* Austrian boys clothes








Austrian Empire (1526-1918)


Figure 1.--Here we see two Vienna boys in 1908. They are 7 and 9 years old. I think their names are Eugerl and Ruderl which seems to be cute (diminuative) versions of Eugen and Rudolph. I think the boys are wearing the army uniforms as costumes. What is interesting about this portrait is that it was taken on Easter Sunday (April 19). Boys in most other countries might have Eater portraits taken, but not dressed in army uniforms. This speaks to fashion and social attitudes in Austria-Hungary and probably Germany at the time. The boys' outfits could be cadet uniforms, but I think the boys are too young to be cadets. Austria for centuries had been one of the great powers of Europe. Prussia quickly defeated Austria (1866) after which Austria-Hungaria was formed. Few in the early 20th century fully understood how Ausria-Hungary's military power had declined.

Austria is today a small German-speaking state. This has only been the case since 1918 and the end of World War I. For much of European history Austria-Hungary and earlier the Austrian Empire or the lands goverened by the Hapsburgs were one of the great powers of Europe. The Hapsburgs begun with a small principality in Austrian which they turned into a great empire. This included many small principalities, including the Netherlands and eventually spain, but the heartland was always Austria and the two criticl components of the Austrin empire in addition to Austria was the acquisition of Bohemia and Hungary. Bohemia had been severely weakened by the Husseite Wars. The Czech crown passed first to the Hungarian (Jagiello) monarchy. The Ottomans defeated and killed Hungarian King Ludwig/Louis at the Battle of Mohács, ending the Jagellon line (1526). As a result, the Austrian Hapsburgs inherited Bohemia and the Czech lands. They would rule the Czechs until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the wake of World War I. The Hapsburg lands were nor for centuries formally called the Austrian Empire although that was in fact what they were. The Hapsburgs formally proclaimed the Austrian Empire (1804). After the Napoleonic was, Austria and Prussia vied for control of Germany. Austria-Hungary was a compromise reached after Ausrtria's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War (1866). Prussia's defeat of Austria led to the formation of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867 under Emperor Franz Josef and exclusion from the new German Empire unified by Bismarck. The Hungarians wanted independence. To prevent this and separation, a dual monarchy was created. Hungary was given its own parliament and primeminister. The Empire itself was a patch work creation of a large number of nationalities. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was a polygot construction of peoples with different cultureas, religion, ethnicity, and historical experiences. These people had national experiences before they were absorbed by Hapsburg Austria. For much of European history, nationalism was not a major factor. Many people were ruled by foreign dynasties. The French Revolution fundamentally changed attitudes toward foreign rules. The same force that led to German unification under Prussia led to other peoples demanding theie own nation states or at least autonomy within national structures. Some like the Hungarians and later the Czechs were able to gain language rights. Other areas like Bosnia were eentially under military occupation. Vienna itself because of the nature of the Empire was a very cosmopolitan city where people of many nationalities, including Jews, lived together producing an intelectual ferment that produced men like Freud. A period of prosperity followed the Empire's creation. Austria's expansionist tendencies in the Balkans and its annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908 led to the assassination of the Emperor's nephew in Sarajevo in June 1914 by serbian separatists. A month later, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, the Russians came to the Serbians aid and the slaughter of World War I began in earnest.

The Hapsburgs

One of the longest ruling European royal families was the Hapsburgs. The Hapsburgs often dominated European history from the 16th to the 19th century. Even in their declining years of Hapsburg rule, the family played a key role in the 20th century. It was the assasination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand that was to lead to World War I. Like the Hohenzollerns, the Hapsburgs took their name from a family castle in Medieval Germany. This renowened family of German origins was in various periods the ruling family of Germany, as a separate family and as part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was the Hapsburgs who stopped the advance of the Ottimans into Christain Europe. The heighth of the dynasty's powers came in the 15th and 16th centuries with Philip I and Charles V who united Germany and Spain making the Hapsburgs the doiminate power in Europe. His son Philip II comanded vast armies and navies, but their blind religious faith was to lead to devestating religious wars in Germany and Spain becoming a backwater of Europe. Most European ruling families are associated primarily with one coutry. The Hapsburgs, while of German roots, ruled over many European countries. The Hapsburgs ruled Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, the Netherland, Spain, and many smaller European principalities--not to mention Mexico for a few years. The story of the Hapsburgs is in fact the history of Europe for centuries.

Austrian Empire (1526-1867)

Austria is today a small German-speaking state. This has only been the case since 1918 and the end of World War I. For much of European history Austria-Hungary and earlier the Austrian Empire or the lands goverened by the Hapsburgs were one of the great powers of Europe. The Hapsburgs begun with a small principality in Austrian which they turned into a great empire. This included many small principalities, including the Netherlands and eventually spain, but the heartland was always Austria and the two criticl components of the Austrin empire in addition to Austria was the acquisition of Bohemia and Hungary. Bohemia had been severely weakened by the Husseite Wars. The Czech crown passed first to the Hungarian (Jagiello) monarchy. The Ottomans defeated and killed Hungarian King Ludwig/Louis at the Battle of Mohács, ending the Jagellon line (1526). As a result, the Austrian Hapsburgs inherited Bohemia and theother Czech Lands along with Hungary. They would rule the Czechs until the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the wake of World War I. The Hapsburg lands were nor for centuries formally called the Austrian Empire although that was in fact what they were. The economy of the Empire was based on agriculkture dominated by large aristocratic estates and serfdom. The Hapsburgs formally proclaimed the Austrian Empire (1804). After the Napoleonic was, Austria and Prussia vied for control of Germany. Austria unlike Prussia and other Germsn states did not make a major effort to indudtrialize which affected the powerbalance with Prussia.

Austro Prussian War (1866)

One impact of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars was the the rise of German nationalism and a desire for unification. Since the defeat of Napoleon (1815), Germany was moving toward independence. With the failure of the liberal reformers (1848), the question became whether Germany would be united under the Austrian or Prussian monarchy. This question was settled by the austro-Prussian War. The Austro-Prussian war is also known as the German Civil War. Prussia crushed Austrian an allied German forces in 7 weeks. Following the defeat in Italy, the influence of Austria in Europe was impaired.

Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918)

Prussia's defat of Austria led to the formation of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867 under Emperor Franz Josef and exclusion from the new German Empire unified by Bismarck. Austria-Hungary was a compromised reached in 1867 after Ausrtria's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War (1866). The Hungarians wanted independence. To prevent this, a dual monarchy was created. The official Settlement of 1867 (the Ausgleich) created the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was a dual monarchy. Emperor Franz Josef was crowned at impressive ceremony in Budapest with the crown of St. Stephen. Hecwas thus the first Hungarian king in centuries.

Constitutional Structure

The Austro-Hungarian Empire as the result of the Ausgleich had two pribcipal components. The fitst was the Austrian Empire. The second was the Hungarian Kingdom. They were both ruled by the Austrian monarch in Vienna. Austria was goverbed governed by the February Patent of 1861 which created a weak parliament--the Reichsrat. Hungary on the other hand was governed by the 1848 March Laws and a separate national parliament. These and other constitutional complications associated with other provinces made Austria-Hungary a very complicated political entity to govern. The Austrian and Hungarian parliaments dealt with domestic affairs. A joint cabinet composed primarily of Austrian and Hungarian aristocrats set foreign policy and were also responsible forvthe military and financial matters. This meant that the parliaments were relatively weak institutions. Austro-Hungary was nominally a constitutional monarchy, but Emperor through the powerful joint cabinent largely controlled the political process. At his discression he could even disolve the parliaments.

Garements

We have only a limited archive of photographs from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Our initial assessment is that the garments the worn were essentially the same as in Germany, although Austrian fashios were perhaps somewhat more influenced by France. We cannot make any valid assessment until we acquire more information and images from the Empire. As in Germany, boys in the Austro-Hungarian Empire wore dresses and other skirted gsarments when young. A good example is unidentified twins (probably Germans in the Chech Lands during 1875. It also shws the growing imprtance of salor styling.

Multi-Ethnic Empire

Austria-Hungary was a multi-ethnic empire, a patch work creation of a large number of nationalities. The Empire was dominated by the Austrians and the Austrian Hapsburg monarchy. Policies varied significantly toward the diffierent ethnic and national groups. Hungary was given its own parliament and primeminister. The Empire itself was a patch work creation of a large number of nationalities. Some like the Hungarians and later the Czechs were able to gain language rights. Other areas like Bosnia were essentially under military occupation. Vienna itself because of the nature of the Empire was a very cosmopolitan city where people of many nationalities, including Jews, lived together producing an intelectual ferment that produced men like Freud. It also was a reason that so few Vienese Jews turned to Zionism. While one of the major European powers, Austra-Hungary was built on a shaky foundation. At a time of rising nationalism, the Austrhungarian-Empire was rent with internal divisions. This eventually culminated in World war I. After the War the various national groups demanded imdependence, a process supported by the United States at the peace confrences because of the support of immigrants for national self-determination. The Italian and German unification movements shifted the balance of power in Europe and inspired the various nation groups within Austria-Hungary, especially the less navored national groups.

Religion

The Austro-Hungarian Empire also had religious differences.

Schools

The issue of nationalities became the most difficult for the Empire. And one of those issues was the language of instruction in the schools. People tended to want their children taught in their own native languages. Kneepants became ibncreasingly common in the late 19th century. Sailor suits continued to be popular and were commonly worn to school by younger boys.

Emmigration


Nationalism

From the Austro-Hungarian Empire's creation, the central issue of the state was how to deal with the national aspirations of the many national/ethnic groups within the Empire. The different groups were of varying importance and were at different statages of national development. The Hungarians were central and had a higly develooed national concept. Thus they were given a special status within the Empire and were the other part of the dual monarchy. Other groups were not as important or did not have the same national conciousness. The Slovaks and Ruthenians did not have a a hightly developed natioinal ethos. Of all the groups within the Empire, the group most committed to the Empire, other than the Austrians, were the Jews, in part they feared what might teanspire if nation states rose from the different groups making up the Empire. Imperial officials debated endlessly as to how to deal with the nationality problem which became increasingly severe with the arrival of the 20th century. Some Imperial officiald by this time had accepted the inevitability of nationalism. The question was how to deal with it. This was the problem that Archduke Franz Ferdinand in particular wrested with. His assasination ended efforts to deal with the problem. One of the little known efforts was a dynastic one. The idea was to promote Hapburgs royals in different pats of the Empire, men who would learn the local language and culture and attract the loyalty of the local population.

World War I

Austria had for centuries been a major European power, dominating the Holy Roman Empire. Prussia in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) essentially ejected Austria from Germany. The Hapsburgs then recreated Austrial as the Dual Monarchy--the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary became a large multi-ethnic empire dominated by a Grman and Hungarian rukling class. The Empire dominated much of central Europe. Ousted from Germany, it expelled into the Balkans where it came into conflict with Russia which had ethnic ties and expansionary goals. These conflicts escalated as Ottoman power wained. Its dealings with the various nationalities were a major political problem. The Hungarians were give dual royal status with Austria. Other nationalities felt oppressed, none more than the Slavs. Serbia secretly supported terrorist forces in Bosnia withits substantial Slavic population. This led to the assasination of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand and Austria's decession to punish Serbia. The Austrians had no desire to launch a world war which was reflected in their war planning. There were two Austrian war plans, Plans B and R. The difference in the two plans reflected the unknown of the Russian reaction. Plan B provided only for hostilities in the Balkans against Serbia. Three Austro-Hungarian armies would invade Serbia. Three other armies would be heldin reserve along the Russan border. Plan R was a more expansive plan, a modification of Plan B in case the Russians invaded. In this case only two armies would invade Serbia and four armies would defend against the Rusians. It assumed that the Germans would enter the War if the Russians declared war. Ecalating nationalist tensions came to a head when Serbian nationalists assasinated Archduke Ranz Derdinand, heir to Emperor Franz Josef. Germany's decession to support Austria's desire to punish Serbia turned a Balkans crisis into a mjor European war.







HBC




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Created: 7:30 PM 10/18/2005
Last updated: 7:58 PM 4/25/2020