Yearbook 1996

Austria. At the beginning of the year, the two former government parties Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ) and Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP) reached an agreement on substantial budget savings. This further led to the formation of a new government coalition between the two parties; the previous one exploded in October 1995, with new elections as a result.

The simultaneous municipal and EU elections in October meant tangible losses for the SPÖ. The right-wing populist, led by Jörg Haider, the Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) got just over a percent less votes than the Social Democrats in the EU elections, while for the first time since 1966, the ÖVP became the largest party in Austrian politics. The result of the municipal elections meant that SPÖ lost the absolute majority that the party had held in the city council in Vienna ever since 1919.

  • ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does AT stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Austria. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.

The first traces of people in the area we know today as Austria date from the Paleolithic period and from this time until our time, the area has been inhabited by various ethnic groups. The Austrian region of Hallstat got its name from the first cultures of the Iron Age, (800-450 BCE).

Celtic tribes invaded the eastern Alps in the 4th century BCE and founded the kingdom of Nórica, while the ancient Retic tribes managed to remain in the region. Later, the Romans moved into the area, attracted by the rich deposits of iron and because of its strategic location.

After the first peaceful invasion, the Romans soon conquered the rest of the country in the year 15 BCE Retia, Nórica and Panoni were converted into Roman provinces as parts of an empire extended to the Danube Valley. The empire was divided into smaller municipalities and a wide network of roads was established.

“Pax Romana” ended with the Germanic tribes’ rebellion in the period 166-180 AD The invasion was averted, but the region’s prosperity never succeeded. In the period 300-500 AD, the Huns and Germans often returned and crossed the Danube borders.

According to the only written testimonies of this period, the Germanic tribes established Rugii, Gother, Heruli, and, like the last, the Langobards, settled in Austrian territory and in the year 488 AD the inhabitants of the totally destroyed Nórica were forced to flee and displaced. See for visa to Austria.

After several disputes between Germans and Slavs, the Bavarian border was extended all the way to Avar in the 6th century.

By the death of King Dagoberto d., The Bavarian dukes were in fact unpopular. Christianity developed rapidly in this area. Even the Romans who remained practiced this religion.

Bavarian wealth and military expansion coincided with the spread of Christianity. Under the auspices of its protection, the churches of Salzburg and Passau confronted the missionaries in the east, led by the Slavic apostles Cirilo and Methodo.

The Magyars’ attacks in the 8th century and their dominance in almost the whole country lasted until the year 960.

The first signs of the existence of a civil law community were discovered in the Burchard area, east of the River Enns, whose borders later extended to the forests around Vienna.

Austria became the center of conflicts between the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire on numerous occasions, in their attempt to gain control of the German Church. Meanwhile, Christianity won ground with the founding of the monasteries in Gottweig, Lambach and in Styria, Admont.

During the period between the 10th and 13th centuries, the battle for territories continued and new colonies were established in the Germanic as well as the non-Germanic areas. With brief interruptions, the Babenbergs remained in power in the duchies of Austria and Styria, expanding the territories both to the north and south.

After Friedrich D. 2’s death, the Babenberg monopoly of power was challenged by its neighbors. The first beneficiary of this was Premysl Otakar the 2nd, from Bohemia, until Rudolf the 4th of Habsburg, sat on the German throne in 1273, and later, with the assistance of the Hungarians, deposed Otakar on the 2nd.

Initially, the Habsburgs were met by the rejections of the nobility and the neighbors, but, despite a series of defeats, managed to maintain control of the area. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Austria remained under the control of the Habsburg and Austrian royal houses.

From the Westphalian Peace to the Founding of the Empire (1648-1804)

In the European security system that took shape after the Westphalian peace, Austria had a dual function. On the one hand, it was Europe’s shield against the Turks, on the other hand, together with England and the Netherlands, the continental equilibrium against French hegemony strikes.

To the east, Leopold I (Emperor 1658-1705) was extremely successful with his brilliant field lord Eugen of the Savoy. A new Turkish attack on Vienna in 1683 was fought back, after the city was at the last moment rescued by a Polish-German aid force under the Polish king Johan III Sobieski. A coalition between Austria, Venice, Poland and Russia, through several successful campaigners, forced the Turks to resign in peace in Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci) in 1699 with almost all of Hungary with Siebenbürgen (Transylvania), Slavonia and southern Croatia to Austria, which thereby became the dominant Central Europe.

In Western Europe, Austrian politics, led by Leopold I and after him by Joseph I (1705–11) and Karl VI (1711–40) was significantly less successful. Austria participated on the anti-French side in the coalition wars against Louis XIV ‘s reunification policy but could not prevent most of Alsace with Strasbourg from holding French ownership. In the Spanish war of succession(1701–14) Austria did not succeed in enforcing a Habsburg succession in Spain, but in return through the peace in Rastatt 1714 received the former Spanish Netherlands, from this time referred to as Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium and Luxembourg), Milan, Naples and Sardinia, the latter somewhat later switched to Sicily. Although the southern Italian possessions were already lost in the Polish war of succession (1733–35), Austria had thus become a great power in Italy as well.

At the same time, the unity and future existence of the kingdom were threatened by the failure of Karl VI, who lacked male heirs, to persuade the other powers to recognize his daughter Maria Teresia’s inheritance right. The unresolved issue of succession gave rise to a general European crisis and two wars, the Austrian Succession War (1740–48) and the Seven Years War (1756–63). The end result was, from an Austrian point of view, that the monarchy passed its strength test but that Habsburg lost most of Silesia, which became Prussia’s war boot. However, Austria was amply compensated by the land acquisitions made at the expense of Turkey and the disintegrating Poland (Bukovina 1775, Galicia and Lodomerien 1772, the Lesser Poland 1795).

Maria Teresia ruled over a vast but ethnically and religiously heterogeneous kingdom in 1740–80. Until 1765 she had her husband Frans I (formerly Duke of Lorraine), the ancestor of the Habsburg-Lorraine house. After his death, her son Joseph performed the same function in 1780 to succeed her to the throne as Joseph II. Maria Teresias and Joseph IIthe governments of the country were characterized by an active, under Joseph’s own government, increasingly radical reform policy in the spirit of enlightened despotism. The judicial system was humanized, among other things. through the abolition of torture, the position of the peasants improved (among other things abolished the life trait in 1781), the power of the church was reduced. A state-controlled Austrian country church was organized, pilgrimages were banned, a third of all monasteries were closed and religious freedom was introduced.

However, there was a built-in contradiction between this reform policy and the equally tangible centralization tendencies, which was dictated by the need to keep the kingdom together but aroused fierce opposition, among other things. in Bohemia, Hungary and Austria. Under the pressure of the opposition, Joseph was forced to forgo some of his reforms, and the retreat continued under his brother Leopold II, who succeeded him in 1790. A significant effect of the centralization efforts was that they brought national movements to life among the many peoples of the Habsburg Empire.

With Leopold’s successor Frans II came a reaction to the enlightenment ideas, while Austria and Britain led the coalition wars in opposition to revolutionary France and defended the European balance of power against Napoleon (compare the Revolutionary Wars). Participation in the first and second coalitions wars was not successful. Through the peace of Campo Formio (1797) and Lunéville (1801) Austria lost Belgium and Lombardy but was compensated with Venice. Napoleon’s new order in Germany meant a loss of power for Austria, where Frans II reacted in 1804 to proclaiming to the hereditary emperor of Austria and in 1806 to abandon the German-Roman imperial crown.

Population 1996

According to, the population of Austria in 1996 was 7,990,010, ranking number 84 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.680% yearly, and the population density was 96.9569 people per km2.

Austria Population Distribution by Age