by Jack Bell and Eric McDonald

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Francis Joseph, the Austrian Monarch from 1848- 1916, wanted to unite Austria and Hungary. In 1860 he issued the October Diploma to which created a federation among the states and provinces of the empire. There were to be local diets dominated by the landed classes and a single imperial parliament. However, the Hungarian nobility rejected the plan.

Consequently, in 1861, he issued the February Patent. It established a bicameral imperial parliament, or Riechsrat, with an upper chamber appointed by the emperor and an indirectly elected lower chamber. Again the Hungarians refused to cooperate in a system that denied them full control over historic Hungarian territory. Though for six years the Riechsrat was the form of government.

Important Leaders

Military Conflicts

In 1866 Austria got involved in the Austro-Prussian war. Prussia and Italy had ratified the Geneva Convention in 1864, and when they called on Austria and it's allies to be bound by it, Austria refused. The war was about Supremacy in Germany, and Prussia won against Austria. Austria's defeat got them excluded from German affairs.
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After the Austro-Prussian war, Austria had to come to terms with Hungary. In 1867 Francis Joseph created the Ausgleich, or Compromise. It transferred the Habsburg Empire into a dual monarchy known as Austria-Hungary. Francis Joseph was crowned King of Hungary in Budapest in 1867. Except for the common monarchy, army, and foreign relates, Austria and Hungary were almost wholly separate states.


  1. Who was the most important leader of the Habsburg Empire?

  2. What was the outcome of the Austro-Prussian War?

  3. Why was Prussia fighting Austria?