Happy Birthday to Austria! On the 21st October 1918, following the defeat of the Central Powers (die Mittelmächte) and subsequent collapse of the Habsburg Monarchy, a collection of German-speaking delegates met to form a provisional Austrian National Assembly. By 12th November 1918, Emperor Karl had renounced “any share in the affairs of state” and the first Austrian Republic was born.
Museumsquartier, Vienna. Photo: andreas N via Pixabay
The signing of the Constitution in 1920 signified conclusively the start of a new and democratic Austrian state: universal suffrage, the existence of Parliament and a separation of powers were among the most significant elements. Sadly, the spirit of democracy was not to last. Austria fell into the clutches of Nationalism, and in 1938 became the first victim/ally (let’s not get into this now) of National Socialism.
A more in-depth look at the various political stages in Austria's history in the last century is available here, compiled by The Advisory Committee for the Year of Remembrance 2018 (Der Beirat für das Gedenk- und Erinnerungsjahr 2018).