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Bundesstaat Österreich
Federal State of Austria

 

1919–1938
Flag Coat of arms
Capital Vienna
Language(s) German
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Republic
President
 - 1919–20 Karl Seitz
 - 1920–28 Michael Hainisch
 - 1928–38 Wilhelm Miklas
Chancellor
 - 1918–20 Karl Renner (first)
 - 1922–24, 1926-1929 Ignaz Seipel
 - 1932–34 Engelbert Dollfuß
 - 1934–38 Kurt Schuschnigg
 - 1938 Arthur Seyß-Inquart (last)
Legislature Reichsrat
 - Upper house Herrenhaus
(House of Lords)
 - Lower house Abgeordnetenhaus
(House of Deputies)
Historical era Interwar period
 - Established October 21, 1919
 - July Revolt July 15, 1927
 - Assassination of
    Engelbert Dollfuß
July 25, 1934
 - Anschluss March 12, 1938

The Federal State of Austria encompasses the period of Austrian history following the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of September 1919, the settlement after the end of World War I which put an end to the Republic of German Austria, continuing up to World War II. Austria was a de-facto republic, but the constitution did not identify it directly as such, and its official name was the Federal State of Austria.

This period was marked by violent strife between the left and the right, as seen in the July Revolt of 1927. The Constitution of Austria was enacted in 1920 and amended in 1929. The Federal State (sometimes called the First Republic) came to an end with the Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938, or else, according to some accounts, with the establishment of the Austro-fascist dictatorship in 1933/34 following the Austrian Civil War. (The constitution of the Austro-fascist state did not consider Austria a republic, but a Bundesstaat, i.e. a federal state).

Contents

Foundation

In 1919, the state of German Austria was dissolved by the Treaty of Saint Germain, which ceded German-populated regions in Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia, German-populated Tyrol to Italy and a portion of southern land to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia). The treaty angered the German population in Austria who claimed that it violated the Fourteen Points laid out by United States President Woodrow Wilson during peace talks, specifically the right to "self-determination" of all nations. The new state managed to prevent two land claims from being taken by their neighbours. The first was the south-eastern part of Carinthia, which was inhabited mostly by Slovenians. It was prevented from being taken by the new SHS-state through a plebiscite on October 20, 1920, in which the population chose to remain with Austria. The second land-claim that was prevented was Hungary's claim to Burgenland, which, under the name "Western Hungary", had been part of the Hungarian kingdom since 1647. It was inhabited mostly by a German-speaking population, but had also Croat- and Hungarian-speaking minorities. Through the Treaty of St. Germain it became part of the Austrian Republic in 1921. After a plebiscite which was disputed by Austria, the city of Sopron (German Ödenburg) remained in Hungary.

After the war, Austria was governed by a coalition of left-wing and right-wing parties which had established a number of progressive socioeconomic and labour legislation. In 1920, the coalition government established the Constitution of Austria. However the new state was difficult to control, as much of the former empire's important economic regions had been taken away with the foundation of new nation-states. The matter was further complicated by the fact that a number of these new nation-states were still dependent on Vienna's banks.

Government and Politics, 1920–1932

History of Austria
Coat of Arms of Austria
This article is part of a series
Early History
Hallstatt culture
Noricum
Marcomanni
Samo's Realm
Carantania
March of Austria
Babenberger
Privilegium Minus
Habsburg era
House of Habsburg
Holy Roman Empire
Archduchy of Austria
Habsburg Monarchy
Austrian Empire
German Confederation
Austria–Hungary
World War I
Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
World War I
Interwar Years
German Austria
Federal State of Austria
Austrofascism
Anschluss
World War II
National Socialism
World War II
Post-war Austria
Allied-administered Austria
Second Austrian Republic

Austria Portal
 v • d •  e 

After 1920, Austria's government was dominated by the Christian Social Party which retained close ties to the Roman Catholic Church. The party's first Chancellor, Ignaz Seipel, attempted to forge a political alliance between wealthy industrialists and the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the nation having a steady political party in power, the politics of the nation were fractious and violent, with both left-wing (Republikanischer Schutzbund) and right-wing (Heimwehr) political paramilitary forces clashing with each other. In 1927, left-wing supporters engaged in a massive protest over the acquittal of right-wing paramilitaries who were found guilty of killing a man and a child. The huge protest was known as the July Revolt of 1927. The July Revolt was put down through violence by police which killed a number of protestors. The violence in Austria continued to escalate until the early 1930s when Engelbert Dollfuß became Chancellor.

Austrofascism

Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß (English: Dollfuss) of the Christian Social Party took power in Austria in 1932, and moved the party and Austria towards dictatorship, centralization and fascism. In 1933, Dollfuß took advantage of an error in a bill in parliament, and his cabinet voted to dissolve the National Council and declared that parliament ceased to function.

The government was in competition with the growing Austrian Nazi party, which wanted Austria to join Germany. Dollfuß's Austrofascism tied Austria's roots with Roman Catholicism to the government, as a means to show reason to why Austria should not join a predominantly Protestant Germany. Violence escalated into civil war between Nazis, socialists, and Austrofascists.

In 1934, Dollfuß created a one-party state, to be led by the Fatherland Front. The state took complete control on employer–employee relations, and began to crack down on pro-Nazi and pro–German-unification sympathizers. The Nazis responded by assassinating Engelbert Dollfuß on July 25, 1934.

This assassination by the Austrian Nazis infuriated Austria's neighbour, Fascist Italy under dictator Benito Mussolini. Fascist Italy had good relations with Austria under Dollfuß and Mussolini suspected German involvement and promised the Austrofascist regime military support if Germany were to invade, as the Nazis had claims on Italian-administered Tyrol. Italy's support helped save Austria from potential annexation in 1934.

The successor to Dollfuß, Kurt Schuschnigg, maintained the ban on Nazi activities, but also banned Austria's national paramilitary force, the Heimwehr in 1936.

Anschluss

In 1938, Hitler had gained Italy's favour on the issue of annexation of Austria, and made clear his immediate intentions to take over the country. Schuschnigg desperately tried to avoid war with Germany, and organized a plebiscite set for March 13 to decide whether Austria would join Germany or remain independent. Schuschnigg intended to rig the vote to ensure a pro-Austrian victory. Hitler responded by demanding Schuschnigg's immediate resignation, which he was pressured to accept on March 11 which the immediate threat of occupation. Schuschnigg was replaced by Austrian Nazi leader Arthur Seyß-Inquart and Germany sent in troops the next day on March 12, which took over the nation. On March 13, the First Austrian Republic was formally dissolved and became part of Germany as part of Anschluss (political union).

References

External links

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Republik Österreich
Republic of Austria
File:Flag of
 
File:Flag of Hungary with arms (state).svg
1919–1934 File:Flag of
File:Flag of File:Austria Bundesadler
Flag Coat of arms
Capital Vienna
Language(s) German
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Federal republic
President
 - 1919–20 Karl Seitz
 - 1920–28 Michael Hainisch
 - 1928–38 Wilhelm Miklas
Chancellor
 - 1918–20 Karl Renner (first)
 - 1921–22, 1929-1930 Johann Schober
 - 1922–24, 1926-1929 Ignaz Seipel
 - 1932–34 Engelbert Dollfuß
Legislature Reichsrat
 - Upper house Herrenhaus
(House of Lords)
 - Lower house Abgeordnetenhaus
(House of Deputies)
Historical era Interwar period
 - Established October 21, 1919
 - July Revolt July 15, 1927
 - Selbstausschaltung of Parliament March, 1933
 - May Constitution (Maiverfassung) May 1, 1934

The First Austrian Republic encompasses the period of Austrian history following the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of September 1919, the settlement after the end of World War I which put an end to the Republic of German Austria, continuing up to World War II. Austria was a de-facto republic, but the constitution did not identify it directly as such, and its official name was the Federal State of Austria.

This period was marked by violent strife between the left and the right, as seen in the July Revolt of 1927. The Constitution of Austria was enacted in 1920 and amended in 1929. The Federal State (sometimes called the First Republic) came to an end with the Anschluss to Nazi Germany in 1938, or else, according to some accounts, with the establishment of the Austro-fascist dictatorship in 1933/34 following the Austrian Civil War. (The constitution of the Austro-fascist state did not consider Austria a republic, but a Bundesstaat, i.e. a federal state).

Contents

Foundation

In 1919, the state of German Austria was dissolved by the Treaty of Saint Germain, which ceded German-populated regions in Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia, German-populated Tyrol to Italy and a portion of southern land to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia). The treaty angered the German population in Austria who claimed that it violated the Fourteen Points laid out by United States President Woodrow Wilson during peace talks, specifically the right to "self-determination" of all nations. The new state managed to prevent two land claims from being taken by their neighbours. The first was the south-eastern part of Carinthia, which was inhabited mostly by Slovenians. It was prevented from being taken by the new SHS-state through a plebiscite on October 20, 1920, in which the population chose to remain with Austria. The second land-claim that was prevented was Hungary's claim to Burgenland, which, under the name "Western Hungary", had been part of the Hungarian kingdom since 1647. It was inhabited mostly by a German-speaking population, but had also Croat- and Hungarian-speaking minorities. Through the Treaty of St. Germain it became part of the Austrian Republic in 1921. After a plebiscite which was disputed by Austria, the city of Sopron (German Ödenburg) remained in Hungary.

After the war, Austria was governed by a coalition of left-wing and right-wing parties which had established a number of progressive socioeconomic and labour legislation. In 1920, the coalition government established the Constitution of Austria. However the new state was difficult to control, as much of the former empire's important economic regions had been taken away with the foundation of new nation-states. The matter was further complicated by the fact that a number of these new nation-states were still dependent on Vienna's banks.

Government and Politics, 1920–1932

History of Austria

This article is part of a series
Early History
Hallstatt culture
Noricum
Marcomanni
Samo's Realm
Carantania
March of Austria
Babenberger
Privilegium Minus
Habsburg era
House of Habsburg
Holy Roman Empire
Archduchy of Austria
Habsburg Monarchy
Austrian Empire
German Confederation
Austria–Hungary
World War I
Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
World War I
Interwar Years
German Austria
Federal State of Austria
Austrofascism
Anschluss
World War II
National Socialism
World War II
Post-war Austria
Allied-occupied Austria
Second Austrian Republic

Austria Portal
 v • d • e 

After 1920, Austria's government was dominated by the Christian Social Party which retained close ties to the Roman Catholic Church. The party's first Chancellor, Ignaz Seipel, attempted to forge a political alliance between wealthy industrialists and the Roman Catholic Church. Despite the nation having a steady political party in power, the politics of the nation were fractious and violent, with both left-wing (Republikanischer Schutzbund) and right-wing (Heimwehr) political paramilitary forces clashing with each other. In 1927, left-wing supporters engaged in a massive protest over the acquittal of right-wing paramilitaries who were found guilty of killing a man and a child. The huge protest was known as the July Revolt of 1927. The July Revolt was put down through violence by police which killed a number of protestors. The violence in Austria continued to escalate until the early 1930s when Engelbert Dollfuß became Chancellor.

Austrofascism

Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß (English: Dollfuss) of the Christian Social Party took power in Austria in 1932, and moved the party and Austria towards dictatorship, centralization and fascism. In 1933, Dollfuß took advantage of an error in a bill in parliament, and his cabinet voted to dissolve the National Council and declared that parliament ceased to function.

The government was in competition with the growing Austrian Nazi party, which wanted Austria to join Germany. Dollfuß's Austrofascism tied Austria's roots with Roman Catholicism to the government, as a means to show reason to why Austria should not join a predominantly Protestant Germany. Violence escalated into civil war between Nazis, socialists, and Austrofascists.

In 1934, Dollfuß created a one-party state, to be led by the Fatherland Front. The state took complete control on employer–employee relations, and began to crack down on pro-Nazi and pro–German-unification sympathizers. The Nazis responded by assassinating Engelbert Dollfuß on July 25, 1934.

This assassination by the Austrian Nazis infuriated Austria's neighbour, Fascist Italy under dictator Benito Mussolini. Fascist Italy had good relations with Austria under Dollfuß and Mussolini suspected German involvement and promised the Austrofascist regime military support if Germany were to invade, as the Nazis had claims on Italian-administered Tyrol. Italy's support helped save Austria from potential annexation in 1934.

The successor to Dollfuß, Kurt Schuschnigg, maintained the ban on Nazi activities, but also banned Austria's national paramilitary force, the Heimwehr in 1936.

Anschluss

In 1938, Hitler had gained Italy's favour on the issue of annexation of Austria, and made clear his immediate intentions to take over the country. Schuschnigg desperately tried to avoid war with Germany, and organized a plebiscite set for March 13 to decide whether Austria would join Germany or remain independent. Schuschnigg intended to rig the vote to ensure a pro-Austrian victory. Hitler responded by demanding Schuschnigg's immediate resignation, which he was pressured to accept on March 11 which the immediate threat of occupation. Schuschnigg was replaced by Austrian Nazi leader Arthur Seyß-Inquart and Germany sent in troops the next day on March 12, which took over the nation. On March 13, the First Austrian Republic was formally dissolved and became part of Germany as part of Anschluss (political union).

References

External links


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