How would you best reform Austria-Hungary?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by sirjackalot, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Kapellan23 Kicked Banned

    Jul 13, 2016
    "August 2, Russia declares War on Germany" - You really have an alternative story.

  2. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Feb 2, 2013
    What's your point? The Germans declared on the 1st, as posted ahead of them.

    The problem wasn't Germany on the 1st, but Russia's General Mobilization order, and that's against both Germany and A-H, days earlier.
    The Russians widened it to a Great War.

    Germany isn't in the Right either, but WWI was all about Mobilizing speed. Germans thought they could quickly knock out Grance, then deal with the Russians before they could get deep in Prussia or wreck A-H
    Vnix likes this.
  3. sirjackalot Active Member

    Aug 11, 2015
    I appreciate the posts guys but it's getting a little bit off topic ;)

    So what do you guys think would be the best long term solution for a stable AH?

    Triple Monarchy?

    United States of Greater Austria?

    National Personal Autonomy?

    Something else?
  4. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Sep 18, 2007
    unite with russia and germany. let russian soldiers handle the magyars.
  5. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Southern California
    Now you're just making stuff up. The Bosniaks were opposed to the annexation. Even the Croats became angry when they realized they wouldn't be united with the other Croat regions.
    Italy's claims to Libya date back to the Third Punic War. Yet for over four decades, she did nothing to disturb the status quo established by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. Why? Because they knew the Great Powers, especially their supposed "allies" in the Triple Alliance. When Austria decided to flagrantly violate both the Treaty of Berlin and the Triple Alliance provisions stating she would not make territorial adjustments in the Balkans without Italian approval, it was inevitable that Italy would seek to make its own move. They only waited until 1911 because that was when Britain and France affirmed that they were fine with Italy taking Libya.

    The formation of the Balkan League started right after Italy declared war. The First Balkan War started right before the Italo-Turkish war ended, to take advantage of the Ottoman's pre-occupation with Italy. The First Balkan War was undoubtedly a knock-on effect of the Italo-Turkish war. And as I stated earlier, the Treaty of Berlin managed to stay in place for 40 years without anyone taking a bite out of the Ottomans until the Annexation of Bosnia.
  6. JSchafer Banned

    Aug 16, 2019

    Hardly. Bosniaks opposed the occupation due to pst memories of Habsburg demanding conversion or deportation and thought the same would happen. Couple of decades later they priced themselves on the loyalty to the empire. Heck even today they see Gavrilo as a terrorist and AH period as one of the best in history. Croats indeed were angry but not due to not unifying but because they, as Catholics weren’t given lands and power that they thought belonged to them.

    They still preferred the anexation to living under Ottomans or in Serbia.
    Vnix likes this.
  7. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Italy had acquired the approval of both well before then. It had gotten the approval of France in 1878 and again in 1902, and got as much in writing from the UK in 1887. The Treaty of Berlin had a de facto expiration date from the very start.

    I love how you've walked back your point from the Italo-Turkish war crippling the Ottoman's military to the Italians emboldening the Balkan states.

    On the contrary, the Statelet of Crete had been carved out, and the Balkan peoples had made many more attempts at secession which the Ottomans put down with increasing brutality. And rather than being a lone actor in 1909 Austria had coordinated with Russia which had intended to make a bid for the Straits at the same time, and of course there's the Bulgarian declaration of independence which had likewise been coordinated with Vienna. The real impact of the annexation of Bosnia was that it, or rather the non-response from the other great powers, revealed that no one in Europe cared any more about the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire.
  8. KanonenKartoffel Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2018

    The issue, I think, is that none of these options are all that plausible and none are really necessary, either. Despite what some people will claim, Austria-Hungary wasn't a horrible mess on a collision course with destruction - at least, no more than the other empires that broke under the pressure of WWI and their leadership's mistakes in dealing with said pressures. But, oddly enough, you don't get posts like

    about the German Empire.

    With a post-1900 PoD, keeping Austria-Hungary alive is probably just a matter of avoiding WWI for a bit, allowing Franco-German relations to start warming (avoiding the assassination of Jean Jaurès, etc.) and cutting back the threat of a general European war. If WWI has to happen, change military thinking so that AH doesn't bleed its best-trained and multilingual officers all over the mountains for no reason, in the hopes that a post-1914 functioning AH army will tip the scales. The problem with that is just that you don't avoid the main destructive force on AH during the time - hunger. And there's only so much you can do about that (avoid Russia capturing agriculturally important areas, mostly).
    Vnix and TimTurner like this.
  9. Ultima Ratio The Last Baron

    May 1, 2010
    Just avoid WW1 and let them continue on the path they were on.
    Let them continue with Germanization and Magyarization for 20-30 more years without a world war. Also not to annex any further territory, especially Bosnia.
  10. Clockro4ch Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2010
    The Hungarian nobility somehow needs a kick in the balls.

    They basically did everything in their power to curtail any reforms, and would do so going forward, even if WW1 is somehow butterflied away.
    Vnix and marathag like this.
  11. cjc Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2016
    Well Germany never had to had over a decade of direct rule by the Kiser do to a language spat between two of the largest language groups, dispute what you think people at the time both in the empire and outside of it felt that the empire need significant reform if it was going to servive in the age of ethnic nation states and wial it was admirably not in as bad a state as the ottoman or Russian empire it still colapesed at the end of ww1, which one cannot say of germany.
  12. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

    Feb 2, 2013
    When your Head of State flees the Capitol(that was in a state of Revolution) along with the Heir after abdicating, followed a bit later by the Commander of all the Imperial Armies,to a different Neutral country, yeah, your Empire has collapsed.
  13. Atterdag Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Keep Europe at peace, democratize AH, have regions peacefully secceed after democratic referendums in which minority rights are respected and people retain free movement within the former imperial lands and the Emperor is still the technical head of state a la commonwealth.

    Idk how realistic it is but I imagine this would happen in the brightest timeline.
  14. KanonenKartoffel Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    Germany also never had its army bled to effective uselessness in a few months before fighting on several fronts for multiple years.

    People in and outside of the German Empire thought it to be stable under monarchist, militarist rule, despite what I think. They were apparently wrong, because the old order collapsed like a house of cards in the winter of 1918.

    People in and outside of the German Empire also thought it was ripe for a social, not just political revolution, and that it was time for the Socialist Republic of Germany to rise out of the old Empire. One of them even declared it, in Berlin. They seem to have been wrong, too, or at least overestimated the support they would get.

    People in 1918 thought a lot of things. A lot of them were wrong.


    Also, somewhat mirroring Bismarck's "Austria-Hungary is made of Irelands" comment, I'd argue that if Austria-Hungary was apparently far less stable and fundamentally broken before WWI, and led by people like Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, it must have been kept alive by something if made it through more of WWI than Russia, and basically endured as much of the food shortages and extended work days, plus more of other things like espionage paranoia or internal refugee issues, as Germany (apparently far more stable). So, then, what is it that kept the unstable and obviously ready-to-explode-at-the-slightest-four-year-bloodbath-and-starvation-catastrophe Austria-Hungary afloat?
  15. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    Dynastic loyalties. Being a Habsburg subject was five sixths of the way to being a nationality in its own right.
    Vnix, jsb, TeePee and 1 other person like this.
  16. yeetboy Active Member

    Nov 20, 2018
    United States of Greater Austria, with ethnicities grouped loosely together while drawing as many new states for German enclaves in other ethnic territories. Dealing with Hungary would most likely require military suppression and a division of it’s territories. The USGA will never turn into ‘super Switzerland’, so some kind of assimilation is needed between the ethnicities.
  17. Basileus_Komnenos Imperator Romanorum Βασιλεύς των Ρωμαιων Αὔγουστος

    Dec 20, 2018
    That's true. The death of Franz Joseph was an unexpected blow to the war effort and the Empire as a whole. Many soldiers who fought for the Empire in WWI also felt more personal loyalty/obligation to Franz Joseph who was seen as the father of the Empire. What if the Empire had competent leadership during the war? Perhaps the Emperor could have used this to force reform on the Hungarian Magnates and crush them. Maybe preventing the death of Rudolph would keep some of the Hapsburg prestige intact. Or maybe the Hapsburgs could have done a better job industrializing the Empire and building infrastructure forcing more unity and contact between their subjects. Many in the army favored the Kaiser and some wanted the Emperor to rule absolutely in a military dictatorship. Perhaps if Franz Joseph dedicates more time to gaining the loyalty of the army, he can enact a temporary royalist dictatorship to force through reform for a couple of years before going back to semi-Constitutionalism.

    Honestly for a truly strong Hapsburg Empire, you would probably have to go back to the 1800's or early in the reign of Franz Joseph. Perhaps if Franz had been a better military commander, he could have better coordinated the army to crush the Hungarian uprising. Maybe then breaking up their estates and dividing it among the peasants and adding it to the Crownlands would secure the Austrian Monarchy. This would allow FJ to rule in his neo-Absolutist fashion that he wanted to. Maybe here he recognizes the need for industrialization and modernity and works to overhaul the Austrian Army and its institutions.

    Honestly what Austria needed most was an extended period of peacetime to re-organize itself. Perhaps a period of splendid isolation is adopted by the Hapsburgs keeping them out of World affairs. This way they focus on internal reform while watching on the sidelines as their rivals pummel each other during the World War. Maybe they can pull a Spain and sell weapons and supplies to both sides and this would bring in some cash to the Empire's depleted coffers. Then when the Germans, Russians, and French exhaust themselves, Austria emerges as a strong secondary power by default. Many times in history states that are disorganized and plagued with civil unrest can get away with their shortcomings if their neighbors are in just as bad of a shape as them. With the other Great Powers reeling from the war Austria would be rebuilding itself and modernizing.
  18. Kevin C. Smith Pangean Seperatist

    Aug 13, 2012
    Around here, someplace...let me look...
    Something like this, maybe? The POD would obviously have to be an earlier (and peaceful) demise of the old Emperor. Something something political crisis... Then, Austria tries to reform the rest of the empire, hoping to draw the rest of it closer together, while keeping Hungary from actively leaving. With luck, you and up with a more lopsided dual monarchy (less Austria/Hungary over everyone else, and more of Austria/everyone else over Hungary). This may be enough to keep the reforming/reformed empire from getting too aggressive when it shouldn't. Might be possible to pull off some army reforms as a part of this. Finally, Franz Ferdinand and his Hungarian wife may stumble into being the key to keeping Hungary bound to the whole thing.

    A metric fuckton of butterflies, but a combination of Austrian diplomacy and God might pull it off.
    Basileus_Komnenos likes this.
  19. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2017
    What late Austria really needs is a coherent diplomatic-military policy. OTL they were passive enough to justify a pathetic military budget and falling behind the military curb (a lot of late 1800s/early 1900s innovations, like camouflage, they dismissed as only being of use in colonial theatres). But at the same time they were still aggressive enough to alienate potential allies and put themselves on a collision course with their neighbours. IMO, this fundamental disconnect in FJ's policies was the primary catastrophe for Austria.
  20. Mina-van-Mako Marquise of Excess (formerly Mako-Tochan)

    Jan 1, 2018
    My Domain
    I'd say the best way to make the whole matter easier would be to let all nationality that already has a state go : get rid of the Romanian majority parts of Transylvania, Galicia, Trentino, Serb lands, have a town-by-town referendum in Bosnia, ... Sometimes less is more, just saying ...