Which Central/Eastern European multinational empire do you prefer?

Which Central/Eastern European multinational empire do you prefer?

  • Austria-Hungary

  • The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth


Results are only viewable after voting.

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,590
SoCal
#1
As for me, I voted for Austria-Hungary due to the fact that it survived longer than the PLC did. The PLC was utterly helpless while it was partitioned by its three neighbors in the late 18th century while A-H managed to avoid that fate. I've also heard that A-H was more efficient than the PLC, though I don't know if this was actually true.
 
Mar 2016
756
Australia
#3
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was considerably better than the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is pretty much every way except perhaps religious toleration (although by the time the AH Empire collapsed they had also granted religious freedom to everyone). Power was centralised almost entirely upon the person of the Emperor and his cabinet, meaning there was no chronic case of lethargy, corruption and blockage like the PLC experienced constantly with its Sejm, the local nobility did not act like tyrants that were above the law unlike in the PLC, and the empire was able to withstand attack from powerful neighbours and retain its territorial integrity (with the very brief exception of the Napoleonic Wars). Culturally and intellectually the AH Empire was also quite impressive - not quite as great as the German Empire, but still leagues better than the PLC, which due to its distance from Western Europe and being neighboured by somewhat, uh... less enlightened... empires like the Russian and Ottoman empires, did not have such a cultural flourishing. Finally, I just think the Austrian - and Austro-Hungarian - Empire is more interesting to read about, since it was deeply involved with all the major players of European grand politics from the 16th to the 20th centuries - the Spanish, the French, the Prussians/Germans, the Poles, the Ottomans, the Russians, etc. They were at the crossroads of two worlds - the West and the East. The A-H Empire was also arguably the last monarchy that truly embodied the values of an earlier age, and didn't compromise itself to modernity or things like nationalism or socialism (Emperor Franz was apparently horrified when the Germans planned on sending Lenin into Russia, and refused to go along with it, since even though he was at war with Russia, he still saw it as dishonourable to try and bring down a fellow monarch).
 
Mar 2019
53
Victoria, Australia
#4
Well, If Russia counts as "eastern European" then I would say that in both criteriums defined below.

Personally, I prefer the PLC, simply because I find it's history a lot more interesting than A-H. But that is merely my personal opinion and my own likes/dislikes. So I voted for that in the poll since this is what it is asking.

If I was to say which between the two is more successful, efficient or otherwise. Then A-H would be the case here.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,590
SoCal
#5
The Austro-Hungarian Empire was considerably better than the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is pretty much every way except perhaps religious toleration (although by the time the AH Empire collapsed they had also granted religious freedom to everyone). Power was centralised almost entirely upon the person of the Emperor and his cabinet, meaning there was no chronic case of lethargy, corruption and blockage like the PLC experienced constantly with its Sejm, the local nobility did not act like tyrants that were above the law unlike in the PLC, and the empire was able to withstand attack from powerful neighbours and retain its territorial integrity (with the very brief exception of the Napoleonic Wars). Culturally and intellectually the AH Empire was also quite impressive - not quite as great as the German Empire, but still leagues better than the PLC, which due to its distance from Western Europe and being neighboured by somewhat, uh... less enlightened... empires like the Russian and Ottoman empires, did not have such a cultural flourishing. Finally, I just think the Austrian - and Austro-Hungarian - Empire is more interesting to read about, since it was deeply involved with all the major players of European grand politics from the 16th to the 20th centuries - the Spanish, the French, the Prussians/Germans, the Poles, the Ottomans, the Russians, etc. They were at the crossroads of two worlds - the West and the East. The A-H Empire was also arguably the last monarchy that truly embodied the values of an earlier age, and didn't compromise itself to modernity or things like nationalism or socialism (Emperor Franz was apparently horrified when the Germans planned on sending Lenin into Russia, and refused to go along with it, since even though he was at war with Russia, he still saw it as dishonourable to try and bring down a fellow monarch).
Excellent points!

A couple of quibbles, though:

1. Didn't the PLC also border both Austria and Germany? If so, couldn't it have imported a lot of culture that way even if its other neighbors were less enlightened?

2. I think that you're confusing Franz Joseph with Karl in your last sentence here. Franz Joseph died in 1916 whereas Lenin was only sent to Russia a year later, in 1917.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,590
SoCal
#6
Well, If Russia counts as "eastern European" then I would say that in both criteriums defined below.
OK.

Also, for the record, I didn't include Russia here because it was simply way too large and way too populous. I wanted to compare two empires of comparable size--not one that decisively towers over the rest.

Personally, I prefer the PLC, simply because I find it's history a lot more interesting than A-H. But that is merely my personal opinion and my own likes/dislikes. So I voted for that in the poll since this is what it is asking.
What do you find interesting in the PLC's history?

If I was to say which between the two is more successful, efficient or otherwise. Then A-H would be the case here.
Makes sense.
 
Mar 2019
53
Victoria, Australia
#7
Just personally I find it's creation and way of government more interesting, especially the whole elective-monarchy [debacle]. Plus I think that that there is more.... what's the word.... flavor? Austria-Hungary is almost kind of bland in comparison, a bit like the good-kid in the classroom that never does anything wrong. Great and all, but you wouldn't say that kid was "cool" or "interesting." However, the PLC is more like this slightly emo or edgy teen that is secretly very good at physics but sucks at mostly everything else, but then he might have a secret stash of pot under his basement and in the afternoon, he gets beaten up by his three cousins called Germany, Russian and Austria before returning to school the next day missing an arm, part of the leg and still continuing on like normal.

Poor analogy, but you get my point I think/hope.
 
Likes: Futurist