Political history of Habsburgh monarchy in 19. and 20. century

This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's study programme Cultural history (1st level)

Objectives and competences

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the students with the political history of the Austrian Empire (1804–1866) and Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918), respectively. The students do not learn just about Slovenian history but also about the basic course of development of the political history of other nations in Central Europe. The aim of the course is to encourage the students to deepen the knowledge of peoples in the Slovenian neighborhood and the entire area of the former states (Austro-Hungary, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Yugoslavia).
The seminar, which is substantially related to the lectures, the critical evaluation of the Slovenian political journalism before 1918.
The students read newspapers and Memoirs about the problems Slovenian position in a multinational empire and learn about the position of the Slovenian policy in international relations.


The course is related to the courses Cultural History of Slovenian territory, the World Wars of 20th century, Culture of regions and of border areas, Legal history.


The course consists of two parts:

The first part covers the topics concerning the internal political issues; while the second one deals with the foreign policy of the Habsburg Monarchy from the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna (1815) to the First World War.

In the first part, the focus is on the major political ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, political Catholicism, Austro-Marxism), party life, parliamentarianism and national development issues in the context of the multi-national empire.

The second part deals with the foreign policy of the Habsburg Monarchy and its status as the European superpower. Students get an insight into the functioning and structure of the diplomatic apparatus of the Habsburg Monarchy. The focus is on the Austro-Hungarian policy in South Eastern Europe, especially in relation to South Slavic national movements in the Balkans.

Ideologies and the development of a national issue in the Habsburg Monarchy:
• cohesive forces of the Habsburg Monarchy: Dynasty, Church, army and bureaucracy
• Austrian Empire as a defender of the "old order": Austrian conservatism
• National Romanticism and the "Spring of Nations" (1848)
• Austro-Slavism
• Counterrevolution and Neo-absolutism
• Restoration of Constitutional era (1861) and the rise of Liberalism
• Compromise with the Hungarians (1867) and the characteristics of the dualistic scheme
• Czech question
• Pan-Germanism
• Political Catholicism
• Austro-Marxism
• Problems of the Austrian Parlamentarism and electoral reform (1907)
• Grand Austrian movement
• Yugoslav question
• Reform plans of the Austrian government circles during Great War

The Habsburg Monarchy in the system of European superpowers:
• Foreign policy - the emperor and ministers
• Diplomatic apparatus of the Habsburg Monarchy
• Austria and the Napoleonic Wars
• Congress of Vienna (1815) and "Holy Alliance"
• Dissolution of the "European concert" of superpowers
• Habsburg struggle for primacy in German empire
• Berlin Congress (1878) and the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
• "Dual Alliance" with Germany
• "Alliance of the Three Emperors"
• problems of the Austrian- Italian cooperation in the "Triple Alliance"
• Annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1908)
• Austrian policy during the Balkan wars (1912/1913)
• The Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Great Powers on the eve of the Great War
• Relations between Central Forces during Great War
• Austrian attempts to sign separate peace treaty and attitude of the Entente forces to the Austrian problem

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
The students are able to understand the historical happening from the early 19th century to the First World War in Europe in generally, but in depth in the Habsburg Monarchy. They are able to understand and analyze historical texts, as well as the development of modern and democratic society.


Seminar paper and oral exam.