History of Austria Research Paper
The European nation of Austria dates back as far as the Holy Roman Empire, first organized around AD 962 in central Europe. It was the Hapsburg Dynasty that led to the dominance of Austria as a major European empire, following the division of Charles V’s empire in 1556.
Key events in the history of Austria are as follows:
- Reign of the Hapsburgs
- Joining of Austria and Hungary
- Napoleonic Wars
- The Anschluss
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Many members of the Austrian branch of the Hapsburg family became Holy Roman Emperors during the late medieval and early modern periods. One of the main states in the Holy Roman Empire was the Archduchy of Austria, with its capital in Vienna. In 1804, Emperor Francis II declared that his territories, along with the Kingdom of Hungary were the Austrian Empire, also known as Austria-Hungary, in reaction to Napoleon’s establishment of the Empire of France.
Height of the Austrian Empire
At its height, the Austrian Empire was the second largest nation in Europe, after Russia. Austria was a major player in the Napoleonic Wars against France and gained significant territory at the Congress of Vienna in 1815.
In 1914, the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria led to the outbreak of World War I. Following that war, the empire was broken up and Austria became the smaller, central European nation it remains.