Way back in April 2012, Austria came by for what appeared to be the first time. Today, Austria came by again. Because the initial first visit got almost no notice here, I will today give Austria full first-time visitor treatment.
Officially, the nation is the Republic of Austria. It is:
a landlocked country of over 8.5 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 square kilometres (32,386 sq mi) and has analpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 metres (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speak local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and Austrian German in its standard form is the country'sofficial language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.Yeah, most Americans only know Austria because of "The Sound Of Music," but it used to be a big deal in Europe:
Austria later became engaged in a war with Revolutionary France, at the beginning highly unsuccessfully, with successive defeats at the hands of Napoleon meaning the end of the old Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Two years earlier, in 1804, the Empire of Austria was founded. In 1814 Austria was part of the Allied forces that invaded France and brought to an end the Napoleonic Wars.So Austria was a big deal in Europe for a long time. World War I pretty much put a damper on that, and World War II killed it. Now, it's just a purdy place:
It emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as one of the continent's four dominant powers and a recognised great power. The same year, the German Confederation(Deutscher Bund) was founded under the presidency of Austria. Because of unsolved social, political and national conflicts the German lands were shaken by the 1848 revolution aiming to create a unified Germany.
A unified Germany would have been possible either as a Greater Germany, or a Greater Austria or just the German Confederation without Austria at all. As Austria was not willing to relinquish its German-speaking territories to what would become the German Empire of 1848, the crown of the newly formed empire was offered to the Prussian KingFriedrich Wilhelm IV. In 1864, Austria and Prussia fought together against Denmark and secured the independence from Denmark of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. But as they could not agree on how the two duchies should be administered, they fought the Austro-Prussian War in 1866. Defeated by Prussia in the Battle of Königgrätz,Austria had to leave the German Confederation and subsequently no longer took part in German politics.
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Ausgleich, provided for a dual sovereignty, the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, under Franz Joseph I.The Austrian-Hungarian rule of this diverse empire included various Slavic groups, including Croats, Czechs, Poles, Rusyns, Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians, as well as large Italian and Romanian communities.
As a result, ruling Austria–Hungary became increasingly difficult in an age of emerging nationalist movements, requiring considerable reliance on an expanded secret police. Yet the government of Austria tried its best to be accommodating in some respects: The Reichsgesetzblatt, publishing the laws and ordinances of Cisleithania, was issued in eight languages; and all national groups were entitled to schools in their own language and to the use of their mother tongue at state offices, for example.
In 1908 Austria-Hungary found an excuse in the promulgation of the Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina. Theassassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip was used by leading Austrian politicians and generals to persuade the emperor to declare war on Serbia, thereby risking and prompting the outbreak of World War I, which eventually led to the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Over one million Austro-Hungarian soldiers died in World War I.
Also, "The Sound of Music:"
Can't beat that shit. Everybody give a big Eff You welcome to Austria! Come back soon, and bring your friends.