David Sibley


A Map of Europe after the Austrian defeat at the hands of Bismarck and the Prussians and the formation of the Dual Monarchy.* (Johannes Gutenburg Universität Mainz, “IEG-MAPS” IEG Maps,2010.)

The Formation of the Dual Monarchy

In what would become known as the Seven Weeks War, the Habsburg Austria fought with the Kingdom of Prussia for a Hegemony of what eventually become Germany. The Habsburg Empire suffered a major defeat in this war, not only costing them their dreams of German overlordship, but parts of the Empire in Italy. The defeat weakened the power the Kaiser, Franz Joseph, and his ministers. The Magyar's of Hungary were in a position to demand more autonomy and force the famous Ausgleich (Compromise) of 1867. In this Compromise the Habsburg Empire was divided into to major halves. In Austria, the Kaiser would retain his imperial title but in Hungary the Kaiser would sit on the Throne of St. Stephen and be called King.

The Beginning of the End

The Ausgleich of 1867 was a compromise meant to help stall the decline of the Habsburg's, a royal family which had ruled lands in Europe since the 13th Century. The Magyars did not seek were not nationalists, they sought a return of their traditional rights and powers that had been stripped away by the Turks centuries Earlier. Yet because of the formation of this new Dual Monarchy, the many other Ethnic groups within Habsburg territories began to seek traditional rights and privileges as well. This quickly transformed into full fledged Nationalism.

In Nationalism the Serbians under Austro-Hungarian rule found their greatest ally. The Balkans quickly began to become a powder keg waiting to explode which would finally happen in the 1900's. Culminating in the Black Hand assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The Ausgleich would turn out to be as a defining of a moment as the February Patent of 1861 in which a very limited amount of Democracy entered the Empire in the form of the Reichsrat.

The Demise of Austro-Hungary

When the Archduke was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist, the reverberations shook the World. Kaiser Franz Joseph I was able to issue the famous Ultimatum to the Serbian Nation, which the Serbs refused. This refusal was the official start of the Great War or as it is more commonly known, World War I.

The War did not go well for Austro-Hungary. They lost on every front, with the exception of the Italian Front. In 1916, Kaiser Franz Joseph I, passed away and the new Kaiser, Charles I, proved to be inept with continuing the war effort. In 1918, the Empire of the Habsburgs finally disintegrated. Where once even nationalists had failed to envision a Europe without a Habsburg influence, now the Royal Family along with the Austro-Hungarian state represented an outdated and dying world. The death of Austro-Hungarian Empire was the death knell of the Age of Empires for other European great powers.

A Map showing the major changes in the European Landscape after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.(Johannes Gutenburg Universität Mainz, “IEG-MAPS” IEG Maps,2010.)

A Few Words of Importance








Map of Pre-Ausgleich Austria

(Johannes Gutenburg Universität Mainz, “IEG-MAPS” IEG Maps,2010.)

ger/101/2010/fall/david_sibley.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/04 08:29 (external edit)
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