The Austrian Empire Part II

In Italy, too, the Austrian state gained power with the military actions of J. W. Graf von Radetzky again the upper hand (especially victory at Custoza, July 25th). Open civil war was preparing in Hungary. The imperial-minded Croatians revolted against the predominance of the Magyars, and in September 1848 a break occurred between the imperial government and the Hungarian Reichstag. A new uprising in Vienna (“September unrest”) was not ended until October 31, when the troops of Prince zu Windischgrätz stormed the city ; several leaders of the uprising were shot dead, including R. Blum (November 9th). On October 22, 1848, an imperial manifesto had postponed the Reichstag, which had met on July 22, and called it to Kremsier. F. Fürst zu Schwarzenberg took the helm of a new ministry (November 21, 1848). Emperor Ferdinand abdicated on 2. 12. 1848 in favor of his nephew Franz Joseph I. from.

In Kremsier, where the Reichstag was reopened on November 22, 1848, the government could not come to an understanding with the Reichstag. It imposed a constitutional (Greater Austrian State) Constitution (“March Constitution”, March 4, 1849) and dissolved the Reichstag. Hungary, which had declared itself independent under L. Kossuth in April, was subdued with Russian help; On August 13, 1849, the Hungarian Commander-in-Chief A. von Görgey surrendered near Világos (Șiria, Romania).

Only in Germany had Austria not yet regained its old position. The Austro-Bohemian Crown Lands were also involved in the elections for the Frankfurt National Assembly, but during the constitutional deliberations, the contrast between Greater Germans and Little Germans developed. Archduke Johann was elected imperial administrator (June 29, 1848), but the majority in parliament tended more and more towards a small German federal state under Prussia’s leadership. Schwarzenberg resolutely opposed any small German solution and forced the restoration of the German Confederation in the Olomouc punctuation in 1850.

Constitutional and nationality struggles

After Austria had regained its position of power in the German Confederation, the internal reaction prevailed: With the “New Year’s Eve Patent” of December 31, 1851, Schwarzenberg repealed the March constitution with the basic rights. After his death, Minister of the Interior A. von Bach pursued a departure from Metternich’s system through a decided centralism (Hungary included), through reform of the internal administration and his turn to a clerical church policy. The Concordat of August 18, 1855 placed the elementary and, in some cases, the middle schools under the supervision of the clergy.

In foreign policy, according to relationshipsplus, the tensions between Prussia and Austria in the federal leadership increased. The Prussian envoy O. von Bismarck appeared in the Frankfurt Bundestag as a staunch opponent of Austrian politics.

The armed neutral and mediating stance in the Crimean War became disastrous, as a result of which Austria incurred the permanent hostility of Russia.

In Italy, Count C. Cavour achieved an alliance with France; In the spring of 1859 war broke out between Austria and Napoleon III. Austria suffered heavy defeats at Magenta (6/4) and Solferino (6/24). When Prussia threatened to intervene on the Rhine, Napoleon concluded the Peace of Villafranca (July 11th), through which Austria lost Lombardy.

This defeat resulted in an internal turnaround: with the October diploma (October 20, 1860) an attempt was made to reorganize Austria on a federalist basis; The new Reichsrat was built on the diets of the individual crown lands. But this solution could not be carried out against the resistance of the centralist-minded German liberals. In the February patent (February 26, 1861), A. Ritter von Schmerling announced a new overall state constitution and new state statutes for the German-Slavic crown lands: In addition to the general imperial council (mansion and house of representatives), a narrower imperial council was planned, which should advise the interests of the German-Slavic countries – without Hungary and its neighboring countries – but on the resistance of the non-German participants in late 1864 failed. The German-liberal course at home made closer ties with Germany as a whole necessary. Foreign policy sought to move closer to Germany’s national movement, which was growing again. The attempt at federal reform at the Frankfurt Fürstentag (17 August – 1 September 1863) failed because Prussia rejected it.

In contrast, in November / December 1863, Bismarck achieved an alliance with Austria in the Danish-German conflict over the Schleswig-Holstein question. Austria and Prussia let their troops march into Holstein and allied (punctuation of January 16, 1864) also to take possession of Schleswig; the victorious 2nd German-Danish War (from 1st 2nd) ended with the Peace of Vienna (30th October 1864). However, the agreement between the two German great powers was soon followed by the old antagonism. Austria opposed the aspirations to incorporate Schleswig-Holstein into Prussia; the Gastein Convention of August 14, 1865 only postponed the threatened breach.

Internally, there was a turnaround as attempts to win Hungary had failed. The intensified opposition to Prussia led to the German War of 1866. Austria had to agree to the reorganization of German conditions by Prussia (dissolution of the German Confederation, establishment of the North German Confederation). Regardless of the victories at Custoza (June 24th) and Lissa (July 20th) in the Peace of Vienna on October 3rd, 1866, it ceded to Italy.

The Austrian Empire 2

About the author