Austro-Hungarian Empire: Ripe for Dissolution

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  • Topic: Vienna, Croatia, Hungary
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  • Published : September 18, 2012
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The Austro-Hungarian Empire is such a difficult topic to analyze because of how many different political and economic viewpoints there were in this one empire. To say to what extent was the Austro-Hungarian Empire “ripe for dissolution” we must remember these different viewpoints because they were the main source of problems for the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1867 and 1914. Based on the events listed in the book I would say that the Austro-Hungarian Empire was not ripe for dissolution, but they were close. From the outside, it did not seem like a nation that was ready to dissolve in 1914, but its internal ethnic strife and lack of proper control made dissolution in case of a crisis quite likely. They had many issues that needed solving and they had not yet realized that breaking the empire apart was a way to solve many of these issues.

Formed in 1867 after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a multinational state formed by combining the Kingdom of Hungary the Austrian Empire after Austria was expelled from the German Federation in 1866. The Compromise/Ausgleich placed the Hungarians (Magyars) on an equal footing with the Germans. Each half of the empire had its own government and control of internal affairs in that half. There were three common ministries: war, finance and foreign relations. At the time, it was one of the great powers of the world, but as with any empire it had problems.

Many nations were happy to be part of this newly formed empire, but some were not, like ethnic groups such as the Magyars and the nationalities that were being suppressed by Austrian rule. The Magyars were the dominant force in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most political jobs were reserved for Magyars, and universal suffrage did not exist. To vote in the Hungarian half of the empire, people had to learn to read and write Magyar fluently. This was put in place to ensure Magyar dominance despite the fact that they made up less than half of...
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