Austria-Hungary (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or k.u.k. Monarchy, Dual Monarchy, Danube Monarchy), more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in Central Europe, which operated from 1867 to October 1918, following the end of World War I. The union was a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, under which the House of Habsburg agreed to share power with the separate Hungarian government, dividing the territory of the former Austrian Empire between them. The Austrian and the Hungarian lands became independent entities enjoying equal status.
Austria-Hungary was a multinational realm and one of the world's great powers at the time. Austria-Hungary was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,538 square kilometres (239,977 sq mi)), and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire). The Empire built up the fourth largest machine building industry of the world (after the United States, the German Empire and the United Kingdom).
The military history of Europe has been one of advanced technologies in proportion to the times during the past few centuries and well known to the Western world as it is the western continent with the oldest known kept records. Europe's military technology were ahead of the world in the fifteenth century and skyrocketed after the Industrial Revolution. Starting from the fifteenth century, Europe has used its military to conquer or subjugated almost every nation in the world, as nations in the Americas, Africa, and Asia had less advanced military technology. It spans from the Mediterranean region of ancient times to the present day. In contrast to other continents such as Asia, Europe is the second smallest continent and has the most fractured division of its numerous nations and as such there are varied alliances and conflicts throughout history.
The main causes of World War I, which began in central Europe in late July 1914, included many factors, such as the conflicts and hostility between the great European powers of the four decades leading up to the war. Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism played major roles in the conflict as well. The immediate origins of the war, however, lay in the decisions taken by statesmen and generals during the July Crisis of 1914 caused by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, an irredentist Serb and member of the Serbian nationalist organization, the Black Hand.
The crisis came after a long and difficult series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers (Italy, France, Germany, Britain, Austria-Hungary and Russia) over European and colonial issues in the decade before 1914 that had left tensions high. In turn these diplomatic clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1867. The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region and they pulled the rest of the Great Powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties.
United States (1917–18)
The July Crisis was a diplomatic crisis among the major powers of Europe in the summer of 1914 that led to the First World War. Immediately after Gavrilo Princip, a Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo, a series of diplomatic maneuverings led to an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary to Serbia, and ultimately to war.
This ultimatum was part of a coercive program meant to weaken the Kingdom of Serbia as a threat to Austria-Hungary's control of the northern Balkans which had a significant southern Slavic population, including a Serbian community in Bosnia. This was intended to be achieved either through diplomacy or by a localized war if the ultimatum were rejected. Austria-Hungary preferred war, though István Tisza, the prime minister of the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, hoped that the ultimatum would be reasonable enough that it would not be rejected outright.
The 1938 Polish ultimatum to Lithuania was an ultimatum delivered to Lithuania by Poland on March 17, 1938. The Lithuanian government had steadfastly refused to have any diplomatic relations with Poland after 1920, protesting the annexation by Poland of the Vilnius Region. As pre-World War II tensions in Europe intensified, Poland perceived the need to secure its northern borders. Five days earlier, Poland, feeling supported by international recognition of the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, decided it was imperative to deliver an ultimatum to Lithuania. The ultimatum demanded that the Lithuanian government unconditionally agree to establish diplomatic relations with Warsaw within 48 hours, and that the terms be finalized before March 31. The establishment of diplomatic relations would mean a de facto renunciation of Lithuanian claims to the region containing its historic capital, Vilnius (known in Polish as Wilno).
Lithuania, preferring peace to war, accepted the ultimatum on March 19. Although diplomatic relations were established as a result of the ultimatum, Lithuania did not agree to recognize the loss of Vilnius de jure. The government of Poland made a similar move against the Czechoslovak government in Prague on September 30, 1938, when it took advantage of the Sudeten Crisis to demand a portion of Zaolzie. On both occasions, Poland used the international crises to address long-standing border disputes and to counter Germany's foreign policy initiatives.