|Civil Ensign||Imperial & Royal Coat of arms (1867-1915)|
Indivisibiliter ac Inseparabiliter
"Indivisible and Inseparable"
Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze / Unsern Kaiser, unser Land!
"God preserve, God protect / Our Emperor, our country!"
German, Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian, Italian, Serbian
Slovak, Slovene, Bosnian, Rusyn, Yiddish 
Diet of Hungary
House of Magnates
House of Representatives
Krone (from 1892)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Official Long names
(and English translation thereof)
|en: The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen
de: Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder und die Länder der heiligen ungarischen Stephanskrone
hu: A birodalmi tanácsban képviselt királyságok és országok és a magyar Szent Korona országai
Austria-Hungary (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or K.u.K. Monarchy, Dual Monarchy, Danube Monarchy), more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in Central Europe, which operated from 1867 to October 1918, following the end of World War I. The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, under which the House of Habsburg agreed to share power with the separate Hungarian government, dividing the territory of the former Austrian Empire between them. The Austrian and the Hungarian lands became independent entities enjoying equal status.
Austria-Hungary was a multinational realm and one of the world's great powers at the time. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,538 square kilometres (239,977 sq mi)), and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire). The Empire built up the fourth largest machine building industry of the world (after the United States, German Empire and the United Kingdom).
The Austro-Hungarian Empire consisted of two monarchies (Austria and Hungary), and three autonomous regions: Polish Galicia within Austrian Empire (from 1867) and Croatia within Kingdom of Hungary (from 1868), and a common Austro-Hungarian autonomous territory: Bosnia and Herzegovina (from 1910). Sandžak- Raška region was under Austro-Hungarian occupation between 1878 and 1909, when it was ceded to the Ottoman Empire, before being ultimately divided between kingdoms of Montenegro and Serbia.
The dual monarchy existed for 51 years until it dissolved on 31 October 1918 at the end of World War I. Many modern-day nation states have emerged in the territory formerly belonging to the realm. These include Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, large parts of Serbia and Romania, and smaller parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland and Ukraine.
Structure and name
The Habsburg monarch ruled as Emperor of Austria over the western and northern half of the country that was the Austrian Empire (Cisleithania or "Lands represented in the Imperial Council") and as King of Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania or "Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen"). Each enjoyed considerable sovereignty with only a few joint affairs (principally foreign relations and defence).
Certain regions, such as Polish Galicia within Cisleithania and Croatia within Hungary, enjoyed autonomous status, each with its own unique governmental structures. (See: Polish Autonomy in Galicia and Croatian-Hungarian Agreement.)
The division was so marked between Austria and Hungary that there was no common citizenship: a person was either an Austrian or a Hungarian citizen, and no one was allowed to hold dual citizenship. The difference in citizenship also meant that there were always separate Austrian and Hungarian passports, never a common one.
The Empire of Austria and Kingdom of Hungary had always maintained separate parliaments. (See: Imperial Council (Austria) and Diet of Hungary.) Legally, except for the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, common laws have never existed in the Empire of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. All laws, even the ones with identical content such as the compromise of 1867, had to pass the parliaments of both Vienna and Budapest. They were published in the respective official media, in the Austrian part it was called Reichsgesetzblatt, and was issued in eight languages.
Despite the fact that Austria and Hungary shared a common currency they were fiscally sovereign and independent entities. From 1527 (the creation of the monarchic personal union) to 1851 the Kingdom of Hungary maintained its own customs borders which separated her from the other parts of the Habsburg-ruled territories. Since 1867 the Austrian and Hungarian customs union agreement had to be renegotiated and stipulated every ten years. The agreements were renewed and signed by Vienna and Budapest at the end of every decade because both countries hoped to derive mutual economic benefit by the customs union. The Austrian Empire and Kingdom of Hungary contracted their foreign commercial treaties independently of each other.
As a multinational empire and great power in an era of national awakening, Austria-Hungary (a prison of nations according to some ) had politics often dominated by disputes among the eleven principal national groups.
The two capitals of the Monarchy were Vienna for Austria and Buda for Hungary. In 1873 when Buda united with two neighbouring cities (Pest and Óbuda), Budapest became the new capital. Vienna served as the Monarchy's primary capital. The Cisleithan part contained about 57% of the combined realm's population and the larger share of its economic resources. Despite the recurrent great mass emigrations towards the USA and Western Europe -due to the tortured history of the region in the 20th century- today the territory of the former empire has a total population of about 69 million.
Name in official languages of Austria-Hungary
The Monarchy bore the name internationally of Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie (by decision of Franz Joseph I in 1868). Its full name, Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder und die Länder der Heiligen Ungarischen Stephanskrone meant "The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Hungarian Holy Crown of St. Stephen".
Names of the Dual Monarchy in the officially recognized languages of its citizens:
- Bosnian: Austro-Ugarska
- Croatian: Austro-Ugarska
- Czech: Rakousko-Uhersko
- German: Österreich-Ungarn
- Hungarian: Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia
- Italian: Austria-Ungheria
- Polish: Austro-Węgry
- Romanian: Austro-Ungaria
- Serbian: Aустро-Угарска/Austro-Ugarska
- Slovak: Rakúsko-Uhorsko
- Slovene: Avstro-Ogrska
- Ukrainian: Австро-Угорщина (transliterated: Avstro-Uhorshchyna)
|Part of a series on the|
|History of Austria|
|World War I|
|World War II|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of Hungary|
|Prehistory and early history|
|Early modern history|
|Late modern period|
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 (called the Ausgleich in German and the Kiegyezés in Hungarian), which inaugurated the empire's dual structure in place of the former unitary Austrian Empire (1804–67), originated at a time when Austria had declined in strength and in power—both in the Italian Peninsula (as a result of the Second Italian War of Independence of 1859) and among the states of the German Confederation. (It had been surpassed by Prussia as the dominant German-speaking power following the Austro-Prussian War, also named the German War, of 1866).
Other factors in the constitutional changes were continued Hungarian dissatisfaction with rule from Vienna and increasing national consciousness on the part of other nationalities (or ethnicities) of the Austrian Empire. Hungarian dissatisfaction arose partly from Austria's suppression with Russian support of the Hungarian liberal revolution of 1848–49. However, dissatisfaction with Austrian rule had grown for many years within Hungary and had many other causes.
By the late 1850s a large number of Hungarians who had supported the 1848–49 revolution were willing to accept the Habsburg monarchy. They argued that while Hungary had the right to full internal independence, under the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, foreign affairs and defense were "common" to both Austria and Hungary.
After the Austrian defeat at Königgrätz the government realized it needed to reconcile with Hungary to regain status as a great power. The new foreign minister, Count Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust, wanted to conclude the stalemated negotiations with the Hungarians. To secure the monarchy Emperor Franz Joseph began negotiations for a compromise with the Hungarian nobility to ensure their support. In particular Hungarian leaders demanded and received the Emperor's coronation as King of Hungary and the re-establishment of a separate parliament at Budapest with powers to enact laws for the lands of the Holy Crown of Hungary.
From 1867 onwards the abbreviations heading the names of official institutions in Austria-Hungary reflected their responsibility: K. u. k. (kaiserlich und königlich or Imperial and Royal) was the label for institutions common to both parts of the Monarchy, e.g. the k.u.k. Kriegsmarine (War Fleet) and, during the war, the k.u.k. Armee (Army). There were three k.u.k. or joint ministries:}
- The Imperial and Royal Ministry of the Exterior and the Imperial House
- The Imperial and Royal War Ministry
- The Imperial and Royal Ministry of Finance
The last was responsible only for financing the Imperial and Royal household, the diplomatic service, the common army and the common war fleet. All other state functions were to be handled separately by each of the two states.
From 1867 onwards common expenditures were allocated 70% to Austria and 30% to Hungary. This split had to be negotiated every 10 years. By 1907 the Hungarian share had risen to 36.4%. The negotiations in 1917 ended with the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy.
The common army changed its label from k.k. to k.u.k. only in 1889 at the request of the Hungarian government.
- K. k. (kaiserlich-königlich) or Imperial-Royal was the term for institutions of Cisleithania (Austria); "royal" in this label referred to the crown of Bohemia.
- K. u. (königlich-ungarisch) or M. k. (Magyar királyi) ("Hungarian Royal") referred to Transleithania, the lands of the Hungarian crown.
Politics and government
There were three parts to the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire:
- common foreign, military and joint financial policy under the monarch
- the "Austrian" or Cisleithanian government
- the Hungarian government
Hungary and Austria maintained separate parliaments each with its own prime minister. Linking/co-ordinating the two parliaments fell to a government under a monarch wielding absolute power in theory but limited in practice. The monarch's common government had the responsibility for the army, for the navy, for foreign policy, and for the customs union.
Due to the lack of common law between Austria and Hungary, to conclude identical texts, the two parliaments elected delegations of 60 of their members each which discussed motions of the Imperial & Royal ministries separately and worked toward compromise.
A common Ministerial Council ruled the common government: it comprised the three ministers for the joint responsibilities (joint finance, military, and foreign policy), the two prime ministers, some Archdukes and the monarch. Two delegations of representatives (60–60 members), one each from the Austrian and Hungarian parliaments, met separately and voted on the expenditures of the Common Ministerial Council giving the two governments influence in the common administration. However, the ministers ultimately answered only to the monarch who he had the final decision on matters of foreign and military policy.
Overlapping responsibilities between the joint ministries and the ministries of the two halves caused friction and inefficiencies. The armed forces suffered particularly from overlap. Although the unified government determined overall military direction the Austrian and Hungarian governments each remained in charge of "the quota of recruits, legislation concerning compulsory military service, transfer and provision of the armed forces, and regulation of the civic, non-military affairs of members of the armed forces". Each government could have a strong influence over common governmental responsibilities. Each half of the Dual Monarchy proved quite prepared to disrupt common operations to advance its own interests.
Relations during the half-century after 1867 between the two parts of the Empire featured repeated disputes over shared external tariff arrangements and over the financial contribution of each government to the common treasury. Under the terms of the "Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867", an agreement renegotiated every ten years, determined these matters. There was political turmoil during the build-up to each renewal of the agreement. The disputes between the two parts of the Empire culminated in the early 1900s in a prolonged constitutional crisis. It was triggered by disagreement over which language to use for command in Hungarian army units, and deepened by the advent to power in Budapest in April 1906 of a Hungarian nationalist coalition. Provisional renewals of the common arrangements occurred in October 1907 and in November 1917 on the basis of the status quo.
Empire of Austria
Kingdom of Hungary
The judicial power is independent of the administrative power. The judicial authorities in Hungary are: (1) the district courts with single judges (458 in 1905); (2) the county courts with collegiate judgeships (76 in number); to these are attached 15 jury courts for press offences. These are courts of first instance. (3) Royal Tables (12 in number), which are courts of second instance, established at Budapest, Debrecen, Győr, Kassa, Kolozsvár, Marosvásárhely, Nagyvárad, Pécs, Pressburg, Szeged, Temesvár and Zagreb. (4) The Royal Supreme Court at Budapest, and the Supreme Court of Justice, or Table of Septemvirs, at Zagrab, which are the highest judicial authorities. There are also a special commercial court at Budapest, a naval court at Fiume, and special army courts.
Local administration and Local governments
Empire of Austria
The organization of the administrative system in the Austrian Empire was complicated by the fact that between the State and the purely local communal administration there intruded yet a third element, grounded in history, the territories (Lander). The State administration comprised all affairs having relation to rights, duties and interests " which are common to all territories"; all other administrative tasks were left to the territories. Finally, the communes had self-government within their own sphere.
To this division of the work of administration corresponded a three-fold organization of the authorities: State, territorial and communal. The State authorities were divided on geographical lines into central, intermediate and local, and side by side with this there was a division of the offices for the transaction of business according to the various branches of the administration. The central authorities, which as early as the 18th century worked together in a common mother cell of the State chancery, became differentiated so soon as the growing tasks of administration called for specialization; in 1869 there were seven departments, and in the concluding decade of the Austrian Empire there were set up Ministries of Labour, Food, Public Health and Social Care. Under these ministries came the Statthalter, whose administrative area had ordinarily the proportions of a Crown territory (Kronland); but the immense variations in area of the Crown territories made a uniform and consistent intermediate administrative organization practically impossible. The lowest administrative unit was the political sub-district (Bezirk) under an official (Bezirkshauptmann), who united nearly all the administrative functions which were divided among the various ministries according to their attributions.
Kingdom of Hungary
As regards local government, the country is divided into municipalities or counties, which possess a certain amount of self-government. Hungary proper .is divided into sixty-three rural, and - including Fiume - twenty-six urban municipalities (see section on Administrative Divisions). These urban municipalities are towns which for their local government are independent of the counties in which they are situated, and have, therefore, a larger amount of municipal autonomy than the communes or the other towns. The administration of the municipalities is carried on by an official appointed by the king, aided by a representative body. Since 1876 each municipality has a council of twenty members to exercise control over its administration. According to this division Hungary proper is divided into seven circles. Besides these sixty-three rural counties for Hungary, and eight for Croatia-Slavonia, Hungary has twenty-six urban counties or towns with municipal rights. These are: Arad, Baja, Debreczen, Győr, Hódmezővasarhely, Kassa, Kecskemét, Kolozsvár, Komarom, Marosvásárhely, Nagyvárad, Pancsova, Pécs, Pozsony, Selmecz-es Bélabanya, Sopron, Szabadka, Szatmárnémeti, Szeged, Székesfehervár, Temesvár, Újvidék, Versecz, Zombor, the town of Fiume, and Budapest, the capital of the county.
In Croatia-Slavonia there are four urban counties or towns with municipal rights namely: Osijek, Varaždin, Zagreb and Zemun.
Largest cities of the Dual Monarchy
Data: census in 1910
|1.||Vienna||2,083,630 (city without the suburb. 1,481,970)|
|2.||Budapest||1,232,026 (city without the suburb. 880,371 )|
|3.||Prague||514,300 (city without the suburb. 223,741)|
|5.||Lemberg, present-day Lviv||206,113|
The first prime minister of Hungary after the Compromise was Count Gyula Andrássy (1867–1871). The old Hungarian Constitution was restored, and Franz Joseph was crowned as King of Hungary. Andrássy next served as the Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary (1871–1879).
The Empire relied increasingly on a cosmopolitan bureaucracy – in which Czechs played an important role – backed by loyal elements, including a large part of the German, Hungarian, Polish and Croat aristocracy.
Political struggles in the Empire
The traditional aristocracy and land-based gentry class gradually faced increasingly wealthy men of the cities, who achieved wealth through trade and industrialization. The urban middle and upper class tended to seek their own power and supported progressive movements in the aftermath of revolutions in Europe. They were described as "leftist liberals" and their representatives began to be elected to the parliaments of Vienna and Budapest. These leftist liberal parliamentary parties were backed by the big industrialists, bankers, businessmen and the predominant majority of newspaper publishers.
As in the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire frequently used liberal economic policies and practices. From the 1860s, businessmen succeeded in industrializing parts of the Empire. Newly prosperous members of the bourgeoisie erected large homes, and began to take prominent roles in urban life that rivaled the aristocracy's. In the early period of the Empire, they encouraged the government to seek foreign investment to build up infrastructure, such as railroads, in aid of industrialization, transportation and communications, and development.
The influence of liberals in Austria, most of them ethnic Germans, weakened under the leadership of Count Edouard von Taaffe, the Austrian prime minister from 1879–1893. Taaffe used a coalition of clergy, conservatives and Slavic parties to weaken the liberals. In Bohemia, for example, he authorized Czech as an official language of the bureaucracy and school system, thus breaking the German speakers' monopoly on holding office. Such reforms encouraged other ethnic groups to push for greater autonomy as well. By playing nationalities off one another, the government ensured the monarchy's central role in holding together competing interest groups in an era of rapid change.
During the First World War, rising national sentiments and labour movements contributed to strikes, protests and civil unrest in the Empire. After the war, republican, national parties contributed to the disintegration and collapse of the monarchy in Austria and Hungary. Republics were established in Vienna and Budapest.