The Austria – Hungarian Empire 1870 - 1914 Spencer, Grace, Laura Foreign Policy Major Aims To gain land in the Balkans at the expense of Turkey (this was called the "Drang nach Osten" or the drive to the East) e.g. annexation of Bosnia. To prevent the growth of South Slav nationalism (Yugoslavism) undermining her Empire. She viewed with considerable unease the growth of Serbian power in the Balkans. Serbia was seen as the major threat to the unity of the Empire as there was a large Serbian minority in the Empire. To prevent Russian influence from spreading in the Balkans or in the Mediterranean e.g. Congress of Berlin. Three Emperors’ League Under the leadership of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, Germany forged ahead in 1873 by joining the two most conservative powers in Europe --- AustriaHungary and Russia --- to form the Three Emperors' League. The three empires pledged to consult one another on mutual interests in Europe and to remain neutral when any one member state took military action against a non- member, particularly France or the Balkan nations. Other Alliances The Austro-Hungarian government feared attack from Russia. In 1879 Austro-Hungary and Germany agreed to form a Dual Alliance. This became the Triple Alliance when in 1882 it was expanded to include Italy. The three countries agreed to support each other if attacked by either France or Russia. The Triple Alliance was renewed at five-yearly intervals. The formation of the Triple Entente in 1907 by Britain, France, and Russia, reinforced the belief that they needed a military alliance. Alliances Military The Austro-Hungarian Navy was fairly small. The Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army was officially under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, Emperor Franz Josef. By 1914 Josef was 84 years old and the chief of staff, Count Franz Conrad, had more power over the armed forces. Conrad, favoured an aggressive foreign policy and advocated the use of military action to solve AustroHungary's territorial disputes with Italy and Serbia. The Black Hand -it was a secret military society formed by members of the Serbian army in the Kingdom of Serbia -it was founded on September 6, 1901. -It was intent on uniting all of the territories containing significant Serb populations annexed by Austria-Hungary. -Through its connections to the June 1914, assassination in Sarajevo of Franz Ferdinand, an Archduke of Austria, the Black Hand may have been one of the principal causes to the start of World War I. The Black Hand In 1914 it was decided by Apis that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the apparent heir of Austria, should be assassinated. Towards that end, three young Bosnian-Serbs were recruited and trained in bomb throwing and marksmanship. Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Čabrinović and Trifko Grabež were smuggled across the border back into Bosnia. The decision to kill the Archduke was apparently initiated by Apis, and not sanctioned by the full Executive Committee. Those involved probably realized that their plot would invite war between Austria and Serbia. They had every reason to expect that Russia would side with Serbia. However it is very unlikely that they anticipated that their small war would expand into world war. Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand After Nedeljko Čabrinović's first unsuccessful attack, Princip succeeded in killing the Archduke. The guilt for the crime settled loosely on Serbia in general. • Tensions between Serbia and Austria eventually drew in the other European powers and escalated into a world war. -During the Empire’s existence, the capitalist mode of production spread and replaced medieval institutions. -Between 1879 and 1900, more than 25, 000 km of railways were built. The railway reduced transportation costs throughout the Empire, opening new markets for products from AustroHungarian lands. -Many state institutions and the modern administrative system of Hungary was established during the period. -The GNP per capita grew roughly 1.76% per year from 1871-1913. That was a higher level of growth than Britain, France, and Germany. -However, in a comparison with Germany and Britain, the Austrian-Hungarian economy as a whole still lagged considerably, as sustained modernization had begun much later. -Austro-Hungary’s most important trading partner was Germany, followed by Great Britain. -Trade with geographically neighbouring Russia, however, had a relatively low weight. -In 1873, the old capital of Buda and Obuda were officially merged with a third city, Pest, creating the metropolis of Budapest. This city grew into AustroHungary’s administrative, political, economic, trade and cultural hub. Buda Obuda Budapest Pest -The strong agriculture and food industry of the Empire with the center of Budapest became predominant within the Empire and made up a large proportion of the export to the rest of Europe. -Wide disparities of economic development existed within the Empire. In general, the western areas became more developed than the eastern. -Economic growth centered on Vienna and Budapest, the Austrian lands (areas of modern Austria), the Alpine region and the Bohemian lands. -This division of labour between the east and west, besides the existing economic and monetary union, led to an even more rapid economic growth throughout Austria-Hungary by the early 20th century. -In the later years of the 19th century, rapid economic growth spread to the central Hungarian plain and to the Carpathian lands. -By the end of the 19th century, economic differences gradually began to even out as economic growth in the eastern parts of the Empire consistently surpassed that in the western. WEST EAST Domestic issues facing Austria-Hungary The major factors that kept the Empire together were: • Loyalty to the Emperor: Francis Joseph was personally very popular throughout the empire. He was multi-lingual and spoke nearly all the languages of the Empire. • The Catholic religion: - 90% of the population of the Austrian half of the Empire were Catholic and 60% of the Hungarian half were. • The civil service and the army, both of which were dominated by Germans. • Mutual suspicion among the subject peoples. •The "Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867" created semiindependent states of Hungary and Austria linked by personal union. •Nationalism was a big issue facing the new Austria-Hungary because of the huge ethnic separation of the two major groups. •There was an ongoing push for political and cultural equality for every race in the country The main ethnic groups in Austria-Hungary Germans 24% Magyars (Hungarians) 20% Czechs 13% * Poles 10% * Ruthenians (Ukranians) 8% * Croats 5% * Serbs 4% * Slovaks 4% * Slovenes 3% * Italians 3%. * These peoples are Slavic • Language was one of the most contentious issues in Austro-Hungarian politics. All governments faced difficult and divisive hurdles in deciding on the languages of government and of instruction. • There were no common laws in Austria-Hungary. All laws, even the ones with identical content like the compromise of 1867, had to pass the parliaments both in Vienna and Budapest • Government in Austria-Hungary was becoming increasingly more of a cosmopolitan bureaucracy. In other words the government was a multicultural organization of non-elected officials who made the rules and the laws • Hungary and Austria maintained separate parliaments, each with its own prime minister. • Linking/co-ordinating the two fell to a government under a monarch, wielding power absolute in theory but limited in practice. • The monarch’s common government had responsibility for the army, for the navy, for foreign policy, and for the customs union.