AUSTRIA. (Ger. Österreich), a country of central Europe, bounded E. by Russia and Rumania, S. by Hungary, the Adriatic Sea and Italy, W. by Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the German empire (Bavaria), and N. by the German empire (Saxony and Prussia) and Russia. It has an area of 115,533 sq. m., or about twice the size of England and Wales together. Austria is one of the states which constitute the Austro-Hungarian (Habsburg) monarchy (see Austria-Hungary: History), and is also called Cisleithania, from the fact that it contains the portion of that monarchy which lies to the west of the river Leitha. Austria does not form a geographical unity, and the constituent parts of this empire belong to different geographical regions. Thus, Tirol, Styria and Carinthia belong, like Switzerland, to the system of the Alps, but these provinces together with those lying in the basin of the Danube form, nevertheless, a compact stretch of country. On the other hand Galicia, extending on the eastern side of the Carpathians, belongs to the great plain of Russia; Bohemia stretches far into the body of Germany; while Dalmatia, which is quite separated from the other provinces, belongs to the Balkan Peninsula.
Coasts.—Austria has amongst all the great European countries the most continental character, in so far as its frontiers are mostly land-frontiers, only about one-tenth of them being coast-land. The Adriatic coast, which stretches for a distance of about 1000 m., is greatly indented. The Gulf of Trieste on the west, and the Gulf of Fiume or Quarnero on the east, include between them the peninsula of Istria, which has many sheltered bays. In the Gulf of Quarnero are the Quarnero islands, of which the most important are Cherso, Veglia and Lussin. The coast west of the mouth of the Isonzo is fringed by lagoons, and has the same character as the Venetian coast, while the Gulf of Trieste and the Istrian peninsula have a steep coast with many bays and safe harbours. The principal ports are Trieste, Capodistria, Pirano, Parenzo, Rovigno and Pola, the great naval harbour and arsenal of Austria. The coast of Dalmatia also possesses many safe bays, the principal being those of Zara, Cattaro and Ragusa, but in some places it is very steep and inaccessible. On the other hand a string of islands extends along this coast, which offer many safe and easily accessible places of anchorage to ships during the fierce winter gales which rage in the Adriatic. The principal are Pago, Pasman, Isola Lunga and Isola Incoronata, Brazza, Lesina, Curzola and Meleda.
The political divisions of Austria correspond, for the most part, so closely to natural physical divisions that the detailed account of the physical features, natural resources and the movement of the population has been given under those separate headings. In this general article the geography of Austria—physical, economical and political—has been treated in its broad aspects, and those points insisted upon which give an adequate idea of the country as a whole.
Mountains.—Austria is the most mountainous country of Europe after Switzerland, and about four-fifths of its entire area is more than 600 ft. above the level of the sea. The mountains of Austria belong to three different mountain systems, namely, the Alps (q.v.), the Carpathians (q.v.), and the Bohemian-Moravian Mountains. The Danube, which is the principal river of Austria, divides the Alpine region, which occupies the whole country lying at its south, from the Bohemian-Moravian Mountains and their offshoots lying at its north; while the valleys of the March and the Oder separate the last-named mountains from the Carpathians. Of the three principal divisions of the Alps—the western, the central and the eastern Alps—Austria is traversed by several groups of the central Alps, while the eastern Alps lie entirely within its territory. The eastern Alps are continued by the Karst mountains, which in their turn are continued by the Dinaric Alps, which stretch through Croatia and Dalmatia. The second great mountain-system of Austria, the Carpathians, occupy its eastern and north-eastern portions, and stretch in the form of an arch through Moravia, Silesia, Galicia and Bukovina, forming the frontier towards Hungary, within which territory they principally extend. Finally, the Bohemian-Moravian Mountains, which enclose Bohemia and Moravia, and form the so-called quadrilateral of Bohemia, constitute the link of the Austrian mountain-system with the hilly region (the Mittelgebirge) of central Europe. Only a little over 25% of the area of Austria is occupied by plains. The largest is the plain of Galicia, which is part of the extensive Sarmatic plain; while in the south, along the Isonzo, Austria comprises a small part of the Lombardo-Venetian plain. Several smaller plains are found along the Danube, as the Tulner Becken in Lower Austria, and the Wiener Becken, the plain on which the capital is situated; to the north of the Danube this plain is called the Marchfeld, and is continued under the name of the Marchebene into Moravia as far north as Olmütz. Along the other principal rivers there are also plains of more or less magnitude, some of them possessing tracts of very fertile soil.
Rivers.—Austria possesses a fairly great number of rivers, pretty equally distributed amongst its crown lands, with the exception of Istria and the Karst region, where there is a great scarcity of even the smallest rivers. The principal rivers are: the Danube, the Dniester, the Vistula, the Oder, the Elbe, the Rhine and the Adige or Etsch. As the highlands of Austria form part of the great watershed of Europe, which divides the waters flowing northward into the North Sea or the Baltic from those flowing southward or eastward into the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, its rivers flow in three different directions—northward, southward and eastward. With the exception of the small streams belonging to it which fall into the Adriatic, all its rivers have their mouths in other countries, and its principal river, the Danube, has also its source in another country. When it enters Austria at the gorge of Passau, where it receives the Inn, a river which has as large a body of water as itself, the Danube is already navigable. Till it leaves the country at Hainburg, just before Pressburg, its banks are pretty closely hemmed by the Alps, and the river passes through a succession of narrow defiles. But the finest part of its whole course, as regards the picturesqueness of the scenery on its banks, is between Linz and Vienna. Where it enters Austria the Danube is 898 ft. above the level of the sea, and where it leaves it is only 400 ft.; it has thus a fall within the country of 498 ft., and is at first a very rapid stream, becoming latterly much slower. The Danube has in Austria a course of 234 m., and it drains an area of 50,377 sq. m. Its principal affluents in Austria, besides the Inn, are the Traun, the Enns and the March. The Dniester, which, like the Danube, flows into the Black Sea, has its source in the Carpathians in Eastern Galicia, and pursues a very winding course towards the south-east, passing into Russia. It has in Austria a course of 370 m. of which 300 are navigable, and drains an area of 12,000 sq. m. The Vistula and the Oder both fall into the Baltic. The former rises in Moravia, flows first north through Austrian Silesia, then takes an easterly direction along the borders of Prussian Silesia, and afterwards a north-easterly, separating Galicia from Russian Poland, and leaving Austria not far from Sandomir. Its course in Austria is 240 m., draining an area of 15,500 sq. m. It is navigable for nearly 200 m., and its principal affluents are the Dunajec, the San and the Bug. The Oder has also its source in Moravia, flows first east and then north-east through Austrian Silesia into Prussia. Its length within the Austrian territory is only about 55 m., no part of which is navigable. The only river of this country which flows into the North Sea is the Elbe. It has its source in the Riesengebirge, not far from the Schneekoppe, flows first south, then west, and afterwards north-west through Bohemia, and then enters Saxony. Its principal affluents are the Adler, Iser and Eger, and, most important of all, the Moldau. The Elbe has a course within the Austrian dominions of 185 m., for about 65 of which it is navigable. It drains an area of upwards of 21,000 sq. m. The Rhine, though scarcely to be reckoned a river of the country, flows for about 25 m. of its course between it and Switzerland. The principal river of Austria which falls into the Adriatic is the Adige or Etsch. It rises in the mountains of Tirol, flows south, then east, and afterwards south, into the plains of Lombardy. It has in Austria a course of 138 m., and drains an area of 4266 sq. m. Its principal affluent is the Eisak. Of the streams which have their course entirely within the country, and fall into the Adriatic, the principal is the Isonzo, 75 m. in length, but navigable only for a short distance from its mouth.
Lakes.—Austria does not possess any great lakes; but has numerous small mountain lakes situated in the Alpine region, the most renowned for the beauty of their situation being found in Salzburg, Salzkammergut, Tirol and Carinthia. There should also be mentioned the periodical lakes situated in the Karst region, the largest of them being the Lake of Zirknitz. The numerous and large marshes, found now mostly in Galicia and Dalmatia, have been greatly reduced in the other provinces through the canalization of the rivers, and other works of sanitation.
Mineral Springs.—No other European country equals Austria in the number and value of its mineral springs. They are mostly to be found in Bohemia, and are amongst the most frequented watering-places in the world. The most important are, the alkaline springs of Carlsbad, Marienbad, Franzensbad and Bilin; the alkaline acidulated waters of Giesshübel, largely used as table waters; the iron springs of Marienbad, Franzensbad and of Pyrawarth in Lower Austria; the bitter waters of Püllna, Saidschitz and Sedlitz; the saline waters of Ischl and of Aussee in Styria; the iodine waters of Hall in Upper Austria; the different waters of Gastein; and lastly the thermal waters of Teplitz-Schönau, Johannisbad, and of Römerbad in Styria. Altogether there are reckoned to exist over 1500 mineral springs, of which many are not used. (O. Br.)
Geology.—The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is traversed by the great belt of folded beds which constitutes the Alps and the Carpathians; a secondary branch proceeding from the main belt runs along the Adriatic coast and forms the Julian and Dinaric Alps. In the space which is thus enclosed, lies the Tertiary basin of the Hungarian plain; and outside the belt, on the northern side, is a region which, geologically, is composite, but has uniformly resisted the Carpathian folding. In the neighbourhood of Vienna a gap in the folded belt—the gap between the Alps and the Carpathians—has formed a connexion between these two regions since the early part of the Miocene period. On its outer or convex side the folded belt is clearly defined by a depression which is generally filled by modern deposits. Beyond this, in Russia and Galicia, lies an extensive plateau, much of which is covered by flat-lying Miocene and Pliocene beds; but in the deep valleys of the Dniester and its tributaries the ancient rocks which form the foundation of the plateau are laid bare. Archaean granite is thus exposed at Yampol and other places in Russia, and this is followed towards the west by Silurian and Devonian beds in regular succession—the Devonian being of the Old Red Sandstone type characteristic of the British Isles and of Northern Russia. Throughout, the dip is very low and the beds are unaffected by the Carpathian folds, the strike being nearly from north to south. After Devonian times the region seems to have been dry land until the commencement of the Upper Cretaceous period, when it was overspread by the Cenomanian sea, and the deposits of that sea lie flat upon the older sediments.
Some 25 or 30 m. of undulating country separate the Dniester from the margin of the Carpathian chain, and in this space the Palaeozoic floor sinks far beneath the surface, so that not even the deep-cut valley of the Pruth exposes any beds of older date than Miocene. Towards the north-west, also, the Palaeozoic foundation falls beneath an increasing thickness of Cretaceous beds and lies buried far below the surface. At Lemberg a boring 1650 ft. in depth did not reach the base of the Senonian. West of Cracow the Cretaceous beds are underlaid by Jurassic and Triassic deposits, the general dip being eastward. It is not till Silesia that the Palaeozoic formations again rise to the surface. Here is the margin, often concealed by very modern deposits, of the great mass of Archaean and Palaeozoic rocks which forms nearly the whole of Bohemia and Moravia. The Palaeozoic beds no longer lie flat and undisturbed, as in the Polish plain. They are faulted and folded. But the folds are altogether independent of those of the Carpathians; they are of much earlier date, and are commonly different in direction. The principal biding took place towards the close of the Carboniferous period, and the massif is a fragment of an ancient mountain chain, the Variscische Gebirge of E. Suess, which in Permian and Triassic times stretched across the European area from west to east.
In Bohemia and Moravia the whole of the beds from the Cambrian to the Lower Carboniferous are of marine origin; but after the Carboniferous period the area appears to have been dry land until the beginning of the Upper Cretaceous period, when the sea again spread over it. The deposits of this sea are now visible in the large basin of Upper Cretaceous beds which stretches from Dresden southeastward through Bohemia. Since the close of the Cretaceous period the Bohemian massif has remained above the sea; but the depression which lies immediately outside the Carpathian chain has at times been covered by an arm of the sea and at other times has been occupied by a chain of salt lakes, to which the salt deposits of Wieliczka and numerous brine springs owe their origin.
Geological Map of Austria-Hungary.
The large area which is enclosed within the curve of the Carpathians is for the most part covered by loess, alluvium and other modern deposits, but Miocene and Pliocene beds appear around its borders. In the hilly region of western Transylvania a large mass of more ancient rocks is exposed; the Carboniferous system and all the Mesozoic systems have been recognized here, and granite and volcanic rocks occur. In the middle of Hungary a line of hills rises above the plain, striking from the Platten See towards the north-east, where it merges into the inner girdle of the Carpathian chain. These hills are largely formed of volcanic rocks of late Tertiary age; but near the Platten See Triassic beds of Alpine type are well developed. The Tertiary eruptions were not confined to this line of hills. They were most extensive along the inner border of the Carpathians, and they occurred also in the north of Bohemia. Most of the eruptions took place during the Miocene and Pliocene periods.
The mineral wealth of Austria is very great. The older rocks are in many places peculiarly rich in metalliferous ores of all kinds. Amongst them may be mentioned the silver-bearing lead ores of Erzgebirge and of Přibram in Bohemia; the iron ores of Styria and Bukovina; and the iron, copper, cobalt and nickel of the districts of Zips and Gomor. The famous cinnabar and mercury mines of Idria in Carniola are in Triassic beds; and the gold and silver of northern Hungary and of Transylvania are associated with the Tertiary volcanic rocks. The Carboniferous coal-fields of Silesia and Bohemia are of the greatest importance; while Jurassic coal is worked at Steyerdorf and Fünfkirchen in Hungary, and lignite at many places in the Tertiary beds. The great salt mines of Galicia are in Miocene deposits; but salt is also worked largely in the Trias of the Alps. (See also Alps; Carpathians; Hungary and Tirol.) (P. La.)
Climate.—The climate of Austria, in consequence of its great extent, and the great differences in the elevation of its surface, is very various. It is usual to divide it into three distinct zones. The most southern extends to 46° N. lat., and includes Dalmatia and the country along the coast, together with the southern portions of Tirol and Carinthia. Here the seasons are mild and equable, the winters are short (snow seldom falling), and the summers last for five months. The vine and maize are everywhere cultivated, as well as olives and other southern products. In the south of Dalmatia tropical plants flourish in the open air. The central zone lies between 46° and 49° N. lat., and includes Lower and Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Central and Northern Tirol, Southern Moravia and a part of Bohemia. The seasons are more marked here than in the preceding. The winters are longer and more severe, and the summers are hotter. The vine and maize are cultivated in favourable situations, and wheat and other kinds of grain are generally grown. The northern zone embraces the territory lying north of 49° N. lat., comprising Bohemia, Northern Moravia, Silesia and Galicia. The winters are here long and cold; the vine and maize are no longer cultivated, the principal crops being wheat, barley, oats, rye, hemp and flax. The mean annual temperature ranges from about 59° in the south to 48° in the north. In some parts of the country, however, it is as low as 46° 40′ and even 36°. In Vienna the average annual temperature is 50°, the highest temperature being 94°, the lowest 2° Fahr. In general the eastern part of the country receives less rain than the western. In the south the rains prevail chiefly in spring and autumn, and in the north and central parts during summer. Storms are frequent in the region of the south Alps and along the coast. In some parts in the vicinity of the Alps the rainfall is excessive, sometimes exceeding 60 in. It is less among the Carpathians, where it usually varies from 30 to 40 in. In other parts the rainfall usually averages from 20 to 24 in.
Flora.—From the varied character of its climate and soil the vegetable productions of Austria are very diverse. It has floras of the plains, the hills and the mountains; an alpine flora, and an arctic flora; a flora of marshes, and a flora of steppes; floras peculiar to the clay, the chalk, the sandstone and the slate formations. The number of different species is estimated at 12,000, of which one-third are phanerogamous, or flowering plants, and two-thirds cryptogamous, or flowerless. The crown land of Lower Austria far surpasses in this respect the other divisions of the country, having about four-ninths of the whole, and not less than 1700 species of flowering plants. As stated above, Austria is a very mountainous country and the mountains are frequently covered with vegetation to a great elevation. At the base are found vines and maize; on the lower slopes are green pastures, or wheat, barley and other kinds of corn; above are often forests of oak, ash, elm, &c.; and still higher the yew and the fir may be seen braving the climatic conditions. Corn grows to between 3400 and 4500 ft. above the level of the sea, the forests extend to 5600 or 6400 ft., and the line of perpetual snow is from 7800 to 8200 ft.
Fauna.—The animal kingdom embraces, besides the usual domestic animals (as horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, asses, &c.), wild boars, deer, wild goats, hares, &c.; also bears, wolves, lynxes, foxes, wild cats, jackals, otters, beavers, polecats, martens, weasels and the like. Eagles and hawks are common, and many kinds of singing birds. The rivers and lakes abound in different kinds of fish, which are also plentiful on the sea-coast. Among the insects the bee and the silkworm are the most useful. The leech forms an article of trade. In all there are 90 different species of mammals, 248 species of birds, 377 of fishes and more than 13,000 of insects.
Divisions.—Austria is composed of seventeen “lands,” called also “crown lands.” Of these, three—namely, Bohemia, Galicia and Lodomeria, and Dalmatia—are kingdoms; two—Lower and Upper Austria—archduchies; six—Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Silesia and Bukovina—duchies; two—Görz-Gradisca and Tirol—countships of princely rank (gefürstete Grafschaften); two—Moravia and Istria—margraviates (march counties). Vorarlberg bears the title simply of “land.” Trieste, with its district, is a town treated as a special crown land. For administrative purposes Trieste, with Görz-Gradisca and Istria, constituting the Küstenland (the Coast land) and Tirol and Vorarlberg, are each comprehended as one administrative territory. The remaining lands constitute each an administrative territory by itself.
Population.—Austria had in 1900 a population of 26,107,304 inhabitants, which is equivalent to 226 inhabitants per sq. m. As seen from the table below, the density of the population is unequal in the various crown lands. The most thickly populated province is Lower Austria; the Alpine provinces are sparsely populated, while Salzburg is the most thinly populated crown land of Austria. As regards sex, for every 1000 men there were 1035 women, the female element being the most numerous in every crown land, except the Küstenland, Bukovina and Dalmatia. Compared with the census returns of 1890, the population shows an increase of 2,211,891, or 9·3% of the total population. The increase between the preceding census returns of 1880 and 1890 was of 1,750,093 inhabitants, or 7·9% of the total population. A very important factor in the movement of the population is the large over-sea emigration, mostly to the United States of America, which has grown very much during the last quarter of the 19th century, and which shows a tendency to become still larger. Between 1891 and 1900 the number of over-sea emigrants was 387,770 persons. The movement of the population shown in the other vital statistics—births, marriages, deaths—are mostly satisfactory, and show a steady and normal progress. The annual rate per thousand of population in 1900 was: births, 37·0; still-births, 1·1; deaths, 25·2; marriages, 8·2. The only unsatisfactory points are the great number of illegitimate births, and the high infant mortality. Of the total population of Austria 14,009,233 were scattered in 26,321 rural communities with less than 2000 inhabitants; while the remainder was distributed in 1742 communities with a population of 2000–5000; in 260 communities with a population of 5000–10,000; in 96 towns with a population of 10,00–20,000; in 41 towns with a population of 20,000–50,000; in 6 towns with a population of 50,000–100,000; and in 6 towns with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants. The principal towns of Austria are Vienna (1,662,269), Prague (460,849), Trieste (132,879), Lemberg (159,618), Graz (138,370), Brünn (108,944), Cracow (91,310), Czernowitz (67,622), Pilsen (68,292) and Linz (58,778).
|Administrative Territories|| Areas in
|Population.|| Density of |
per sq. m.
Tirol and Vorarlberg
Races.—From an ethnographical point of view Austria contains a diversity of races; in fact no other European state contains within its borders so many nationalities as the Austrian empire. The three principal races of Europe—the Latin, the Teutonic and the Slavonic—are all represented in Austria. The Slavonic race, numbering 15,690,000, is numerically the principal race in Austria, but as it is divided into a number of peoples, differing from one another in language, religion, culture, customs and historical traditions, it does not possess a national unity. Besides, these various nationalities are geographically separated from one another by other races, and are divided into two groups. The northern group includes the Czechs, the Moravians, the Slovaks, the Ruthenians and the Poles; while the southern group contains the Slovenes, the Servians and the Croats. Just as their historical traditions are different, so are also the aspirations of these various peoples of the Slavonic race different, and the rivalries between them, as for instance between the Poles and the Ruthenians, have prevented them from enjoying the full political advantage due to their number. The Germans, numbering 9,171,614, constitute the most numerous nationality in Austria, and have played and still play the principal rôle in the political life of the country. The Germans are in a relative majority over the other peoples in the empire, their language is the vehicle of communication between all the other peoples both in official life and in the press; they are in a relatively more advanced state of culture, and they are spread over every part of the empire. Historically they have contributed most to the foundation and to the development of the Austrian monarchy, and think that for all the above-mentioned reasons they are entitled to the principal position amongst the various nationalities of Austria. The Latin race is represented by the Italians, Ladini and Rumanians.
The following table gives the numbers of different nationalities, as determined by the languages spoken by them in 1900:—
Czechs and Slovaks
Italians and Ladini
Servians and Croats
The Germans occupy exclusively Upper Austria, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, and, to a large extent, Lower Austria; then the north and central part of Styria, the north and western part of Carinthia, and the north and central part of Tirol. In Bohemia they are concentrated round the borders, in the vicinity of the mountains, and they form nearly half the population of Silesia; besides they are found in every part of the monarchy. The Czechs occupy the central and eastern parts of Bohemia, the greatest part of Moravia and a part of Silesia. The Poles are concentrated in western Galicia, and in a part of Silesia; the Ruthenians in eastern Galicia and a part of Bukovina; the Slovenes in Carniola, Görz and Gradisca, Istria, the south of Styria, and the Trieste territory. The Servians and Croats are found in Istria and Dalmatia; the Italians and Ladini in southern Tirol, Görz and Gradisca, Trieste, the coast of Istria, and in the towns of Dalmatia; while the Rumanians live mostly in Bukovina.
Agriculture.—Notwithstanding the great industrial progress made by Austria during the last quarter of the 19th century, agriculture still forms the most important source of revenue of its inhabitants. In 1900 over 50% of the total population of Austria derived their income from agricultural pursuits. The soil is generally fertile, although there is a great difference in the productivity of the various crown-lands owing to their geographical situation. The productive land of Austria covers 69,519,953 acres, or 93·8% of the total area, which is 74,102,001 acres; to this must be added 0·4 of lakes and fishponds, making a total of 94·2% of productive area. The remainder is unproductive, or used for other, not agricultural purposes. The area of the productive land has been steadily increasing—it was estimated to cover about 89% in 1875,—and great improvements in the agricultural methods have also been introduced. Of the whole productive area of Austria, 37·6% is laid out in arable land; 34·6% in woods; 25·2% in pastures and meadows; 1·3% in gardens, 0·9% in vineyards; and 0·4% in lakes, marshes and ponds. The provinces having the largest proportion of arable land are Bohemia, Galicia, Moravia and Lower Austria. The principal products are wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, potatoes, sugar beet, and cattle turnip. The produce of the ploughed land does not, on the whole, suffice for the home requirements. Large quantities in particular of wheat and maize are imported from Hungary for home consumption. Only barley and oats are usually reaped in quantity for export. The provinces which have the lowest proportion of arable land are Tirol and Salzburg. Besides these principal crops, other crops of considerable magnitude are: buckwheat in Styria, Galicia, Carniola and Carinthia; rape and rape-seed in Bohemia and Galicia, poppy in Moravia and Silesia; flax in Bohemia, Moravia, Styria and Galicia; hemp in Galicia, chicory in Bohemia; tobacco, which is a state monopoly, in Galicia, Bukovina, Dalmatia and Tirol; fuller’s thistle in Upper Austria and Styria; hops in Bohemia, including the celebrated hops round Saaz, in Galicia and Moravia; rice in the Küstenland; and cabbage in Bohemia, Galicia, Lower Austria and Styria. The principal garden products are kitchen vegetables and fruit, of which large quantities are exported. The best fruit districts are in Bohemia, Moravia, Upper Austria and Styria. Certain districts are distinguished for particular kinds of fruit, as Tirol for apples, Bohemia for plums, Dalmatia for figs, pomegranates and olives. The chestnut, olive and mulberry trees are common in the south—chiefly in Dalmatia, the Küstenland and Tirol; while in the south of Dalmatia the palm grows in the open air, but bears no fruit.
The vineyards of Austria covered in 1901 an area of 626,044 acres, the provinces with the largest proportion of vineyards being Dalmatia, the Küstenland, Lower Austria, Styria and Moravia. The wines of Dalmatia are mostly sweet wines, and not suitable to be kept for long periods, while those of the other provinces are not so sweet, but improve with age.
Forests.—The forests occupy just a little over one-third of the whole productive area of Austria, and cover 24,157,709 acres. In the forests tall timber predominates to the extent of 85%, and consists of conifers much more than of green or leaved trees, in the proportion of seventy against fifteen out of the 85% of the total forests laid out in tall timber. Exceptions are the forest lands of the Karst region, where medium-sized trees and underwood occupy 80%, and of Dalmatia, where underwood occupies 92·6% of the whole forest land. The Alpine region is well wooded, and amongst the other provinces Bukovina is the most densely wooded, having 43·2% of its area under forests, while Galicia with 25·9% is the most thinly-wooded crown-land of Austria. The forests are chiefly composed of oak, pine, beech, ash, elm, and the like, and constitute one of the great sources of wealth of the country. Forestry is carried on in a thoroughly scientific manner. Large works of afforestation have been undertaken in Carinthia, Carniola and Tirol with a view of checking the periodical inundations, while similar works have been successfully carried out in the Karst region.
Landed Property.—Of the whole territory of the state, 74,102,001 acres, about 29%, is appropriated to large landed estates; 71% is disposed of in medium and smaller properties. Large landed property is most strongly represented in Bukovina, where it absorbs 46% of the whole territory, and in Salzburg, Galicia, Silesia and Bohemia. To the state belongs 41% of the total territory. The Church, the communities, and the corporations are also in possession of large areas of land; 4% (speaking roundly) of the territory of Austria is held on the tenure of fidei-commissum. Of the entire property in large landed estates, 59% is laid out in woods; of the property in fidei-commissum, 66% is woodland; of the entire forest land, about 10% is the property of the state; 14·5% is communal property; and 3·8% is the property of the Church. The whole of the territory in large landed estates includes 52% of the entire forest land. The forest land held under fidei-commissum amounts to over 9% of the entire forest land.
Live Stock.—Although richly endowed by nature, Austria cannot be said to be remarkable as a cattle-rearing country. Indeed, except in certain districts of the Alpine region, where this branch of human activity is carried on under excellent conditions, there is much room for improvement. The amount of live stock is registered every ten years along with the census of the population.
Mules and asses
Austria is distinguished for the number and superiority of its horses, for the improvements of which numerous studs exist all over the country. All kinds of horses are represented from the heaviest to the lightest, from the largest to the smallest. The most beautiful horses are found in Bukovina, the largest and strongest in Salzburg; those of Styria, Carinthia, Northern Tirol and Upper Austria are also famous. In Dalmatia, the Küstenland and Southern Tirol, horses are less numerous, and mules and asses in a great measure take their place. The finest cattle are to be found in the Alpine region; of the Austrian provinces, Salzburg and Upper Austria contain the largest proportion of cattle. The number of sheep has greatly diminished, but much has been done in the way of improving the breeds, more particularly in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Upper and Lower Austria. The main object has been the improvement of the wool, and with this object the merino and other fine-woolled breeds have been introduced. Goats abound mostly in Dalmatia, Bohemia and Tirol. The rearing of pigs is carried on most largely in Styria, Bohemia, Galicia and Upper and Lower Austria. Bees are extensively kept in Carinthia, Carniola, Lower Austria and Galicia. The silk-worm is reared more particularly in Southern Tirol and in the Küstenland, and the average annual yield is 5,000,000 ℔ of cocoons. In the Alpine region dairy-farming has attained a great degree of development, and large quantities of butter and cheese are annually produced. Altogether, the rearing of cattle, with all its actual shortcomings, constitutes a great source of revenue, and yields a certain amount for export.
Fisheries.—The fisheries of Austria are very extensive, and are divided into river, lake and sea fisheries. The numerous rivers of Austria swarm with a great variety of fishes. The lake fisheries are mostly pursued in Bohemia, where pisciculture is an art of old standing, and largely developed. The sea fisheries on the coast of Dalmatia and of the Küstenland constitute an important source of wealth to the inhabitants of these provinces. About 4000 vessels, with a number of over 16,000 fishermen are employed, and the average annual catch realizes £240,000.
In the mountainous regions of Austria game is plentiful, and constitutes a large source of income.
Minerals.—In the extent and variety of its mineral resources Austria ranks among the first countries of Europe. With the exception of platinum, it possesses every useful metal; thus, besides the noble metals, gold and silver, it abounds in ores of more or less richness in iron, copper, lead and tin. Rich deposits of coal, both pit coal and brown coal are to be found, as well as extensive basins of petroleum, and large deposits of salt. In smaller quantities are found zinc, antimony, arsenic, cobalt, nickel, manganese, bismuth, chromium, uranium, tellurium, sulphur, graphite and asphalt. There are also marble, roofing-slate, gypsum, porcelain-earth, potter’s clay, and precious stones. It is therefore natural that mining operations should have been carried out in Austria from the earliest times, as, for instance, the salt mines of Hallstatt in Upper Austria, which had already been worked during the Celtic and Romanic period. Famous through the middle ages were also the works, especially for the extraction of gold and silver, carried out in Bohemia and Moravia, whose early mining regulations, for instance those of Iglau, were adopted in other countries. But the great industrial development of the 19th century, with its growing necessity for fuel, has brought about the exploitation of the rich coal-fields of the country, and to-day the coal mines yield the heaviest output of any mineral products. To instance the rapid growth in the extraction of coal, it is worth mentioning that in 1825 its output was about 150,000 tons; in 1875, or only after half a century, the output has become 100 times greater, namely, over 15,000,000 tons; while in 1900 it was 32,500,000 tons. Coal is found in nearly every province of Austria, with the exception of Salzburg and Bukovina, but the richest coal-fields are in Bohemia, Silesia, Styria, Moravia and Carniola in the order named. Iron ores are found more or less in all the crown-lands except Upper Austria, the Küstenland and Dalmatia, but it is most plentiful in Styria, Carinthia, Bohemia and Moravia. Gold and silver ores are found in Bohemia, Salzburg and Tirol. Quicksilver is found at Idria in Carniola, which after Almaden in Spain is the richest mine in Europe. Lead is extracted in Carinthia and Bohemia, while the only mines for tin in the whole of Austria are in Bohemia. Zinc is mostly found in Galicia, Tirol and Bohemia, and copper is extracted in Tirol, Moravia and Salzburg. Petroleum is found in Galicia, where ozocerite is also raised. Rock-salt is extracted in Galicia, while brine-salt is produced in Salzburg, Salzkammergut and Tirol. Graphite is extracted in Bohemia, Moravia, Styria and Lower Austria. Uranium, bismuth and antimony are dug out in Bohemia, while procelain earth is found in Bohemia and Moravia. White, red, black and variously-coloured marbles exist in the Alps, particularly in Tirol and Salzburg; quartz, felspar, heavy spar, rock-crystal, and asbestos are found in various parts; and among precious stones may be specially mentioned the Bohemian garnets. The total value of the mines and foundry products throughout Austria in 1875 was £5,000,000. The number of persons employed in the mines and in the smelting and casting works in the same year was 94,019. The total value of the mining products throughout Austria in 1902 was £10,500,000, and the value of the product of the foundries was £3,795,000. Of this amount £3,150,000 represents the value of the iron: raw steel and pig iron. The increase in the value of the mining products during the period 1892–1902 was 40%; and the increase in the product of the furnaces in the same period was 35%. The number of persons employed in 1902 in mining was 140,890; in smelting works 7148; and in the extraction of salt, 7963. The value of the chief mining products of Austria in 1903 was: Brown coal (21,808,583 tons), £4,182,516; coal (12,145,000 tons), £4,059,807; iron ores (1,688,960 tons), £615,273; lead ores, £135,965; silver ores, £119,637; quicksilver ores, £92,049; graphite, £78,437; tin ores, £78,275; copper ores, £22,119; manganese ores, £5368; gold ores, £4407; asphalt, £2250; alum and vitriol slate, £992. The production of petroleum was 660,000 tons, and of salt 340,000 tons. The value of the principal products of the smelting furnaces in 1903 was: Iron (955,543 tons), £2,970,866; coke, £862,137; zinc (metallic), £174,344; silver, £141,594; copper, £57,542; sulphuric acid, £8488; copper vitriol, £5710; mineral colours, £5565; lead, £5067; tin, £4566; gold, £878; iron vitriol, £603; litharge, £384; quicksilver, £218; coal briquettes, £92,000.
Industry.—The manufactures of Austria were much developed during the last quarter of the 19th century, although Austria as a whole cannot be said to be an industrial country. Austria possesses many favourable conditions for a great industrial activity. It possesses an abundance of raw materials, of fuel—both mineral and wood,—of metals and minerals, in fact all the necessaries for a great and nourishing industry; and the rivers can easily be utilized as producers of motive power. It is besides densely populated, and has an adequate supply of cheap labour, while the undeveloped industries of the Balkan states also offer a ready market for its products. The glass manufacture in Bohemia is very old, and has kept up its leading position in the markets of the world up to the present day. Industrial activity is greatly developed in Bohemia, Lower Austria, Silesia, Moravia and Vorarlberg, while in Dalmatia and Bukovina it is almost non-existent. The principal branches of manufactures are, the textile industry, the metallurgic industries; brewing and distilling; leather, paper and sugar; glass, porcelain and earthenware; chemicals; and scientific and musical instruments.
The textile industry in all its branches—cotton, woollen, linen, silk, flax and hemp—is mostly concentrated in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Lower Austria. It is an old industry, and one which has made great progress since 1875. Thus the number of mechanical looms increased more than threefold during this period, and numbered in 1902 about 120,000. In the same year the number of spindles at work was about 3,100,000. Austria had in 1902, 21,837 textile factories with 337,514 workmen. The principal seat of the manufacture of cotton goods is in northern Bohemia, from the Eger to Reichenberg, which can be considered as the Lancashire of Austria, Lower Austria between the Wiener Wald and the Leitha, and in Vorarlberg. Woollen goods are manufactured in the above places, and besides in Moravia, at Brünn and at Iglau; in Silesia; and at Biala in Galicia. Vienna is also distinguished for its manufacture of shawls. The coarser kind of woollen goods are manufactured all over the country, principally in the people’s houses as a home industry. The most important places for the linen industry are in Bohemia at Trautenau; in Moravia and Silesia, while the commoner kinds of linen are mostly produced as a home industry by the peasants in the above-mentioned crown-lands. The manufacture of ribbons, embroidery and lace, the two latter being carried on principally as a house industry in Vorarlberg and in the Bohemian Erzgebirge, also thrives. The industry in stitched stuffs is especially developed in northern Bohemia. Ready-made men’s clothes and oriental caps (fezes) are produced on a large scale in Bohemia and Moravia. The manufacture of silk goods is mainly carried on in Vienna, while the spinning of silk has its principal seat in southern Tirol, and to a smaller extent in the Küstenland.
The metallurgic industry forms one of the most important branches of industry, because iron ore of excellent quality is extracted annually in great quantities. The principal seats of the iron and steel manufactures are in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Upper and Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia, which contain extensive iron-works. The most important manufactured products are cutlery, firearms, files, wire, nails, tin-plates, scythes, sickles, steel pens, needles, rails, iron furniture, drains, and kitchen utensils. A famous place for its iron manufacture is Steyr in Upper Austria. The manufacture of machinery, for industrial and agricultural purposes, and of railway engines is mainly concentrated in Vienna, Wiener-Neustadt, Prague, Brünn and Trieste; while the production of rolling stock for railways is carried on in Vienna, Prague and Graz. Ship-building yards for sea-vessels are at Trieste and Pola; while for river-vessels the largest yards are at Linz. Among other metal manufactures, the principal are copper works at Brixlegg and other places in Tirol, and in Galicia, tin and lead in Bohemia, and metallic alloys, especially Packfong or German silver, an alloy of nickel and copper, at Berndorf in Lower Austria. The precious metals, gold and silver, are principally worked in the larger towns, particularly at Vienna and Prague. Vienna is also the principal seat for scientific and surgical instruments. In the manufacture of musical instruments Austria takes a leading part amongst European states, the principal places of production being Vienna, Prague, Königgrätz, Graslitz and Schönbach.
The glass manufacture is one of the oldest industries in Austria, and is mainly concentrated in Bohemia. Its products are of the best quality, and rule the markets of the world. In the manufacture of earthenwares Austria plays also a leading part, and the porcelain industry round Carlsbad and in the Eger district in Bohemia has a world-wide reputation. The leather industry is widely extended, and is principally carried on in Lower Austria, Bohemia and Moravia. Vienna and Prague are great centres for the boot and shoe trade, and the gloves manufactured in these towns enjoy a great reputation. The manufacture of wooden articles is widespread over the country, and is very varied. In Vienna and other large towns the production of ornamental furniture has attained a great development. The industry in paper has also assumed great proportions, its principal seats being in Bohemia, Moravia, Upper and Lower Austria. Of food-stuffs, besides milling, and other flour products, the principal industry is the manufacture of sugar from beet-root. The sugar industry is almost exclusively carried on in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Galicia. It has attained such large proportions that large districts in those provinces have been converted from wheat-growing districts into fields for the cultivation of beet-root. Brewing is extensively carried on, and the beer produced is of a good quality. The largest brewing establishment is at Schwechat near Vienna, and large breweries are also found at Pilsen and Budweiss in Bohemia, whose products enjoy a great reputation abroad. There were in Austria 1341 breweries, which produced 422,993,120 gallons of beer, in 1902–1903. Distilling is carried on on a large scale in Galicia, Bukovina, Bohemia, Moravia and Lower Austria; the number of distilleries being 1257, which produced 30,435,812 gallons of spirit. Rosoglio, maraschino, and other liqueurs are made in Dalmatia and Moravia. The manufacture as well as the growth of tobacco is a government monopoly, which has 30 tobacco factories with over 40,000 work-people, the largest establishment being at Hainburg in Lower Austria. Other important branches of industry are the manufacture of chemicals, in Vienna and in Bohemia; petroleum refineries in Galicia, and the extraction of various petroleum products; the manufacture of buttons; printing, lithographing, engraving, and map-making, especially in Vienna, &c.
In 1900 the various manufacturing industries employed in Austria 3,138,800 persons, of whom 2,264,871 were workmen and 103,854 were labourers. Including families and domestic servants, a little over 7,000,000 were dependent on industry for their livelihood.
Commerce.—Austria forms together with Hungary one customs and commercial territory, and the statistics for the foreign trade are given under Austria-Hungary. Owing to its situation, the bulk of the Austrian trade is carried on the railways and on the inland navigable rivers. Only a small portion is sea-borne trade, while the commercial interchange between the provinces lying on the Adriatic coast is very small.
Commercial Navy.—The commercial sea navy of Austria, excluding small coasting vessels and fishing-boats, consisted in 1900 of 154 vessels, with a tonnage of 198,322 tons, of which 123 vessels with a tonnage of 183,949 were steamers. The greatest navigation company is the Austrian Lloyd in Trieste, which in 1900 employed 70 steamers of 165,430 tons. During 1900 the total tonnage of vessels engaged in the foreign trade, which entered all the Austrian ports, was 1,448,764 tons under the Austro-Hungarian flag, and 888,707 under foreign flags; the total tonnage of vessels cleared during the same period was 1,503,532 tons under the Austro-Hungarian flag, and 866,591 under foreign flags.
Government.—Austria is a parliamentary or constitutional (limited) monarchy, its monarch bearing the title of emperor. The succession to the throne is hereditary, in the order of primogeniture, in the male line of the house of Habsburg-Lothringen; and failing this, in the female line. The monarch must be a member of the Roman Catholic Church. The emperor of Austria is also king of Hungary, but except for having the same monarch and a few common affairs (see Austria-Hungary), the two states are quite independent of one another. The emperor has the supreme command over the armed forces of the country, has the right to confer degrees of nobility, and has the prerogatives of pardon for criminals. He is the head of the executive power, and shares the legislative power with the Reichsrat; and justice is administered in his name. The constitution of Austria is based upon the following statutes:—(1) the Pragmatic Sanction of the emperor Charles VI., first promulgated on the 19th of April 1713, which regulated the succession to the throne; (2) the Pragmatic Patent of the emperor Francis II. of the 1st of August 1804, by which he took the title of Emperor of Austria; (3) the Diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I. of the 20th of October 1860, by which the constitutional form of government was introduced; (4) the Diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I. of the 26th of February 1861, by which the provincial diets were created; (5) the six fundamental laws of the 21st of December 1867, which contain the exposition and guarantee of the civil and political rights of the citizen, the organization of justice, the organization and method of election for the Reichsrat, &c.
The executive power is vested in the council of ministers, at whose head is the minister-president. There are eight ministries, namely, the ministry of the interior, of national defence, of worship and instruction, of finance, of commerce, of agriculture, of justice, and of railways. There are, further, two ministries, without portfolio, for Galicia and Bohemia. The civil administration in the different provinces is carried out by governors or stadtholders (Statthalter), to whom are subordinate the heads of the 347 districts in which Austria was divided in 1900, and of the 33 towns with special statute, i.e. of the towns which have also the management of the civil administration. Local self-government of the provinces, districts and communities is also granted, and is exercised by various elective bodies. Thus, the autonomous provincial administration is discharged by the provincial committees elected by the local diets; and the affairs of the communities are discharged by an elected communal council.
The legislative power for all the kingdoms and lands which constitute Austria is vested in the Reichsrat. It consists of two Houses: an Upper House (the Herrenhaus), and a Lower House (the Abgeordnetenhaus). The Upper House is composed of (1) princes of the imperial house, who are of age (14 in 1907); (2) of the members of the large landed nobility, to which the emperor had conferred this right, and which is hereditary in their family (78 in 1907); (3) of 9 archbishops and 8 prince-bishops; and (4) of life members nominated by the emperor for distinguished services (170 in 1907). The Lower House has undergone considerable changes since its creation in 1861, by the various modifications of the electoral laws passed in 1867, 1873, 1892, 1896 and 1907. The general spirit of those modifications was to broaden the electoral basis, and to extend the franchise to a larger number of citizens. The law of the 26th of January 1907 granted universal franchise to Austrian male citizens over twenty-four years of age, who have resided for a year in the place of election. The Lower House consists of 516 members, elected for a period of six years. The members receive payment for their services, as well as an indemnity for travelling expenses. A bill to become law must pass through both Houses, and must receive the sanction of the emperor. The emperor is bound to summon the Reichsrat annually.
According to the imperial Diploma of the 26th February 1861, local diets have been created for the legislation of matters of local interest. These provincial parliaments are 17 in number, and their membership varies from 22 members, which compose the diet of Görz and Gradisca to the 242 members which constitute that of Bohemia. They assemble annually and are composed of members elected for a period of six years, and of members ex-officio, namely, the archbishops and bishops of the respective provinces, and the rector of the local university.
Religion.—Religious toleration was secured throughout the Habsburg dominions by the patent of the 13th of October 1781, but Protestants were not given full civil rights until the issue of the Protestantenpatent of the 8th of April 1861, after the promulgation of the imperial constitution of the 26th of February. The principle underlying this and all subsequent acts is the guarantee to all religious bodies recognized by law of freedom of worship, the management of their own affairs, and the undisturbed possession and disposal of their property. Though all the churches are, in a sense, “established,” the Roman Catholic Church, to which the sovereign must belong, is the state religion. The reigning house, however, though strongly attached to the Roman faith, has always resisted the extreme claims of the papacy, an attitude which in Joseph II.’s time resulted, under the influence of Febronianism (q.v.), in what was practically a national schism. Thus the emperor retains the right to tax church property, to nominate bishops, and to prohibit the circulation of papal bulls without his permission. By the concordat of August 18, 1855, this traditional attitude was to some extent reversed; but this agreement soon became a dead letter and was formally denounced by the Austrian government after the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility.
Of the population of Austria in 1900, 23,796,814 (91%) were Roman Catholics, including 3,134,439 uniate Greeks and 2096 uniate Armenians. There were 12,937 Old Catholics, in scattered communities, 606,764 members of the Eastern Orthodox Church, mainly in Bukovina and Dalmatia, and 698 Armenians, also mainly in Bukovina. The Protestants, who in the 16th century comprised 90% of the population, are now only 1·9%. In 1900, 365,505 of them were returned as belonging to the Augsburg Confession (Lutheran), 128,557 to the Helvetic (Reformed). Other Christian Confessions in Austria are Herrnhuters (Moravian Brethren) in Bohemia, Mennonites in Galicia, Lippovanians (akin to the Russian Skoptsi) in Bukovina, and Anglicans. The Jews compose 4·7% of the population, and are strongest in Galicia, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Moravia and Bukovina. The Roman Catholic Church is divided into eight provinces, seven of the Latin rite—Vienna, Prague, Lemberg, Salzburg, Olmütz, Görz and Zara—with 23 bishoprics, and one of the Greek rite (Lemberg), with two bishoprics. The Armenian bishopric of Lemberg and the Austrian part of the archdiocese of Breslau are under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See. The Greek Orthodox Church has one archbishopric (at Czernowitz) and two bishoprics. There are 559 communities of the Jewish religion (253 in Galicia, and 255 in Bohemia). In 1900 there were, belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, 541 monasteries with 7775 monks, and 877 convents with 19,194 nuns; while the Greek Orthodox Church had 14 monasteries with 85 members. The Evangelical Church, according to the constitution granted by imperial decree on the 9th of April 1861 (modified by those of January 6, 1866 and December 9, 1891) is organized on a territorial basis, being administered by 10 superintendents, who are, in their turn, subject to the Supreme Church Council (K.K. Oberkirchenrat) at Vienna, the emperor as sovereign being technically head of the Church. The small Anglican community at Trieste is under the jurisdiction of the Evangelical superintendent of Vienna.
Education.—The system of elementary schools dates from the time of Maria Theresa; the present organization was introduced by the education law of May 14, 1869 (amended in 1883). By this law the control of the schools, hitherto in the hands of the Church, was assumed by the state, every local community being bound to erect and maintain public elementary schools. These are divided into Volksschulen (national or primary schools) and Bürgerschulen (higher elementary schools). Attendance is obligatory on all from the age of six to fourteen (in some provinces six to twelve). Religious instruction is given by the parish priest, but in large schools a special grant is made or a teacher ad hoc appointed in the higher classes (law of June 17, 1888). Private schools are also allowed which, if fulfilling the legal requirements, may be accorded the validity of public primary schools. The language of instruction is that of the nationality prevalent in the district. In about 40% of the schools the instruction is given in German; in 26% in Czech; in 28% in other Slavonic languages, and in the remainder in Italian, Rumanian or Magyar. In 1903 there were in Austria 20,268 elementary schools with 78,025 teachers, frequented by 3,618,837 pupils, which compares favourably with the figures of the year 1875, when there were 14,257 elementary schools with 27,677 teachers, frequented by 2,050,808 pupils. About 88% of the children who are of school age actually attend school, but in some provinces like Upper Austria and Salzburg nearly the full 100 attend, while in the eastern parts of the monarchy the percentage is much lower. In 1900 62% of the total population of Austria could read and write, and 2·9% could only read. In the number of illiterates are included children under seven years of age. For the training of teachers of elementary schools there were in 1900 54 institutions for masters and 38 for mistresses. In these training colleges, as also in the secondary or “middle” schools (Mittelschulen), religious instruction is also in the hands of the Roman Catholic Church; but, by the law of June 20, 1870, the state must provide for such teaching in the event of the Protestant pupils numbering 20 or upwards (the school authorities usually refuse to take more than 19 Protestants in consequence).
Besides the elementary schools three other groups of educational establishments exist in Austria: “middle” schools (Mittelschulen); “high” schools (Hochschulen); professional and technical schools (Fachlehranstalten and Gewerbeschulen). The “middle” schools include the classical schools (Gymnasien), “modern” schools with some Latin teaching (Realgymnasien), and modern schools simply (Realschulen)—In 1903 there were 202 Gymnasien, 19 Realgymnasien and 117 Realschulen, with 7121 teachers and 111,012 scholars. The “high” schools include the universities and the technical high schools (Technische Hochschulen). Of state universities there are eight:—Vienna, Gratz, Innsbruck, Prague (German), and Czernowitz, in which German is the language of instruction; Prague (Bohemian) with Czech; and Cracow and Lemberg with Polish as the language of instruction. Each university has four faculties—theology, law and political science, medicine, and philosophy. In Czernowitz, however, the faculty of medicine is wanting. Since 1905 an Italian faculty of law has been added to the university of Innsbruck. The theological faculties are all Roman Catholic, except Czernowitz, where the theological faculty is Orthodox Eastern. All the universities are maintained by the state. The number of professors and lecturers was about 1596 in 1903; while the number of students was 17,498.
Justice.—The judicial authorities in Austria are:—(1) the county courts, 963 in number; (2) the provincial and district courts, 74 in number, to which are attached the jury courts,—both these courts are courts of first instance; (3) the higher provincial courts, 9 in number, namely, at Vienna, Graz, Trieste, Innsbruck, Zara, Prague, Brünn, Cracow and Lemberg; these are the courts of appeal from the lower courts, and have the supervision of the criminal courts in their jurisdiction; (4) the supreme court of justice and court of cassation in Vienna. The judicial organization is independent of the executive power. There are also special courts for commercial, industrial, shipping, military and other matters. There is also the court of the Empire at Vienna, which has the power to decide in case of conflict between different authorities.
Finance.—The growth of the Austrian budget, is shown by the following figures:—
The chief sources of revenue are direct taxes, indirect taxes, customs duties, post and telegraph and post-office savings banks receipts, railway receipts, and profits or royalties on forests, domains and mining. The direct taxes are divided into two groups, real and personal; the former include the land tax and house-rent tax, and the latter the personal income tax, tax on salaries, tax on commercial and industrial establishments, tax on all business with properly audited accounts (like the limited liability companies), and tax on investments. The principal indirect taxes are the tobacco monopoly, stamps and fees, excise duties on sugar, alcohol and beer, the salt monopoly, excise duty on mineral oil, and excise duty on meat and cattle for slaughtering.
The national debt of Austria is divided into two groups, a general national debt, incurred jointly by the two halves of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy for common affairs, and is therefore jointly borne by both parts, and a separate debt owed only by Austria alone. The following table shows the growth of the Austrian debt in millions sterling:—
At the close of 1903 the debt of Austria was £156,724,000, an increase since 1900 of £16,044,000. This large increase is due to the great expenditure on public works, as railways, navigable canals, harbour works, &c., started by the Austrian government since 1900.
Railways.—As regards internal communications, Austria is provided with an extensive network of railways, the industrial provinces being specially favoured. This has been accomplished in spite of the engineering difficulties owing to the mountainous nature of the country and of the great financial expenses resulting therefrom. The construction of the Semmering railway, opened in 1854, for instance, was the first mountain railway built in the European continent, and marked an epoch in railway engineering. The first railway laid down in Austria was in 1824 between Budweis and Kerschbaum, over a distance of 40 m., and was at first used for horse tramway. The first steam railway was opened in 1837 over a distance of about 10 m. between Floridsdorf (near Vienna) and Wagram. From the first, the policy of the Austrian government was to construct and to work the railways itself; and in granting concessions to private companies it stipulated among its conditions the reversionary right of the state, whereby the line becomes the property of the state without compensation after the lapse of the period of concession. With various modifications, according to its financial means, it vigorously pursued its policy, by both building railways itself, and encouraging private companies to build. In 1905 the total length of railways in Austria was 13,590 m., of which 5017 m. belonged to and were worked by the state, and 3359 m. belonged to private companies, but were worked by the state.
Bibliography.—F. Umlauft, Die Länder Österreich-Ungarns in Wort und Bild (15 vols., Vienna, 1881–1889), Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchic (3rd ed., Vienna, 1896), Die österreichische Monarchic in Wort und Bild (24 vols., Vienna, 1888–1902), and Die Völker Österreich-Ungarns (12 vols., Teschen, 1881–1885); A. Supan, “Österreich-Ungarn” (Vienna, 1889, in Kirchhoff’s Länderkunde von Europa, vol. ii.); Auerbach, Les Races et les nationalités en Autriche-Hongrie (Paris, 1897); Mayerhofer, Österreich-ungarisches Ortslexikon (Vienna, 1896). For geology see C. Diener, &c., Bau und Bild Österreichs (Vienna and Leipzig, 1903); F. von Hauer, Die Geologie (Vienna). The official statistical publications of the central statistical department, of the ministry of agriculture, and of the ministry of commerce, appearing annually. (O. Br.)
- The census returns of 1857, and of 1869, which were the first systematic censuses taken, gave the population of Austria as 18,224,500 and 20,394,980 respectively. It must be noticed that between these two dates Austria lost its Lombardo-Venetian territories, with a population of about 5,000,000 inhabitants.