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Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


For the period up to 1918, the history of modern Austria is best considered within the overall context of the habsburg empire . It was only after that date, when the multi-national imperial system which had long been ruled from Vienna collapsed in the face of defeat at the end of world war i , that a distinctively Austrian successor state emerged. What is now known as the First Republic was proclaimed on November 12, 1918. With Karl Renner as chancellor, its provisional government summoned a constituent assembly which, in March 1919, voted for precisely the version of german unification that bismarck had spurned – one aspiring to make Austria an integral part of the Reich. Not surprisingly, the st germain treaty imposed by the victorious Allies in September prohibited this option, as well as confirming the wider fragmentation and loss of the previous Habsburg lands. “Rump” Austria thus developed as a self-contained federation (see federalism [1]), whose politics became increasingly polarized as between Socialist and Christian Social factions. The deepening of the great depression [2], accelerated by the collapse of the Austrian banking system in 1931, heightened their extremist hostilities. As chancellor from 1932 to 1934, dollfuss persecuted the Socialists and eventually outlawed all parties other than his own Fatherland Front. His attempt at establishing a fascist-style ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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