Last modified on 19 August 2017, at 13:27

Austria-Hungary

Austria-Hungary, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, known also as the 'dual monarchy', was the final form adopted by the Habsburg Empire in central Europe. The empire was reorganised in 1867 to two monarchic entities, the Austrian empire also known as Cisleithania (incorporating modern Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Tyrol including South Tyrol, Slovenia, Dalmatia and the Lemberg (Lviv) region of western Ukraine) and the Apostolic Kingdom of Hungary also known as Transleithania (Hungary, Slovakia, Transsylvania, and Croatia). The two monarchies were united under single monarch, and although Austria and Hungary had separate governments for domestic purposes, they were one single country on the international stage. The reorganisation had taken place in an attempt to ease the strains within the monolithic Austrian Empire between the various national groups (indeed, the 'dual monarchy' Austro-Hungarian model was for a time advocated by early Sinn Féin as a way of solving the disputes between Ireland and Great Britain). However, it failed to satisfy the aspirations of the smaller national groupings in the empire, and indeed the Hungarian government, once freed of control from Vienna, itself attempted to 'Hungarianise' the Romanian, Slovak, Serbian and Croatian minorities within its borders.

Under such strains, the dual monarchy system could not survive the shock of defeat in the First World War. The empire broke up into a number of separate sovereign states and areas annexed to neighbouring states; this was formalised by treaties made in 1919-20.

The following states emerged from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 1918-20 period: Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia. Land formerly part of the empire was also annexed by Italy, Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland.