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The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918: A History of the Austrian Empire & Austria-Hungary
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Book Description Penguin UK. Seller Inventory NEW Publisher: Penguin , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Italy, although suffering massive casualties, recovered from the blow, and a coalition government under Vittorio Emanuele Orlando was formed. Italy also enjoyed support by the Entente powers: by , large amounts of war materials and a few auxiliary American, British, and French divisions arrived in the Italian battle zone. The multiethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire started to disintegrate, leaving its army alone on the battlefields.
The final battle was at Vittorio Veneto ; after 4 days of stiff resistance, Italian troops crossed the Piave River, and after losing 90, men the defeated Austrian troops retreated in disarray pursued by the Italians. The Italians captured , Austrian-Hungarian soldiers about one-third of the imperial-royal army, 24 of whom were generals,  5, cannons and mortars, and 4, machine guns. These events marked the end of Austria-Hungary, which collapsed on 31 October The armistice was signed at Villa Giusti on 3 November.
On 27 August , Romania declared war against Austria-Hungary. In , after several defensive victories managing to stop the German-Austro-Hungarian advance , with Russia's withdrawal from the war following the October Revolution, Romania was forced to drop out of the war. Whereas the German army realized it needed close cooperation from the homefront, Habsburg officers saw themselves as entirely separate from the civilian world, and superior to it. When they occupied productive areas, such as Romania  [ citation needed ] , they seized food stocks and other supplies for their own purposes, and blocked any shipments intended for civilians back in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The result was that the officers lived well, as the civilians began to starve. Vienna even transferred training units to Serbia and Poland for the sole purpose of feeding them. In all, the Army obtained about 15 percent of its cereal needs from occupied territories. Roughly , soldiers were killed in action, and , soldiers were wounded in the war. Austria-Hungary held on for years, as the Hungarian half provided sufficient supplies for the military to continue to wage war.
However, this failed as Britain and France no longer had any regard for the integrity of the monarchy because of Austro-Hungarian support for Germany. The setbacks that the Austrian army suffered in and can be attributed to a large extent to Austria-Hungary becoming a military satellite of Imperial Germany from the first day of the war. They were made worse by the incompetence of the Austrian high command. This resulted in a greater than expected loss of men in the invasion of Serbia.
From , the Austro-Hungarian war effort became more and more subordinated to the direction of German planners. The Austrians viewed the German army favorably, on the other hand by the general belief in Germany was that Germany, in its alliance with Austria-Hungary, was "shackled to a corpse". The operational capability of the Austro-Hungarian army was seriously affected by supply shortages, low morale and a high casualty rate, and by the army's composition of multiple ethnicities with different languages and customs.
The last two successes for the Austrians, the Romanian Offensive and the Caporetto Offensive, were German-assisted operations.
As the Dual Monarchy became more politically unstable, it became more and more dependent on German assistance. The majority of its people, other than Hungarians and German Austrians, became increasingly restless. In , the Eastern front of the Entente Powers completely collapsed.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire then withdrew from all defeated countries. By , the economic situation had deteriorated. Leftist and pacifist political movements organized strikes in factories, and uprisings in the army had become commonplace. During the Italian battles, the Czechoslovaks and Southern Slavs declared their independence. On 31 October Hungary ended the personal union with Austria, officially dissolving the Monarchy. At the last Italian offensive, the Austro-Hungarian Army took to the field without any food and munition supply, and fought without any political supports for a de facto non-existent empire.
The majority lived in a state of advanced misery by the spring of , and conditions later worsened, for the summer of saw both the drop in food supplied to the levels of the ' turnip winter ', and the onset of the flu pandemic that killed at least 20 million worldwide. Society was relieved, exhausted and yearned for peace. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed with dramatic speed in the autumn of In the capital cities of Vienna and Budapest, the leftist and liberal movements and politicians the opposition parties strengthened and supported the separatism of ethnic minorities.
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These leftist or left-liberal pro-Entente maverick parties opposed the monarchy as a form of government and considered themselves internationalist rather than patriotic. As it became apparent that the Allied powers would win World War I, nationalist movements, which had previously been calling for a greater degree of autonomy for various areas, started pressing for full independence. Alexander Watson argues that, "The Habsburg regime's doom was sealed when Wilson's response to the note, sent two and a half weeks earlier, arrived on 20 October.
In response, Emperor Karl I agreed to reconvene the Imperial Parliament in and allow the creation of a confederation with each national group exercising self-governance. However, the leaders of these national groups rejected the idea; they deeply distrusted Vienna and were now determined to get independence. In an apparent attempt to demonstrate good faith, Emperor Karl issued a proclamation "Imperial Manifesto of 16 October " two days later which would have significantly altered the structure of the Austrian half of the monarchy.
The Polish majority regions of Galicia and Lodomeria were to be granted the option of seceding from the empire, and it was understood that they would join their ethnic brethren in Russia and Germany in resurrecting a Polish state. The rest of Cisleithania was transformed into a federal union composed of four parts—German, Czech, South Slav and Ukrainian. Each of these was to be governed by a national council that would negotiate the future of the empire with Vienna. Trieste was to receive a special status. No such proclamation could be issued in Hungary, where Hungarian aristocrats still believed they could subdue other nationalities and maintain the "Holy Kingdom of St.
It was a dead letter. Therefore, Lansing said, autonomy for the nationalities — the tenth of the Fourteen Points — was no longer enough and Washington could not deal on the basis of the Fourteen Points anymore. In fact, a Czechoslovak provisional government had joined the Allies on 14 October. The South Slavs in both halves of the monarchy had already declared in favor of uniting with Serbia in a large South Slav state by way of the Corfu Declaration signed by members of the Yugoslav Committee.
Indeed, the Croatians had begun disregarding orders from Budapest earlier in October. The Lansing note was, in effect, the death certificate of Austria-Hungary. The national councils had already begun acting more or less as provisional governments of independent countries. With defeat in the war imminent after the Italian offensive in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto on 24 October, Czech politicians peacefully took over command in Prague on 28 October later declared the birthday of Czechoslovakia and followed up in other major cities in the next few days.
On 30 October, the Slovaks followed in Martin. They also declared that their ultimate intention was to unite with Serbia and Montenegro in a large South Slav state. On the same day, the Czechs and Slovaks formally proclaimed the establishment of Czechoslovakia as an independent state. By the end of October, there was nothing left of the Habsburg realm but its majority-German Danubian and Alpine provinces, and Karl's authority was being challenged even there by the German-Austrian state council.
On 11 November, Karl issued a carefully worded proclamation in which he recognized the Austrian people's right to determine the form of the state. He also renounced the right to participate in Austrian affairs of state. He also dismissed Lammasch and his government from office and released the officials in the Austrian half of the empire from their oath of loyalty to him. Two days later, he issued a similar proclamation for Hungary. However, he did not abdicate, remaining available in the event the people of either state should recall him. For all intents and purposes, this was the end of Habsburg rule.
Karl's refusal to abdicate was ultimately irrelevant. The Allies assumed without question that the minority nationalities wanted to leave Austria and Hungary, and also allowed them to annex significant blocks of German- and Hungarian-speaking territory. It also had to drop its plans for union with Germany, as it was not allowed to unite with Germany without League approval.
The decisions of the nations of the former Austria-Hungary and of the victors of the Great War, contained in the heavily one-sided treaties, had devastating political and economic effects. The previously rapid economic growth of the Dual Monarchy ground to a halt because the new borders became major economic barriers. All the formerly well-established industries, as well as the infrastructure supporting them, were designed to satisfy the needs of an extensive realm.
As a result, the emerging countries were forced to make considerable sacrifices to transform their economies. The treaties created major political unease. As a result of these economic difficulties, extremist movements gained strength; and there was no regional superpower in central Europe.
The new Austrian state was, at least on paper, on shakier ground than Hungary. While what was left of Austria had been a single unit for over years, it was united only by loyalty to the Habsburgs.
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By comparison, Hungary had been a nation and a state for over years. However, after a brief period of upheaval and the Allies' foreclosure of union with Germany, Austria established itself as a federal republic. Despite the temporary Anschluss with Nazi Germany , it still survives today. Adolf Hitler cited that all "Germans" — such as him and the others from Austria, etc.
The Hungarian Democratic Republic was short-lived and was temporarily replaced by the communist Hungarian Soviet Republic. In the summer of , a Habsburg, Archduke Joseph August , became regent, but was forced to stand down after only two weeks when it became apparent the Allies would not recognise him. In March and again in October , ill-prepared attempts by Karl to regain the throne in Budapest collapsed. The initially wavering Horthy, after receiving threats of intervention from the Allied Powers and neighboring countries, refused his cooperation.
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