Early history to migration
Both the Alpine countries and the plains of the Danube valley were already populated in prehistoric times. Salt and iron gave a Celtic population their economic base, which led to lively trade with the neighboring Roman Empire around the turn of the age. Around the birth of Christ, the Norse Kingdom, Raetia in western Austria, Pannonia in Lower Austria and Burgenland became a Roman province that had existed for almost 500 years.
Until the end of the 8th century, Austria was an important passage area for the migration flows that started in the course of the migration of people: Avars settled in the east of the country, Slavic peoples came to Carinthia and southern Styria; 6th century the western Lower Austria and Upper Austria, Salzburg and Tyrol, from the 8th century Carinthia also became a Bavarian tribal area. At the same time, Irish and Scottish monks Christianized the country.
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In order to prevent the Avars from advancing further west, Charlemagne created a border region, the Carolingian Mark between the Danube and Drau. Otto the Great made it the Ostmark. In 976 “Ostarrichi” (= Austria) was mentioned for the first time. Over the years, the countries of Austria, Styria and Carniola developed from the brands thus created. The family of the Babenbergs – made administrators of the brands – developed into one of the leading families of the empire in the following almost 200 years, first expanding considerably as a margrave and later as a duke of Austria.
After a brief Bohemian interim rule, the Habsburg family took power in Austria after the Babenbergs died out. At the same time, they acquired Styria, Carinthia and Tyrol through inheritance contracts through skilled marriage diplomacy. Three Habsburg-Austrian country groups emerged. First, Lower and Upper Austria, second Inner Austria with Carniola, Styria, Carinthia, Inner Istria, Trieste and third Front Austria with Tyrol, among others.
When Albrecht V married the daughter of Emperor Sigismund, a long phase began in the middle of the 15th century, in which the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire was almost continuously in the hands of the Austrian line. The Habsburgs became one of the most powerful genders in Europe. Burgundy and the Netherlands, Spain, Bohemia and Hungary came under their control. In long battles in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottomans, who stood twice at the gates of Vienna, were pushed back, and after the victory in the great Turkish war, northern Serbia, northern Bosnia, the Little Wallachia and came in the early 18th century in the east the Banat under Austrian-Habsburg rule.
With the advance of the Habsburgs in the Balkans, the Austrian line of the Habsburgs had become a major European power. According to AbbreviationFinder, Maria Theresa and her sons Joseph II and Leopold II reformed the empire from the middle of the 18th century and made it a centrally and modernly administered multinational state. The contrast between Austria and Prussia developed more and more during this time, and Maria Theresa, as an advocate of an enlightened absolutism, developed into one of the most important rulers of her time.
The French Revolution at the beginning of the 19th century brought the end of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation” when the grandson of Maria Theresa, Franz II, renounced the German emperor title in 1806. The political focus of Austria now shifted to the southeast and in 1867 Franz Joseph agreed to the Austro-Hungarian Austro-Hungarian Empire, in which Hungary was granted internal self-government. The multinational state collapsed after the defeat in World War I and the 1st Republic of Austria emerged from the Danube Republic in 1918.
Republic of Austria
A short democratic phase began, which ended in 1933 with the introduction of the state and in 1938 with Austria’s annexation to Nazi Germany. After the end of the Second World War, troops of the four victorious powers remained stationed in Austria for ten years. This occupation status was only lifted in 1955 when the constitutional law laid down the country’s neutrality and banned a new connection to Germany. The 2nd Austrian Republic became a member of the United Nations. Over the next 40 years, the country developed economically and politically into a wealthy state on the border with the Eastern Bloc.In 1956 it became a member of the Council of Europe and in 1960 it joined the European Free Trade Association, from 1977 there was complete free trade with the European Community.
The upheavals in Eastern Europe in the 1990s changed the constellation of power politics on the European continent. Austria decided in 1995 to become a member of the European Union. In the same year, the country joined the NATO Partnership for Peace program.
The party political situation since the 1970s was as follows: From 1970 to 1983, the SPÖ ruled under Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, who fundamentally reformed tax, criminal and family law. With Fred Sinowatz a coalition government of SPÖ and FPÖ took over the government. During this period of office there were violent disputes about the Federal President Kurt Waldheim, who was accused of domestic and foreign accusations about his past as an officer of the German Wehrmacht.
In 1992 Thomas Klestil became Federal President of the ÖVP. Sinowatz resigned and Franz Vranitzky from the SPÖ continued the coalition until 1996. After new elections this year, a new coalition government was formed between the SPÖ and the ÖVP chaired by Vranitzky. Jörg Haider, as the elected federal chairman, took over the leadership of the FPÖ and triggered violent domestic political controversy with his right-wing national program. The state elections brought considerable votes to the FPÖ. In contrast, the National Council elections in 1994 just confirmed the existing coalition between the Social Democrats and the ÖVP under the leadership of Chancellor Vranitzky, which was continued in 1997 by Viktor Klima (SPÖ).After major domestic and foreign policy turmoil, the election to the National Council in 2000 brought a coalition of the FPÖ and the Austrian People’s Party to power under the ÖVP Chancellor Sch¨¹ssel. The government participation of the “Freedom” Jörg Haiders provoked outrage abroad. A phase of boycott measures by the EU followed, which ended at the end of 2000. In September 2002, Federal Chancellor Sch¨¹ssel announced the resignation of his government cabinet; The reason was the resignation of several FPÖ ministers because of intra-party quarrels. The ÖVP emerged victorious from the new elections taking place in November with 42% of the vote.Chancellor Wolfgang Sch¨¹ssel remained, again at the head of a coalition of the ÖVP with the FPÖ or with the newly formed Alliance Future Austria (BZÖ), a split off of the FPÖ. In the 2004 presidential election, Heinz Fischer, Social Democrat and Deputy National Council President, won. The SPÖ surprisingly emerged from the 2006 National Council election as the strongest parliamentary group. It agreed with the ÖVP to form a grand coalition. Alfred Gusenbauer became Federal Chancellor in January 2007. Shortly after taking office, he was accused of poor leadership and lack of concept; Planned important reform projects did not go ahead because of quarrels in the coalition. In July 2008, the ÖVP finally quit the coalition.The SPÖ emerged as the strongest force in the new elections to the National Council in September, but it suffered major losses, just like the ÖVP. The two right-wing parties FPÖ and BZÖ were able to increase. The new SPÖ Federal Chairman Werner Faymann was sworn in as Chancellor of a large coalition of SPÖ and ÖVP in December 2008. The parliamentary elections of September 2013 allowed the grand coalition to continue, albeit with a smaller majority.