Austria; key historical events
Page last modified 12/6/2020
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15/10/2017, Elections in Austria produced gains for the far-right party, over issues of immigration.
22/5/2016, In Austrian Presidential elections, Mr Norbert Hofer of the far-Right lost to Mr Alexander Van der Bellen of the Greens by the narrow margin of 0.6%. The result was connected to rising concern about migration into Europe from Asia and Africa.
26/4/2008, Police arrested Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, Austria, after he held women and children for years in a dungeon below his home. He was jailed for life in March 2009.
20/2/2006, British historian David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison by an Austrian court for Holocaust denial.
2/2000, Following elections, Joerg Haider’s Freedom Party formed a Hard-Right coaltion with the conservative People’s Party.
11/11/2000, A fire on a funicular railway in the Austrian ski resort of Kaprun killed 155 holidaymakers.
8/7/1992, Thomas Klestil became President of Austria
21/1/1987, In Austria, a coalition government under Dr Franz Ranitzky took office.
8/6/1986, Kurt Waldheim was elected president of Austria, amid controversy over his alleged collaboration with the Nazis in World War Two. He was inaugurated on 8/7/1986.
18/11/1977, Kurt von Schuschnigg, Austrian politician, died.
21/12/1975, Left wing terrorists, including Carlos The Jackal, kidnapped delegates of an OPEC conference in Vienna. They killed three hostages, extorted US$ 3 million, and vanished into the Middle East.
1/3/1970, Socialists won an unexpected victory in Austrian general elections.
22/6/1956, In Austria, following the general election of 13/5/1956, Julius Raab formed a coalition government of the People’s Party and the Socialists.
15/5/1955. Austria became de jure an independent state within its 1937 borders under the Austrian State Treaty, signed by the USA, USSR, France, and Britain (see 7/1/1946). All the four-power occupation forces were withdrawn by 25/10/1955. On 5/11/1955 Austria declared itself constitutionally to be permanently neutral.
30/12/1954, Archduke Eugen, Austrian field marshal, died aged 91.
1950, An attempted Communist coup in Austria failed.
7/1/1946. Austria was established as a de facto
independent state, divided into four zones of military occupation, as was
For more events of World War Two in Europe see France-Germany
11/8/1939, The Axis
Conference opened at
22/4/1937. The Austrian Chancellor, Schuschnigg, met Mussolini.
21/5/1936, In Austria, Kurt Schusnigg was made leader of the Fatherland Front, the only permitted Party.
1/4/1936. Austria introduced conscription.
4/7/1935, Austria, encouraged by Mussolini, abolished anti-Hapsburg laws and restored some imperial property.
14/3/1935, Anton Rintelen was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the July Putsch.
30/4/1934, Chancellor Dollfuss became dictator of Austria.
17/2/1934. A Socialist revolt in Austria was brutally crushed.
30/1/1934. All Austrian political parties were banned except the 'Fatherland Front'.
declared martial law in
29/3/1933, Austrian Nazis staged a large demonstration, in defiance of Chancellor Dollfuss. Meanwhile Germany instituted a punitive 1,000 Mark tourist tax on any German visiting Austria, which severely damaged the Austrian tourist industry.
7/3/1933. Chancellor Dollfuss suspended the Austrian Parliament.
27/7/1932, Archduchess Gisela of Austria died, aged 76.
20/5/1932, Engelbert Dolfuss, Austrian Chancellor, formed a coalition government of Christian Socialists and Agrarians.
13/9/1931, In Austria, an attempted Fascist coup by the Heimwehr under Dr Pfrimer failed.
9/11/1930. Social Democrats won elections to the Austrian Parliament.
26/9/1929, John Schrober became chancellor of Austria.
30/4/1929, Ernst Streeruwitz was appointed Chancellor of Austria.
5/12/1928, Wilhelm Miklas was elected President of Austria, succeeding Michael Hainish.
15/7/1927. Vienna faced a General Strike as Socialists rioted. The left wing was upset that Austrian courts were much more lenient on offences committed by right-wing offenders, even up to murder.
15/10/1926, Ignaz Seipel formed a Christian Socialist Government in Austria, replacing Rudolf Ramek.
9/12/1920, Michael Hainish elected first President of Austria.
10/9/1919, The Treaty of St Germain was signed by the Allies with Austria at the Paris Peace Conference. Austria had to pay large reparations to the Allies, and recognise the independence of Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
10/6/1919, Austria protested against the terms of the Paris Peace Conference.
population of Vorarlberg, the
12/11/1918, The Republic of Austria was declared, ending the Hapsburg Dynasty, as Emperor Charles abdicated.
10/4/1918, A congress of Austrian-subject peoples was held in Rome.
For main European events of World War One see France-Germany
21/11/1916. Emperor Franz Josef, ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire since 1848, died. He was succeeded by his 29-year old grandson, Charles I.
23/7/1914. Austria determined that the government of Serbia was involved in the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on 28/6/1914, and sent an ultimatum to the President of Serbia, Narodna Odbrana, drafted so as to prepare for war with Serbia. The terms were designed to be too humiliating for Serbia to accept. In fact Serbia accepted most of the terms, but insisted that an Austro-Serbian judicial enquiry into the assassination would be subject to Serbian law, and Austria rejected this condition. See 28/7/1914. Austria’s real issue with Serbia was that it blocked potential Austrian territorial expansion southwards into the Balkans, to give Austria domination of the Aegean Sea.
5/12/1912, Italy, Germany and Austria renewed their Triple alliance for a further six years.
15/11/1908. Austria sent troops to the Serbian frontier.
10/1/1907, Austria passed a Bill giving the vote to all males aged 24 and over.
16/9/1903, Franz Joseph of Austria proposed to bring Hungarian Army regiments in under a unified military command. This provoked opposition from the Magyars.
23/6/1902, Germany, Austro-Hungary, and
14/12/1897, Kurt Schusnigg, Austrian politician, was born.
30/7/1897, Alfred Arneth, Austrian historian, died (born 10/7/1819).
18/2/1895, Friedrich Albert, Austrian Field Marshal, died (born 3/8/1817 in Vienna).
4/10/1892, Engelbert Dolfuss, Austrian dictator, was born.
6/5/1891, The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria, and Italy was renewed.
24/10/1886, Friedrich Beust, Austrian statesman, died near Vienna (born in Dresden 13/1/1809).
20/5/1882, Austria formed a Triple Alliance with Germany and Italy; this threatened Russia.
27/4/1881, Ludwig Benedek, Austrian General, died in Graz ( born in Odenburg, Hungary 14/7/1804).
8/7/1876, The Austrian and Russian foreign Ministers, Andrassy and Gorchakov, met at the Reichstadt in Bohemia to discuss the future of the Balkans on the conclusion of the current conflict.
15/3/1867, Austria and Hungary buried their differences and agreed to joint rule, sharing defence, foreign, and financial matters but with separate parliaments. However the Czechs, annoyed by the minor role they were given in this arrangement, walked out of the Parliament on 22/8/1868.
8/2/1867, As Prussia became increasingly powerful under Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck and King Wilhelm I, political differences between Germany and the Hapsburgs of Austria, who had ruled Austria since 1278. This weakened Austria to the point where Hungary threatened to break away, and to save the unity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was forced to agree to a Dual Monarchy, where each State had a separate government and a convoluted system of joint Ministers to oversee the Empire. However this in turn alienated ethnic minorities within Austro-Hungary, ultimately sparking off demands for Serbian independence and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand that led to World War One.
3/10/1866, A peace treaty was concluded between Austria and Italy. Austria surrendered Venetia to Italy.
23/8/1866. The Treaty of Prague was signed, ending the war between Austria and Prussia.
24/6/1866, The Italians fighting the Austrians were defeated at Custozza.
14/6/1866, The brief Austro-Prussian War began, over a dispute between Prussia and Austria over the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
10/11/1859, A peace treaty signed at Zurich ended the war between France, allied to Piedmont, and Austria. The effects of the treaty were crucial in the unification of Italy. Under its terms, Lombardy passed from Austria to Piedmont, with the exception of the Quadrilateral forts (see 24/6/1859) which were retained by Austria. Piedmont compensated France 60 million lire for the cost of the war with Austria. Plebiscites were held in various territories to determine which State they would join.
10/7/1859, The Treaty of Villafranca was signed between France and Austria.
24/6/1859, At the Battle of Solferino, Lombardy, Italy, the French under Napoleon III defeated the Austrians.
4/6/1859, The Battle of Magenta. France defeated Austrian forces and captured Milan.
30/5/1859, Battle of Palestro; Austria defeated by Piedmont.
20/5/1859, Italian Wars of independence, Austria defeated by Piedmont.
See Italy for War of Italian Independence against Austria
3/5/1859. France declared war on Austria.
5/1/1858, Joseph Radedtsky, Austrian Field-Marshal and national hero, died in Milan aged 91.
2/12/1854, Austria formed a strategic alliance with Britain and France.
24/6/1852, Viktor Adler, Austrian politician (died 12/11/1918) was born.
2/12/1848, Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria abdicated in favour of his nephew, Francis Joseph.
30/4/1847, Charles, Archduke of Austria, died (born 5/9/1771).
6/11/1846, Following uprisings in March 1846, the small republic of Cracow was annexed to Austrian-controlled Galicia, losing its independence.
24/12/1837, Elizabeth, consort of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, was born.
2/3/1835, Francis II, last Holy Roman Emperor, died. He was succeeded, as Emperor of Austria only, by his 4-year-old son, Ferdinand I.
18/10/1634, Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg, Austrian statesman (born 1568) died at Laibach.
18/8/1830, Birth of Franz-Joseph I, Emperor of Austria who invaded Serbia, ultimately starting World War One.
3/8/1817, Friedrich Albert, Austrian Field Marshal, was born in Vienna (died 18/2/1895).
10/7/1819, Alfred Arneth, Austrian historian, was born in Vienna (died 1897).
20/2/1811, Austria declared itself bankrupt.
14/10/1809. Austria signed the Peace of Schonbrunn, ceding its Illyrian provinces to France. Austria lost Galicia, Salzburg, and Istria.
8/10/1809, Metternich was appointed Austrian Foreign Minister.
13/1/1809, Friedrich Beust, Austrian statesman, was born Dresden (died near Vienna 24/10/1886).
26/12/1805, Austria abandoned the Third Coalition by signing the Peace of Pressburg with France. Austria was forced to surrender Venetia to the Kingdom of Italy, newly founded by Napoleon. Austria also surrendered Tyrol to Bavaria and its remaining Swabian lands to Wurttemberg and Baden.
See France-Germany for more events of Napoleonic Wars
20/10/1805, The outnumbered French army of Napoleon defeated an Austrian army at Ulm. Napoleon had already realised he cold not gain control of the English Channel, or overcome British naval supremacy, so before the Battle of Trafalgar he had directed his forces eastwards, against Austria. Austria had to submit to the Treaty of Pressburg, by which Venetia was ceded to the French Kingdom of Italy and the States of the Lower Rhine were forced into the Confederation of the Rhine, a French dependency. The Electors of Bavaria and Wurttemberg became Kings independent of Austria, and Austria had to pay Napoleon a war contribution of 40 million francs.
14/7/1804, Ludwig Benedek, Austrian General, was born in Odenburg, Hungary (died in Graz 27/4/1881).
29/11/1780, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, died in Vienna.
13/5/1779, At the Peace of Teschen, Austria made peace with Frederick of Prussia. Austria received a small part of Bavaria, the Innvertiel, and renounced all claims to the Bavarian inheritance.
5/9/1771, Charles, Archduke of Austria, was born (died 30/4/1847).
2/11/1766, Joseph Radetsky, Austrian Field Marshal, was born in Trebnitz, near Tabor.
5/2/1766, Leopold Daun, Austrian Field Marshal, died (born 24/9/1705).
15/2/1763, Austria, seeing hope for a decisive victory over Prussia recede with peace between Russia and Prussia, made peace with Prussia at Hubertusberg this day. Frederick evacuated Saxony but retained Silesia. Austria had failed to destroy Prussia before Prussian power was consolidated.
10/2/1763, The end of the Seven Years War. France ceded Canada to Britain at the Treaty of Paris. See 26/7/1758 and 13/9/1759. The same treaty gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Britain returning Cuba, which it had invaded on 12/8/1762, to Spain; Spain also regained Louisiana and the Philippines. Britain gained all of America east of the Mississippi. Britain also gained Minorca, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Tobago, St Vincent, Grenada, Dominica, and Senegal, as well as becoming pre-eminent in India; Britain therefore became the world’s major colonising power. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, which set Prussia on the road to also becoming a major European power.
29/10/1762, The Austrians were defeated at the Battle of Freiburg. The war was making Austria bankrupt and Austria was questioning whether the war was worth it for the recovery of one province. Austria and Prussia agreed on an armistice on 24/11/1762 for the winter of 1762/3.
See also France-Germany for Seven Years War
9/10/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Schweidnitz.
16/8/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Reichenbach.
21/7/1762, The Austrians under Daun were defeated by Prussia at Burkersdorf.
16/12/1761 The Russians under Pyotr Aleksandrovitch Rumyantsev captured the Prussian port and fort of Kolberg. It had been a bad year for Frederick of Prussia, with French forces making progress eastwards in south western Germany, and the Austrians under Laudon capturing Schweidnitz on 1/10/1761, ensuring they could over-winter in Silesia. Frederick had failed to prevent the Russian Army, 50,000 strong, joining up with the 72,000-strong Austrian Army on 23/8/1761. Frederick’s biggest concern was that since the change of monarch and the resignation of Pitt in Britain, he could no longer rely on British support. Without a major change of fortune, Prussia faced certain defeat in 1762.
3/11/1760 Frederick of Prussia won the Battle of Torgau against the Austrians but failed to follow up this success and achieve his objective of capturing Dresden.
26/7/1760, The Austrians under Laudon captured Glatz from Prussia.
23/6/1760, The Austrians under Laudon defeated the Prussians at Landshut.
14/9/1759, The Austrians under Daun took Dresden from the Prussians.
12/8/1759, Frederick, who had been unable to prevent the Austrians under Daun and the Russians under Saltykov joining forces, was heavily defeated by them at Kunersdorf. Frederick lost 18,000 men in six hours. The Russians did not capitalise on this victory, but Daun then marched on Dresden.
21/11/1758, Austrian forces under Daun surrounded a Prussian force under General Finck at Maxen, forcing its surrender.
14/10/1758, The Austrians under Daun launched an unexpected counter-attack against the Prussians at Hochkirk; Prussian losses were 9,500 against 7,500 for the Austrians. Daun began an advance on Dresden, but fell back to Pirna when he heard of Frederick’s march on Lusatia. However the Austrian victory at Hochkirk raised French morale; they had been inclined to abandon the war against Prussia.
25/8/1758, Frederick of Prussia moved around Fermor’s east flank and his 36,000 men attacked the Russians at Zorndorf (Sarbinowo). Prussian losses were 13,500, against Russian casualties of 42,000 (21,000 killed). Frederick now left Christoph von Dohna to pursue the defeated Russians; Frederick moved south to assist his brother, Prince Henry, against the Austrians under Daun at Dresden.
16/4/1758, Frederick of Prussia defeated the Austrians at Schweidnitz, Silesia.
5/12/1757, Frederick of Prussia, now confronted by an Austrian army which had invaded Silesia and seized Breslau, defeated them this day at Leuthen and recovered Breslau, capital of Silesia. Frederick’s 43,000 men attacked the 72,000 Austrians under Charles of Lorraine with a sudden cavalry charge followed by a heavy artillery bombardment. Frederick’s losses amounted to 6,000, against 22,000 lost by Charles, including 12,000 taken prisoner. Meanwhile the Swedes, who had invaded Prussian Pomerania in September 1757 (without Russian approval), were also forced back into Swedish Pomerania, where they held against the Prussians at Stralsund. With the Russians under Apraksin also having retreated (see 30/8/1757), the was began to turn in Prussia’s favour.
22/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Breslau (Wroclaw) from Prussia.
11/11/1757, In Silesia, Austria took Schweidnitz (Swidnica) from Prussia.
7/9/1757, Prussian forces under Fredrick Francis of Brunswick-Bevern were defeated at Moys (Zgorzelec) in Silesia by the Austrians.
26/6/1757, Maximillian Browne, Austrian Field-Marshal, died (born 23/10/1705).
18/6/1757, Frederick, ruler of Prussia, sought to turn back an advancing Austrian army, 50,000 strong under von Daun, but was heavily defeated at Kolin this day. Frederick had to give up Bohemia and raise the siege of Prague.
6/5/1757, The Battle of Prague. Frederick’s Prussian Army of 64,000 routed an Austrian Army of 66,000 under Browne and Prince Charles of Lorraine. This defeat came before the Austrians could be reinforced by more troops under Leopold Joseph, Graf von Daun. 14,000 Austrians were killed, 16,000 escaped to join von Daun, and the rest fled into Prague itself where they were besieged by Frederick.
1/5/1757, Austria and France signed the Second Treaty of Versailles, allying themselves for an offensive against Prussia. Under this Treaty, Austria would regain Silesia (from Prussia) but would cede the Austrian Netherlands (to be divided between King Louis XV of France and his Spanish Bourbon cousin Philip Duke of Parma). Philip’s Italian possessions would revert to Austrian rule. France would garrison 105,000 of its troops in Prussia, in addition to supplying 30,000 men to the Austrian Army (increased from an earlier figure of 24,000). France would provide an annual subsidy to Austria of 12,000,000 livres. Meanwhile on 11/1/1757 France had concluded a secret treaty with Russia whereby France agreed to help Russia in the event of any attack on Russia by Turkey (contravening a long-standing detente between France and Turkey). In return for this Russia would supply 80,000 men against Prussia. All parties swore not to make separate peaces with Prussia, which was to be partitioned between the Allies.
1/10/1756, The Battle of Lobositz (midway between Dresden and Prague). The Prussians defeated the Austrians. Russia would have marched to help Austria against Prussia, but this would entail Russian troops crossing Poland. Although France would nominally have welcomed this, as it would relieve the French from helping Austria, and Poland was allied to France, in secret the French would not welcome any Russian influence upon Poland.
1748, Comclusion of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). On the sudden death of Emperor Charles VI, Bavaria, Saxony and Spain, backed by France, refused to recognise the Pragmatic Sanction and invaded Bohemia and Upper Austria. Prussia put in a claim, and then invaded Silesia (Second Silesian War ended 1745). Bavaria withdrew its claim, and under the 1748 Treaty of Aachen the Hapsburgs retained all their dominions, excepting Silesia.
25/12/1745, The Peace of Dresden concluded the Second Silesian War. Frederick of Prussia retained Silesia, and recognised Francis as ruler of Austria.
15/12/1745, Frederick invaded Bohemia, and occupied most of Saxony. On this day his chief general, Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, defeated the Austrians and Saxons at Kesselsdorf, near Dresden.
4/6/1745, The Austrians attacked Silesia, allied with troops from Saxony, but were defeated by Prussia at Hohenfriedburg.
28/7/1742, Maria Theresa of Austria made peace with Prussia; ceding control of all of Silesia to Prussia.
11/6/1742, The Peace of Breslau concluded the First Silesian War. Austria ceded most of Silesia along with Glatz to Prussia, retaining only the principalities of Troppau and Teschen. In return Frederick promised his neutrality.
17/5/1742, The Prussian cavalry defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Chotusitz.
10/4/1741, The German Emperor crossed the Silesian frontier, advanced as far as Breslau, and this day defeated an Austrian Army near Mollwitz. This was during the War of the Austrian Succession.
8/2/1741. Neisse and Brieg still held out but the Prussians stormed and occupied Glogau on 9/3/1741. At the Battle of Mollwitz, 10/4/1741, the Prussians narrowly won the day. Europe realised that Prussia was now a major military power and France sent an envoy, Marshal Belleisle, to negotiate an alliance with Frederick. The ‘Silesian adventure’ now became the War of the Austrian Succession. France supported the Elector of Bavaria. Sweden was supposed to stop Russia attacking Prussia but on 3/9/1742 the Swedes were heavily defeated by the Russians at Wilmanstrand, and Sweden capitulated in 1742 at Helsingfors, the Swedish capital. At the Peace of Dresden, 25/12/1745 Frederick recognised the Elector of Bavaria as ruler of Austria in return for his acquiring Silesia. The war of the Austrian Succession ended on 18/10/1748 with the Peace of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle).
16/12/1740. Without a declaration of war. Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia, an Austrian province. He occupied Silesia quite easily, besieging the few towns of Glogau, Breig, and Neisse still held by the Austrians. In February 1741 Austria prepared to reconquer Silesia.
See also events in Germany
20/10/1740, Emperor Charles VI died unexpectedly. Maria Theresa, aged 23, became ruler of Austria. Frederick II of Prussia, taking advantage of Austria having a young female ruler, prepared to invade the wealthy Austrian provoince of Silesia. Meanwhile Bavaria and Saxony also had claims on Austrian lands (their claims supported by France), and Spain wanted the Italian provinces of Austria. Hungary supported Austria.
22/8/1717. Austrian forces took Belgrade from the Ottoman Turks.
13/5/1717, Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, was born in Vienna.
30/4/1711, The Peace of Szatmar effected a reconciliation between the absolutist Hapsburg Austrian monarchy and the Hungarians.
23/10/1705, Maximillian Browne, Austrian Field-Marshal, was born (died 26/6/1757).
24/9/1705, Leopold Daun, Austrian Field Marshal, was born (died 5/2/1766).
1691, Austria took Transylvania from the Ottomans,
6/7/1686. The Austrians took Buda from the Ottoman Turks and annexed Hungary.
11/9/1683. The conquering armies of Islam under Vizier Kara Mustafa were defeated at the gates of Vienna. The Turks had been besieging Vienna since July 1683. Relief came under Poland’s King John III and Charles, Duke of Normandy. The Ottoman Sultan ordered Mustafa to commit suicide.
22/7/1634, Johann Aldringer, Austrian military commander, died at the defence of Landshut against the Swedes on the Danube.
11/11/1606, The Treaty of Zsitvatorok ended the Long War between the Hapsburgs and the Ottoman Empire.
29/8/1526, The Battle of Mohacs. The Turkish army under Suleiman I defeated the Hungarians under King Loius II, who was killed whilst retreating. Suleiman took Buda, whilst Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and John Zapolya, Prince of Transylvania, disputed over the succession. As a result of this dispute, Dubrovnik achieved independence, although it recognised Turkish overlordship. The Hapsburgs now ruled Bohemia and Hungary.
1/11/1339, Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria, was born.
25/8/1278, Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, was killed in the Battle of Durnkrut. Ottokar II had previously lost a battle with Rudolf I of Hapsburg (Habichtsburg, or Hawk’s castle, a town now in Switzerland) in 1276; refusing to accept this defeat, he prepared to attack again. However Rudolf launched a pre-emptive strike, with 2,000 horsemen, and the support of Ladislav of Hungary. This battle paved the way for the rise of the Hapsburg Dynasty.
1155, The Margravate of Austria was made a Duchy after 180 years of rule by the Babenberg family.
976, The start of modern-day Austria, as a Margravate on the Danube granted by Holy Roman Emperor Otto II to the Franconian Count Leopold (Luipold); Leopold’s Babenberg family ruled the Margravate until 1246.