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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Grimald View Post
As I said, we can discuss how to call the Habsburg Empire in the 18th century. Nevertheless, it existed, and overall did not so bad.

The separation of the Austrian and Spanish line of the Habsburg already occurred in the 16th century, and after the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 18th century (which removed any claim of the Habsburgs to the Spanish Throne), the separation into two independent entities was complete.

With the rebuttal of the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th century, Austria became a European great power in its own right, independent of the connection of the Habsburgs to Spain.

In summary, I would say that Austria - in its own right, that is, without Spain - was a great power in all respects from 1683 to 1866, and in some aspects (e.g. in cultural influence) even up to 1918. That is 183 years or 235 years, respectively. If we consider the Spanish lands in addition and the role of the Habsburgs in the Holy Roman Empre, Austria was a significant factor for a much longer time, let's say between four and seven centuries.

Please compare that to other countries, e.g. the United States (great power since 1867/1898/1917, that is for 96-146 years) or Prussia (great power between 1700/1763 and 1870/1918, that is for 107-218 years).
I agree with the general point made by the statement in bold. Few have an understanding of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy or of Austria-Hungary other than through conventional wisdom.

The Austrian Habsburgs were well aware of their geopolitical position, of its importance to themselves and to other powers, and, until 1914, of their limitations. All the military monarchies that were great powers before WW I expired as a result of it. A-H was hardly alone.
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Old June 10th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #22

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[quote=pikeshot1600;1480177]The Austrian branch coveting Mexico - I had never known that. Are there any sources you can name
As to Maximillian, IIRC France and Austria been toying with an alliance at the time, but nothing came of it. It was not Habsburg policy but French that was involved in Mexico. Max was an unfortunate (and politically na´ve) pawn in the matter.[QUOTE]
Truth be told I dont think this was such a onesided manouver on Frances part.
We know that there were Austrian Freikorps in mexico and that the Austrian government did send settlers to mexico ,New Virgina colony.But then again actually based the formal statement on Maximilian.I do know for sure that
Austria was not only happy with staying a continental power they did try to gain some oversea colonies,which in the end failed.I am going to quote them from wikipedia for the sake of practicality;
Austrian colonization of Nicobar Islands was a short-lived and unsuccessful attempt of Habsburg Monarchy to make Nicobar Islands (an island chain in the eastern Indian Ocean) their colony. The colony was established in 1778. This had previously been a Danish colony and Austria established it with the mistaken assumption that Denmark had abandoned its claims to the islands. However by 1783 due to lack of support the last colonists left.
The Imperial Ostend Company was an Austrian/Flemish private trading company established in 1722 to trade with the East and West Indies. For a few years it provided strong competition to the traditional colonial trading companies. It was eventually closed down in 1731 following British pressure as part of the Treaty of Vienna creating an alliance between the two states.
Another small colonial success can be seen in the Austrian harbor in Mozambique which was lost in 1783 to the portuguese.

There also was a shortlived Austrian East Indian company based in Triest made by Maria Theresa.
Although these were largely unsuccessful and not comparable to their counterparts in the Netherlands,France and Britain nonetheless shows that there were indeed colonial ambitions.I mean even in the 19th century do we find Austria sending expeditions to the Northpole and the depths of the sea.
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