The Austrian Empire (Austrian German: Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling Kaisertum Österreich) was a Central European multinational great power in 1804 created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. It was the third most populous empire after Russia and France, as well as the largest and strongest country in the German Confederation.
Geographically, it was the second largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire (621,538 square kilometres [239,977 sq mi]). Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.
Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt (1797–1799) and Regensburg (1801–1803). On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess (German: Reichsdeputationshauptschluss) was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6. This measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire. Taking this significant change into consideration, the German Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors.
In 1804 the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, who was also ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years. He did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French; Francis II eventually abandoned the title of German-Roman Emperor later in 1806. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804. This was especially demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status that was affirmed by Article X, which was added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions (King and Diet) as they had been beforehand. Thus under the new arrangements no Imperial institutions were involved in its internal government.
The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by general Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm. The French victory resulted in the capture of 20,000 Austrian soldiers and many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805.
The French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to assert their formal independence from the Empire. On 10 December 1805, the prince-elector Duke of Bavaria proclaimed himself King, followed by the elector Duke of Württemberg on 11 December. Finally, on 12 December, the Margrave of Baden was given the title of Grand Duke. In addition, each of these new countries signed a treaty with France and became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg (today Bratislava, Slovakia) on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria.
Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg (26 December 1805), which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empireand a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in Germany were passed to French allies—the King of Bavaria, the King of Württemberg and the Elector of Baden. Austrian claims on those German states were renounced without exception.
On 12 July 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine was established, comprising 16 sovereigns and countries. This confederation, under French influence, put an end to the Holy Roman Empire. On 6 August 1806, even Francis recognized the new state of things and proclaimed the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, as he did not want Napoleon to succeed him. This action was unrecognized by George III of the United Kingdom who was also the Elector of Hanover and had also lost his German territories around Hanover to Napoleon. His claims were later settled by the creation of the Kingdom of Hanover which was held by George's British heirs until Queen Victoria's accession, when it split into the British and Hanoverian royal families.
Colonial Pretentions Edit
Austrian-Abyssinian War Edit
On 19th of September 1816, the Austrian Emperor officialy declared war to Ethiopia, the reason being the desire of owning land in Africa.One of the main reasons of attacking Ethiopia is because it was a large weak nation with sea acces, making invading it much more easier.Behind this, the Emperor had the pretention to settle some terittory south-west to Abyssinia, a terittory which he has seen as worth to settle.
35 000 soldiers have been sent to the Abyssinian country in order to conquer the land there, with all of the fleet. The majority of the ships have left from Fiume. Happily, the sea was calm, so no ship has drowned. On 29th of September, the same year, the Austrian Forces landed in the Horn of Africa. The war tactic was very simple. The Emperor has chosen to occupy their coasts first and head towards their enemy's capital(Gondar).
The Commander of the War, Klemens von Metternich has stated:
"The thoughest part of the War was walking through the endless ocean of sand in order to reach Gondar. Sieging Gondan was easier to achieve than walking on a regular day in Wien''
On 4th of October 1816, the Siege of Gondar has begun, being one of the easiest sieges that the Austrian Crown has ever seen.
The morning of 18th of October 1816 has seen the Ethiopians surrender to the Austrian forces. The Ethiopian King has agreed to cede Ethiopia to the Austrians, being out of solutions. The Treaty of Gondar was signed on 20th of October 1816, stating that the whole region under the ex control of the Ethiopian land is ceded to the Austrian Empire.
The loses of the Empire counted 2 800 men, most of them being lost on the way to Gondar.
This is believed to be the first stage of the Austrian Colonial Empire's establishment. After the establishment of Austrian Horn of Africa, the Austrian Colonial Society has focused on expanding a lot in the black continent.