As for the great war event I doubt it. The penguin atlas I own put it very nicely. before the great war all of the Great powers had the following in common, common language, religion, and ethnic composition. Germany was mostly German, mostly spoke German, and most Germans were of the same religion. Same with France, and Great Britain. But Austria? Ethnic mishmash, more languages then you can count, and practically every religion in Europe. What kind of nation does that make? Even the US (which is about as diverse in all these ways as you can get) at least had some things to create a unifying factor. Austria on the other hand does not. there is really no political, religious, ethnic, or any kind of factor that can create a united Empire.