Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 25 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
1955. From 1945-55 the country was occupied, in much the same way as Germany, by American, British, French and Soviet forces, which all had their own sectors in Vienna. (The Center, District I, was international and run jointly by all four powers of occupation). Unlike Germany, Austria had its own national government from 1945 on, which succeeded in negotiating the withdrawal of all foreign troops during the Cold War.
1938. The inclusion of Austria in Germany had been a long-standing hope among some German nationalists. However, Hitler's plans for a 'Greater Germany' extended far beyond the union of Austria with Germany.
|Austria-Hungary disintegrated at the end of World War I. Which completely new country was formed almost exclusively from former Austro-Hungarian territory?||Austrian History I
Czechoslovakia. The small district of Glatz was taken from Germany. Czechoslovakia comprised Bohemia, Moravia, a small part of Silesia, Slovakia and Ruthenia. The last of these was lost to the Soviet Union in 1945, and the rest of the country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Yugoslavia acquired large areas from Austria-Hungary, but its core, Serbia had been independent before WWI. The same applied in the case of Romania, which also acquired substantial areas from Austria-Hungary in 1918.
|When was the Austrian Empire transformed into the 'dual monarchy' of Austria-Hungary?||Austrian History I
1867. This re-constitition of the Empire satisfied the aspirations of the Hungarians for self-rule, but was also part of a policy of 'divide and rule' as substantial non-Hungarian groups were placed under Hungarian rule, for example, the Slovaks and most of the Croats. (That said, the Hungarians reached an arrangement with the Croats in 1868 that gave the latter a substantial degree of autonomy).
|What was the most immediate result of Austria's defeat by Prussia in 1866?||Austrian History I
The exclusion of Austria from Germany. Before 1866, the distinction between Germany and Austria was vague and rather meaningless.
|Until the rapid expansion of Budapest from the about 1860 onwards, which place was regarded as the 'second city' of the Empire?||Austrian History I
Prague. Prague, which was also the capital of Bohemia, had been immensely important since the late Middle Ages, when it was among the biggest three cities in Central Europe (along with Cologne and Lübeck). It is now the capital of the Czech Republic.
|In 1848, there were uprisings and (unsuccessful) revolutions in many parts of the Habsburg domains. In which region or country did the revolution prove hardest to suppress?||Austrian History I
Hungary. Many Hungarian units of the Habsburg army and Hungarian aristocrats supported the revolution in Hungary, making it truly national in scope. The Austrian government had great difficulty suppressing the Hungarian uprising but eventually did so with the help of Tsarist Russian troops - and amid considerable brutality.
|After the Napoleonic Wars the name of one Austrian politician (Foreign Minister, 1809-48 and also Chancellor, 1822-48) became a byword for political repression. Who was it?||Austrian History I
Metternich. More than anyone else, Metternich was the architect of the Central European police state of the period 1815-48. (Obviously, it was *not* a modern, totalitarian police state, but rather a 'surveillance state', that also had pre-publication censorship and witch-hunts for subversives, imaginary and real).
|In the Napoleonic Wars a combined Austrian and Russian army suffered a particularly devastating defeat at the hands of Napoleon. What was the battle called?||Austrian History I
Austerlitz. Austerlitz is often regarded as Napoleon's greatest victory.
Maria Theresa. Legally, women were barred from inheriting office in Central Europe, but Maria Theresa succeeded under an arrangement to ensure the continuity of the House of Habsburg. This arrangement was called the Pragmatic Sanction. It was a practical solution to a practical problem.
|Which German state successfully challenged the leading position of the Habsburgs in Central Europe in 1740-63?||Austrian History I
Prussia. The rise of Prussia to the status of a first-class European power during the reign of Frederick II (the Great) was sudden and unexpected.
|Which Habsburg emperor also ruled Spain and its new empire in the Americas, and also ruled the Netherlands?||Austrian History I
Charles V. The combination of so much power in the hands of one person was viewed with consternation at the time and resisted by many other European powers, including France. When Charles V abdicated in 1556, the Spanish and Central European empires went to separate monarchs.
1804. The year 962 is that preferred by German and Austrian historians as the date of the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire. It was ruled by the Habsburg dynasty from 1438 till its dissolution in 1806. In fact, a specifically Austrian Empire was only proclaimed in 1804 when it became obvious that the Holy Roman Empire had no future.
|Austria-Hungary was the second biggest country in Europe, and people and goods often had to travel very long distances. Austria claims to have established the first regular scheduled long-distance civil air service - in March 1918, with airmail too. Which route did it cover?||Austrian History II
Vienna - Krakow - Lemberg (Lviv, Lvov). For a short time, after the hollow victory over Russia in 1918, there was also a connecting flight to Kiev.
NOTE. I'm aware that there is often room for disagreement about such 'firsts'.
|This author was a highly perceptive observer and critic of Central Europe. His is best known for his unfinished novel "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften" ("The Man Without Qualities"). In an earlier novel he provided a deeply shocking description of a boarding school for boys aged about 14-18 intending to proceed to military academy. Who was he? ||Austrian History II
Robert Musil (1880-1942). "Die Verwirrungen des Zoeglings Toerless" ("The Confusions of Young Toerless") appeared in 1906. Ostensibly a novel of formation, it is, more importantly, an explicit story of homoerotic bullying (sadism) and also a devastating comment on those who turned a blind eye to such goings-on. When Musil died in exile in Geneva in 1942 it was said in many Allied countries that this novel had in some sense foreseen the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. (The other three people are all noted Austrian authors).
|When did the Austrian government remove the fortifications round the old city in Vienna? ||Austrian History II
1850s. This allowed for the construction of the "Ring" from 1860 onwards and for the transformation of Vienna into a showy, grandiose capital, somewhat along the lines of Paris and St. Petersburg.
The massive fortifications had become a serious obstacle separating the old city from the suburbs.
|In 1866 Prussia went to war against Austria and most other states in the German Confederation. In English this is called the "Seven Weeks' War". How do the Austrians and Germans refer to this war? ||Austrian History II
The German War. The rapid and decisive Prussian victory owed much to the careful "war games" undertaken by the Prussian General Staff beforehand. The German Confederation was dissolved and Austria was in effect expelled from Germany. The arguments about a "Lesser Germany" (without Austrian territory) and a "Greater Germany" (including substantial sections of the Habsburg territories) was decided, by force, in favour of the former. This remained the position till 1938 and the establishment, also by force, of a Greater Germany. Germany, perhaps more than any other major European country, was consciously defined - arguably artifically.
At the same time, Italy also fought against Austria and gained the province of Venezia.
|In 1848-49 much of the Austrian Empire rose in rebellion against the Habsburg monarchy. In Hungary the rebellion proved exceptionally hard to suppress and the Austrian government accepted help from a foreign power in order to put down the Hungarian uprising. Which foreign power was it? ||Austrian History II
Russia. The 1848-49 rebellion in Hungary enjoyed much wider popular support than uprisings elsewhere in the Empire. In particular, sections of the aristocracy supported the rebellion, and many Hungarian units of the army went over to the side of the rebels. The final defeat for the rebels came at Arad (in present day Romania, just across the border from Hungary) on 17 August 1849. Thirteen Hungarian generals were taken prisoner, tried hurriedly by court martial, convicted of treason and shot on 6 October 1849.
|In the period from c. 1820-60 Austria exercised a major direct influence on the affairs of a country outside Central Europe. Which?||Austrian History II
The Italian states. In 1821 and again in 1848 Austria intervened in Italy to suppress liberal uprisings and reimpose reactionary monarchs and régimes. It had been Metternich's ambition to keep Austria as the leading power in both Germany and Italy.
|Which predominantly non-German-speaking area was included in the German Confederation?||Austrian History II
Bohemia and Moravia. Hungary, which at that time included Slovakia, and Austrian Poland (Galicia and Bukovina) were outside the German Confederation. The predominatly Czech-speaking lands, however, were included in the Confederation. It wasn't intended to be a German nation-state.
|In 1815 the German Confederation was established. Which state was officially the leading power within the Confederation and presided at its meetings?||Austrian History II
Austria. The German Confederation was in some respects a modernized successor to the Holy Roman Empire and not suprisingly the Habsburg monarchy was the official 'top dog'. In the 19th century its role wasn't seriously challenged by Prussia till the 1860s.