The Coming Commonwealth: a Handbook of Federal Government (Sydney, 1897); George William Rusden, History of Australia, 3 vols. 8vo (London, 1883); K. Schmeisser, The Goldfields of Australasia, 2 vols. (London, 1899); G. F. Scott, The Romance of Australian Exploring (London, 1899); H. de R. Walker, Australasian Democracy (London, 1897); William Westgarth, Half a Century of Australian Progress (London, 1899); T. A. Coghlan and T. T. Ewing, Progress of Australia in the 19th Century; G. P. Tregarthen, Commonwealth of Australia; Ida Lee, Early Days of Australia; W. P. Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand; A. Metin, La Socialisme sans doctrine.
AUSTRASIA. The word Austria signifies the realm of the east (Ger. Ost Reich). In Gregory of Tours this word is still used vaguely, but the sense of it is gradually defined, and finally the name of Austria or Austrasia was given to the easternmost part of the Frankish kingdom. It usually had Metz for its capital, and the inhabitants of the kingdom were known as the Austrasii. Retrospectively, later historians have given this name to the kingdom of Theuderich I. (511-534), of his son Theudebert (534-548), and of his grandson Theudebald (548-555); then, after the death of Clotaire I., to the kingdom of Sigebert (561-575), and of his son Childebert (575-597). They have even tried to interpret the long struggle between Fredegond and Brunhilda as a rivalry between the two kings of Neustria and Austrasia. When these two words are at last found in the texts in their precise signification, Austrasia is applied to that part of the Frankish kingdom which Clotaire II. entrusted to his son Dagobert, subject to the guardianship of Pippin and Arnulf (623-629), and which Dagobert in his turn handed on to his son Sigebert (634-639), under the guardianship of Cunibert, bishop of Cologne, and Ansegisel, mayor of the palace. After the death of Dagobert, Austrasia and Neustria almost always had separate kings, with their own mayors of the palace, and then there arose a real rivalry between these two provinces, which ended in the triumph of Austrasia. The Austrasian mayors of the palace succeeded in enforcing their authority in the western as well as in the eastern part, and in re-establishing to their own advantage the unity of the Frankish kingdom. The mayor Pippin the Short was even powerful enough to take the title of king over the whole.
At the time of Charlemagne, the word Austrasia underwent a change of meaning and became synonymous with Francia orientalis, and was applied to the Frankish dominions beyond the Rhine (Franconia). This Franconia was in 843 included in the kingdom of Louis the German, and was then increased by the addition of the territories of Mainz, Spires and Worms, on the right bank of the river.
See A. Huguenin, Histoire du royaume mérovingien d’Austrasie (Paris, 1857); Aug. Digot, Histoire du royaume d’Austrasie, 4 vols. (Nancy, 1863); L. Drapeyron, Essai sur l’origine, le développement et les résultats de la lutte entre la Neustrie et l’Austrasie (Paris, 1867); Auguste Longnon, Atlas historique, 1st and 2nd parts.
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.
.—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
), the Carpathians
), 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