Austria

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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

Republic of Austria
Republik Österreich (German)
Anthem: Bundeshymne der Republik Österreich
"National Anthem of the Republic of Austria"
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 / 48.200; 16.350
Official languageGerman[a][b]
Recognised languages
Ethnic groups
(2020)[3]
Religion
(2021)[4]
  • 26.4% No religion
  • 8.3% Islam
  • 1.2% Others
Demonym(s)Austrian
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic[5]
• President
Alexander Van der Bellen
Karl Nehammer
Legislature
Second Republic
27 April 1945
27 July 1955
Area
• Total
83,871 km2 (32,383 sq mi) (113th)
• Water (%)
0.84 (2015)[6]
Population
• April 2022 estimate
Neutral increase 9,027,999[7] (98th)
• Density
107.6/km2 (278.7/sq mi) (106th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $582.130 billion[8] (43rd)
• Per capita
Increase $64,750[8] (14th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase$479.820 billion[8] (33rd)
• Per capita
Increase$53,320[8] (17th)
Gini (2021)Positive decrease 26.7[9]
low
HDI (2021)Increase 0.916[10]
very high · 25th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+2 (CEST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+43
ISO 3166 codeAT
Internet TLD.at

The Republic of Austria,[c] commonly just Austria,[d] is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, the most populous city and state. A landlocked country, Austria is bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The country occupies an area of 83,871 km2 (32,383 sq mi) and has a population of 9 million.[12]

Austria emerged from the remnants of the Eastern and Hungarian March at the end of the first millennium. Originally a margraviate of Bavaria, it developed into a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire in 1156 and was later made an archduchy in 1453. In the 16th century, Vienna began serving as the empire's administrative capital and Austria thus became the heartland of the Habsburg monarchy. After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Austria established its own empire, which became a great power and the dominant member of the German Confederation. The empire's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 led to the end of the Confederation and paved the way for the establishment of Austria-Hungary a year later.

After the

a sub-national division. After its liberation in 1945 and a decade of Allied occupation, the country regained its sovereignty and declared its perpetual neutrality
in 1955.

Austria is a

parliamentary representative democracy with a popularly elected president as head of state and a chancellor as head of government and chief executive. Major cities include Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently listed as one of the richest countries in the world by GDP per capita and one of the countries with the highest standard of living; it was ranked 25th in the world for its Human Development Index
in 2021.

Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955[13] and of the European Union since 1995.[14] It hosts the OSCE and OPEC and is a founding member of the OECD and Interpol.[15] It also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995,[16] and adopted the euro currency in 1999.[17]

Etymology

The German name for Austria, Österreich, derives from the

Marchia orientalis
into a local (Bavarian) dialect.

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.[20] 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.[21]

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the area was invaded by

Museum of Natural History Vienna

The first record showing the name Austria is from 996, where it is written as

Frederick II in 1246, the line of the Babenbergs was extinguished.[24]

As a result,

Habsburgs
.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the

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,

Joanna the Mad, the heiress of Castile and Aragon, thus acquiring Spain and its Italian, African, Asian and New World appendages for the Habsburgs.[26][27]

In 1526, following the

Long War of 1593 to 1606. The Turks made incursions into Styria nearly 20 times,[29] of which some are cited as "burning, pillaging, and taking thousands of slaves".[30] 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

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),[31] a series of campaigns resulted in bringing most of Hungary to Austrian control by the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699.

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).

From that time, Austria became the birthplace of classical music and played host to different composers including Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert.

19th century

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,[32] the Empire of Austria was founded. From 1792 to 1801, the Austrians had suffered 754,700 casualties.[33] In 1814, Austria was part of the Allied forces that invaded France and brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars
.

It emerged from the

1848 revolutions aiming to create a unified Germany.[34]

The various different possibilities for a united Germany were: a

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,[34] Austria had to leave the German Confederation and no longer took part in German politics.[35][36]

After the defeated Hungarian Revolution of 1848, 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.[37] The Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various groups, including Hungarians, 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: for example, the Reichsgesetzblatt, publishing the laws and ordinances of Cisleithania, was issued in eight languages; and all national groups were entitled to schools in their own language and to the use of their mother tongue at state offices.

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.[38] 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 idolised 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.[39]

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".[40] 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 a reinforcement of an ethnic German identity and hoped that the empire would collapse, which would allow an annexation of Austria by Germany.[41]

A lot of Austrian pan-German nationalists protested passionately against minister-president

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.[42]

20th century

As the

Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908.[43]
The
assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip[44] 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, which eventually led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.[45]

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.[46]

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.[47]

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), though excluding the predominantly German-speaking South Tyrol.[48][49][50] The desire for Anschluss (annexation of Austria to Germany) was a popular opinion shared by all social circles in both Austria and Germany.[51] 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).[52] The Treaty of Saint Germain and the Treaty of Versailles explicitly forbade union between Austria and Germany.[53][54] The treaties also forced German-Austria to rename itself as "Republic of Austria" which consequently led to the first Austrian Republic.[55][56]

Over 3 million German-speaking Austrians found themselves living outside the new Austrian Republic as minorities in the newly formed or enlarged states of

German Bohemia (Czechoslovakia). The status of German Bohemia (Sudetenland) later played a role in sparking the Second World War.[58]

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.

The border between Austria and 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.[59] 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[clarification needed] after Black Tuesday.

The

"self-switch-off of Parliament", established an autocratic regime tending towards Italian fascism.[60][61] The two big parties at this time, the Social Democrats and the Conservatives, had paramilitary armies;[62] the Social Democrats' Schutzbund was now declared illegal, but was still operative[62] as civil war broke out.[60][61][63]

In February 1934, several members of the Schutzbund were executed,

Nazi coup attempt.[65][66]

His successor Kurt Schuschnigg acknowledged the fact that Austria was a "German state" and he also believed that Austrians were "better Germans" but he wished that Austria would remain independent.[67] 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 the government, while German troops occupied the country, which prevented Schuschnigg's referendum from taking place.[68] 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 which confirmed 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 they 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, Roma and Sinti were not allowed to vote.[69] 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%.[70] Although most Austrians favored 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.[71] 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,[72] since many Germans from both Austria and Germany saw it as completing the long overdue unification of all Germans into one state.[73]

On 12 March 1938, Austria was annexed by the

Aryanisation of the wealth of Jewish Austrians started immediately in mid-March, with a so-called "wild" (i.e. extra-legal) phase, but it was soon structured legally and bureaucratically so the assets which Jewish citizens possessed could be stripped from them. At that time, Adolf Eichmann, who grew up in Austria, was transferred to Vienna and ordered to persecute the Jews. During the November pogrom in 1938 ("Reichskristallnacht"), Jews and Jewish institutions such as synagogues were subjected to violent attacks in Vienna, Klagenfurt, Linz, Graz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and several cities in Lower Austria.[74][75][76][77][78] Otto von Habsburg, a vehement opponent of the Nazis, the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, an honorary citizen of hundreds of places in Austria and partly envisaged by Schuschnigg as a monarchical option, was in Belgium at the time. He spoke out against the Anschluss and was then wanted by the Nazi regime and his property would have been expropriated and he would have been shot immediately if he were caught.[79] In 1938, the Nazis renamed Austria the "Ostmark",[68] a name which it had until 1942, when it was renamed the "Alpine and Danubian Gaue" (Alpen-und Donau-Reichsgaue).[80][81]

Though Austrians made up only 8% of the population of the Third Reich,

Reichsgau, besides the main camp KZ-Mauthausen, there were numerous sub-camps in all of the federal states where Jews and other prisoners were killed, tortured and exploited.[84] At this time, because the territory was outside the operational radius of Allied aircraft, the armaments industry was greatly expanded through the forced labor of concentration camp prisoners, this was especially the case with regard to the manufacture of fighter planes, tanks and missiles.[85][86][87]

Most of the resistance groups were soon crushed by the Gestapo. While the plans of the group around Karl Burian to blow up the Gestapo's headquarters in Vienna were uncovered,[88] the important group around the later executed priest Heinrich Maier managed to contact the Allies. This so-called Maier-Messner group was able to send the Allies information about armaments factories where V-1, V-2 rockets, Tiger tanks and aircraft (Messerschmitt Bf 109, Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, etc.) were manufactured, information which was important to the success of Operation Crossbow and Operation Hydra, both of which were preliminary missions before the launch of Operation Overlord. This resistance group, which was in contact with the American secret service (OSS), soon provided information about mass executions and concentration camps such as Auschwitz. The group's aim was to cause Nazi Germany to lose the war as quickly as possible and re-establish an independent Austria.[89][90][91]

Vienna fell on 13 April 1945, during the

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.[92] (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. The total number of military deaths from 1939 to 1945 was 260,000.[93] The total number of Jewish Holocaust victims was 65,000.[94] About 140,000 Jewish Austrians had fled from the country in 1938–39. Thousands of Austrians had taken part in serious Nazi crimes (hundreds of thousands of people died in the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp alone), a fact which was officially acknowledged by Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in 1992.

Contemporary era

UN
office sites worldwide.

Moscow Declaration in 1943, a subtle difference was seen in the treatment of Austria by the Allies.[92] 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 avoided. Austria, in general, was treated as though it had been originally invaded by Germany and liberated by the Allies.[96]

On 15 May 1955, after talks which lasted for years and were influenced by the

National Day, a public holiday.[98]

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).[99] 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.[100]

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.

accused of war crimes, and the Former Secretary-General of the United Nations was elected President of Austria from 1986 to 1992.[101]

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.[102]

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 (ÖVP) in 1997).[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Since Liechtenstein joined the Schengen Area in 2011, none of Austria's neighbouring countries performs border controls towards it anymore.[103]

Politics

Austrian president