European History Pt. 18 — Austria

Last time we were introduced to the developments of the East following 1648. The main empires in the region were weakened and something had to be done. The Hapsburg, ever ingenious used this time to rebuild an empire. They would watch the Holy Roman Empire fall, but in its place would rise Austria-Hungary.

Things started in 1663, when a combined European force obliged the Turks to accept a 20 year truce. in 1683, at the behest of France, the turks began to attack Hungary again. Europe again counterattacked, with Poland and the Pope providing aid. It was in this European counterattack that the Turks blew up the Parthenon in Athens after using it as an ammunition dump.

The star for the Hapsburgs was Eugene of Savoy. A capable military commander who won the battle of Zenta in 1697, and forced the Turks to sign the treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 giving Austria control over most of Hungary. In 1739, Eugene forced the Turks to accept the peace of Belgrade which fixed the border between Austria Hungary and the Turks until the 20th century.

What resulted was a confederation of many kingships loosely affiliated and relatively autonomous in their own domains. Charles VI in the early 1700s (1713) issued the PRAGMATIC SANCTION a document that tried to guarantee that only ONE Hapsburg line would exist and that all Hapsburg territories would be inherited by a single person. Charles got everyone in th empire to accept it and then he set about getting everyone else (England, Dutch, etc.) to accept it as well.

By 1740, the Austrian empire had been built and it was militarily powerful and successful on a loose multicultural model (though of course repression ran high and would continue to do so).




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