Churches (mostly Serbs), about 21,000 people are active Jehovah's Witnesses[146] and about 8,100 are Jewish.[141]

Mariazell Basilika 3
The Basilica of Mariazell is Austria's most popular pilgrimage site

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2010,[147]

  • 44% of Austrian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
  • 38% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 12% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".

Education

Melk Stift Altstadt
Stiftsgymnasium Melk is the oldest Austrian school

Education in Austria is entrusted partly to the Austrian states (Bundesländer) and partly to the federal government. School attendance is compulsory for nine years, i.e. usually to the age of fifteen.

Pre-school education (called Kindergarten in German), free in most states, is provided for all children between the ages of three and six years and, whilst optional, is considered a normal part of a child's education due to its high takeup rate. Maximum class size is around 30, each class normally being cared for by one qualified teacher and one assistant.

Primary education, or Volksschule, lasts for four years, starting at age six. The maximum class size is 30, but may be as low as 15. It is generally expected that a class will be taught by one teacher for the entire four years and the stable bond between teacher and pupil is considered important for a child's well-being. The 3Rs (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) dominate lesson time, with less time allotted to project work than in the UK. Children work individually and all members of a class follow the same plan of work. There is no streaming.

Standard attendance times are 8 am to 12 pm or 1 pm, with hourly five- or ten-minute breaks. Children are given homework daily from the first year. Historically there has been no lunch hour, with children returning home to eat. However, due to a rise in the number of mothers in work, primary schools are increasingly offering pre-lesson and afternoon care.

As in Germany, secondary education consists of two main types of schools, attendance at which is based on a pupil's ability as determined by grades from the primary school. The Gymnasium caters for the more able children, in the final year of which the Matura examination is taken, which is a requirement for access to university. The Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education but also for various types of further education (Höhere Technische Lehranstalt HTL = institution of higher technical education; HAK = commercial academy; HBLA = institution of higher education for economic business; etc.). Attendance at one of these further education institutes also leads to the Matura. Some schools aim to combine the education available at the Gymnasium and the Hauptschule, and are known as Gesamtschulen. In addition, a recognition of the importance of learning English has led some Gymnasiums to offer a bilingual stream, in which pupils deemed able in languages follow a modified curriculum, a portion of the lesson time being conducted in English.

As at primary school, lessons at Gymnasium begin at 8 am and continue with short intervals until lunchtime or early afternoon, with children returning home to a late lunch. Older pupils often attend further lessons after a break for lunch, generally eaten at school. As at primary level, all pupils follow the same plan of work. Great emphasis is placed on homework and frequent testing. Satisfactory marks in the end-of-the-year report ("Zeugnis") are a prerequisite for moving up ("aufsteigen") to the next class. Pupils who do not meet the required standard re-sit their tests at the end of the summer holidays; those whose marks are still not satisfactory are required to re-sit the year ("sitzenbleiben").

It is not uncommon for a pupil to re-sit more than one year of school. After completing the first two years, pupils choose between one of two strands, known as "Gymnasium" (slightly more emphasis on arts) or "Realgymnasium" (slightly more emphasis on science). Whilst many schools offer both strands, some do not, and as a result, some children move schools for a second time at age 12. At age 14, pupils may choose to remain in one of these two strands, or to change to a vocational course, possibly with a further change of school.

The Austrian university system had been open to any student who passed the Matura examination until recently. A 2006 bill allowed the introduction of entrance exams for studies such as Medicine. In 2001, an obligatory tuition fee ("Studienbeitrag") of €363.36 per term was introduced for all public universities. There are some non-state exceptions to this, where students can still study for a subsidized education, for example within the campus system of the English Teacher Training College. Since 2008, for all EU students the studies have been free of charge, as long as a certain time-limit is not exceeded (the expected duration of the study plus usually two terms tolerance).[148] When the time-limit is exceeded, the fee of around €363.36 per term is charged. Some further exceptions to the fee apply, e.g. for students with a year's salary of more than about €5000. In all cases, an obligatory fee of €17 is charged for the student union and insurance.

Culture

Music

Austria's past as a European power and its cultural environment generated a broad contribution to various forms of art, most notably among them music. Austria was the birthplace of many famous composers such as Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Sr. and Johann Strauss, Jr. as well as members of the Second Viennese School such as Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Alban Berg. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, then an independent Church Principality of the Holy Roman Empire, which later became part of Austria, and much of Mozart's career was spent in Vienna.

Vienna was for a long time an important centre of musical innovation. 18th- and 19th-century composers were drawn to the city due to the patronage of the Habsburgs, and made Vienna the European capital of classical music. During the Baroque period, Slavic and Hungarian folk forms influenced Austrian music.

StateOperaViennaNightBackside
World-famous Vienna State Opera

Vienna's status began its rise as a cultural centre in the early 16th century, and was focused around instruments, including the lute. Ludwig van Beethoven spent the better part of his life in Vienna. Austria's current national anthem, attributed to Mozart, was chosen after World War II to replace the traditional Austrian anthem by Joseph Haydn.

Austrian Herbert von Karajan was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, and he was a dominant figure in European classical music from the 1960s until his death.[149]

International pop super star Johann Hölzel, also known by his stage name Falco was born in Vienna, Austria 19 February 1957.

Conchita Wurst is also a renowned singer from the Austrian stock.

Art and architecture

Wien - Schloss Belvedere, oberes (1)
The Belvedere Palace, an example of Baroque architecture

Among Austrian Artists and architects one can find the painters Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Rudolf von Alt, Hans Makart, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Carl Moll, and Friedensreich Hundertwasser, the photographers Inge Morath and Ernst Haas, and architects like Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, and Hans Hollein (recipient of the 1985 Pritzker Architecture Prize). Contemporary artist Herbert Brandl.

Cinema and theatre

Sascha Kolowrat was an Austrian pioneer of filmmaking. Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Josef von Sternberg, and Fred Zinnemann originally came from Austria before establishing themselves as internationally relevant movie makers. Willi Forst, Ernst Marischka, or Franz Antel enriched the popular cinema in German language speaking countries. Michael Haneke became internationally known for his disturbing cinematic studies, before receiving a Golden Globe for his critically acclaimed film The White Ribbon in 2010.

The first Austrian film director to receive an Academy Award was Stefan Ruzowitzky. A number of Austrian actors were able to pursue a career, the impact of which was sensed beyond national borders. Among them were Peter Lorre, Helmut Berger, Curd Jürgens, Senta Berger, Oskar Werner, and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Hedy Lamarr and Arnold Schwarzenegger became American as well as international movie stars. The latter also became the 38th Governor of California. Christoph Waltz rose to international fame with his performance in Inglourious Basterds, earning the Best Actor Award at Cannes in 2009, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2010 and finally two Oscars. Max Reinhardt was a master of spectacular and astute theatre productions. Otto Schenk not only excelled as a stage actor, but also as an opera director.

Science and philosophy

Austria was the cradle of numerous scientists with international reputation. Among them are Ludwig Boltzmann, Ernst Mach, Victor Franz Hess and Christian Doppler, prominent scientists in the 19th century. In the 20th century, contributions by Lise Meitner, Erwin Schrödinger and Wolfgang Pauli to nuclear research and quantum mechanics were key to these areas' development during the 1920s and 1930s. A present-day quantum physicist is Anton Zeilinger, noted as the first scientist to demonstrate quantum teleportation.

In addition to physicists, Austria was the birthplace of two of the most noteworthy philosophers of the 20th century, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper. In addition to them, biologists Gregor Mendel and Konrad Lorenz as well as mathematician Kurt Gödel and engineers such as Ferdinand Porsche and Siegfried Marcus were Austrians.

A focus of Austrian science has always been medicine and psychology, starting in medieval times with Paracelsus. Eminent physicians like Theodore Billroth, Clemens von Pirquet, and Anton von Eiselsberg have built upon the achievements of the 19th-century Vienna School of Medicine. Austria was home to Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, Alfred Adler, founder of Individual psychology, psychologists Paul Watzlawick and Hans Asperger, and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

The Austrian School of Economics, which is prominent as one of the main competitive directions for economic theory, is related to Austrian economists Carl Menger, Joseph Schumpeter, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek. Other noteworthy Austrian-born émigrés include the management thinker Peter Drucker, sociologist Paul Felix Lazarsfeld and scientist Sir Gustav Nossal.

Literature

Complementing its status as a land of artists and scientists, Austria has always been a country of poets, writers, and novelists. It was the home of novelists Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Bernhard, and Robert Musil, of poets Georg Trakl, Franz Werfel, Franz Grillparzer, Rainer Maria Rilke, Adalbert Stifter, Karl Kraus and children's author Eva Ibbotson.

Famous contemporary playwrights and novelists are Nobel prize winner Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke and Daniel Kehlmann.

Food and beverages

Austria's cuisine is derived from that of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austrian cuisine is mainly the tradition of Royal-Cuisine ("Hofküche") delivered over centuries. It is famous for its well-balanced variations of beef and pork and countless variations of vegetables. There is also the "Mehlspeisen" Bakery, which created particular delicacies such as Sachertorte, "Krapfen" which are doughnuts usually filled with apricot jam or custard, and "Strudel" such as "Apfelstrudel" filled with apple, "Topfenstrudel" filled with a type of cheese curd called "topfen", and "Millirahmstrudel" (milk-cream strudel).

In addition to native regional traditions, the cuisine has been influenced by Hungarian, Bohemia Czech, Jewish, Italian, Balkan and French cuisine, from which both dishes and methods of food preparation have often been borrowed. The Austrian cuisine is therefore one of the most multicultural and transcultural in Europe.

Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten, Kaiserschmarren, Knödel, Sachertorte and Tafelspitz. There are also Kärntner Kasnudeln, which are pockets of dough filled with Topfen, potatoes, herbs and peppermint which are boiled and served with a butter sauce. Kasnudeln are traditionally served with a salad. Eierschwammerl dishes are also popular. The sugar block dispenser Pez was invented in Austria, as well as Mannerschnitten. Austria is also famous for its Mozartkugeln and its coffee tradition. With over 8 kg per year it has the sixth highest per capita coffee consumption worldwide.[150]

Beer is sold in 0.2 litre (a Pfiff), 0.3 litre (a Seidel, kleines Bier or Glas Bier) and 0.5 litre (a Krügerl or großes Bier or Halbe) measures. At festivals one litre Maß and two litre Doppelmaß in the Bavarian style are also dispensed. The most popular types of beer are lager (known as Märzen in Austria), naturally cloudy Zwicklbier and wheat beer. At holidays like Christmas and Easter bock beer is also available.

The most important wine-producing areas are in Lower Austria, Burgenland, Styria and Vienna. The Grüner Veltliner grape provides some of Austria's most notable white wines[151] and Zweigelt is the most widely planted red wine grape.[152]

In Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia, Most, a type of cider or perry is widely produced.

Schnapps of typically up to 60% alcohol or fruit brandy is drunk, which in Austria is made from a variety of fruits, for example apricots and rowanberries. The produce of small private schnapps distilleries, of which there are around 20,000 in Austria, is known as Selbstgebrannter or Hausbrand.

Local soft drinks such as Almdudler are very popular around the country as an alternative to alcoholic beverages. Another popular drink is the so-called "Spezi", a mix between Coca-Cola and the original formula of Orange Fanta or the more locally renowned Frucade. Red Bull, the highest-selling energy drink in the world, was introduced by Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur.

Sports

Bergisel
Innsbruck hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, as well as the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics, the first in history

Due to the mountainous terrain, alpine skiing is a prominent sport in Austria and is extremely valuable in the promotion and economic growth of the country.[153] Similar sports such as snowboarding or ski-jumping are also widely popular. Austrian athletes such as Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Franz Klammer, Hermann Maier, Toni Sailer, Benjamin Raich, Marlies Schild & Marcel Hirscher are widely regarded as some of the greatest alpine skiers of all time, Armin Kogler, Andreas Felder, Ernst Vettori, Andreas Goldberger, Andreas Widhölzl, Thomas Morgenstern & Gregor Schlierenzauer as some of the greatest ski jumpers of all time. Bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton are also popular events with a permanent track located in Igls, which hosted bobsleigh and luge competitions for the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics held in Innsbruck. The first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012 were held in Innsbruck as well.[154]

Fischer Sports franz-klammer 1976
Ski racer Franz Klammer won a gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck

A popular team sport in Austria is football, which is governed by the Austrian Football Association.[155] Austria was among the most successful football playing nations on the European continent placing 4th at the 1934 FIFA World Cup, 3rd at the 1954 FIFA World Cup and 7th at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. However, recently Austrian football has not been internationally successful. It also co-hosted the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship with Switzerland. The national Austrian football league is the Austrian Bundesliga, which includes teams such as record-champions SK Rapid Wien, FK Austria Wien, Red Bull Salzburg and Sturm Graz.

Besides football, Austria also has professional national leagues for most major team sports, including the Austrian Hockey League for ice hockey, and the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga for basketball. Horseback riding is also popular; the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna is located in Vienna.

Niki Lauda is a former Formula One driver who was three times F1 World Champion, winning in 1975, 1977 and 1984. He is currently the only driver to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren, the sport's two most successful constructors. Other known Austrian F1 drivers are for example Gerhard Berger and Jochen Rindt. Austria also hosts F1 races (Austrian Grand Prix); now held at Red Bull Ring, in the past also at Österreichring and Zeltweg Airfield.

Thomas Muster is a former tennis player and one of the greatest clay courters of all time. He won the 1995 French Open and in 1996 he was ranked number 1 in the ATP Ranking. Other known Austrian tennis players are for example Horst Skoff, Jürgen Melzer and Dominic Thiem.

Sport played a significant role in developing national consciousness and boosting national self-confidence in the early years of the Second Republic after World War II, through events such as the Tour of Austria cycle race and through sporting successes such as the national football team's run to third at the 1954 World Cup and the performances of Toni Sailer and the rest of the "Kitzbühel Miracle Team" in the 1950s.[156][157]

See also

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Bibliography

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  • Johnson, Lonnie (1989). Introducing Austria: a short history. Riverside, Calif.: Ariadne Press. ISBN 978-0-929497-03-7.
  • Rathkolb, Oliver. The Paradoxical Republic: Austria, 1945–2005 (Berghahn Books; 2010, 301 pages). Translation of 2005 study of paradoxical aspects of Austria's political culture and society.
  • Schulze, Hagen (1996). States, nations, and nationalism: from the Middle Ages to the present. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-20933-1.

External links

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Anschluss

Anschluss (German: [ˈʔanʃlʊs] (listen) "joining") refers to the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938. The word's German spelling, until the German orthography reform of 1996, was Anschluß and it was also known as the Anschluss Österreichs (pronunciation , German: Annexation of Austria).

Prior to the Anschluss, there had been strong support from people of all backgrounds – not just Nazis – in both Austria and Germany for a union of the two countries. The desire for a union formed an integral part of the Nazi "Heim ins Reich" movement to bring ethnic Germans outside Nazi Germany into Greater Germany. Earlier, Nazi Germany had provided support for the Austrian National Socialist Party (Austrian Nazi Party) in its bid to seize power from Austria's Fatherland Front government.

The idea of an Anschluss (a united Austria and Germany that would form a "Greater Germany") began after the unification of Germany excluded Austria and the German Austrians from the Prussian-dominated German Empire in 1871. Following the end of World War I with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1918, the newly formed Republic of German-Austria attempted to form a union with Germany, but the Treaty of Saint Germain (10 September 1919) and the Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919) forbade both the union and the continued use of the name "German-Austria" (Deutschösterreich); and stripped Austria of some of its territories, such as the Sudetenland.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este (Franz Ferdinand Carl Ludwig Joseph Maria; 18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was a member of the imperial Habsburg dynasty, and from 1896 until his death the heir presumptive (Thronfolger) to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that resulted in Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I.

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, occurred on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo when they were mortally wounded by Gavrilo Princip. Princip was one of a group of six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosniak) coordinated by Danilo Ilić, a Bosnian Serb and a member of the Black Hand secret society. The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary's South Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia. The assassins' motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as Young Bosnia. The assassination led directly to World War I when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, which was partially rejected. Austria-Hungary then declared war on Serbia, triggering actions leading to war between most European states.

In charge of these Serbian military conspirators was Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence Dragutin Dimitrijević, his right-hand man Major Vojislav Tankosić, and the spy Rade Malobabić. Tankosić armed the assassins with bombs and pistols and trained them. The assassins were given access to the same clandestine network of safe-houses and agents that Malobabić used for the infiltration of weapons and operatives into Austria-Hungary.

The assassins, the key members of the clandestine network, and the key Serbian military conspirators who were still alive were arrested, tried, convicted and punished. Those who were arrested in Bosnia were tried in Sarajevo in October 1914. The other conspirators were arrested and tried before a Serbian court on the French-controlled Salonika Front in 1916–1917 on unrelated false charges; Serbia executed three of the top military conspirators. Much of what is known about the assassinations comes from these two trials and related records.

Austria-Hungary

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe from 1867 to 1918. It was formed by giving a new constitution to the Austrian Empire, which devolved powers on Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) and placed them on an equal footing. It broke apart into several states at the end of World War I.

The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and came into existence on 30 March 1867. Austria-Hungary consisted of two monarchies (Austria and Hungary), and one autonomous region: the Triune Kingdom of Croatia under the Hungarian crown, which negotiated the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement in 1868. It was ruled by the House of Habsburg, and constituted the last phase in the constitutional evolution of the Habsburg Monarchy. Following the 1867 reforms, the Austrian and the Hungarian states were co-equal. Foreign affairs and the military came under joint oversight, but all other governmental faculties were divided between respective states.

Austria-Hungary was a multinational state and one of Europe's major powers at the time. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second-largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, at 621,538 km2 (239,977 sq mi), and the third-most populous (after Russia and the German Empire). The Empire built up the fourth-largest machine building industry of the world, after the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Austria-Hungary also became the world's third largest manufacturer and exporter of electric home appliances, electric industrial appliances and power generation apparatus for power plants, after the United States and the German Empire.After 1878, Bosnia and Herzegovina was under Austro-Hungarian military and civilian rule until it was fully annexed in 1908, provoking the Bosnian crisis among the other powers. The northern part of the Ottoman Sanjak of Novi Pazar was also under de facto joint occupation during that period but the Austro-Hungarian army withdrew as part of their annexation of Bosnia. The annexation of Bosnia also led to Islam being recognized as an official state religion due to Bosnia's Muslim population.Austria-Hungary was one of the Central Powers in World War I which started when it declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia on July 28, 1914. It was already effectively dissolved by the time the military authorities signed the armistice of Villa Giusti on 3 November 1918. The Kingdom of Hungary and the First Austrian Republic were treated as its successors de jure, whereas the independence of the West Slavs and South Slavs of the Empire as the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Second Polish Republic and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, respectively, and most of the territorial demands of the Kingdom of Romania were also recognized by the victorious powers in 1920.

Austrian Empire

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.

Central Powers

The Central Powers (German: Mittelmächte; Hungarian: Központi hatalmak; Turkish: İttifak Devletleri / Bağlaşma Devletleri; Bulgarian: Централни сили, translit. Tsentralni sili), consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria—hence also known as the Quadruple Alliance (German: Vierbund)—was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I (1914–18).

It faced and was defeated by the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente. The Powers' origin was the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1879. Despite having nominally joined the Triple Alliance before, Italy did not take part in World War I on the side of the Central Powers; the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria did not join until after World War I had begun, even though the Ottoman Empire had retained close relations with both Germany and Austria-Hungary since the beginning of the 20th century.

FC Red Bull Salzburg

FC Red Bull Salzburg is an Austrian football club in Wals-Siezenheim. Their home ground is the Red Bull Arena. Due to sponsorship restrictions, the club is known as FC Salzburg and wears a modified crest when playing in UEFA competitions.The club was known as SV Austria Salzburg, and had several sponsored names, before being bought by Red Bull GmbH in 2005 who renamed the club and changed its colours from its traditional violet and white to red and white. The change resulted in some of the team's fans forming a new club, SV Austria Salzburg.

Founded in 1933, and refounded in 2005 as Red Bull Salzburg, the club won its first Bundesliga title in 1994, which was the first of three in the span of four seasons which also saw them reach the 1994 UEFA Cup final. The club has won twelve league titles and five Austrian Cups, all five of which came as doubles.

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor

Francis II (German: Franz; 12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation 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 one and only Doppelkaiser (double emperor) 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.

Francis II continued his leading role as an opponent of Napoleonic France in the Napoleonic Wars, and suffered several more defeats after Austerlitz. The proxy marriage of state of his daughter Marie Louise of Austria to Napoleon on 10 March 1810 was arguably his severest personal defeat. After the abdication of Napoleon following the War of the Sixth Coalition, Austria participated as a leading member of the Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna, which was largely dominated by Francis's chancellor Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich culminating in a new European map and the restoration of Francis's ancient dominions (except the Holy Roman Empire which was dissolved). Due to the establishment of the Concert of Europe, which largely resisted popular nationalist and liberal tendencies, Francis became viewed as a reactionary later in his reign.

Franz Joseph I of Austria

Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I (Franz Joseph Karl; 18 August 1830 – 21 November 1916) was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and monarch of many other states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 2 December 1848 to 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 third-longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history, after Louis XIV of France and Johann II of Liechtenstein.In December 1848, Emperor Ferdinand abdicated the throne at Olomouc, as part of Minister President Felix zu Schwarzenberg's plan to end the Revolutions of 1848 in Hungary. This allowed Ferdinand's nephew Franz Joseph to accede to the throne. Largely considered to be a reactionary, Franz Joseph spent his early reign resisting constitutionalism in his domains. The Austrian Empire was forced to cede its influence over Tuscany and most of its claim to Lombardy–Venetia to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, following the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 and the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866. Although Franz Joseph ceded no territory to the Kingdom of Prussia after the Austrian defeat in the Austro-Prussian War, the Peace of Prague (23 August 1866) settled the German Question in favour of Prussia, which prevented the Unification of Germany from occurring under the House of Habsburg.Franz Joseph was troubled by nationalism during his entire reign. He concluded the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, which granted greater autonomy to Hungary and transformed the Austrian Empire into the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. He ruled peacefully for the next 45 years, but personally suffered the tragedies of the execution of his brother, the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico in 1867, the suicide of his only son and heir, Crown Prince Rudolf, in 1889, and the assassination of his wife, Empress Elisabeth, in 1898.

After the Austro-Prussian War, Austria-Hungary turned its attention to the Balkans, which was a hotspot of international tension because of conflicting interests with the Russian Empire. The Bosnian Crisis was a result of Franz Joseph's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, which had been occupied by his troops since the Congress of Berlin (1878).

On 28 June 1914, the assassination of his nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo resulted in Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which was Russia's ally. That activated a system of alliances which resulted in World War I.

Franz Joseph died on 21 November 1916, after ruling his domains for almost 68 years as one of the longest-reigning monarchs in modern history. He was succeeded by his grandnephew Charles.

Fucking, Austria

Fucking (German: [ˈfʊkɪŋ] (listen)) is an Austrian village in the municipality of Tarsdorf, located in the Innviertel region of western Upper Austria. The village is 33 kilometres (21 mi) north of Salzburg, and is 4 km (2.5 mi) east of the Inn river, which forms the German border.

Despite having a population of only 104 in 2005, the village has drawn attention in the English-speaking world for its place-name, which is spelled the same as the English profanity "fuck". Its road signs are a popular visitor attraction, and they were often stolen by souvenir-hunting vandals until 2005, when the signs were modified to be theft-resistant.

Habsburg Monarchy

The Habsburg Monarchy (German: Habsburgermonarchie) – also Habsburg Empire, Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy – is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1526 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Monarchy was a typical composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. (The dynastic composite states were the most common / dominant form of states on the European continent in the early modern era.) The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The head of the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg was often elected Holy Roman Emperor: from 1452 until the Empire's dissolution in 1806, Charles VII of Bavaria (1742–1745) was the only Holy Roman Emperor who was not Habsburg ruler of Austria. The two entities were never coterminous, as the Habsburg Monarchy covered many lands beyond the Holy Roman Empire, and most of the Empire was ruled by other dynasties.

This Austrian Habsburg Monarchy must not be confused with the House of Habsburg, existing since the 11th century, whose vast domains were split up in 1521 between this "junior" Austrian branch and the "senior" Spanish branch.

House of Habsburg

The House of Habsburg (; German: [ˈhaːpsbʊɐ̯k]; traditionally spelled Hapsburg in English), also called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Portugal, and Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.

The House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.

By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, and the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was truly entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918.

A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy, Spain and its colonial empire, Bohemia, Hungary, and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty.

The House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. The remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, and completely in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria. It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen), and because it was often confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name (example: Otto von Habsburg).

The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, and its industrial base was thin. Its naval resources were so minimal that it did not attempt to build an overseas empire. It did have the advantage of good diplomats, typified by Metternich (1773–1859); they had a grand strategy for survival that kept the empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.

Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (German: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.

She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it. He neglected the advice of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who averred that a strong military and a rich treasury were more important than mere signatures. Eventually, he left behind a weakened and impoverished state, particularly due to the War of the Polish Succession and the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739). Moreover, upon his death, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime. Frederick II of Prussia (who became Maria Theresa's greatest rival for most of her reign) promptly invaded and took the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia in the seven-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession. In defiance of the grave situation, she managed to secure the vital support of the Hungarians for the war effort. Over the course of the war, despite the loss of Silesia and a few minor territories in Italy, Maria Theresa successfully defended her rule over most of the Habsburg empire. Maria Theresa later unsuccessfully tried to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years' War.

Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, had eleven daughters, including the Queen of France, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Duchess of Parma, and five sons, including two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II and Leopold II. Of the sixteen children, ten survived to adulthood. Though she was expected to cede power to Francis and Joseph, both of whom were officially her co-rulers in Austria and Bohemia, Maria Theresa was the absolute sovereign who ruled with the counsel of her advisers.

Maria Theresa promulgated institutional, financial and educational reforms, with the assistance of Wenzel Anton of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz and Gerard van Swieten. She also promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganised Austria's ramshackle military, all of which strengthened Austria's international standing. However, she despised the Jews and the Protestants, and on certain occasions she ordered their expulsion to remote parts of the realm. She also advocated for the state church and refused to allow religious pluralism. Consequently, her regime was criticized as intolerant by some contemporaries.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (; French: [maʁi ɑ̃twanɛt]; born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.

After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to Marie Thérèse, the first of her four children. A growing percentage of the population came to dislike her, accusing her of being profligate and promiscuous and of harboring sympathies for France's enemies, particularly her native Austria. The Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker.

Several events were linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison on 13 August. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. Her trial began on 14 October 1793, and two days later Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution.

Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp complex

The Mauthausen–Gusen concentration camp complex consisted of the Mauthausen concentration camp on a hill above the market town of Mauthausen (roughly 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Linz, Upper Austria) plus a group of nearly 100 further subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany. The three Gusen concentration camps in and around the village of St Georgen/Gusen, just a few kilometres from Mauthausen, held a significant proportion of prisoners within the camp complex, at times exceeding the number of prisoners at the Mauthausen main camp.

The Mauthausen main camp operated from the time of the Anschluss, when Austria was annexed into the German Third Reich in 8 August 1938, to 5 May 1945, at the end of the Second World War. Starting with the camp at Mauthausen, the number of subcamps expanded over time and by the summer of 1940 Mauthausen and its subcamps had become one of the largest labour camp complexes in the German-controlled part of Europe. As at other Nazi concentration camps, the inmates at Mauthausen and its subcamps were forced to work as slave labour, under conditions that caused many deaths. Mauthausen and its subcamps included quarries, munitions factories, mines, arms factories and plants assembling Me 262 fighter aircraft. In January 1945, the camps contained roughly 85,000 inmates. The death toll remains unknown, although most sources place it between 122,766 and 320,000 for the entire complex.

Mauthausen was one of the first massive concentration camp complexes in Nazi Germany, and the last to be liberated by the Allies. The two largest camps, Mauthausen and Gusen I, were classed as "Grade III" (Stufe III) concentration camps, which meant that they were intended to be the toughest camps for the "incorrigible political enemies of the Reich". Mauthausen never lost this Stufe III classification. In the offices of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt; RSHA) it was referred to by the nickname Knochenmühle – the bone-grinder (literally bone-mill). Unlike many other concentration camps, which were intended for all categories of prisoners, Mauthausen was mostly used for extermination through labour of the intelligentsia – educated people and members of the higher social classes in countries subjugated by the Nazi regime during World War II. The Mauthausen main camp is now a museum.

Salzburg

Salzburg (German pronunciation: [ˈzaltsbʊɐ̯k] (listen);), literally "salt castle", is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of Federal State of Salzburg.

Its historic centre (Altstadt) is renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps, with 27 churches. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The city has three universities and a large population of students. Tourists also visit Salzburg to tour the historic centre and the scenic Alpine surroundings.

Salzburg was the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the mid‑20th century, the city was the setting for the musical play and film The Sound of Music.

Seven Years' War

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain (including the Kingdom of Prussia, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and other small German states) on one side and the Kingdom of France (including the Austrian-led Holy Roman Empire), the Russian Empire (until 1762), the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal. The war's extent has led some historians to describe it as "World War Zero", similar in scale to other world wars.Although Anglo-French skirmishes over their American colonies had begun with what became the French and Indian War in 1754, the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia from the Prussians. Seeing the opportunity to curtail Britain's and Prussia's ever-growing might, France and Austria put aside their ancient rivalry to form a grand coalition of their own, bringing most of the other European powers to their side. Faced with this sudden turn of events, Britain aligned itself with Prussia, in a series of political manoeuvres known as the Diplomatic Revolution. However, French efforts ended in failure when the Anglo-Prussian coalition prevailed, and Britain's rise as among the world's predominant powers destroyed France's supremacy in Europe, thus altering the European balance of power.

Vienna

Vienna ( (listen); German: Wien, [viːn] (listen)) is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million (2.6 million within the metropolitan area, nearly one third of Austria's population), and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, and then the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, and the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver and San Francisco) for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years (2009–2019), the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world. Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, and sixth globally (out of 256 cities) in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture, infrastructure, and markets. Vienna regularly hosts urban planning conferences and is often used as a case study by urban planners.Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions. It attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year.

World War I

World War I (often abbreviated as WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, and the two moved to a war footing.

A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe. By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France, Russia and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy (the Triple Alliance was primarily defensive in nature, allowing Italy to stay out of the war in 1914). Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; on the 31st, Austria-Hungary and Germany did the same, while Germany demanded Russia demobilise within 12 hours. When Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th; France ordered full mobilisation in support of Russia on 2 August.German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to rapidly concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks, then shift forces to the East before Russia could fully mobilise; this was later known as the Schlieffen Plan. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France. When this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day; the Belgian government invoked the 1839 Treaty of London and in compliance with its obligations under this, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August. On 12 August, Britain and France also declared war on Austria-Hungary; on the 23rd, Japan sided with the Entente, seizing German possessions in China and the Pacific. In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each powers' colonial empires as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe. The Entente and its allies would eventually become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary, Germany and their allies would become known as the Central Powers.

The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917 (the Eastern Front, by contrast, was marked by much greater exchanges of territory). In 1915, Italy joined the Allied Powers and opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans. The United States initially remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade effectively prevented the Germans from doing the same the U.S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies. Eventually, after the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, and the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U.S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but ultimately the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops.Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, and Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918. The 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, and the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive. This offensive was initially successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated, signing the Armistice of Mudros. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, and the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918.

World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural, economic, and social climate of the world. The war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous revolutions and uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, France, the United States, and Italy) imposed their terms on the defeated powers in a series of treaties agreed at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the most well known being the German peace treaty—the Treaty of Versailles. Ultimately, as a result of the war the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires ceased to exist, with numerous new states created from their remains. However, despite the conclusive Allied victory (and the creation of the League of Nations during the Peace Conference, intended to prevent future wars), a Second World War would follow just over twenty years later.

Climate data for Lech, Vorarlberg (1440 m; average temperatures 1982 – 2012) Dfc, bordering on Dfb.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −0.7
(30.7)
0.3
(32.5)
3.5
(38.3)
7.1
(44.8)
11.8
(53.2)
17.4
(63.3)
16.8
(62.2)
14.3
(57.7)
15.1
(59.2)
9.7
(49.5)
3.7
(38.7)
0.1
(32.2)
8.3
(46.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.5
(23.9)
−3.7
(25.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
2.9
(37.2)
7.3
(45.1)
10.6
(51.1)
12.7
(54.9)
12.2
(54.0)
9.9
(49.8)
5.6
(42.1)
0.4
(32.7)
−3.3
(26.1)
4.1
(39.4)
Average low °C (°F) −8.2
(17.2)
−7.6
(18.3)
−4.7
(23.5)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.8
(37.0)
6.0
(42.8)
8.0
(46.4)
7.7
(45.9)
5.6
(42.1)
1.6
(34.9)
−2.9
(26.8)
−6.6
(20.1)
0.0
(32.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 59
(2.3)
54
(2.1)
56
(2.2)
70
(2.8)
103
(4.1)
113
(4.4)
133
(5.2)
136
(5.4)
95
(3.7)
67
(2.6)
78
(3.1)
66
(2.6)
1,030
(40.5)
Source #1: [97]
Source #2: "Lech climate data".
Climate data for Kühtai, Tyrol(2060 m; average temperatures 1982 – 2012) ET, somewhat close to Dfc.
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −3.3
(26.1)
−3.2
(26.2)
−0.9
(30.4)
2.3
(36.1)
7.0
(44.6)
10.4
(50.7)
12.7
(54.9)
12.3
(54.1)
9.6
(49.3)
6.3
(43.3)
0.5
(32.9)
−2.4
(27.7)
4.3
(39.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.6
(20.1)
−6.5
(20.3)
−4.2
(24.4)
−1.1
(30.0)
3.4
(38.1)
6.6
(43.9)
8.8
(47.8)
8.6
(47.5)
6.4
(43.5)
2.9
(37.2)
−2.4
(27.7)
−5.4
(22.3)
0.9
(33.6)
Average low °C (°F) −9.9
(14.2)
−9.8
(14.4)
−7.5
(18.5)
−4.4
(24.1)
−0.2
(31.6)
2.9
(37.2)
4.9
(40.8)
4.9
(40.8)
3.3
(37.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
−5.2
(22.6)
−8.4
(16.9)
−2.5
(27.5)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 73
(2.9)
66
(2.6)
80
(3.1)
87
(3.4)
115
(4.5)
126
(5.0)
148
(5.8)
138
(5.4)
96
(3.8)
74
(2.9)
83
(3.3)
72
(2.8)
1,158
(45.5)
Source #1: [97]
Source #2: "Kühtai climate data".
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