This essay focuses on the political and economic history of Hungary and Austria. It is written for the participants in Stanford Travel/Study’s program, Cruising the Danube, July 3-15, 2018.
The four sections of the essay deal with political and economic transitions in Hungary and Austria from their beginnings as states more than a millennium ago to the present day. I search for patterns of conquest, governance, and sources of wealth. I focus on the creation, functioning, and collapse of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.
In the past century, the two countries have evolved greatly. When the empire ended, their populations, areas, and power were severely truncated. They fought with Nazi Germany in World War II and were devastated. Hungary then suffered four centuries of communist rule, while Austria was occupied by the victorious Allied powers for a decade. But both nations have rebounded to become prosperous democracies and members of the European Union. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in the Danube region.
Habsburg Hungary, Travails of Hungary, Interwar Hungary, Hungary in World War Two, Communist Hungary, Democratic Hungary, Imperial Austria, Medieval Austria, Medieval Austria, Habsburg Austria, Truncated Austria, Interwar and Fascist Austria, Austria (in Nazi Germany) in World War II, Occupied Austria and Second Austrian Republic, Second Austrian Republic in the European Union, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany, Budapest, Hungary, Kalocsa, Hungary, Bratislava, Slovakia, Vienna, Austria, Melk and Dürnstein, Austria, Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic, Passau, Germany, Regensburg, Germany, Salzburg, Austria