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 nationalitiés 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.