In 1916, Emperor Charles ascended to the Austro-Hungarian throne and had the difficult task of keeping his Empire together while negotiating a peace to withdraw from the Great War. He was unsuccessful and the Empire was torn apart by the allies as well as the democratic forces of nationalism, socialism, and communism. The dismemberment of the Empire left Central Europe weak and divided while communist and fascist forces took over most of these once great nations. As Adolf Hitler rose to power, his task couldn’t have been easier as one by one he was able to invade these lands. Though WWII ended in 1945 for the West, it continued for Central Europe until 1989, when the Soviet Army finally left. Today the Central European nations once more are submitting to a leftist Germany in the form of the EU. With sub-par governments and inadequate influence, Central Europe has no hope of any real power unless they once more join together.
The nations of Central Europe have been kept weak with democratic propaganda such as the “right to self-determination.” Schools teach that Austria-Hungary was a weak ‘prison of nations’ and was doomed to fail, however many important details are left out. Not many people know for example, that in 1900 less than 50% of French citizens spoke French as their first language. Was France not a prison of nations then? Why does the UK rule over Scotland, England, Wales, Cornwall, and Northern Ireland? Shouldn’t the Hispanic and African people of the United States get their own country instead of having to submit to the United States?
In Austria-Hungary there were many different languages and there were cities where four or five different languages were spoken, culture was easily preserved because citizens had the freedom to do so, unlike with today’s nation states. At the same time, the vast majority of the inhabitants also spoke German or Hungarian as a second third or fourth language. This system was destroyed by the allies and now the people of Central Europe must usually resort to communicating with each other in English. The Dual Monarchy wasn’t perfect, but it was the absolute best time in history for Central Europe. All the peoples of the monarchy were represented in the Viennese and Budapest parliaments, local culture was promoted, and the Empire represented the interests of all the Central European peoples.
Under the Empire innovation flourished. Bohemia produced inventors such as Frantisek Krizik who helped create the arc lamp which is used around the world for public lighting. They produced composers like Antonin Dvorak, and Gustav Mahler and created the car manufacturing company that drove the Empire: Tatra. Stefan Banic was a Slovak who created the military parachute. Marcel Kiepach was a Croatian inventor who helped make improved compasses, vehicle lighting, and other electronics. Eduard Penkala was a Croat who had constructed aircraft and developed the mechanical pencil. Jozef Stefan was a Slovene physicist who created Stefan’s Law which he then used to determine the temperature of the sun’s surface. Ivan Puluj was a Ukrainian scientist who created the first X-Ray and opened several power plants throughout the Empire. Great composers such as Johann Strauss II, Franz Liszt, Emmerich Kalman, and Austrian and Hungarian inventors such as Tivadar Puskas, Janos von Neumann, Kalman Tihanyi, Ferdinand Porsche, and Gaston Glock were all a product of the Central European Empire. Even Nikola Tesla, who is claimed by Serbia, was born in the Empire and studied in the Empire. These are just a small fraction of the achievements of the imperial citizens. Every nation that was under the empire was more successful under it than they are today, and while nationalists like to claim these achievements for their respective nation states, all of these achievements are in reality Austro-Hungarian achievements; Central European culture flourished under the empire, and the freedom of ideas and the unity of the empires’ peoples allowed for all of these innovations to take place.
If the people of Central Europe want to once again be part of a successful great power, they must join together once more. With Western Europe committing suicide and attempting to force Central Europe to follow the same path, it’s more important than ever to reunite; not just for prosperity, but security as well.
If the Empire were to reunite today, some important improvements could be made to the previous Empire. Just as the Swiss all learn German, French, and Italian, all the languages of the empire could be taught to all citizens in kindergarten; in this way the citizens would not only speak their local language, but would be able to converse with all citizens. With all citizens being able to speak 8 languages, the citizenry would instantly be more unified and it would grow the intellectual capability of the people. In addition there would then be around 80 million people who would be able to speak German, Hungarian, Romanian, Croatian, Czech, Italian, Slovakian, and Slovenian, which would create great potential for all the businesses of the empire. The nation would easily be able to compete with Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and the UK. It could also eventually rival the United States.
The people of central Europe have lived in a common Empire for hundreds of years and were only recently split up and weakened. Unification would mean that no Central European country would ever be the pawn of a Great Power again; instead Central Europe would be the Great Power. It’s time to abandon our failing nation states, and unite the Austro-Hungarian peoples of Central Europe. We can either remain slaves of the US, EU, and Russia, or we can restore our greatness in the world once more.
Let’s Make Austria Great Again.