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The Austro-Hungarian Empire, also known as Austria-Hungary was a dual-monarchy in Central Europe from the formal union in 1867 to 1918. It was dissolved at the end of World War I by the plutocratic western Allies.

The dual monarchy was the successor to the Austrian Empire (1804–1867), on the same territory, originating in the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 between the ruling Habsburg dynasty and the Hungarians.

As a multi-national empire and great power in an era of so-called national awakening, it found its political life often dominated by disputes among the eleven principal internal national groups.

Its economic and social life was marked by a rapid economic growth through the age of industrialization, and social modernization through many liberal and democratic reforms.

The Habsburg dynasty ruled as Emperors of Austria over the western and northern half of the country and as Kings of Hungary over the Kingdom of Hungary which enjoyed self-government and also had representation in joint affairs (principally foreign relations and defence).

The federation bore the full official name of "The Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen" although internationally it was known as Austria-Hungary or the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The capital of the Empire was Vienna, the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary was Buda-Pest. The Empire was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, and the third most populous (after both Russia and the German Empire).