Did you know: Since the territories referred to by the term ‘Austria’ underwent drastic changes over time, dealing with a little bit of Austrian history raises a number of questions, e.g., whether it is confined to the current or former Republic of Austria, or extends also to all lands formerly ruled by the rulers of Austria?
Also, should Austrian history include the period 1938–1945, when it more or less did not exist? Of the lands now part of the second Republic of Austria, many were added over time – only two of the nine provinces or Bundesländer (Lower Austria and Upper Austria) are strictly ‘Austria’, while other parts of its former sovereign territory are now part of other countries e.g., Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Czechia. Within Austria there are regionally and temporally varying affinities to adjacent countries
Austria was dominated by the House of Habsburg and House of Habsburg-Lorraine (Haus Österreich) from 1273 to 1918.
When this empire collapsed after the end of World War I in 1918, Austria was reduced to the main, mostly German-speaking areas of the empire (its current frontiers), and adopted the name, The Republic of German-Austria. However, union with Germany and the chosen country name were forbidden by the Allies at the Treaty of Versailles. This led to the creation of the First Austrian Republic (1919–1933).
Following the First Republic, Austrofascism tried to keep Austria independent from the German Reich. Engelbert Dollfuss accepted that most Austrians were German and Austrian, but wanted Austria to remain independent from Germany. In 1938, Austrian-born Adolf Hitler annexed Austria to the German Reich under the Anschluss concept, which was supported by a large majority of the Austrian people. After the German defeat in World War II, the German identity in Austria was weakened. Ten years after the Second World War Austria again became an independent republic as the Second Austrian Republic in 1955.
Austria joined the European Union in 1995.