Monarchist bid for power


Modern politics and a bit of history in this post.

Not really the new political force that has been talked about in the newspapers, here in Austria, over recent months. But it seems the monarchists are going to try once more to secure seats in the Austrian Parliament. I wonder how they think they could achieve their idea of a commonwealth of five former Habsburg countries.

http://www.austriantimes.at/news/General_News/2011-07-18/34993/Political_ambitions_over_Habsburg_hype

Interestingly, Charles, the last Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the October 1918, tried to establish a democratic monarchy in the ‘Austrian’ half of the Dual Monarchy’. This included Austrian and Slavs areas from Galicia through Bohemia and Moravia to Slovenia and Bosnia. His ‘Peoples Manifesto’ called for:

….’a federal state in which each racial component shall form its own state organisation in its territorial settlement…..

To those people on whose rights of self-determination the new empire will be built my call goes out to implement the great work through National Councils – made up of the parliamentary deputies of each nation – which shall represent the interests of the peoples with each other, and in contact with my government’.

I’ve reproduced the above extract of the ‘Peoples Manifesto’ from Gordon Brook-Shepherd’s very readable history ‘The Austrians – A Thousand Year Odyssey’.

The move by Charles came much too late. But if the basic concept of self-determination, part of the ‘Wilsonian doctrine’, had been maintained by President Woodrow Wilson at the 1919 Paris Conference then the borders of the first Austrian Republic would have looked rather different and so might the history that followed.

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Filed under Austrian History, Austrian Politics, History, Politics

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