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The Austro-Hungarian Empire, also known as Austria-Hungary or the Dual Monarchy, was a Great Power[1] in central Europe from the formal union in 1867 (called the Austro-Hungarian Compromise) to 1918. It was dissolved at the end of World War I by revolutions of communists and socialists and formerly by the plutocratic western Allies.


The dual monarchy was the successor to the Austrian Empire (1804–1867), its predecessor the [Holy Roman Empire]], and the Kingdom of Hungary. It was a multi-ethnic empire and regarded as a Great Power. In an era of so-called national awakening, it found its political life often dominated by internal disputes among the numerous ethnic groups.

Its economic and social life was marked by rapid economic growth through the age of industrialisation[2]; it had oil[3], and underwent social modernisation through many liberal and democratic reforms.

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

The dual monarchy 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 and diplomatically 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).

Austria-Hungary had a coastline on the Adriatic Sea stretching almost from Venice to Albania, a thriving merchant navy (notably Austrian Lloyd) centred on Trieste, and a substantial navy (Kriegsmarine) equal to that of Italy, whom they defeated at the Battle of Lissa and kept largely contained in Italian harbours during World War I.[4][5][6] .


  1. For God and Kaiser - The Imperial Austrian Army by Richard Bassett, Yale University Press, and London, 2015, ISBN 978-0-300-17858-6
  2. Economic Development in the Habsburg Monarchy and in the Successor States edited by John Komlos, Columbia University Press, New York, 1990, ISBN 0-88033-177-1
  3. Oil Empire - Visions of Prosperity in Austrian Galicia, by Alison Fleig Frank, Harvard University Press, and London, 2007, ISBN-13 978-0-674-02541-7
  4. A Fleet in Being - Austro-Hungarian Warships of WW1 by Russell Phillips, Truro, UK, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9927648-0-7
  5. Austro-Hungarian Battleships by Ryan Noppen, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2012, ISBN 978-1-84908-688-2
  6. The Battle of the Otranto Straits - Controlling the Gateway to the Adriatic in WW1, by Paul G. Halpern, Indiana University Press, USA, 2004, ISBN 0-253-34379-8
  • The Habsburg Empire by Franz Hubmann, English edition, RKP London, 1972. ISBN 0-7100-7230-9
  • The Habsburgs - Embodying Empire, by Andrew Wheatcroft, London, 1995/6. ISBN-13: 978-0-140-23634-7
  • The Habsburg Empire by Pieter M. Judson, Harvard University Press, and London, 2016. ISBN 978-0-674-04776-1
  • Twilight of the Habsburgs - The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Josef, by Alan Palmer, London, 1994, ISBN 0-297-81346-3
  • Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria by Joseph Redlich, London, 1929.