Thursday, August 15, 2013

History of Austria

Since Austria has a tremendous amount of History, I will give you a overview of it.

From prehistoric times to the rise of the Roman Empire, Austria was dominated by various tribes such as the Celts and Vandals.  As the Roman Empire grew, it dominated Austria for centuries until is collapse in the 5th century. The name, Austria, has been in use since 10th century when it was the responsibility of a Military Commander of the Duchy of  Bavaria and then from 1156 it was an independent duchy of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germany, ruled by a Duke of that court.

Finally the Hapsburg's ruled, but in the late 18th century, the winds of individual liberties and revolution spread like wildfire from Paris out to the rest of Europe. The Hapsburg's fought back with censorship and suppression. In the early 19th century, the Holy Roman Empire's control collapsed when Franz I resigned and later declared himself Emperor of Austria.

After the Napoleonic Wars, Austria gained Salzburg and became the chair in the German Union. In its continuing effort to squash the zeal for liberty, Austria again attempted to suppress the people; however, a revolution in the late 19th century led to the resignation of the Emperor and the granting of basic individual rights. This leadership of the Austrian people fueled the drive for independence among its neighbors to the East and lead to tremendous growth in Vienna, one of the biggest cities in Europe by the turn of the 20th century.

Then in 1919, a once powerful house of Hapsburg ended and Austria became a republic. However, without the Hapsburg leadership, Austria sunk into economic despair which led to political bickering and out-right fights. This eventually led to a Conservative dominated fascist country in 1934 that prosecuted both Socialist and Nazis.

Finally, Hitler had enough and in 1938, the German Army rolled into Austria and it was merged with Nazi controlled Germany. Because of the treatment of Jews in Germany, Austrian Jews began to flee Austria.

In 1955, Austria declared its neutrality and re-gained full sovereignty. The neutral status allowed the country to establish itself as a bridge between East and West during the Cold War.

Then in 1995, it joined the European Union and introduced the Euro in 2002. Now internal bickering between Conservatives and Social Democrats has been largely lost as Austria's focus on the larger problems of Europe.

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