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Austria, 20th-century protests

Helen Bluemel

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Western Europe » Austria

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics communism, rebellion, revolution, socialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00157.x


Protests in Austria have taken a variety of forms, from ethnic minority issues surrounding demands for autonomy in the Hapsburg empire to anti-democratic left- and right-wing protests in the First Republic (1918–34) and eventual fascist takeover. When describing the development of conflicts in Austria from 1900 to the present day, it is important to discern the change in what “Austria” means. The country has undergone multiple forms of government; it has progressed from a monarchy at the onset of the century to a parliamentary democracy today. Furthermore, it also has changed its territorial and ethnic character immensely. It ceased to exist as an independent state for seven years from 1938 to 1945. All these factors had an influence on the form protests took in the country itself. In 1900, Austria had progressed in less than 50 years from an autocratic to a parliamentary monarchy. The multi-ethnic state under German-Austrian Hapsburg rule also had to make concessions to its largest minority: the double monarchy of Austria-Hungary was established in 1867. This meant that Austria's Hapsburg emperor was concurrently the king of Hungary, which otherwise had became a rather autonomous state. What was thought to defuse the mounting ethnic tensions that had concerned the empire throughout the 1800s only inspired greater unrest amongst its different people. The “ascendance” of the Hungarians ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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