I

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
1908-18

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN
POLICY,
BY

1908-18

ALFRED FRANCIS PRIBRAM
Professor of History in the University of Vienna

WITH A FOREWORD BY
G. P.

GOOCH

LONDON
RUSKIN

:

GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD.
40

HOUSE,

MUSEUM

STREET,

W.C.

i

Firsf published in igi^

{All rights reserved)

Printed in Great Britain by

UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED, THE GRESHAM

PRESS,

LONDON AND WOKING

FOREWORD
In the summer of
invited
to

1922
three

Professor
lectures

Pribram was

deliver

on the Foreign
to

Policy of Austria before the University of London.
It

was a well -deserved compliment
Austrian

the

most

His on the reign of the Emperor Leopold I writings and his collection of the treaties between his
distinguished of living
historians.

country and our students but it
;

own have long been
is

familiar to

through The Secret Treaties
his

Austria-Hungary that known to wider circles.
of

name
191
8,

has

become

When

the realm of the

Habsburgs ceased to exist in

he obtained

permission from the Government of the Austrian

Republic to examine and publish the agreements concluded between 1879, when the Austro-German

was formed, and the outbreak of the Great War. No single volume published during the present century has thrown such a flood of light on the European system which produced and An American perished in the catastrophe of 1914. translation of the work has appeared, and a French
Alliance
version
is

in preparation.

The present volume

offers

a brief but masterly

6

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
diplomacy from the annexain

survey of Austrian
tion of Bosnia

1908

to

the

collapse

of

the

In addition to furnishCentral Powers in 191 8. information based on the Vienna archives, it ing

enables us to form a clearer vision of the policy

and

personality

of

Aehrenthal

and

Berchtold,

Czernin and Burian, of the aged Francis Joseph, the choleric Francis Ferdinand and the luckless
Charles.

But the main value of the lectures

is

that they narrate the origins and vicissitudes of the greatest struggle in history, as they are reflected in the lens of a highly-trained and singularly disIf we are passionate mind in Central Europe.

inquire how not only in London problems and Rome, Paris and Petrograd, but in Berlin and
to

understand the

conflict,

we must

its

strike observers

It and Constantinople. for us in the West of special importance Europe to realize the nature of the rivalry between Austria and Russia, which was the main cause of the war of 191 4.

Vienna,
of

Budapest,

Sofia

is

I

commend

this

little

book

to

the
all

attention

not only of historical students, but of

who

take

an intelligent interest

in foreign afi^airs.

G.

P.

GOOCH.

PREFACE
The
following account of Austrian Foreign Policy and its directors during the decade 1908-18 coincides in part with that contained in the articles

contributed by

me

in

1921

to the

new volumes of
1922).

the Encyclopcrdia Britannica (12th edition,

My
to
1

acknowledgments are due to the Editor and Proprietors of that work for permission
grateful

reproduce the substance of them in these pages.

have, however, taken the opportunity to embody such corrections and changes as were required by there not having been time, before the

Encyclopcedia articles were printed, for the English translations of my German originals to be submitted

Thus the present text, in so far as it may occasionally differ from corresponding passages there, is that which is to be preferred as more exactly representing the statements for which I assume responsibility. Not wishing to exceed the limits allotted to me, I have had to refrain from quoting the documents and books of which I have made use.
for
revision.

my own

The former were derived without exception from The second and third the Vienna State Archives.

8

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

volumes of Friedjung's Das Zeitalter des Imperialismiis, which was left unfinished at the author's
death in 1920 and revised by myself, contain most valuable material. For the opening remarks

on the internal development of the Monarchy which were for the purpose of introducing an
English
audience
I

to

this

— problem

extremely
in

have
the

used,

addition

complicated to other

authorides,

first

section

book, problem, published in 1920.

Das

Osterreichische

of Josef Redlich's Reichs- unci StaatsA.
F.

PRIBRAM.

Vienna, February, 1923.

FOREWORD
PREFACE
CHAPTER
I.

...••••
AVAR, 1908-14
1914-18
• •

CONTENTS

PAGE
5

"^

BEFORE THE

II

II.

THE GREAT WAR,

'

'

^^

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN
POLICY
CHAPTER
I

BEFORE THE WAR
1908-14

The

chapter of the foreign policy of AustriaHungary, which ended with the collapse of the old Monarchy, may be regarded from various points
final

of view

:

and the purely
though
I

the philosophical, the moral, the political, I have chosen the last, historical.

am
;

quite

aware
done
to
I

that so

it

is

the

least
this

attractive

I

have

because

from

angle alone can
the subject,
is
still

I hope and because

shed new light upon
believe that the period

too

recent to be judged from any higher

Furthermore, I shall carefully avoid taking any stand with regard to the question of the causes which have led to the great conflict
standpoint.

opinion these causes are too manifold and too deep-rooted to be summed
of nations.
in

For

my

up

in

common

wish to
Balkans,

phrases about Austria -Hungary's expand her spheres of influence in the

Germany's

striving
11

for

world-power,

12

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
warm
water, the irrepress-

Russia's longing for the
ible desire

of France

to

or

England's
fleet

uneasiness

recover Alsace-Lorraine, about the growth of

Germany's
deeply

and commerce.
nature
of

To
which

inquire

more
would

into

the

these

causes
will

necessitate a detailed account,

not be

possible until the archives of all the belligerent nations are made accessible to serious scholars.

That

is

what
it

I

desire with all

my

heart

;

but

I

am

afraid
of

example

be a very long time till the Austria -Hungary and Germany is
will

followed by the other belligerent nations.

Then,

and only then, will it he possible to determine, what degree of so-called guilt I would prefer to say responsibility rests on individual peoples, not

to say individual

World War.
restricted.

The

My

men, for having precipitated the task I have set myself is more object is only to present the most

important facts of Austria -Hungary's foreign policy
in

the

tions,
I

years 1908-18, and their causal connecwithout any political or moral reflections.
to

wish

emphasize that
that

this policy

was the work

of the Austro-Hungan'an

people of

State.

Government, not of the For the people had no

decisive active part in foreign policy, either directly or indirectly through their representatives in

Parliament,

where,

in

fact,

a

strong

party

of

prominent members disapproved the policy of the Government. The foreign policy of Austria Hungary was the work of the Sovereign and of

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
a few

13

men

in

office.

To what degree
attitude

these

men

were

affected

by

the

of

the

various

nationahties, by of the social class to which they belonged, would

party influences, by the traditions

be an exceedingly interesting subject for historical since research, which I, however, must ignore
;

I

fear that even

my

more

restricted treatment of

the subject will make very considerable demands But I hope upon your attention and patience.
that
to

you

will

not find
first

it

entirely without interest

hear, for the

time,

an account

impartial examination of the events during the last fateful decade of the Austrothe

— based on documents — of

Hungarian Monarchy. That the internal and foreign
evident
to

policies of a State
is

are considerably affected the one by the other

engaged in historical study. This reciprocal influence can be traced with more certainty in the Austro -Hungarian Monarchy than
anyone
in

any other
it
is,

State.

In order to
the
last

understand

its its

foreign
existence
its

policy

during

decade

of

therefore, necessary briefly to trace

internal development

up

to the point at

which

our

narrative

is

to

previously connecessary because cerned only the fate of the Danubian Monarchy
itself
It

begin. events which

This

is

the

more

later became questions of world import. has often been said that the Empire of the

Habsburgs was the
that
it

has

result of lucky marriages, and " political always been a sort of

14

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

This explanaThis is a mistake. monstrosity." not hold, not even as regards the large tion does non -Austrian territories that fell into the hands of
the

Habsburgs

in

the

course
for the

of

centuries.

It

certainly does not hold

territories

of the

Austro -Hungarian Monarchy as it developed inro a Great Power from the sixteenth to the eighteenth
centuries, after the union of the

German
of
fact,

hereditary

lands

v^ith

the

and

Hungarian economical and

possessions In crowns.
religious

the

Bohemian

geographical,

factors

larger part in this process acts of individual rulers and their advisers.

played an even than the conscious

These
at

men
the

left

nothing undone in using the power of
State

dynastic -absolute
into a

which

was

their

disposal to
their

transform the various nationalities of
;

German Greater Austria and there were times when it seemed as though they would attain their end. The fact that their plans
Empire
did not materialize
resistance
is

due partly

to

the stubborn

of

the
that

various
the

peoples,

partly

to

the
in

circumstance

Habsburgs were never
their

a position
great and
as

to

devote

entire

difficult

undertaking.
their

energy to this Their position
interests

Roman Emperors,

international

as rulers of countries scattered throughout Europe,

the cultural task of defending Western Christianity against the menaces of the Turks all these and

other considerations

impossible for them to devote their whole strength to the construction

made

it

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
of a unified State on a

15

German

basis.

Whether

or not under other conditions the Habsburgs would have succeeded in reahzing their object in the

course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is a question which I will not attempt to answer.

But one thing is certain ever since the nineteenth century, ever since the time when the idea of nationality began to pervade the whole public
:

life

of Europe,
policies

the

began greatly to influence of the Cabinets and became one of
it

when

the leading tendencies in

modern Europe's

inter-

national relations, the time for th» Germanization
of
the

Monarchy was

past.

The

revolution

of

1848 made it perfectly clear to the whole world was in Austria an exceedingly difficult that the question would problem to be solved
that there
;

now have

to

be decided whether or not this State

could be reconstituted according to modern ideas. Austria had in 1848 enough men who deemed
possible to solve the problems of nationality and unity in accordance with the spirit of the but time, and who worked towards this end
it
;

overcome the resistance offered by the Crown and its advisers. The latter still hoped to stop the rolling wheel of history. The motto of Francis Joseph, Viribus " the strength Unitis, was interpreted to mean
their
sufficient

powers were not

to

of

all

for

the

interests

of

the

dynasty."

The

Government proceeded as before the revolution, and hoped to suppress the nationalist movement

16

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
But
the

by the application of force.
statesmen were
years

Austrian
the the

doomed
they
parts

to

1849-60

tried

failure, when in to melt down

heterogeneous

of

the

monarchy
;

into

a

for they unitary State under German loadership alienated the various peoples of the Empire. only

The South Slavs
unjustly,

in

pardcular

complained,

not

they had served so
rebellious

of the ingratitude of the dynasty which faithfully in suppressing the

From that peoples in the year 1848. time dates their estrangement from the Emperor
and the Empire through them the plan of 1861, to give the whole Empire a common legislature,
;

was wrecked.

The Austrian
the battle of the

unified

State

broke down after
with
the

Sadowa.
reached

By
an

the settlement of 1867

dynasty

understanding
to
it

Magyar
creasing
utilizing

nobility,

influence,
to

and granted which the latter succeeded
its

an ever-inin in

strengthen

position

not

only

relation to the

Crown and
Hungary

the other half of the
to

Empire, but also in
inhabitants
the
of

relation

the

non-Magyar
plans
of

itself.

These
furthered
the

Magyar

aristocracy

were

by

the

confusion

which

continued

within

Austrian

part of the Empire, where Germans and Czechs All stood irreconcilably opposed to each other. of the Government to mediate between attempts
the

two

were

in

vain.

In

spite

of

the

generous concessions, the

Government

failed to

most win

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the Czechs, who demands from decade

17
national
the

over

increased
to

their
;

decade

whereas

Germans,
idea
of

faithful heretofore to the

unification,

dynasty and the were only offended thereby.

that all the different races gradually deserted the ruling family, and, regardless of the common interests, began to seek only their own
it

So

happened

advantage.

In Hungary, the party whose ultimate object was the dissolution of the bond between the two halves of the Empire gained in influence, and

drove the supporters of the settlement of 1867 to

make more and more demands on the Crown, demands which Francis Joseph granted in large
measure,
of the
in so far as

they did not impair the unity

army and

the rights of the dynasty.

These

on the other races.

Magyars had their marked effect In Bohemia the influence of the nationalist circles, which demanded for their country the same rights as had been granted to
successes of the
the

Magyars
Poles,
the

in

The
by
well
the

who had

Hungary, grew from year to year. for decades been favoured
Government,

Austrian
to

knew exceedingly
which aimed
at

how

further their
possible

plans,

greatest

the non-Polish

autonomy and power over The population of the country.

the

South Slavs, however, who now began to pursue same object, but did not feel themselves equally
their

supported by the dynasty in their struggle to defend

independence

against

the

Germans,

and

especially against the increasing aggressiveness of

2

18

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
more and more longing glances border at their brothers in Serbia, and the enticements of those who represented

the Magyars, cast

across the
listened to

the idea of a Greater Serbia.

threatening the Empire from the attitude of the South Slavs was not unknown to

The danger

Governments were determined
the

in
to

Vienna and Budapest.
appease
it
;

Both
steps

but

the

Most they took for this purpose were different. the use of of the Hungarian statesmen advocated
force,

while

the

Austrians

Both methods
the

failed.

The danger

preferred conciliation. increased when

rather Russophil Karageorgeovich dynasty ascended the Serbian throne in succession to the

Obrenovich,
Henceforth,

which had inclined towards Austria.
Belgrade
the

became

the

centre

of

all

Pan-Serbian agitadon.
incessantly

From

there

struggle

against

the

was preached Danubian

Monarchy, whose commanding position in the Balkans was described as the only obstacle to
the
realization

of

the

nationalist

desires

of

all

South Slavs.
Protich,

The words
the

of the Serbian Minister

that

peace could be maintained between

the

Monarchy and
should

Balkan Stales only
to

if

the

an part play Eastern Switzerland, became a slogan which spread

former

decide

the

of

from Belgrade and found more and more recognition and favour in the South Slav territories of That this danger would have the Habsburgs.
to

be met was generally recognized in the leading

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
circles of
;

19

Vienna and Budapest but the Governments still hesitated whether force should be used, or whether the South Slavs should be reconciled

Time passed, and nothing was by concessions. done. The South Slav sore, allowed to fester
on the body of the Empire, spread over it brought about its death.
it

until

The responsibihty for this fact, so fateful for the Empire and for the dynasty, rests largely with Francis Joseph, who in the last years of his
reign continued to strive to preserve peace for his realm, but avoided decisive measures.
In
the
all

questions

affecting
in

the

constitution

of

Monarchy, between Austria and
later

and

Hungary,

pardcular he
the

the

relations
in

stood

the

years of his

reign by

principles of the

settlement of

1867.

He would

not consider the

federation of the Empire, but stood unmoved on the basis of dualism. He went far to meet the
efforts of the

Hungarian Government
towards
the

for independ-

ence, but refused energedcally during this

demands

tending

remaining bonds between the

period severing of the two halves of the
In
the

Monarchy, especially that of the united army. the conflicts between increasingly violent
different
territories,

nadonalities

inhabiting

the

Cis-Leithan

easier

he stood above party. This was the for him on account of his indifference

towards all the nationahties of his vast realm, even towards the Germans, although to the end of his

20
life

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
he
the
felt

himself to be a
part of
his

German
reign,

prince.
in

As

in

earlier

so

the last

decade,

the

or neglected, another.

separate but always

nationalities

were
off

favoured

played

against

one

Francis Joseph was not one of those of whom contemporaries, especially those at a distance, form

The reserve which he any definite impression. maintained even towards the great majority of his
advisers
his

made

it

more

real

nature.

He

exalted position as a

penetrate into had a deep sense of his ruler. To the end of his
difficult

to

days he remained profoundly convinced that the Empire over which he ruled was his Empire and
This conception of the the peoples his peoples. majesty of the office bestowed on him by God

found expression in his bearing. He always mainHe shoAved kindliness tained a regal attitude.

and winning courtesy to everyone. Nothing was farther from him than posing, and no one ever
heard him utter high-sounding phrases avoided every kind of intimacy even in
course with
;

but he

his inter-

members of the Imperial House and, even with them, knew how to maintain his distance.
His
were not remarkable, but he possessed sound common sense and mother wit. He had a strikingly good memory for persons
intellectual gifts

and events.

As a

ruler

he was a model of the

sense of duty. From early morning to evening he attended to business with clock -like regularity,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
and dealt with
his exact
ties

21

all the

documents

with the greatest punctuality.

him This industry and
laid before

memory made him one
all

of the best authori-

in

Government
ministers
of

affairs.

He
in

sometimes

startled

his

by

his

intimate

of

the

details

the

business

occasionally embarrassed them. farther than the details, and lacked
of surveying the waole.
in his later years, in

knowledge hand, and But he went no
the

power

He
to

also lacked, especially

the ability to take the initiative

important questions,

form independent resoluhe
left

tions

and

to

carry them

to their logical conclusion.

In an ever-increasing degree
to his responsible ministers.
skill

the decision

He was
advisers,

not without but
to

in

the

choice

of

his

had an
be his

instinctive dislike to
intellectual

men whom he felt He also disliked superiors.

people of

independent character, and even within the family circle he preferred those who were more subservient.

He was

essentially cold in

temperament,

with

great

self-control,

increased

by

practice.

he enjoyed great respect Among European during the last decades of his reign, which he owed
rulers

great experience, his personal charm, his blameless conduct, and above all to the fact that
to his age, his

his

word could be

relied

upon.

He was
;

a faithful

son of the CathoHc

Church and looked up with
but,

reverence to the Holy Father

quite

in

the

he preserved spirit of the traditions of his House, the rights of the dynasty and of the State with

22

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Pope.

the utmost tenacity, even against the

He

took no
in
this

interest

in

the

arts

and

sciences,

respect
;

more

of

a

Lorrainer

being than a

whenever he expressed an opinion on these subjects, he showed a decided aversion,

Habsburg

but,

to

modern tendencies in music, literature and The above-mentioned connection between
and
external
policy

art.

the
in

internal

becomes

clear

recalHng the main historical problem of the foreign Since the foundation policy of the old Monarchy.
of the

German Empire and

the

kingdom

of united

Italy, an extension of Austria-Hungary towards the south and west of Europe had become impossible.

Only

in the south-east could she still

count on an

expansion of her territory and power. the 'seventies onwards the pohcy of
tion

Thus from
the

leading

Austro-Hungarian statesmen had taken the direcindicated
this

In

direction

by geographical conditions. Austria had to reckon with

the opposition of Russia, which, with the pressing

back of Turkish
rival in

had become her great south-eastern Europe. In order to maininfluence,

tain herself as a Great Power, render her frontiers

secure

restriction

hostile attacks and suffer no against on her further development, she could

not allow another Great

Danube and
the

its

mouths
of
the

hegemony
and

Power to command the and arrogate to itself Balkan peoples. Thi^

pohtical

Habsburg

opposidon between the Monarchy and Russia was reinforced

economic

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
by
in

23
In

rivalry of a racial

and cultural nature.

viewO^

of this struggle against a competitor far superior

population and military strength, Austrian statesmen had sought an alliance or understanding with those European States whose interests

appeared
to the

to

run parallel with their own.

It

was

that

Germany and England Austria had owed the occupation of Bosnia
benevolent attitude of

and

Herzegovina

and

the

right

of

garrisons in the Sanjak of Novibazar the Near East and the first step

— the

maintaining door to

towards

an

expansion of Austria-Hungary's sphere of influence
in

the
at

Balkans,
the

which

but

same

promised rich prospects, time an increase in Russian

hostility.

From
Russia,

the early

did indeed try to

Andrassy's successors arrive at a modus vlvendi with
'eighties

and were zealously seconded

in this effort

by

Prince Bismarck, who wished to hold balance between his two allies, and, to reach
end,
incessantly

the
this

urged

the

Viennese

Cabinet

to

conclude an agreement with that of Petrograd in regard to spheres of influence in the Balkans.

Numerous

crises

were overcome

;

but the conflict

of interest remained,

and was
"

intensified after the

Russo-Japanese War. Russian statesmen renounced
the policy of reaching the

warm

water

"

in

the

Far East, and returned to that of Peter the Great and Catherine and never entirely given up, the
goal of which had been the conquest of Constant!-

24

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
command
of the Dardanelles.

nople and the

The

constantly increasing differejices between Germany and the Western Powers, and the advances made

by the
of
the

latter

towards
led
in

friendship

with
a

the

court

Tsar,

1907-8

to

close

entente
to

between Russia and England,

and hence

the

development of the long-standing alliance between Russia and France into a Triple Entente. From the autumn of 1906 Baron Aehrenthal
directed
the

foreign

policy

of

the
that

Monarchy.

There

is

no

doubt

he

Habsburg was a
of

statesman of considerable mark,

a

man

wide

knowledge and well-ordered intelligence. He was ambitious, but not vain, and an untiring worker. Moreover, in moments of great excitement he was
able
to

maintain
his

outward calm.
value,

He was

conto

vinced of

own

but

had no desire

parade

it.

theestimateof his foreign On the one hand it policy fluctuated violently. on the other as weak. was blamed as provocative,
his lifetime

Even during

After the disastrous result of the

ing with
it

it

the downfall of the

World War, bringHabsburg Monarchy,

is

sdll

more

difficult

to

answer the question

whether the path pursued by him was the right It is certain that the Entente Powers were one.

drawn more
played,

closely

during his
in

together by the active part period of office, by Austriaiaffairs.
It
is

Hungary

Balkan

true

that

the

chances of success for the Central Powers in an

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
international struggle were better in the years

25

1909

and 191

1

than in 191 4.

undecided whether, if his continued, Aehrenthal would
maintain
the

But the question remains activity had been longer
have

been

able
as

to

position

of

Austria-Hungary

a

Great Power without an appeal to the decision of arms. As early as 1907 he recognized the threatening danger, which became greater and
greater
as
the

internal

affairs

of

the

Turkish

Empire assumed a more and more critical aspect. This Empire he wished to preserve, if it could by but in the event of its any means be done final liquidation he was firmly determined to safeIt was guard the interests of Austria -Hungary.
;

above

all

necessary

to

make

sure of the possession

of the occupied

provinces of Bosnia and

Herze-

govina, which had been under Austro -Hungarian government tor thirty years past, and for which
the

Monarchy had done
and
he
cultural

so

much
of

in

raising

the

material

condition
the
to

the

country.
as

Moreover,
the

considered

annexarion
the

the

indispensable
their

preliminary
of
these

constitution
to

give

up of which would provinces, inhabitants a limited measure of
building
revolution
in

self-government.

The
offered
effect

Young Turk
the
the

July,

1908,

immediate occasion for carrying into It annexation of these territories.

happened

opportunely that at this very time Russian statesmen wished to realize their designs

26

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

on the Dardanelles. Isvolsky knew, indeed, that it would not be easy to win over Great Britain
to

his

plans.

But since he believed himself sure
he hoped
to

of French

support,

achieve at least

his immediate aim, the opening of the Straits to Russian warships, as soon as he had come to an

understanding
especially

with

the

Central

Powers,

and
the

with

Austria-Hungary.

During

Cabinets of negotiations entered upon between the Vienna and Petrograd, he gave his consent to the

Annexation of Bosnia and

Herzegovina,

granted

already by Russia to Austria-Hungary by several treaties concluded in the 'eighties, in the event of the Vienna Government falling in with his plans
as
to

the

Straits.

proposal,

for

he

Aehrenthal seized upon this hoped that the annexation of

these provinces would enable him to take active measures in face of the ever-increasing peril of
the Greater Serbia

movement.
of
July,

At
the

the

beginning
a

1908,

Isvolsky
to

forwarded

memorandum which guaranteed
Bosriia

Habsburg Monarchy and the greater part of the Sanjak of Novibazar.
Aehrenthal accepted Isvolsky's offer it applied to the annexation of
in

and Herzegovina
so
far

as

Bosnia

and
right

Herzegovina

;

but

he demanded

the

same

for the warships of

Rumania and Bulgaria

as for

those of Russia, and in addition a guarantee against an attack on Constantinople by a Russian fleet

entering the

Bosporus.

In

return

he was ready

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
to give to

27

up the Sanjak and the rights appertaining Austria-Hungary in Montenegro, and therewitli the plan of an advance on Salonika, the seizure of which Andrassy had had in view as the next
objective in Austria-Hungary's poHcy of expansion in south-east Europe. After having secured in
principle

the

consent

of

Germany

and

Italy,

Aehrenthal met Isvolsky on September 1 5 at the chateau of Buchlau in Moravia, informed him of
the

impending Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and promised him in return a free

hand

in his proceedings with regard to the question

of the Dardanelles.

The

other mutual support, Sanjak of Novibazar, and Isvolsky promising that Russia would not take possession of Constantinople. A European conference was to give its sanction
to their settlement.

ministers promised each Aehrenthal renouncing the

A

was contemplated, but was not arrived
occasion.

binding written agreement at on this

When, however,

at

the

beginning of October,
the
fait

1908, Francis Joseph publicly announced annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a
accompli,
a

storm of indignation burst forth in
It

many

quarters.

was

insisted,

especially

in

England, that agreements settled by international treaties could only be modified with the consent
of all the contracting Powers,
in in

Both

in Paris

and

London,
order to

where Isvolsky had betaken himself obtain the approval of the Western

28

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
to

measures which he had concerted with Aehrenthal, he met with a decided refusal.
the

Powers

Disappointed in his expectations, he now declared that he had been led astray by Aehrenthal, and
launched
a
bitter

campaign against him.

The

maintained

differences concerned chiefly two points. Isvolsky that he had referred at Buchlau to

plans of Aehrenthal and him not to oppose the annexation of only promised Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Aehrenthal wrote

the unlawfulness of the

immediately

after

the

conversation

to

Francis

Joseph

that the Russian Minister

had promised a

benevolent attitude in case Austria should proceed to the annexation of these two provinces. Count
Beichtold,
report
of
to
this

whom

both statesmen had given a

immediately after it had taken place, confirmed on his word of honour the assertions of Aehrenthal. Secondlv, Isvolsky
denied that a date had been fixed for the annexation,

conversation

while

Aehrenthal

asserted

that

he

had

explained that it might be necessary to carry out the annexation at the beginning of October, though he had promised to inform him beforehand as

he did

— of

the exact date.

Encouraged by the attitude of the Great Powers, especially of England and Russia, Serbia lodged a protest against the annexation, demanded autonomy
for the territories under the guarantee of the Great

of

Powers, and a port on the Adriatic, with a strip Since territory to connect it with Serbia.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Austria-Hungary
these

29
to

showed
into

no

inclination

take

demands
to

consideration,

Serbia

now

At the strengthen her military forces. began same time a violent anti -Austrian movement began
All goods coming Turkey. from Austria-Hungary were boycotted, and Austrowere in traders Turkey Hving Hungarian
to
itself felt

make

in

Bulgaria, whose Prince subjected to annoyance. had assumed the royal title on October 5, 1908,

took sides against Austria-Hungary, and entered into negotiations with Russia and Serbia. In Italy, too. a hostile tendency towards Austria
also

Victor Emmanuel had gained the upper hand. described the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Treaty of Berlin, and Tittoni, who had spoken on October 7 in terms favourable to the annexation, declared in the Italian
as a
stab
at

the

Chamber
a letter

at

the

which

beginning of December—despite he had addressed to Aehrenthal

on October 4 and negotiations which led on October 8 to an agreement that he had entered

into

The no engagements with regard to it. Nationalist Press and the Irredentists fanned the flames, and in the Austrian Parliament the Slavs,
and above all Kramarz, the Czech leader, who first, on advice from Petrograd, had consented
the annexation,
at
to

now

raised loud complaints against

the proceedings of the

Government.

Aehrenthal remained firm.
that Russia,

He was

convinced

who had

not yet recovered from the

30

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

Russo-Japanese War, would not draw the sword, and that he would therefore succeed in achieving His own efforts were his ends without bloodshed.
directed
this point of

In towards the preservation of peace. view he was at odds with a powerful

party,

led

by

Conrad von Hotzendorf,

chief

of

the Austro -Hungarian General Staff, which was in In order favour of a decision by force of arms.
to

meet Russia's views, Aehrenthal consented

to

convening of a European conference, that he could only promise Serbia and Montenegro economic compensation, and made it
the
insisted

but

a condition that the question of Austria-Hungary's sovereignty over Bosnia and Herzegovina should
not

be

discussed.
in

His

attitude

aroused

violent

indignation

London

and

Paris.

But

since

Germany resolutely took her stand on the Habsburg Monarchy, and France,
to

the side of

her Moroccan

with an eye interests, only gave a lukewarm

support to the Russian demands, Isvolsky found As early as himself compelled to beat a retreat. he agreed that the conference December, 1908,

should

recognize

the

annexadon of Bosnia and
previous
place
discussion
the
of
the

.

Herzegovina, matter had
Cabinets.

after

a

taken

between

several

Meanwhile, the greatest difficulties were caused to Aehrenthal by the attitude of the British Cabinet, which did not want war, but desired the diplomatic
defeat of Austria.
Sir

Edward Grey worked

in

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
this

31

sense

the
to

Turkish
the

Serbia and Turkey. He advised Government to allow their consent annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
in

be

bought Aehrenthal

by
fell

a

proportionate cash indemnity. in with this suggestion and on

February
Turkey,
for
his

1909, concluded an agreement with which secured to the Sultan, in return
26,

recognition
State

of

the

annexation of Bosnia
in

and
for

Herzegovina,

£2,500,000
property

Ottoman

in

the

compensation annexed

In March the negotiations as to the provinces. form of consent to the annexation to be given

by the Great Powers concerned were brought to a conclusion. It was to be effected by official declarations on their part, a European conference
being thus avoided.

On March
handed
in

at
;

Government

24 declarations in this sense were Berlin and Vienna by the Russian those of England followed on

March

28.

Meanwhile, the danger of an Austro -Serbian war, which for some time had appeared inevitable, had fortunately passed by. Even after the settle-

ment

of

the

Austro-Turkish
;

conflict

the

Serbs
to

remained
avoid war,
his

stubborn

but

Aehrenthal

wanted

and now, as before, hoped to attain end by calm firmness and conciliation. At the beginning of March he declared that Serbia,
in

fate

order to avoid the humiliation of having her settled by the statesmen of Vienna, might

82

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
to the decision of the

submit
the
to

Great Powers.

But

Serbian

arm.
be

Government dechned, and continued The Cabinet of Vienna then decreed

that the troops in the south-east of the

Monarchy

should

reinforced.

Francis Joseph was in not venture on war, he accepted the proposal of the German Chancellor, Biilow, that Russia herself

Isvolsky now saw that earnest. Since he could

should use her influence over Serbia in the direction of moderation.

On

Great Britain's

initiative,

negotiations were entered upon with the Government of Vienna, which led to the drafting of a

note which should secure to Austria-Hungary the satisfaction which she demanded. After overcoming

On great difficulties an agreement was reached. March 3 1 the Serbian Government presented a
note at Vienna
in

which

it

declared that
to

Serbia

had not suffered any injury
the

her rights through

annexation of
to

Bosnia and

Herzegovina,

promised

change the attitude

and which she had

hitherto taken up towards the Habsburg Monarchy, relations with maintain good to neighbourly Austria -Hungary, and to reduce her army to the

In so doing Serbia footing of the previous year. submitted to the behest of the Signatory Powers,

but

at

the

same

time

to

the

will

of

Austria -

Montenegro thereupon followed suit. The event was a victory for Aehrenthal, but a
Hungary.
Pyrrhic victory, since
it

intensified the cleavage of

Europe

into

two hostile camps.

Russia

now broke

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
definitely

88
in-

with

Austria-Hungary and became

creasingly hostile to

recognized

ever

German policy, while England more clearly the significance of

the Southern Slavs in the struggle against

Germany, and especially of Serbia as a battering-ram against Germany's ally, the Habsburg Monarchy.

Two

of the Triple Entente.

other events led to a further strengthening One was the rapprochement
Italy,

between Russia and
Tsar's
visit

made

manifest by the
24, 1909). concluded in

to

Racconigi
the
secret

(October
treaty

The other was

December, 1909, between Russia and Bulgaria, which ranged the latter in the Russian sphere of influence, and contained, among other things, the
declaration
the
that

the

realization

of

the

ideals

of

Slav peoples in the Balkan

Peninsula would
victory

only

be

possible

after

a

Russian

over

Germany

and

confessioii that the Russian

a war with the

first open Government anticipated Central Powers as inevitable.

Austria-Hungary — the

Yet at this time these opposing tendencies did not come out into the open. The Central Powers
sought rather to overcome them. At the beginning of 1 910 negotiations took place with Russia to
restore
friendly
relations,
split

but
the

after

liminaries

they

on

irreconcilability

hopeful preof

conflicting interests.

Aehrenthal's efforts at

Rome

seemed more promising. At the end of 1909 he reached an agreement on the Albanian question by which further friction between the two States,

S

34

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
rivals in this quarter, should be avoided.

who were
In
Italian

subsequent
considered
the

conversations

in

1910

with

the

were

Foreign Minister, San Giuliano, measures which should smooth the way
establishment
of
friendly
relations

towards

between the Cabinets of Vienna and Rome.
1

In

910 and 191
for

striving

1, moreover, Aehrenthal was eagerly He the maintenance of peace.

endeavoured

to reconcile the differences

which were

for ever cropping

up anew between England and

Germany. In the Moroccan question, it is true, he ranged himself on the side of his ally, but he took
In pains to abstain from irritating the other side. order to win over Rumania and conciliate Serbia,

commercial

treaties

were concluded with them.

In

the interest of peace, too, in the way of the assumption of the royal the

he placed no obstacle
title

by

Montenegro (August 29, 1910). Yet Aehrenthal kept his aim steadfastly in view,

Prince of

namely, the upholding of Austria-Hungary's interests and he left the Balkan peoples in the Near East in no doubt that he would not be a passive
;

spectator

of

the

downfall

of

Turkey.

in a difficult position Italy

when,

in the

He was autumn of 191 1,

seized the opportunity for taking possession

of Tripoli. strong party, headed by the Chief of the General Staff, Conrad von Hotzendorf,

A

held that the

moment had

with their faithless ally. to use this favourable opportunity for assuring to

arrived for a reckoning In any case they wanted

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

35

Austria-Hungary the hegemony of the Balkans. But Aehrenthal stood for the maintenance of the He declared in a memorandum Triple Alhance.
to the

Emperor
it

that the tradition of the

Habsburg

policy forbade

the
in

breach of

treaties.

He

even

held that
that

was

the interest of the

Monarchy

Italy's

satisfaction

Imperialist aspirations should find on the south of the Mediterranean.

requested Italy, while leaving her a free hand in Tripoli, not to interfere with the designs of the Vienna Cabinet in the Balkan
Peninsula.

He

therefore

drawal of the Italian

In this connection he requested the withfleet from the coast of Albania,
Italian designs

and protested against

on Salonika.

The
these

fact

that

demands
hit

Aehrenthal gained his ends by confirmed him in the idea that
the right path,
to

he had

upon
this

and increased
without
17,

his

hopes of being able
interests
to

guard Austria-Hungary's
crisis

in

difficult

resorting

arms.

His death

(February

191 2)

was

therefore a heavy loss to the Monarchy, which made itself all the more felt since just at that time new

dangers were arising for it in South-East Europe. The Italo -Turkish War, and especially the closing
of the Dardanelles at the instance of the Turks,

had severely damaged Russian

trade,

and increased

the desire of Russian statesmen to gain command of the Black Sea. It was also widely held that this

was a favourable opportunity to bring about a Balkan Alliance under Russian leadership, which

86
should

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
make
it

of possible for Russia, as protector to take possession the Slav peoples of the Balkans,
of Constantinople.
in Belgrade,

Hartwig, the Russian Minister

was particularly active in this direcOther circles, led by Tcharykov, the Russian tion. Ambassador in Constantinople, thought it possible They to attain the same end by other means.
wanted
to

preserve

Turkey,
to

but

to

make her
to

Russia's vassal.

She was
to

be admitted

the

Balkan AUiance and,
fleet

in return, to

allow the Russian

a

free

exit
efforts

the

Mediterranean.

But

Tcharykov's
in

failed.

Turkey refused, and

March,

The
against

old

1912, he had to leave Constantinople. plan of forming a Balkan AUiance

The Turkey was now taken up again. the jealousy greatest difficulty in its way was between the Bulgarians, on the one hand, and the Serbs and Greeks on the other. Bulgaria would
not hear of conceding to these peoples the extensions of territory

which they claimed

in

Macedonia.

It was not till March, 191 2, Gueshoff Cabinet came into power in Sofia, that

when

the Russophil

Serbo-Bulgarian treaty was concluded, which was indeed aimed in the first place against Turkey,
the

but

had the Habsburg Monarchy in view. Two military conventions (of May i 2 and July 2,
also
i

191 2)
Alliance.

further

Serbo-Bulgarian developed now undertook, in case Austria Bulgaria
the

the

Hungary occupied
contribute

200,000 men

Sanjak of Novibazar, to towards a war with this

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Power.

87

On May 29

Ferdinand of Bulgaria con-

But cluded a treaty with Greece against Turkey. at the same time he handed in peaceful declarations at Vienna, Berlin

himself

be

feted

in

and Constantinople, and let Vienna as a friend of the
At the beginning of July,

Habsburg Monarchy.
1

91

2,

the Tsar, at his meeting with the
at

German

Emperor

Baltisch Port in Esthonia, laid stress

upon his pacific intentions. But as early as August began the long-prepared conflict of the Christian to peoples of the Balkans with Turkey, leading local struggles, in which there was no lack bloody
of atrocities on either side.

Powers endeavour to bring about an intervention of the Great Powers On September 30, 191 2, the order of Europe. for mobilization was issued in Sofia, Belgrade and
In

vain

did

the

Central

Turkey thereupon determined to end the war against Italy by sacrificing Tripoli and the and on October 18, 9 2, the treaty Cyrenaica Meanwhile the of peace was signed at Lausanne.
Athens.
1 1
;

Balkan States had completed the last preparations On October 8 Montenegro declared war for war. on Turkey, and on October 17 and 18 Serbia,

To the astonBulgaria and Greece followed suit. ishment of the Great Powers, which, in expectation of a Turkish victory, had declared that the status
quo should not be altered whatever might happen
in the course of the war, the Christian States

gained

decisive victories

from the

outset.

The

battle of

38

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
(October
22)

Kirkilisse

went

in

favour

of

the

Bulgars, that of of the Serbs.

Kumanovo (October 26) in favour The Turkish troops, falling back

themselves successfully rapidly, did indeed defend on the Chatalja lines against the oncoming Bulgarians,

and thereby saved their threatened capital. But since none of the Great Powers would take active measures in favour of the Turks, they could

On reconquer the lost provinces. December 3 an armistice was concluded between Turkey and Serbia and between Turkey and Bulgaria.
not

hope

to

.

Greece took no part

in

it,

but continued the struggle.

The success of the Balkan States against Turkey weakened the prestige of Austria-Hungary in the The entry of the Greeks into Salonika Balkans.
(November
8,

191 2),

and the advance of

the

Serbian troops to the Adriatic, produced a particuBut consideralarly painful impression in Vienna.
tion

Slav peoples of the Monarchy, who hailed with joy the victory of the Christian States
for

the

of

Balkans over Turkey, and the dread of incurring the open enmity of Russia by an enerthe
getic

the

on behalf of the Sultan, held Government back, and disposed it, as Vienna
intervention

early as the end of October,

191 2, to modify its be allowed to develop demands. Serbian aspirations towards the Adriatic freely were to be rejected, and Rumania's claims to an

Albania was

to

;

extension

of

territory

to

be considered.

Count

Berchtold, who, after

having repeatedly urged that

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

89

he considered himself unfit for the post, succeeded

Aehrenthal in February, 191 2, demanded no more than security for economic interests in the Balkans. On this account he refused in the most decided
terms to consent to the proposal of the

French

Government

that Austria-Hungary, like all the other

Great Powers, should express her desinteressement
in the events taking place.

In so far as his plans concerned Albania and Serbia, Berchtold found Italian pohticians in favour of them, since they saw in the spread of the Slav peoples to the Adriatic a danger to Italy, to oppose

good time seemed to them more important than any further check to the influence of the Habsburg Monarchy, divided as it was against The common danger brought about a itself. rapprochement between the two Cabinets, which
which
in

was

strengthened

by

Italy's

annoyance

at

the

attitude of

France

at the time of the Tripoli war.
that, as far

Thus
1

it

happened

9

1

2, in spite of violent opposition

back as December 5, on the part of
the

the

nationalist

deputies,

of

more important

and of Italian public opinion, the Triple Alliance was renewed for another six to twelve years, reckoned from 1914 onwards.
section of the Press,

But
the

the
in

Hungary
effect

Austriadisplayed by Balkan policy did not produce which had been hoped for at the

moderation

her

Ballplatz.

It

weakened her

credit in the Balkans,

disappointed the few partisans she had there, and

40

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the

encouraged Paying no
the

hopes
to

of

her

many

opponents.
declarations,

attention

Berchtold's

Serbs continued their efforts to extend their
to the Adriatic.

power

On November
Alessio.

lo,

191

2,

At

the

same
it

Serbian troops reached time Serbian poHticians

laboured

to incite the other

Austria- Hungary, since
that

Balkan peoples against was only at her expense

they could hope to find a compensation for the concessions which they had made in the March In Petrograd they left no treaty with Bulgaria.
stone unturned to create a strong feehng against In November, 191 2, the RusAustria-Hungary.
sian Cabinet, which

had

secretly pledged itself to

foster the poHtical aspirations of the Serbs, declared
itself in

favour of the cession of an Adriatic port
in this

to

Serbia,

and

and was supported England. The Russian
its

by France
mobilization

trial

increased the danger of a collision.

The Vienna
to

Government, on

prepare for proceeded The fact that Conrad von Hotzendorf was war. again entrusted with the position of Chief of the General Staff, which he had had to give up a year
side,

before

V
'"^

active

had spoken in favour of an military policy, showed that the war party
because
he
its

had increased

influence at the Court of Vienna.

But the disinclination of the three Emperors to conjure up a world war for the sake of Albania or
Serbia, together with the influence of Great Britain, stronger than the war parties in either

proved

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Vienna or Petrograd.
In

41

Hungary, cellor, and Kiderlen-Wachter, the German Foreign
Minister,

opposition to AustriaBethmann-Hollweg, the German Chan-

upheld the point of view that a compromise with Russia was both desirable and in a like sense William II., and possible
energetically
;

when

the

Archduke

Francis

Ferdinand

tried

to

convince him at Springe (November 23, 191 2) of the necessity of energetic action against the un-

demands of the Serbs, insisted that, while he was in favour of using firm language, he was anxious to avoid all steps which might
reasonable
In order that no lead to a rupture with Russia. doubt should arise in the world as to the peaceloving policy of the

German Empire, Bethmannin

Hollweg,

in

announcing

the Reichstag

(at

the

beginning of December,
Triple Alliance, added
it

191 2) the renewal of the
that

Germany must
realize

leave

to

her Austrian ally to

her aspirations

alone, and would only join in a conflict in the case of a war of aggression against her, for the preservation of her own position in Europe and

the defence of her

own

future

and
these

security.

impression Berchtold at the end of 191

Under

the

of

declarations,

2

rejected

Conrad's

propositions, which aimed at the occupation of the Sanjak of Novibazar and ridding Albania of

Serbian troops, and he sought rather to serve the
interests of the

Monarchy by diplomacy.

In this

connection

it

stood him in good stead that a change

42

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
affairs at

had meanwhile come over
Petrograd,
not

the Court of
factors,

uninfluenced

by external

The peace party had As late as November, gained the upper hand. Government made a communi9 2, the Russian
and especially by England.
1

1

cation at Belgrade to the effect that it would offer no active opposition to the formation of an autonomous Albania, and requesting an attitude of
reserve towards Austria-Hungary.

Shortly after-

wards, on the suggestion of Sir a conference of Ambassadors in

Edward Grey, London was

decided upon, to take place at the same time as

peace negotiations which were being carried on there between Turkey and her opponents, with
the

a view

to

finding a
at

solution

of the

outstanding
Austria-

questions

issue

between Russia and

After long hesitation, Berchtold, under Hungary. pressure from Germany and Italy, consented to the conference, but insisted that as a matter of
principle

Austria-Hungary should take no part

in

any discussion of the question as to whether Serbia should be permanently established on the Adriatic.
Serbia thereupon declared her willingness to yield
to the decision of the

Great Powers.

remained

Yet the Austro-Hungarian and Russian troops under arms, and Serbian intrigues

continued.

The

negotiations

of

the

London

conference
conference,

proceeded slowly. peace which was sitting at the same time,
to

When

the

came temporarily

an end on January

7,

1913,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
owing
to

43

Turkey's refusal of the demand that she should cede the fortresses of Adrianople, Scutari
yet fallen, the conference

and Janina, which had not
to

presided over by Sir Edward Grey made efforts But these prevent a resumption of hostilities.

attempts were unsuccessful. began the second Balkan

On

February

3,

i

9

1

3,

War, Meanwhile deliberations dragged on in London as to frontier of the new Albanian State. Russia
this

the
the
in

matter represented tlie views of Serbia and Montenegro, but met with resolute opposition not
only

from

seemed as

if

It Austria-Hungary but from Italy. it would come to an armed conflict
;

but at the between Austxo-Hungary and Russia last moment the danger was averted. Prince
Gottfried Hohenlohe
to

was sent on a
succeeded

special mission
in

convincing Petrograd, Nicholas II. of Francis Joseph's pacific intentions.
led in

and

The negotiations now opened
had been
set

March

to the

cancelling of the mobilization on the frontiers which

on foot by both Powers. At the same time the Russian representative at the London

conference announced his sovereign's readiness to consent to the allotment of Scutari to Albania, in the event of Austria-Hungary's acceding to the separation of Djakova, Ipek

and Prisren from Albania.

On March 20
By now

the representative of Austria-Hungary handed in a declaration in the same sense.
the

war between the Balkan States and
its

Turkey had taken

course, leading,

in

spite of

44

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
fall

the unexpectedly gallant defence of the Turks, to

Janina (March 6) and Adrianople (March 26). On account of the wrangling which broke out between Bulgaria on the one hand, and
the

of

Serbia and Greece on the other, as to the partition
of Macedonia, Bulgaria concluded an armistice with But there was no sign of Turkey on April 16.
the peace which

was desired on
occupy

all

hands.

Serbia,

in defiance of the protest of the Vienna Cabinet,

continued

with Albania, continued to besiege Durazzo, Montenegro Scutari, although the London conference of Ambasto

Northern

and

had assigned it to the Albanian State and the Great Powers decided on a naval demonstration which was not against Montenegro,
sadors
;

intended

The seriously by all the participants. war party at Vienna, led by Conrad, wished to force the Montenegrins to raise the siege, if necessary
by arms, but did not win their point. On April 23 Scutari fell into the hands of the Montenegrins. It was not till now that Berchtold nerved himself
to

the

declaration
tolerate

that

the

would not
necessary

such an
for

preparations

Habsburg Monarchy insult, and made the armed intervention.

Montenegro thereupon submitted to the dictates of the Great Powers. On May 5 the Montenegrin
troops

evacuated

Scutari,

and on

the

next

day
peace

the Serbs left Durazzo.

At the end of

May
to

preliminaries were concluded between the Turks and
their opponents.

But

it

was impossible

arrive

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
at

45

division of the territory which

an agreement between the victors as to the had fallen to them.

Notwithstanding the fact that it had had hs way so far as Albania was concerned, the prestige
of Vienna in the Balkans had seriously diminished in the course of the two wars, not only in the
*\

eyes of the victorious peoples, whose self-confidence had mightily increa.sf'd, but also in the eyes of its

Balkan

ally,

Rumania.

to join in

from the beginning of the

King Charles had wanted first Balkan

War,

in

in the Balkans,

order to prevent a hegemony of Bulgaria and had only allowed himself to be

to renew for the fifth time his alliance Powers of the Triple Alliance by an engagement from the Central Powers that they

persuaded
the

with

would see that Rumania received a corresponding
extension of territory in the south-east:
Silistria

and the surrounding territory was what he had in He now strongly pressed the Court of view.
Vienna
the
for

the

fulfilment
fact,

of

this

engagement.
to

Berchtold did, in

make every

efifort

decide

Bulgarian Government in favour of suitable But when his efforts concessions to Rumania.

broke

down,

those

circles

in

Bucharest

which

favoured

the Entente persuaded King Triple Charles to invoke Russia's mediation in order to

acquire the desired Russia's success at

increase
Sofia

of

territory.

But
the

did

not

satisfy

Rumanians, and induced them to join hands with Ferdinand of Bulgaria's enemies. This was an

46

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
set off

advantage for Austria-Hungary, which was, how-

by the increasing influence of the Entente Powers in Rumania. Austria-Hungary's leading statesmen met with
ever,

no

better

success

in

their

efforts

to

establish

permanently
Giuliano's

friendly
for

relations

with
action

Italy.

San
the

desire

common

with

Habsburg Monarchy

in

the Adriatic cjuestion

had

indeed led recently to a rapprochement between the two Cabinets. In the course of 191 3 German

statesmen had also succeeded in persuading Italy to further military commitments and to the conclusion of a naval convention, the object of which " was defined as the attainment of naval supremacy
in the "
fleets

Mediterranean by the defeat of the enemy an in a war against the Western Powers

agreement
established

which
fact.

will

sound
the

incredible
is

to

a

present-day audience, but which

nevertheless an
of
the
Italian

But

voice

Press and of nationalist circles,

who demanded more

and more
Alliance

insistently the dissolution of the Triple and union with the Triple Entente, did

not

leave

the

Central
to

Powers any confidence

in

Italy's
in

loyalty
1

her engagements.

Meanwhile,

91 3, the third Balkan War had broken July, out. Serbia and Greece, joined by Rumania and

The latter, Turkey, advanced against Bulgaria. left in the lurch' by Russia and only supported
diplomatically by Austria- Hungary, succumbed, and signed the Peace of Bucharest (August 10, 191 3).

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
The outcome of
these three wars

47
for the
loss

meant

Austro-Hungarian Monarchy prestige in the Balkan Peninsula.
in

a

notable

of

Her

adversaries

this

quarter,

Serbia

and

Montenegro,

and

especially the former,

had achieved a considerable

extension of their possessions, and henceforth, being no longer separated by the Sanjak of Novibazar,

were

in

a

position

to

join

forces

against

the

Habsburg Monarchy when the right moment came. The Bulgarians, however, disappointed in their
hopes, ascribed the humiliating defeat which they had suffered in the third Balkan War to the feeble
attitude of the

Vienna Cabinet, which had indeed
steps
in

taken

the

first

the

direction

of

active
then,

participation in favour of Bulgaria, but

had

out of fear of Russia and under

German and

Italian

pressure, contented itself with a fruitless diplomatic

intervention.

The

fact that

Berchtold's efforts to
in

obtain

a

revision

of

the

Peace of Bucharest

favour of Bulgaria met with no result could not contribute towards strengthening Austria-Hungary's
credit
at

Sofia.

On

the other hand,

the line of
its

action of the Vienna Government, which in

own

interest was working incessantly for a compromise between Bulgaria and Rumania, but could satisfy neither of these two Powers, led to a clearly per-

ceptible estrangement between the Courts of

Vienna
his

and Bucharest, which enabled the Rumanian friends
of the Triple Entente to win from the

King

acquiescence in paving the

way

to better relations

48

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
The only

with the Western Powers and Russia.

advantage which balanced these heavy losses of power and prestige for Austria-Hungary was the
dissolution of the Balkan League, the revival of which was prevented by the inextinguishable hatred between Serbs and Bulgarians a fact of all the

greater importance for the Vienna Government as its relations with Serbia became more and more strained

and the probability of an armed conflict increased. The London conference of Ambassadors had on
29, 1 91 3, come to an agreement as to a fundamental law for Albania, and at its final sitting on August 1 1 had settled its southern frontier, long

July

subject of controversy. to give up the Albanian

a

Serbia alone declined
territories

which

she

had already occupied in defiance of the London decrees, and stood firm in her resistance when the
Vienna Government pressed for their evacuation. The growing differences between the Triple Alliance

and the Triple Entente meant that no united action could be expected from the European Great Powers.

and Germany the latter more on grounds of prestige, the former because her interests in
Italy
this

case

ran

Hungary — associated

parallel

with

those

of
the

Austria-

themselves

with

Vienna

Government when, on October 15, 191 3, it again insisted at Belgrade on the execution of the London
decrees.
this

Serbia

at

first

again

refused

to

obey

demand

of the Triple Alliance, and

stressed

the fact that she

was willing

to act only according

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
to

49

such advice as might be communicated to her but when, just as he had by the Triple Entente done in the spring, Berchtold showed that he was
;

in earnest,

grade

the

and on October 19 demanded evacuation of the Albanian
Serbia

at

Bel-

territory

occupied Serbians

by

under
to

threat

of

force,

the

submitted

the

dictates

of

Vienna

(October 20) in accordance with advice from the The Serbian Press, however, conTriple Entente.
tinued
to

create
;

the Ballplatz

prejudice against the poUcy of and the Serbian Government used

every opportunity of encouraging movements which had as their object the winning over of the Southern
Slavs living under the government of the Habsburg Monarchy to the idea of a Greater Serbia.
In Rumania^ too, the agitation against Austria-

Hungary was making headway every month. The agitation in Bucharest in favour of the Hungarian Rumanians became more and more active, and
from the domination of the was indicated as a desirable and possible Magyars
their

liberation

object of
it,

Rumanian poHcy.

In order to achieve

rapprochement was advocated between Rumania and Russia, and a suitable pretext was
a

found

in

Nicholas

II.'s

very cordially expressed

congratulations on King Charles's successes in the last Balkan War. It is true that the visit of the

Rumanian
did
I

heir

not

bring

Petrograd (Man^h 27, 19 14) about that open pas-.ing over of

to

Rumania

into the

camp

of the Triple Eiitente which

4

50

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
for.

Russia had hoped

brought

to

this

point,

ment, too, did not at with the definitely

King Charles could not be and the Rumanian Governthat moment want to break But the Central Powers.

speeches accompanying the exchange of toasts at with Charles at the meeting of Nicholas II.

no possible doubt that the friends of the Triple Entente had gained As early as this, the upper hand at Bucharest. Count Ottokar Czernin, the representative of

Constanza on June

14,

19 14,

left

the Bucharest, expressed decided opinion that, in the event of a war between the Central Powers and the Triple Entente,

Austria-Hungary

at

King Charles would not fulfil his pledges. At the same time he uttered a warning against underrating the danger of an encirclement of the Dual Monarchy through the formation of a new Balkan
League under the patronage of Russia and France. To hinder this encirclement became the principal
endeavour of Viennese statesmen, who were un-

compose the outstanding ditTerences between Bulgaria on the one hand and Turkey and Rumania on the other, and, if possible,
tiringly at

work

trying to

also to

win over Greece to a closer adhesion to the But all their efforts broke down Central Powers.
to

divergent interests and the mutual distrust of the Balkan States, which were revealed

owing

the

during the negotiations conducted under the mediation of the Central Powers during the winter of The Turco-Bulgarian Treaty, which was 191 3- 14.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
nearly concluded in

51

May, 191
did
the

4,

did not

come

to

anything,

compromise between Rumania and Bulgaria, which had been furthered with such especial zeal on the part of Vienna.
still

less

rapprochement of Greece with the Triple Alliance, desired by the Emperor William, could not be realized, since the claims of the Greeks met with insuperable opposition both in Sofia and
the
in Constantinople.

And

Not

the least of the factors contributing to these

unsatisfactory results was the difference of opinion in influential circles in Vienna and Berlin as to the

value of the various Balkan States in case of an
international conflict.

a

resolute

garia,

whom

opponent he did not

of

The Emperor William was King Eerdin md of Bultrust
;

on the other hand,
in

he

was

firmly

convinced

that,

case

of

war,

Charles of

Rumania would be
ally.

true to his engage-

ments as an
to

On

this

account he endeavoured

persuade

the

Vienna

Government

to

bring

Rumania over

camp of the Triple Alliance, even at the cost of sacrifices and of the

entirely into the

danger that Bulgaria might join the opponents of the Central Powers. But Berchtold was afraid

by AustriaHungary, might come to terms with Serbia, Greece and Rumania, and in company with them and with Russia fall upon the Habsburg Monarchy. Hence he held fast to his policy, which saw in the maintenance and exacerbation of the differences

that the Bulgarians, left in the lurch

52
existing

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
between Bulgaria and the other Balkan means of preventing the formation
all the

States the only

of an alliance of

Balkan peoples against the
to

Monarchy.

The

conflicting points of view of lead-

ing statesmen in

Vienna and Berlin led

very

lively debates, and threatened seriously to impair the good understanding between the two Govern-

ments.
in

However, Berchtold gradually succeeded bringing round the Emperor William and the
to

German statesmen
I

his

views.

From March,
that the union of

9

1

4,

onwards

it

was determined

Bulgaria with the Central Powers must remain the main object of their policy, and that agreements with the rest of the Balkan States must only be
entered into in
conflict

so far as they should not be in with the just desires of Bulgaria. The removal of this discord was hailed with all

the

more joy by
Italy

the

Vienna

Cabinet

since

its

relations with strained.

were getting more and more

San Giuliano, it is true, maintained a correct demeanour towards the Vienna Government, and worked for a compromise in the ever -recurring
conflicts to

which the divergent interests of the two States in the Balkans gave rise. It was even
possible,
in

the

discussions
at

which

took
in

place
April,

between him and Berchtold

Abbazia

1914, to arrive at an agreement in the Balkan question, based upon the maintenance of the auto-

nomy

of the Albanian State, for the

Government
desig-

of which Prince William of

Wied had been

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
nated.

53

But the attitude of the Press, influenced by the Triple Entente, and of the deputies with nationahst sympathies, not to speak of the proceedings of the Italian representatives in Albania,

made

apparent that influential circles beyond the Alps were endeavouring to frustrate San Giuliano's
it

policy.

In the eyes of leading Viennese statesmen, the sympathy for the Triple Entente, which was

displayed

by the Italians with ever-increasing frankness, was all the more ominous since they saw that France, Russia and England were taking and steps to increase their own military strength,

had information of the negotiations which were being conducted by all three Governments with those of Spain, Italy and the Balkan States, which
also

have as their object the isolation At that time, however, of the Central Powers. the outbreak of a world war was not held to be

were believed

to

imminent
tions

in

Vienna, for

it

was known

that negotia-

were going on between Berlin and London,

aiming at the establishment of better relations. Count Mensdorfi", the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at the Court of St. James's, did his utmost
to
assist

these

eftorts.

But

conditions

in

the

In Vienna it was Balkans pressed for a decision. believed that France and Russia had been successful
in their
efi^orts

to

bring into existence a Balkan

League which should also include Turkey, and which would have threatened the existence of the Monarchy.

54

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
On June
22,

1914, before the assassination of
in

the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary,

von Hotzendorf drew up a memorandum
as
intolerable,

Conrad which

he described the existing conditions in the Balkans

and

insisted

on the necessity for

using plain language

at Bucharest.

The Rumanian

Government must be forced, it said, to declare openly whether it would make common cause with the Central Powers or not. In the latter case an must be made to induce Bulgaria, by farattempt
reaching promises, to bring to a conclusion the negotiations for an alliance which had been going
a considerable time. These views of Conrad were shared not only in military circles but also by Austrian statesmen of authority. In a memorandum intended for the German Government, which was also drawn up before the murder
for

on

of Francis Ferdinand,
the

emphasized urgency of making every effort to form a Balkan League under the leadership of the Central
Powers, which should include Bulgaria, Rumania, Greece and Turkey, and have for its objective the
suppression of Serbia as a political power in the Balkans.
' The basis of this document is to be found in a mimoire drawn up by the Envoy Extraordinary and Minister PleniIt was later amplified by potentiary, Baron Ludwig Flotow. Rudolf Pogatscher, who occupied the same position and was

Count Berchtold

'

From particularly well informed as to the Balkan question. the middle of June onwards it was revised by Baron Franz Matschenko, of the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office, and finally by Berchtold.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Before
the
this

55

document was dispatched
in

to Berlin,

news arrived

Vienna that Francis Ferdinand

with his consort had been murdered in Sarajevo. With his tragic end began a new period of Austria-

Hungary's

history, a period

which led

to the

World

War and

to the

downfall of the Dual Monarchy and
the

of the dynasty Habsburg-Lorraine. Francis Ferdinand, the son of

Archduke

Charles Louis, second of the younger brothers of Francis Joseph, received the education usually given

Imperial family not a very one, as his succession to the throne was thorough not anticipated. In later years, when he had
to

members of

the

become
industry

heir
to

to
fill

the

throne,
the

he worked with iron
in

up
be

gaps
to

his

education,

learning the languages of the nations over

whom
taking

he

appeared

to

called

rule,

and

pleasure in obtaining instruction
of science in their

from leading men special branches of knowledge.

Until the death of the

Crown Prince Rudolph in — by his own hand Francis Ferdinand was only known in limited circles, and
1889 — beyond
doubt

even then did not at

For

his uncle for

play any prominent part. a long time gave him no share

first

in the business of

government, and only gradually
first

allowed him
military

to

exercise greater influence,

in in

matters

and

afterwards

occasionally
politics.

questions
until

of domestic

and foreign
death
the
final

Yet

Francis
for

Ferdinand's
himself

the

Emperor
in

reserved

decision

every

56

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
The
difference of outlook of
for

question which arose.
the two

men became more and more marked;

with advancing age Francis Joseph was less and less willing to consider far-reaching reforms, was anxious to avoid any conflict with the nationalities,

and preferred advisers who knew how

to

untie a

knot instead of cutting it. It is therefore not surprising that he did not like Francis Ferdinand, who advised rapid and energetic action, and, if
necessary, methods
that the

of violence.

So

it

happened

nephew did not take into sufficient conaged uncle
repeatedly
his

sideration the jealousy with which his

guarded
spoke

rights

as

a ruler.

He

had on him with his right of succession imposed he would express curt opinions on men and
responsibility
;

of

the

which

God

things

when

he

knew

that

correspond with his uncle's

they views.
;

did

not

The estrangement increased personal contact became rarer Francis Ferdinand came into the
;

Emperor's presence only on exceptional occasions.

As a

rule he contented himself with expressing his

views in writing, and they very rarely agreed with

For he was decidedly opposed preponderant influence exercised in everincreasing measure by the Magyars in both domestic and foreign affairs, and blamed the comthose of his uncle.
to

the

plaisance
of the

shown by Francis Joseph
seriously

to all

Hungarian

demands which did not

directly threaten the unity

Monarchy or

menace

the rights of

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the Throne.

57

He was

convinced that

this

Magyar

of preponderance must be broken in the interests As to the way the dynasty. the Monarchy and in which this struggle was to be conducted, his For some time opinion varied from time to time.

he was wholly in the
directed
his
efforts

camp
to

of the FederaHsts, and
sphtting

the

up

of

the

Monarchy

into

States possessing equal rights

and
At
first

held together by a strong central government. another period, especially just before the

Serbian
best

crisis,

he inclined to

"

Trialism

"

as

the

At that period he contemplated solution. union of the Southern Slavs as an independent the State within the Habsburg dominions, but aban-

doned

this

scheme when he

realized that the union

of the Austrian and Hungarian Slavs in a separate
national system would merely forward the
tions of the

inten-

Belgrade Government.

Later, strongly

influenced by the Hungarian minister Kristoffy, he inclined to the idea of attempting, by a change

which would leave the dualism of the Monarchy as
such untouched,
the
to

strengthen unity by changing the

Delegations into a central Parliament

and attaching

annexed provinces, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a State organization of their own, to the Empire. The opposition which Francis Ferdinand met on
all

sides

from
his

the

ruling

party
that

in

Hungary
lay

strengthened
essential

conviction
to

here

the

obstacle

Monarchy.

The

healthy recovery of the zeal with which he sought for
the

58
the

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
solution

of
the

domestic
central

political
is

strengthening
condition
of

his firm conviction that this

power was the indispensable
the

by explained by
problems
as

the

position

of

Monarchy

a

Great Power, which he desired to maintain and to He was not an unconditional adherent increase.

aim could only and he repeatedly by But be was firmly deterfoiled their intentions. mined to tread this path if it was the only one Personal by which the goal could be reached. inclination and a conviction of the commanding position of Great Britain made him regard the establishment of good relations with that Power as Towards the French, and still more desirable. towards the Italians, his attitude was cool and
of the

group which thought

this

be attained

force of arms,

aloof.

He was
nation,

convinced that

it

was impossible
inevitably

to establish

pennanently

friendly relations with the

Italian

and

that

there must

be

a day of reckoning between the Monarchy and He never adopted an anti-Slav policy. Not Italy.
only did he wish, from the point of view of his plans for internal reconstruction, to avoid conflicts with
the

principal

representatives

of
the

the

Slav

nationalities,

but

he

recognized

in

Tsar the

strongest support against revolutionary
in

monarchical States. Nor

is it

true that he

movements wanted

to see Serbia struck out of the list of

Balkan States
opinion
that

independent he merely expressed the decided the encroachments of the Greater
;

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Serbia

59
should

movement on Austro- Hungarian
all

soil

be resisted with

the forces of the

Monarchy.
intimate,
in

He
his

stood faithfully by Germany, with whose ruler
relations

became more and more

spite of the difference between the character of the Yet no one was less inclined to contwo men.

template the Monarchy falling into a relation of dependence on her powerful ally than Francis

Ferdinand, whose whole being was informed with a
sense of the majesty of the dynasty.

Francis

Ferdinand worked unceasingly for the

increase of the defensive power of the Monarchy. He strove to improve the efficiency of the corps of officers, to raise the military spirit among the
troops,
to

increase

armaments and

to

strengthen

the fortresses,
tions of

and he urged that the leading posi-

should be given to energetic men He took a deep who knew their own minds. interest in the increase of sea power, which ought,

command

in his opinion,

to

be adapted for operations on a

large scale as well as for coast defence,
this

and

for

He was

purpose he secured the building of battleships. He a man of more than average ability.
in

had a power of quick comprehension, possessed

a high degree the capacity to recognize the essential point in any business in which he was engaged,

and, unhke his uncle,

general impressions to be clouded by attention to detail. What he lacked was knowledge of men, calmness

did not

allow his

and constancy

in

his

relations with

the

men who

60

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
in

had been placed
influence.

high offices of state by his

Beck, Aehrenthal, Conrad, Auffenberg and others lost, not always for any serious reason,
the

as they

favour of the heir to the Throne as quickly The influence of his wife, had won it.
tittle-tattle

ill-natured

to

which he listened more

and more, and the outbursts of ungovernable rage to which he became increasingly prone with the years, all helped to make intercourse with him

more

and prevented a great many persons holding high positions, socially and intellectually, from approaching him. He never enjoyed wide
difficult,
it.

popularity, and, indeed, did not seek

He

asked

from the

citizens

of

the

Monarchy not
with
the

affection,

but submission to the will of the ruler.

For

to

him the

bcate

was

identified

divinely

appointed person of the monarch.

He
all

understood
forces

by Viribus Unitis the union of on
its

the

of

the State for the advantage of the Crown, which
side

had

to

guard the interests of

all.

This

conception accounts for the fact that he took no
particular interest in any of the
alities

numerous nationundoubtedly
Austrians

of

the

Monarchy.
;

He had
the

German sympathies
were

but

German

to him merely the bulwark of the Throne and of the power of his House. It would never have occurred to him to make dynastic sacrifices

for their sake.

Even

against the Catholic Church,

of which he

tained

the

was a convinced adherent, he mainrights of the Throne with unbending

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
severity,

61

being in

this

matter also a true son of

the

House of Habsburg. The news of the murder of Francis Ferdinand
the

confirmed

conviction
Serbia.

of

the

necessity
5

for

a /V

reckoning

with

On
to

July

the

Vienna

memorandum was handed
and on the following day

to the

German Emperor,
;

Bethmann-Hollweg.
but authori-

A Crown
tative

Council did not take place
in

circles

Berlin adopted the views of the

it

Vienna Government and gave it to understand that might reckon on Germany's assistance even in
case
international
differences

were

to

arise

from

the Austro-Sefbian conflict.
It

was

in

reliance

upon these promises, which

were repeated by Tschirschky, the German Ambassador at the Court of Vienna, that Berchtold, at the
sitting of the

Council of Ministers on July

7,

19 14,

gave utterance

to the opinion that they would be forced at last to a military reckoning with Serbia. His point of view met with general agreement.

Only Count Tisza, the Hungarian Prime Minister, He was without doubt the most eminent opposed.
politician in the last

decades of the old Monarchy

of highest power of mind, of irresistible energy, of ardent patriotism, but grievously onea man who saw the world only sided and biased

a

man

;

with the eyes of a

on July
for
it

I

already expressed his dissent and the reasons

Magyar

noble.

He had

in

a

memorandum

to

the

Emperor.

Now

in the Council of Ministers he desired not only the

62

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

opening of diplomatic negotiations but the formuHis first lation of demands possible of fulfilment.
point he carried, but in the second he failed.

The

Council decided to adopt the course of diplomatic negotiations, but at the same time to lay down
conditions of which the rejection would be inevitIn that case the Serbian question would able. have to be solved by the power of the sword.
Tisza,
ill-content

with

this

conclusion,

reiterated

his dissentient views in a

second

memorandum
stress

of

July 8

and counselled moderation, laying

on

This the danger of international complications. view should have been reinforced by the report drawn up by Friedrich von Wiesner, who had been

by the Ballplatz to Sarajevo, on the circumstances in which the attack on the heir to the Throne had taken place. This report established
sent

the fact that no direct connection could be proved between the murderer and the Serbian Government.

But
that

this in

report failed of

its

efifect.

Authoritative

circles

Vienna remained under the conviction
Court and Government of Belgrade had

the

for a long time past lent their benevolent support
to the

Greater Serbia movement, and held to their

determination of putting an end to an unbearable
situation.

The dangers which might

arise

from

drastic measures were indeed weighed,
possibility of a

and even the

world war was considered; but the opinion prevailed that all must be staked on one card.
It is

not at all

my

purpose to justify the decision

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
of the Viennese statesmen.
too hasty.

63
certainly

They were

But

it

must

be considered that in all

a quarters of the realm the opinion prevailed that the attitude Great Power could no longer tolerate
of
the

Serbian

Government.

Moreover,

twice

already a portion of the army had been assembled on the Serbian frontier and had been sent home after standing under arms for several months in
the face of the threatening neighbour.

Now

the

military authorities declared that the troops could

again to arms without being sure that the differences with Serbia would be settled, if necessar>, by the sword. Furthermore, have not
not be
called

nations

their
Is
it

sense of honour the

same

as

indi-

viduals?

therefore so very strange that the
it

Austro- Hungarian statesmen should have thought

impossible to bear any longer the insolence of the In this feeling they were actuated by the Serbs? same sentiments which Lloyd George expressed in the year i 9 1 1 in saying that if peace could only be

maintained by the dishonour of the British nation, he would not hesitate a moment to take up arms.
" the

Better a fearful end than endless fears," was;

mot

of a leading Austrian

statesman.
their

And
to

these

circles

were confirmed

in

resolve

appeal

to arais

by

the pronouncements of

Conrad

von

Hotzendorf,

who

in

reply

to

a question

announced that the military prospects of the Central Powers in a world war (Great Britain's intervention on the side of the enemy not yet being reckoned

64

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

with seriously) were no longer so favourable as in previous years, but were certainly more favourable than they would be in the near future. On July 14 it was decided to send Serbia an

ultimatum with a

short

time-limit.

Tisza,

after

long vacillation, acquiesced, but with the condition solemn that Austria- Hungary was to make a
"

declaration that

— with

the exception

minor

rectifications of the frontier

— she

of necessary

sought no

means he hoped
to

By this expense of Serbia. Russia and to deprive the Italians of the pretext for advancing any claim
territorial gains at the
to placate

compensations under Article VII. of the Treaty This request was indeed of the Triple Alliance.
taken into account at the conference of ministers
of July
to
1

9

;

but Berchtold declared that Serbia was

smaller and the provinces taken from her were to be divided among some of the other

be

made

Balkan

States.
its

The Note
form

to Serbia,

which had only

assumed was read out, and its presentation to the Serbian Government appointed for the afternoon of July 23.
final

after repeated modification,'

Its essential points

ran as follows
directed
in

:

Since the Great

Serbia

movement
has

gary

continued

against Austria-Hunrecent years with the

ultimate object of separating from the Habsburg Monarchy certain of its parts^^ and since the
' A prominent part in the drafting of the ultimatum was played by Count Forgach and Baron Musulin, who had also, as Berchtold 's adviser, a decisive influence on the course of events generally at this time.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Serbian

65
to

Government,

in

contradiction

the

declaration of

March
its

31,

nothing

towards

1909, has not only done suppression but has rather

encouraged it, the Austro- Hungarian Government must formulate certain demands in order to put

an end

to this state of affairs.

In these

demands

are included the condemnation of agitation having as its object the breaking away of portions of the

Monarchy

and

the

admonition

of
:

the

against a continuance of this course

peoples both to be

accomplished
official

announcement in the Press organ and through an army order
through

an

on the part of the King the suppression of the Great Serbia agitation on Serbian soil; the disso;

the working for this object dismissal of the officials and teachers compromised
lution

of

societies

;

;

the participation of representatives of. the Imperial and Royal Government in the measures which the

Serbian Government should be under the obligation to undertake with a view to the suppression of
the

Great Serbia movement.

presentation of the Note took place at the appointed time, and on July 24 the world was

The

informed of

its

unreservedly. burst, and declared

alone approved Sazonov broke into a violent outcontents.

Germany

it

to

be a matter of inter-

Sir Edward Grey described the national concern. " " the most formidable document that Note as

one State had ever addressed to another.
tions

began

at

Negotiaonce between the groups of Powers. 5

66

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
at

They aimed
of forty-eight

the

extension

of

the

time-hmit

hours.

England and Russia were
;

especially active in this sense

but Austria-Hun-

gary

refused

any
the

prolongation.
expiration
of

On
the

July

25,

appointed the Serbs handed in their answer. interval, They declared themselves ready to comply with the
shortly

before

majority of the demands, but with regard to certain

where it was a question of the of the Austro-Hungarian representaparticipation tives in the judicial inquiry to be held in the
points
instance,
territory

— for

of

the
the

kingdom
officers

of

Serbia
officials

and of the

dismissal

of

and

— compromised certain
the
to

who were
At
willingness

reservations were made.
their

same time they emphasized
endeavour
to

reach a friendly solution of the

by referring the decision to The Hague Tribunal or to those Great Powers who had
conflict

collaborated in drafting the Serbian declaration of

But the Austro-Hungarinn 1909. convinced that the Serbs would not keep Minister,
31,
their promise as they had not kept it before, declared Serbia's answer to be unsatisfactory, and

March

diplomatic relations were broken ofl". The Vienna Cabinet's harsh attitude

nowhere

met with approbation.
itself

The German Government

did not approve it. The Emperor William was of opinion that Austria-Hungary had gained a
great

moral

victory,

and that no cause- of war
.

remained.

But neither

his efforts

nor those of Sir

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Edward Grey, which were
directed

67
the

towards

mediation of the Great Powers not

directly involved,^

On July 28 Austria-Hungary' met with success. The Great Powers now on Serbia. declared war
strove to localize the conflict, but all their attempts

came

to

nought.

Even

the English proposal for

direct negotiations with a view to

an understanding

between the Cabinets of Vienna

and Petrograd, energetically supported by Germany, led to no result. On the evening of July 29 the order was given for mobilization in the military area on the southwest front of Russia situated on the border of
Austria-Hungary. Joseph and William
postpone
the

New
II.

endeavours
to

of

Francis

persuade the Tsar to
of
the

mobilization

whole Russian

Army

failed,

owing

to

the opposition of powerful
circles

military

and

political

in

Petrograd,

and

likewise the proposal of Sir

Edward Grey

that the

four

Great

intervene

—a

Powers not directly involved should
suggestion

again

energetically

sup-

ported by

July 31 the Russian order for a general mobilization was

the

German Government.

On

and answered by similar measures on the On Austria-Hungary and Germany. part August I, Germany declared war on Russia, and on August 4, England two days after on France on the 6th, Austriaand Belgium on Germany
issued,

of

;

;

Hungary on Russia.

Other Powers followed

suit.

The World War,

so

long dreaded by the Great
out.

Powers of Europe, had broken

CHAPTER

II

THE GREAT WAR
1914-18

The
to

Central

the aid of their allies
their
side.
this

Powers had now to make sure of and to win new combatants
But the
end
efforts

towards

brought

which they made them disappointment

The conversations which upon disappointment. had taken place with Italy before the outbreak of the war had made them realize that they could not reckon on an immediate participation of the Italian troops. As early as July 25, moreover, San Giuliano had announced that he would raise
the question of compensation for Italy in case of

an Austro-Serbian war.
clear at the

This

announcement he

repeated after the declaration of war, but

made

it

same time
active

that Austria- Hungary

was

not

to

expect

support from the

Italians,

since she

had taken the offensive against Serbia. Under pressure from the German Government,
which

still cherished the hope of inducing Italy, by far-reaching concessions, to take part in a world war on the side of the Central Powers,

Berchtold declared himself ready in principle to
recognize the
Italian

claims
68

to

compensation for

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
every annexation

69
in the

made by Austria-Hungary

Balkans, but only on the assumption that she would observe a friendly attitude towards the Habsburg Monarchy in an Austro-Serbian war, and in case of a world war fulfil her obligations
the Triple Alliance, But as early as August i San Giuliano insisted that the casus foederis had not arisen for the time being
of
;

as

a

member

she would remain neutral, but co-operation with her allies at a later time was referred to as not

excluded.
the

It

was

in

the

same

sense,

though

in

most

cordial

terms

possible,

that

Victor

Emmanuel answered
Joseph
Italian

the telegram in which Francis

expressed
troops
less

his

expectation
side

of

fighting

by

side

seeing the with those

of the
Still

Habsburg Monarchy.
gratifying to Vienna were the reports in at the same time from Bucharest,

which came

The hopes which the Emperor William had built on King Charles's faithfulness to his treaty obliThe Rumanian ruler gations were not realized. evaded a decisive pronouncement as to his attitude
in

a world war

;

and Bratiano, the Premier, did
first

likewise.

Czernin maintained that at

nothing

but neutrality could be expected, and insisted that the attitude of the Bulgarians and the Turks,
together with the course taken by the events of the war, would be decisive for any further action
of the

King and Government.

It

was

significant

that Bratiano spoke of the necessity of maintaining

70

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

a balance in the Balkans, and at the same time pointed out the difficulties which would confront
the

King and
the

the

Government
It

in

consequence of
circles

the hostile attitude of influential

Rumanian
that
their

Magyars. Joseph and William
fluence to try

to

was
II.

in

vain

Francis
in-

used

personal
effect

and persuade King Charles
they wished.

to take

action in the sense

Nb
that

was
to

produced even by the promise made by them
the

help Rumania she would

2, 9 4, obtain possession of Bessarabia after the war had reached a successful conclusion,
1
1

King on August
to

they would

if

join

in

the

struggle.

The Crown

Council held on August 4 decided that Rumania could not admit that the casus fo'deris had arisen.

The assurance given by Charles at the same time, that he would safeguard the Rumanian frontiers and apprise Bulgaria that she would have nothing to fear from Rumania if she ranged herself with the Central Powers, could be of no greater comfort
to

his

disillusioned
that

allies

than

his

solemn
to

declaration

he
the

would
field

never

consent

Rumania

taking

against

Austria-

Hungary. The Central Powers were rather more fortunate
in their quest for
to

new

allies

than in their attempts
to
4,

persuade
of

Italy

and

Rumania
i,

fulfil

their

engagements.
sentatives

On August

191

the

repre-

a treaty

Germany and Turkey had signed by which they bound themselves to remain

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
neutral
in

71

the
;

and Serbia
at

between Austria- Hungary but the casus foederis would arise
conflict

the

moment when Russia entered Germany
against
5,

the war.

In

this

event

support,
position

and
as

promised Turkey military guaranteed her existing territorial
the

Russians.
4,

By

identical

notes

of

August
this

hered to

end of

1

9

1

8

.

Austria-Hungary adWas to last till the treaty, But for the time being the Turks
191
M^hich

did not actively intervene, for their army was not yet properly equipped and the influence of the
friends of the Entente at Constantinople was still In order to strengthen the Governtoo strong.

ment, which was friendly to the Central Powers, and to make it possible for them shortly to take

an

active

part

promised

them,

against the as early as

Entente,
the
first

Germany
weeks of

August, though only verbally, that in the event of a complete victory of Germany and her allies,
their wishes should be furthered

both

in the

matter

of the abolition of the Capitulations

and
all

of final

settlement

with

Bulgaria

;

that

Turkish

provinces which might be occupied by the common enemy in the course of the war should be

evacuated
to their

;

a series of rectifications of the frontier

advantage would be made and they would

receive a proportionate share in the war indemnity which was to be expected. Direct inquiries from
the

Turks were met by Berchtold with the same
the

promises in

name

of

Austria-Hungary.

72

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
On
the other hand,
to

the

efforts
to

of the Central

alliance broke persuade Bulgaria down. At first, indeed, it looked as if the negotiations which had already been conducted by

Powers

an

Austria-Hungar>' at Sofia for a long time in this sense would speedily lead to a profitable result.

Austria-Hungary showed herself inclined,
for
to

in return

Bulgaria's

adhesion

to

the

Triple

Alliance,

guarantee her

existing

territorial

possessions,

and, in the event of a favourable outcome of the

impending conflicts, to gratify Ferdinand's aspira" ethnic -historical tions towards the acquisition of
boundaries
against States which had not joined the Triple Alliance. By the early days of August,
1

"

9

1

4,

the negotiations

had advanced

so

far

that

the treaties with Germany and seemed imminent. Berchtold and Austria-Hungary Bethmann-Hollweg pressed for a decision, the latter more especially on the ground that he still hoped to win over Rumania definitely to the
the

signature of

side

of

the

Central

Powers.

If

this

could

be

achieved,

then

Bulgaria,
side,

assured

against

attacks

from the Rumanian

might be prompted to draw the sword against Serbia, and the majority were of the Austro-Hungarian troops which

marching against Serbia could be diverted against But Ferdinand of Bulgaria refused to Russia.

embark on a war against Serbia. He laid stress on the dangers which threatened his kingdom in such a case from Greece, Rumania, and Turkey

;

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
he also alluded been
to

78

the

large

offers

which had
that

made him by

Russia,

and

held

he

could only come to a decision after his relations with Rumania and Turkey had been cleared up

and

the negotiations for a treaty, which were being

carried

on
It

with

these

cluded.
too,

was

clear that
to

Powers, had been conFerdinand of Bulgaria,
the

did

not

wish
of

enter

war before

the
their

preponderance opponents could be assumed with greater confidence. But successes in the field remained to
seek
in

the

Central

Powers over

the

Eastern

theatre

of

war.

After

promising beginnings, the
decided
that he

campaign Hungarian armies took an unsuccessful turn and
Ferdinand
to

of the Austro-

be prudent.

He

declared

would remain neutral, but for the present
ill

he could do no more.

The

success of the Austro-Hungarian armies

did not produce an effect on the Bulgarian Government alone. With the advance of the Russians

and
the

their

approach
of
the

to

the

Rumanian
of
the

frontiers,

influence

friends

Entente at

Bucharest increased. The news arriving at Berlin and Vienna at this time caused the worst

was believed that an overthrow was imminent, together with an dynasty immediate alliance of Rumania with the enemy and an advance of Rumanian troops into Transylto

be feared.
the

It

of

vania.

The most pressing advice reached Vienna
in favour of far-reaching concessions,

from Berlin

74

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
of

even

a

territorial

nature.

But,

strongly

in-

fluenced
cessions

by
in

Tisza,
this

Berchtold

refused
the

any

con-

direction.

Under

advice of

already seriously ill and King terrible conflict between personal was torn by a honour and the wishes of his people, the Central Powers sought to work upon public opinion in
Charles,

who was

Bucharest by a declaration that the defection of Rumania would be met by an immediate advance
of troops into the country.

But

their threats rein

mained
that

ineffectual, for

it

was known

Bucharest

the

troops

were not forthcoming. counselling Vienna not

necessary for such an enterprise In reality, Germany was
into

Rumanian
arms,
frontiers

troops
for
Avas

since

the

oppose the march of Transylvania by force of moment a defence of the
to

impossible,

but

rather
it

to

tolerate

the advance,

and

to

announce that

had taken

defend the territory from occuBerchtold refused, and pation by Russian troops. Tisza, whose acrimony over the German proposal
place in order to

knew no bounds, declared
see the Russians than the

that

he would rather
in

Rumanians

Transyl-

Meanwhile the tide of warlike enthusiasm The at Bucharest mounted higher and higher. Government entered on September 23 into a
vania.

written agreement with Italy providing for
action.

A Crown
of

Council was

early days

October,
the

common summoned for the which was to come to a
Powers.

decision

against

Central

Only

at

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the
last

75
the

danger.

moment was it The Council was
October
lo,

possible
cancelled,

to

avert

for the time being remained neutral.
later,

and Rumania A few days

He King Charles died. into which he had not fulfilled the engagements had entered, but he had at least prevented his troops from fighting against the Central Powers. One of the chief reasons which had delayed
on

Rumania

in

going

over

to

the

camp

of

the

Entente was the fear that so soon as her troops

had crossed the Hungarian frontier Bulgaria and Turkey would attack her. The negotiations carried on through the intermediary of Austria-Hungary between Sofia and Bucharest had, it is true, been proceeded with, but had broken down again, this time owing to the distrust and the irreconcilable At the same time interests of the two Powers.
it

the Turks

had become known in Bucharest how closely had attached themselves to the Central Powers, and that they were holding themselves the war on their side. in readiness to enter

Rumania
no
Serbia.

consequently declared that she could longer leave Bulgaria a free hand against

Thus under the new King of Rumania, Ferdinand, who was not bound by ties of personal

friendship with the sovereigns of Austria-Hungary and Germany, the party hostile to the Central Powers gained in influence. Ferdinand did indeed

stand

firm

in

his

neutrality,
to

and
to

he
aid

Russia's

summons

hasten

the

rejected of the

76

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
who had been attacked by
But
Czernin
Austriain

Serbians,

Hungary.
obtaining

could

not

succeed

from him a binding declaration
Powers.
time

that

he would not
the Central

let his troops enter the field against

At
were

this

Germany and

Austria-Hungary

equally powerless to decide the King of Bulgaria to take part in the Serbian war. Even

the increased inducements held out to

him

in this

by him from

event

the
this

Vienna Government did not move
attitude of res,erve.

This was due

not only to his distrust of Rumania, Greece and Turkey and his fear of Russia, but also to his

whether by joining the Central Powers he would really be placing himself on the winning side. Accordingly, he was forever changing his
doubt as
to

attitude according to
If

the vicissitudes of the war.

the

armies
they

of
all

the

Central

Powers met with

success,

growing inclination to bring the treaty negotiations, which had never been allowed to drop, to a conclusion. But if, as

showed

a

in

December,
to

191
old

4,

unfavourable
situation

news reached
of the Central

Sofia as

the

military

reasons for dragging on the were raked up again. The fact that negotiations the Entente Powers kept going further and further

Powers,

the

in

their

offers

war on

their

Bulgaria, should she enter the side or even should she remain,
to

neutral, contributed towards strengthening the resolve of the Bulgarian Government to put the

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
screw on the Central Powers.
of
1

77
the

Thus

at

end

91 4 they demanded far-reaching concessions in the matter of their territorial claims, and that

under a written promise.
refractory
1

Austria-Hungary was
at

for

a

time,

but

the

91

5

declared

herself

prepared

beginning of even for these

concessions, demanding, however, with the backing of the German Government, the armed inter-

vention of Bulgaria

on the side of the Central

Powers.
nor

But neither King Ferdinand of Bulgaria Radoslavov, the Bulgarian Premier, was

willing to concede this, for the military situation of the Central Powers was for the moment un-

favourable,

and they declared

their

wish to re-

main The negotiations with Rumania and Bulgaria
neutral.

revealed

the
their

fact

though
as

similar policy.

Powers, different interests might be, followed a wished to delay their decision They
that
;

both

long as
to

moment
at

possible join the

side

they wished at the right of the winning party,

so as to carry off the greatest possible advantage
the

price

of the

least

these

circumstances,
of

the

In possible sacrifices. to the outimportance

come

the

every month. the winter of

war of Italy's decision increased For a long time, until far on in

191 4, the policy of leading Italian statesmen was dictated by the wish to preserve
their
tions.

neutrality

while

continuing
for

their

prepara-

They

accounted

their

attitude

by

78

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

referring to the letter and the spirit of the Triple Alliance they gav^e their former allies friendly
;

words, but maintained a cordial attitude towards
the

Entente
at

Powers.
their

At

the

same
for

time

they

urged
tions

Vienna

demands
VII.

compensathe
It

by interpreting Article

of

Alliance Treaty in their
at
first

own

favour.

w'as

Triple not

what they meant by it. During which took place between the Cabinets of Vienna and Rome, no word was spoken on the Italian side of old Austrian
clear
the official negotiations
territories.

was learned at the Ballplatz, by way of Berlin, that Italy was thinking of the
it

But

Berchtold absolutely refused to listen to any such demands. He would not hear of a
Trentino.
territorial

indemnification,

ported by Tisza, or at any rate in

and was warmly supwhile Conrad even at that tilme,
times
of military misfortune,

considered that even Italian neutrality would not be too dearly bought at the price of great sacrifices. But neither the prayers of the leading

commander nor the unceasing efforts of leading German political and military circles were
military

able to change Berchtold's mind. He continued the negotiations, but spun them out without binding

himself to anything. When San Giuliano died on October

1

6,

1

91

4,

nothing decisive
the

had yet happened.
for

Even during
the

few

weeks
Premier,

which

Salandra,

then

Italian

directed

Italy's

foreign

policy,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

79

no energetic steps were taken. Salandra followed the feeling of the country, which changed accord-

was

ing to the success of either party in the war. not until Sonnino had taken control

It

of

foreign affairs that a further advance was ventured
on, in view of the unfavourable military position of the Central Powers, and under the influence

of

the

section
in

of

the

ItaHan
of

Press

which
It

active

the

interest
in

the

Entente.

was was

once more reported

Vienna that Sonnino had

spoken

in

Berlin of the cession of the Trentino,

and

that the
this

cating refused to entertain the question.
so
it

sacrifice.

German Government was now advoBut even now Berchtold
Francis Joseph,

said, would never give his consent to a diminution of his Empire. But Sonnino kept on

was

his

way

unperturbed.

At

the

December,
advancing at Vienna
opinion
in

— was 191 4 when Austria-FIungary Serbia — he made a declaration upon
the effect that the excited state of
Italy

beginning

of

to

compelled him

to

press for the

adjustment of the question of compensations. Salandra supported him by speaking in Parliament of Italy's sacro egoismo, her just aspirations

and

legitimate
to

interests,

and

while

giving
the

ex-

pression

the

pacific

character

of

Italian

Government, he stated emphatically that neutrality
alone was not sufficient to assure Italy's interests in all circumstances until the end of the war.
In
the

middle

of

December

the

negotiations

80

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Rome began
afresh,

between Vienna and

but at

once came to a deadlock.
over

The German Governto

ment, which attached extraordinary importance

winning
it

Italy,

now

tried

Ballplatz to
sent
to

make

concessions.

to persuade the At the same time

Prince Biilow, who worked in and represented concessions on sense, the part of Austria-Hungary as a sacrifice, heavy
the
sanie

Rome

indeed, but necessary to assure Italy's neutrality.

But Berchtold was
a
direct
in

still

resolutely opposed to such
this

demand, and expressed
Vienna,
negotiations with the Duke of

view also

in

his

the

Italian

Ambassador

Avarna.

On
and

January 13, 191 5, Berchtold was removed Baron Burian succeeded him as AustroMinister.

Foreign universal consent, a

Hungarian

Burian

man

of high culture

was, by and great

he was extremely well informed in But the countries and the life of the Near East.

knowledge
there

;

was

something
in

of

the

doctrinaire

his

character.

professor and the He studied very

thoroughly every question which he had to decide, and took all the circumstances into consideration

But nothing, not even the most convincing arguments, would turn him from an opinion once formed indeed, according
before forming an opinion.
;

to

the

testimony of those

who worked

with him,

he regarded even the most reasonable opposition Burian continued negoas a personal affront.
tiations

with

Italy,

but

they

led

at

first

to

no

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

81

rapprochement between the two opposing points of view. It was not till March 9, 191 5, that
he expressed his willingness to discuss with Italy, in principle, the cession of Austrian territory. He
did so under the impression of the unfavourable military position of the Triple Alliance Powers
the

Russians

were

fighting

in

the

Przemysl was about to fall and with the knowledge of the renewal in February of the agreement between Italy and Rumania, which suggested that a declaration of war by Italy would
be followed by that of Rumania
Goverrmient, which,
in
;

and

Carpathians,

under increas-

ingly heavy pressure, moreover, from the

German
eyes
not
of
for

the event of a favourable

outcome
the
the

of

the

war,

held
as

before

the

Vienna
losses

Government,
of
the
cash,

compensations
in

Monarchy
but
also

Tyrol,
rich

only

a

loan

in

the

coal

mines

of Sosnovica.

The opening of negotiations at once showed how far the Italian demands exceeded what Austria-

Hungary was prepared
for
to

to concede.

Sonnino asked
latter

wide

territories

and

their

immediate transfer

the Italians.

Burian firmly refused the

proposal, and only offered the greater part of Italian Southern Tyrol, and even this on condition

a benevolent neutrality towards the Central Powers until the end of the war and leave Austria-Hungary a free hand in
that Italy should preserve

the

Balkans.

Sonnino rejected the
6

ofi"er

as

in-

82

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
demands.

sufficient,

his

and during the next few weeks increased On April lo, on Sonnino's in-

structions, a memorandum containing Italy's new conditions was handed in at Vienna. They made

that Italy was no longer striving to her national growth while preserving her complete former relations with the Habsburg Monarchy, but
it

clear

was aiming at the realization of her national unity and at the achievement of complete supremacy in the Adriatic. She demanded, among other
things, the
aries

whole of South Tyrol, with the boundItalian

of

the

Kingdom

of

1811,

Gorizia

and Gradiska, and the conversion of Trieste with
surrounding territory into a community indethe cession of a pendent of Austria-Hungary
its
;

number
Adriatic
;

of

important islands in the the immediate occupation of these lands
the
;

most

the recognition of the full soverby the Italians and a deover Valona and its territory eignty
;

claration of Austria-Hungary's desinteressetnent as

regards Albania.
to

In

return,

Italy

was prepared

promise neutrality for the duration of the war,
to

and

only for this period, the construction in her own favour of the provisions
renounce,
but
'

of the Triple Alliance Treaty.

In

spite

of

the

enormity

of

these

demands,

they were not
military

flatly refused by Burian, since the situation compelled him to continue

negotiations, and German statesmen and Generals pointed out to him the disastrous consequences

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
which would follow
if

83
into

Italy

went over

the

enemy camp.
threatening,
lessly

The

fall

of

Constantinople
pressing

was

the

Russians

were

relent-

forward,

Hungary seemed
that

and

might happen by Italy would be followed by Rumania, and even
it

at their mercy, a declaration of war

Then the hemming in of the by Bulgaria. Central Powers would be complete and the seal would be placed upon their ruin. Burian could
not cast doubt upon these arguments it was not without influence upon him that Conrad now
;

advocated
therefore
yield
all

every concession to Italy. increased his concessions, but
that
Italy

Burian
did

not

demanded.
be
given
to

He

retreated,

rather, step

by step, always led by the hope that

a

new

turn
of

would

events

in

the

and sought to hold the Italians without rebuffing them. But since the latter did
theatre

war,

upon securing their demands from and were convinced that the Habsburg Vienna, Monarchy would recover what had been squeezed from it in the hour of need, should the miHtary situation take a more favourable turn, they determined
tions
to

not

count

bring
they

to

a conclusion

the

negotia-

which

had long carried on with the

Entente Powers.
of

On

April 26,

191

5,

the Treaty
Italy
to

London was signed, which pledged enter the war by the side of her new
the end of a month,
of

alHes

at

and contained the assurance
territory

an

extension

of

going

far

beyond

84
that

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
which
at

she
the

had
price
to

demanded
of

from

Austria-

Hungary Having come
Italy

maintaining neutrality. terms with the Entente Powers,

resumed negotiations with Vienna, not with the intention of pursuing them to any profitable
end,
of

but

rather

in

order

to

find

in

the

refusal

demands grounds for going over to the enemy camp and time to complete her warlike
her
preparations.
It

was,

therefore,

in

vain

that

under pressure of the Austro-Hungarian and German Army Commands and of the German
Burian,

Government,

went

further

and

further

in

con-

cessions. On April 21 Sonnino declared that the points of view were too wide apart, and on

April

25

the

Duke

of Avarna,
till

the

Italian

Am-

bassador,

who had up
was

then worked untiringly

for a friendly understanding, expressed his opinion

that a breach

inevitable.

Even Prince
at

Biilow,
to

who continued
the
last

the

negotiations
let
it

Rome up
that

moment,

be

understood
to

he

no longer believed the
in

Italians

be

in

earnest
fact,

On May 3, in seeking a compromise. resolved to denounce the alliance Italy
the

with

Austria and to claim full freedom of action.
vain

In

cessions,

Vienna Cabinet made yet further conwhich now included almost everything"
Italians
to

that

the

had demanded.
negotiate,
for

Sonnino conhe was

tinued
finding

indeed
fresh

reasons
Italian

always a decision. postponing

but

On May

20 the

Government received from

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the

85

by was declared on Austria-Hungary. One of the chief reasons which had decided
Burian
to

the extraordinary powers necessitated the approaching conflict, and on the 23rd war

Chambers

offer

such far-reaching concessions
the pressure

to

and May was military Higher Command,
Italy in April

from the
from

and
the

especially

Conrad, who never ceased

to insist in his

memor-

war would be Italy's entry followed by that of Rumania, and on this account
anda
that
into

adjured Burian to make every sacrifice in order to avert the otherwise unavoidable catastrophe by

winning over
self

Italy.

Czernin, too, expressed himsince King Ferdinand had March admitted to him that

in

a like sense,

at

the beginning of

in the

event of Italy taking sides against AustriaHungary, he would be bou^d to follow her

example.

That

his fears

the less doubtful, since

it

were well grounded was was already known in

Vienna that on February 6 the agreement concluded

September, 1914, betweefi Italy and Rumania had been renewed for four months, and
in

had received an extension to the two Governments bound themselves
other aid in
the

effect
to

that

the

render each

evept of an unprovoked attack

on the part of Austria-Hungary.

The negotiawhich

tions as to the cession of Austrian territory,

had been begun with Italy under the impression
of this news,

had now as

their result that

Rumania

too

raised

the price of her continued

neutrality.

86
It

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
was no longer only
the

Bukovina that was But Tisza dementioned, but also Transylvania. clared that he would not sacrifice a square yard of Hungarian soil, and the Vienna Cabinet agreed
with

him.

The

result

influence of the Triple Entente

was an increase of the in Rumania, which

was further heightened by Russia's victories in the Carpathians and the breakdown of the negoThe climax tiations between Burian and Sonnino. of hostility to the Central Powers in Bucharest
was reached on April 27, when the Italian Minister announced a declaration of war on the Habsburg

Monarchy
his

to

be unavoidable.
that

Czernin expressed
declare

conviction

Rumania would
after
Italy.

war
thing
the

forty-eight

hours

could

restrain

Rumania — a great
the

Only

one

victory

of

Central Powers over the Russians.

And
at

this

now
on

happened

in
Its

break

through
felt

Gorlice

May
now

2.

effect

was
the

at

once.

Bratiano

declared that

position was indeed very
;

but that he hoped to maintain neutrality and further news of the successes of the German
critical,

and Austro-Hungarian troops in Galicia and Poland contributed towards strengthening the Rumanian Government in their resolve not to give

up
did

their neutrality for the present.

In these cirof

cumstances
not

even
the

the

Italian

declaration
position
;

war
the

alter

altered conditions of the
the
attitude

Rumanian war
Vienna

but

certainly influenced

of

the

Government.

Its

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
interest in

87

Rumania now

sensibly declined, since her
situation.
to

neutrality seemed assured by the military The desire of the Central Powers
at

arrive

a decision in their negotiations with Bulgaria became all the more urgent. Since January the

Turks had been successfully defending the Dardanelles against the attacks of the allied Western

Powers
fact

;

but their position was

menaced by the

they lacked arms and munitions, which Germany had bound herself to provide by the terms of a treaty concluded on January ii, with
that

which

Austria- Hungary

associated

herself

on

March
all

It was therefore necessary 21. secure communications with the Turks

to establish
;

and, since
to

the

efforts

of the Central Powers
of

obtain

the

transport

arms
of

and
it

munitions

through
to

Rumania remained try and make sure

fruitless,

was necessary

a way through Bulgaria The adherence of Bulgaria into Turkish territory. With would also produce a further advantage.
Bulgaria
in

alliance

with
less

the

Central
to

Powers,

Rumania would be
their enemies,
to

inclined

since in that

joining case she would have

risk

wounds
1913It

reckon with Bulgaria, who had not forgiven the inflicted by the Treaty of Bucharest in
matter for the Cabinets of

was not an easy Vienna and Berlin to Both the King and Rumanians and Turks

win over the Bulgarians.

Radoslavov

distrusted

the

and feared the Greeks and

88

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Moreover, the far-reaching offers of Entente Powers were not without influence
Their attitude in their dealings with representatives of the Central Powers was

Russians.
the

upon them.
the

guarded, and they kept increasing their demands. As early as the end of 191 4 the Vienna Government, in view of the unfavourable military position in Serbia and Galicia, and in consequence of the
pressure exerted upon
politicians
it

not only by the

German

and military commanders but also by had declared its readiness to concede to Conrad,
Bulgarians,
in

the
the

the
of

event
the

war on the
of

side

of their entry into Central Powers, the

possession

— only,

they advanced

territories to which and ethnographical claims however, so far as they should occupy them

those

Serbian

historical

troops during the course of the war. The negotiations started at the beginning of 1 9 1 5 on this basis were protracted by the Bulgarians
;

with their

own

view of the unfavourable military situation of the Central Powers at the time, King Ferdinand
for,

in

and Radoslavov did not think
into

it

permanent engagements.
that

expedient to enter They therefore deto

clared
neutral,

they
of

could

only
in in

promise
return

remain

but

demanded
territory
in

considerable
increasing
the

extensions
their

Macedonia,
victories
in

claims
of

March and April under
Russian

im-

pression
the

the

the

Car-

pathians and the danger threatening Turkey from

Western Powers.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Burian,
that
in

89
position

however,
only
active

held

firmly

to

the

he

could
for

make

territorial

concessions
Bulgaria's

return

participation

on

part.

The

break through at Gorlice

sequent

victorious

advance

of

the

and the subGerman and

Austro-Hungarian troops also produced their effect The negotiations with the Central in Sofia.
but they Powers were carried on with more zeal failed to reach a settlement, since the demands
;

of the Bulgarians continued to be out of all pro-

seemed disposed portion to any services which they declined to attack Serbia, in return. to offer They
refused

a military

convention

proposed

to

them

by the Central Powers, but at the same time increased the price of their continued neutrality.
of Italy into the war, and the increasingly extensive offers on the part of the Entente, added

The entry

to the difficulty of the negotiations

between Vienna

and

Sofia.
in

ground Powers would serve the interests of Bulgaria For better than an alliance with the Entente. it would be easy for the former to concede the
extensions
of

Sofia

But gradually the conviction gained that adherence to the Central

Macedonia at Powers were bound to fear that similar concessions on their part would give offence to their
faithful ally.

by Bulgaria in Serbia's expense, whereas the Entente
territory

desired

Triple Entente failed in their efforts to persuade the Serbs to consent to this sacrifice by promising them, in the event of

The

90

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

ultimate victory, the possession of Bosnia, Herzefor Bulgaria demanded govina and Dalmatia immediate possession of the Macedonian territories
;

promised her,
should

while

Serbia

wanted the transfer
of

of these territories to be postponed until she herself

have
to

secured
her by

the

extension

territory

way of compensation. It was only when the continued advances of the Germans and Austro -Hungarians in Poland made the prospects of the ultimate victory of the
promised
Central

Powers
to

advantage
definitely

be

seem very favourable that the gained by joining them was
at

recognized

Sofia.

From

July

on-

wards negotiations were energetically carried on. The Central Powers insisted on the signature of
a
military

convention

in

addition

to

the

treaty

of alliance,

and
a

that Bulgaria should at the
treaty

same
After

time

conclude

with

the

Turks.

had been surmounted, the treaties between Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria were signed on September 6. The most important
innumerable
difficulties

article

contained a guarantee by Austria-Hungary

of

the

independence

and
not

integrity

of

Bulgaria

against

any

attack

herself, this

guarantee to
i.e.
till

provoked by Bulgaria be valid for the duration
31,

of the alliance,
after

that for a year,

December and so on

1920, and
treaty

until the

should be denounced in proper form. Bulgaria, for her part, undertook to give Austria-Hungary
proportionate

armed

assistance in the event of the

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

91

Monarchy being attacked by a State bordering on Bulgaria and demanding her aid. The second agreement, signed on the same day, contained a pledge from Bulgaria that she would take the offensive against Serbia, in return for which, what
is

now Serbian Macedonia,
"

the

so-called

"

dis-

puted

and

"

"

non-disputed
to

zones, as established

by
it

the

1912 —was

Serbo-Bulgarian

Treaty
her.

of

March

13,

promised

In

the

meantime

was agreed that, in the event of an attack by Rumania on Bulgaria or her alhes— including the Turks which should not have been provoked by Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary would consent to the

recovery by Bulgaria of the territory ceded by her to Rumania by the Peace of Bucharest, and a
rectification

of the

Rumano -Bulgarian

frontier

as

defined by the Treaty of Berlin. A similar promise was made to Bulgaria, under the same conditions,

with regard to the territory ceded by her to Greece The military conby the Peace of Bucharest.
vention

signed

on

the

same

day

settled

the

provisions for the carrying out of the impending The negotiations joint offensive against Serbia.

between

the

Turks

and

Bulgarians,

which

had

been going on for a year, were also brought to a conclusion on September 6, thanks to persistent
pressure from the Central Powers.

Turkey yielded
to

on the essential point by agreeing
banks of the Maritza.

a

rectifica-

tion of the frontier in favour of Bulgaria

on both

92

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
The
significance of

adhesion of Bulgaria to the Central Powers lay in the fact that it secured their communications with Turkey, which was of
the

importance, and also the possibility of The cama victorious campaign against Serbia.

extreme

paign

now

began

and

programme.

Though

proceeded according to valiantly defended by the

Serbs against overwhelming numbers, their country towards the end of 191 5, into the hands fell, of the Central Powers and Bulgaria. Shortly
afterwards

Montenegro shared
191
also
into

the

same

fate.

brought "Congress 5 power of the Central Powers. After the fall of Warsaw on August 5, 191 5, governments were set up on behalf of Germany
year

The

Poland

"

the

Austria-Hungary powers were handed over. At first the Central Powers had not contemplated " the permanent acquisition of Congress Poland."
at

at

Warsaw and on

behalf

of

Lublin, to which

all

was merely considered as a pawn and an item for compensation at the end of the war. But after the fall of Warsaw the Cabinets of Vienna and
It

future

Berlin tried to arrive at an agreement as to the The most various destiny of Poland.
solutions were discussed, but

no

definite

agreement

was reached.
to

The
in

idea of handing Poland back

Russia

Avas

indeed

Germany — both
actively after

repeatedly

the year
1

July,
in

916

—when

191

5

advanced by and again very

Stiirmer directed

foreign affairs

the

empire of the Tsar.

But

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
since

93

the condition of such a solution— namely, a total separation of Russia from the Ententecould not be brought about, it was allowed to

drop.

The plan

of

dividing

the

whole of the
Austria-

conquered territory of
insuperable difficulties
negotiations,

Poland between

Hungary and Germany was
particularly

also considered.

But
the

arose in the course of the

with

regard
It

to

frontiers of the respective territories.

was also

foreseen that the Poles would not voluntarily sub-

mit to a

new

partition of their country
its

they would struggle for

reunion.

It

and that was feared,

moreover, that far-reaching differences between the
allies

would

be

revealed

the

and military
cussion.

The
"

questions of idea

should

moment economic come under dis"

annexing

Congress

of

Germany, public opinion and in military circles in Germany, was rejected not only by the Vientna Cabinet but also by the German Chancellor, since
he
feared
the

Poland

to

first

ventilated by a section

increase

of

Polish

influence

in

The plan advocated for a time by Germany. Bethmann-Hollweg of founding an independent
Polish buffer State, which should be in economic,

and military alliance with the Central Powers, also split upon the opposition of the Vienna Government. " " with the Thus the union of Congress Poland which Burian had proposed Habsburg Monarchy,
political

in August,

191

5,

and which had been advocated

94

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
out

by the writings of Count Andrassy among others,
only possible But this too question. presented great difficulties on closer examination. There were adherents of the idea of a personal
clearly

stood

more
the

as

the

solution

of

Polish

union, and on the other

hand

of an actual union

;

among
of

the latter were those

a

trialistic

form for the

who were in favour new greater Austria-

Hungary, and those who advocated the incorporation of Poland in the Austrian State. Under the
influence
of

the

Hungarian Government,
of

whose

spokesman, Count Tisza, protested
terms
against
trialistic

in the strongest

the

on a

organization basis, the idea
to

the

Monarchy
of

now

prevailed

annexing Poland
of
Galicia,

Austria-Hungary and granting
Poland, with the addition This had

to the united territory of

far-reaching autonomy. the further object of diminishing the
the interests of the

a

damage

to

German

Austrians which was

feared by wide circles in Austria and Germany. Since the autumn of 1 9 1 5 negotiations were carried on between leading statesmen of Germany

and Austria-Hungary on this basis. But the more deeply the question was considered, the greater were the difficulties which presented themselves.

Bethmann-Hollweg

declared

that

the

German

of Austria-Hungary in the

people could only agree to such a strengthening event of the German
of

Empire coming out

the

large increase of territory.

war with an equally Economic and mihtary

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
objections were also advanced on the

95
side,

German

was proposed to incorporate " " with a small portion of Congress Poland Austrian Galicia, and out of the greater part of

and as a solution

it

the rest

to

create a
in

form,

but

Polish State independent in reality under the protectorate of

Germany. But this proposal was firmly rejected by the Vienna Government, which advanced the idea of a genuinely autonomous State comprising
the

whole of by
a

Polish

territory,

which

should

be

allied

long-term

economic

and

military

agreement with both the Central Powers equally. But it was impossible to \vin the consent of the
Berlin Government to this plan. Such was the position when
the

Austro-

result

Hungarian troops were defeated at Lutsk. The 1 of this was that in August, 9 1 6, the
carried the day with
their

Germans

proposal to

found an independent State, practically comprising " the former Congress Poland," under a hereditary
constitutional monarchy, but subject to far-reaching
restrictions in military

and economic matters.
side

On
the

Austro-Hungarian crown of Poland on a member of the family of A more exact Habsburg-Lorraine was waived.
definition of the sphere of influence of the Central

the

the

bestowal

of

Powers was reserved for further discussion.
their

But

of

interests

subsequent course showed that the opposition was too deep-seated for it to be
In October,

possible to settle matters in a hurry.

96
1

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
6,

91

therefore,

they

came

to

a settlement for

the present to shelve the question of an independent But in order to calm the Poles, Polish State.

who were anxious about
the assistance of their

their fate,

and

to secure

armed

forces for the Central

Powers, a proclamation was issued on November 5, 1916, in which a prospect was held out of the
restoration
of

an

independent

Poland

as

a

hereditary constitutional mon,archy closely attached But the two military to the Central Powers.

governments

at

Warsaw and Lublin

continued to

administer the country. Even before this agreement had been arrived

Rumania had gone over to the Entente camp. The Central Powers had indeed not been wanting in offers to the Rumanian Government
at,

entry into the war and the conbut they clusion of the treaties with Bulgaria had made their concessions conditional on the

between

Italy's

;

active

intervention

of

Rumania
of

on

their

side.

The leading statesmen
agree
to this
;

Bucharest would not

for, in spite of the great military

success of the Central Powers, their final victory

seemed doubtful. They accordingly continued to insist on important cessions of territory in the Bukovina and Transylvania by Austria-Hungary
in return for a continuance of their neutrality.
this,

To
by
the

however,
refused

Burian,
to

strongly

influenced

Tisza,

German

Government

agree, although but also

not

only

Conrad

von

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Thus
the negotiations, which

97

Hotzeridorf actively supported Rumania's demands.

had been reluctantly
without
results.

continued

by

Burian,

remained
to

Even
and
not

Bulgaria's adhesion
the

the Central Powers,

campaign against Serbia, did produce any change in the attitude of the two Governments, The majority of Rumanian counted on a rapid change in the politicians military situation, and the Entente diplomatists made every effort to confirm them in this belief. But the Rumanian Government maintained its conviction that it must for the present preserve its It was the Russian victories at neutrality. Lutsk and Okna which first led to a change in At the end of June, 1916, the their views. Vienna Cabinet was aware, from its Ambassador, Count Czernin, that preparations for war were
successful

Bucharest, that negotiations were being carried on with the Entente Powers as to the conditions of going over to them, and

being

completed

in

that the probability was that the sword after the harvest.

Rumania would draw

In spite of
the next few
able,

this, and though the news during weeks was more and more unfavour-

Burian

firmly
for
to

refused

the

demands made

by Rumania

and was not
the

maintenance of neutrality, be moved from his resolve even
the

German Government and Conrad von by And so towards the end of August Hotzendorf. the union of Rumania with the Entente Powers
7

98

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
accomplished, in return for far-reaching concessions granted by them to their

was

territorial

new

ally at the

expense of the Austro-Hungarian

Monarchy.
declaration
hostilities

On August 27— on
of

formal rupture with

Germany — followed
on

the day of Italy's

Rumania's

war

Austria- Hungary,

and

But the hope began without delay. that Rumania's entry on their side would quickly decide the war in their favour After preliminary Rumanian was not fulfilled. successes against the weak troops of the Habsburg
of

the

Entente

Monarchy, the armies of the Quadruple Alliance, fighting under German leadership, achieved a decisive victory.

On December
at

6,

191

6,

Bucharest
January,

was
1

taken,
7,

and

the

beginning

of

91

of

Rumania was occupied. had grown through the entry Turkey's danger Rumania into the war, and she now addressed
two-thirds of

herself to the Central

Powers with fresh demands.
that,

On September
in

accordance with

28 Germany assured the Porte her treaty engagements,

she

would not conclude a separate peace, would allow Turkey a share, proportionate to her military efforts, in any territorial conquests, and would not
agree

any peace so long as Turkish territory Soon afterwards, was occupied by the enemy. on January 11, 191 7, a further agreement was
to

arrived
tions,

at,

in

which the abolition of the Capitula-

which Turkey found oppressive, was conThe provisions of these two treaties templated.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

99

were expanded in a manner favourable to Turkey The Austro-Hungarian on November 27, 191 7.

Government, after long hesitation, associated itself on March 22, 191 7, with the German agreements, A treaty was but her ratification was withheld.

Turkey on May 30, 91 8, relating to the Capitulations, which corresponded to the Turko -German treaty of
signed between Austria -Hungary and
1

November

27,

191

7,

and
not

by
to

which

Austria-

Hungary pledged

sign any peace which should re-establish the Capitulations. in The success of the Central Powers

herself

Rumania was
the

a

ray

of

light

in

the

last

days

of the Em_peror Prancis Joseph,

who had

entered

war with a heavy heart and remained full of At the anxiety as to the fate of his Empire, outbreak of the war he expressed his opinion that he would be very happy if Austria-Hungary got His off with a black eye and no bones broken. armies and those of his allies had achieved decisive victories in several theatres of war in the course of the year 1 9 1 6 they had occupied new territories, and in other quarters had successfully
;

repelled
their

the

increasingly

formidable offensive of

enemies.
the

The

battles

on

the

Isonzo

had

thrown

heroism

of

the

Austro-Hungarian

troops into particularly clear relief. But the number and military efficiency of their enemies increased,

and since Great Britain commanded the sea and the United States supported them more and more

100
lavishly,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the Entente armies

had

at

their

disposi-

tion vast

masses of arms and munitions of every

and also immense supplies of food -stuffs. The Powers, thrown back upon their own industrial resources and hampered in the import of food -stuffs and the production of weapons by
kind,

Central

the British blockade, could not keep pace. For this reason the desire to put an the internecine struggle of the nations

end

to

grew from

month

month, especially in Austria-Hungary, where from the beginning of the war a great part
of the population
interests

to

which were not regarded as
course of the year
into

had only fought unwillingly for their own.
191 4
Francis Joseph
listen to suggestions for a

In

the

had not refused to which should take
interests

of

his

peace account the most important Empire, and he had approved

numerous proposals for peace which in the years 191 5-16 had come from more or less authoritative quarters but he had always insisted most strongly that these negotiations must be conducted in full agreement with his allies, and But all these peace especially with Germany. had proved abortive, since neither proposals
the
;

Germany nor Austria-Hungary saw
of ending the
the military
situation
6,

the possibility

war on any terms commensurate with and their desires. But in
in

October,

191

order
it

to

prove to

the

public
of

opinion of the world that

was not the

insatiability

of the Central Powers which stood in the

way

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
peace,

101

Burian proposed

to

the

German Imperial

Chancellor, at the general headquarters at Pless, that the Quadruple Alliance should inform their

enemies,

through neutral channels, of their con-

ditions of peace,
to

and also publish them,

in

order

enlighten

their

own

aims
active

and

win

over

the

peoples as to their war neutral Powers to an

intervention

with the

enemy Governments,
states-

Bethmann-Hollweg and the other German

men agreed
communicate
felt

in

principle,

but

they

declined
since

to

their

peace

conditions,
in

they

themselves

bound,

especially

the

Belgian

question, to advance

demands which
Britain,

their enemies,

and especially Great
accept.

could

not

possibly

and serious conflicts took place between the Vienna and Berlin Cabinets, in the course of which the Austrians
this

On

point excited debates

demanded the recall of Tschirschky, the German Ambassador at the Court of Vienna, who represented the German point of view with uncomEven the sovereigns of promising harshness. Austria-Hungary and Germany took part in this The Emperor William sought insistently conflict.
to convince in
his
ally

that

Germany could
It

not fall

with

Burian 's

plan.

was one of Francis

Joseph's last acts to invoke every means in order to accomplish a settlement of the outstanding difficulties.
It

was

only

after

Francis Joseph having in

negotiations the meantime died on

long

102

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
21

November

— that
It

it

was possible
to

to

reach

a

submit the proposal compromise. of the Quadruple Alliance to their enemies through
the neutral Powers,

was agreed

and immediately

to enter

upon

deliberations as to a peace, in the course of which their peace conditions should be exactly defined.

The death
of the

of Francis Joseph and the accession Emperor Charles to the throne of Austria-

Hungary notably
Vienna.

reinforced

the

peace

party

at

Seldom has a

ruler

on ascending the
difficult

throne been faced with a more

situation.

The
on

struggle between the nations had been going for more than two years. For more than
the
forces

two years the troops of the Monarchy had been
fighting of
their

heroically

against

superior

enemies.

The

military

and

economic

resources of the

Behind

the

Monarchy were beginning to fail. front, especially in the towns of
life,

Austria, there was lack of the necessaries of

and already it was clear that anti -dynastic feeling was spreading, especially in the non -German and non -Magyar territories. His programme was to

combat

splendour of the dynasty, to give to the peoples under his rule the longed-for peace, and to bring about a settlethis

feeling,

to

renew

the

ment between the

different nations

Habsburg Monarchy. and strength of character necessary to carry out his views. Even his adherents, while praising his
powerful memory, his
gift of rapid

composing the But he had not the energy

comprehension,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
his

103

House, his personal charm, admit that he lacked the stronger qualities which would have been necessary to find the right path.
his devotion to

marked

sense of the greatness of his

duty and

In his
firm
to

first

intention

declarations Charles emphasized his of doing everything in his power
to

put

an end
he

the

terrible

conflict.

In this

was strongly confirmed by his wife Zita, by her mother, the influential Maria Antonia of Parma, and by his brothers-in-law, Sixtus and
attitude

Xavier,
to

get

in

who, as early as November, 1 9 1 6, tried touch with the Entente Powers. On
12
the

December
to

peace
public.

ofi"er
It

of the

Quadruple

Alliance was

made

contained a promise

which

submit to a conference of the Powers proposals should aim at assuring to their peoples

existence,

honour
laying
lasring

and

freedom

of

development,
to

and
lish

at

foundations

calculated

estab-

a

Germany, She claimed the point.
trifling

In conversations with peace. Austria -Hungary defined her standintegrity of her territory,

frontier

rectifications

as

against
frontier

Russia,

a

more

favourable
the

strategic
to

Rumania,
small

cession
of

against Austria-Hungary of a
of
to

portion

the

territory

the

Serbian

monarchy and of larger portions Albania, and a more favourable
against
Italy
;

Bulgaria and
the

strategic frontier

in

addition

to

this

economic

Serbia with the Habsburg Monarchy, and Albanian autonomy under an Austro -Hungarian

union

of

104

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Independently of the peace activity Quadruple Alliance, Woodrow Wilson, on
1

Protectorate.
of the

Powers to Both proposals, however, were declined by the Entente Powers. On December 30, Briand, on the part of France,
8,

December

invited

the

belligerent

communicate

their

peace terms.

declared the peace offer of the Quadruple Alliance to be a war manoeuvre, and that all negotiations

were

useless,

for the

was given restoration of violated rights and liberties
so
security
right

long as no

and the recognition of the
self-determination.

of

peoples

to in
1

In

the

concert by
1

the

Entente
to

Note drawn up Powers on January

2,

91

7,

in
all

answer
the
to

President Wilson's communica-

tion,

imputed

blame for the outbreak of war was the Central Powers, and the demand

was formulated, among other things, for compensation for all war damages, the restoration of Alsace-Lorraine to France, and from Austriaas

Hungary proportionate cessions of territory to Italy well. The German Government, which had now fallen into more and more obvious by
dependence on the Higher

Army Command,
on
the

therethe

upon

resolved

to

carry

war

by

employment of the most extreme measures, the most important and most promising of which was
indicated in authoritative quarters to be unlimited submarine warfare.

Baron Burian, meanwhile, had ceased to be Austro -Hungarian Foreign Minister on December

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
2
2,
1

105

91

6,

Czernin,

and was succeeded by Count Ottokar the former Ambassador at Bucharest.
differ.

Estimates of Czernin

That he possesses
is

abihty far above the average
is

recognized.

He

an accomplished speaker and a clever writer,
is

who
and

able to arrest the attention of his hearers*
readers.

his

A

thoroughly modern

man who

understood that times change and was willing to change with them, he showed greater inclination
than
the

most

of

his

class

to

meet the
enemies

wishes

of

him

aspiring democracy. with untrustworthiness,
;

His

reproach

dilettantism
lay
stress

and
the

pride

friend
of "

and
his "

foe

alike

on

irritability

nervous

system

as

for the

jumpiness

of his r^'sposition.

accounting Austro-

Hungarian statesmen generally did not share the
as

exaggerated expectations of German military circles to the effects of the submarine campaign.

Czernin, in particular, gave open expression to his doubts about the subjugation of England within a few months, which the German authorities seemed

and he drew attention to regard as certain the danger of an active intervention of the United
to
;

States.

The Emperor shared

his Minister's views.

But the continual pressure of German statesmen and the German Higher Command, powerfully
supported by the Emperor WilHam, at last succeeded in obtaining the consent of the AustroHungarian Government to unlimited submarine
warfare.

The war was resumed by Germany and

106
her

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
allies

by land, by sea and in the air, but the hope of forcing their enemies to their knees by decisive successes was not realized. During the
it

year 1 9 1 7 there were, indeed, moments in which looked as if the final decision would be in their

favour.

But

their

successes of the

enemies, in spite of all the Central Powers and their allies,

held firmly to their belief that time would work in their favour, and even in moments of greatest

danger rejected tory to them.
this

all

thoughts of a peace unsatisfacWhat confirmed them chiefly in

was the hope of military assistance from the United States. The opening of unlimited submarine warfare
attitude

was

followed

diplomatic Berlin and
declaration
States.
It

relations

immediately by the rupture between the Cabinets

of

of

Washington, and on April 5 by the war on Germany by the United was not until December 7, 191 7, that
of

the

United

States

declared

war

on

Austria-

Meanwhile, since the successes of the Hungary. submarine warfare, though in themselves considerable,

did

not
the

produce

the

result

foretold

by
the

Germany,

Emperor

Charles's inclination towards
to

peace grew

from month

month.

Under
by

influence of his entourage he determined,

secret

negotiations with the enemy, to work for a peace which should include a guarantee of the integrity
of the

Habsburg Monarchy by
Prince

the Entente Powers.
Sixtus
of

His

brother-in-law.

Bourbon

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
Parma, undertook the
role

107

of

mediator,

and on
letter,

March 24 Charles empowered him, by declare to M. Poincare that in order

to

to

obtain

peace he would exert every effort in his power to support the just claims of France to AlsaceIn other questions, too, notably in that of Belgium, the Emperor showed a wish to further

Lorraine.

the desires of the

enemy Powers
there

as far as possible.
in his

On
to

the other hand,

was no mention

letter

of any

readiness to cede Austrian territory

Italy.
to

as

Count Czernin, who was well-informed essentials in the negotiations but was unthe
the
text

acquainted with

of

the
to

endeavoured

in

meanwhile

Imperial letter, win over the

German Government to the idea of peace. On March 27 an agreement was signed at Vienna
between him and Bethmann-Hollweg which provided for a
In
the

minimum and maximum programme.
the
restoration

former

of

the

territorial

quo ante belluni of the Central Powers in the East and West was laid down as the consfntus

dition precedent to their evacuation of the occupied

provinces
Albania,

of

Russia

(except

Poland),
In
the

Serbia,
latter,

Greece
to

and

Rumania.
in the

which was

hold good

event of the war

taking a more favourable turn, provision was
for a permanent acquisition of

made

enemy

territory in

proportion to their respective military achievements. In this event Germany's field of expansion was
to

be

in the East,

Austria -Hungary's in Rumania.

108

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
afterwards,
at

Shortly

on April

3,

the

Emperor

and Czernin arrived

Homburg
with
that
in

as guests of the

Emperor William.
a

Czernin

came forward with
Prince
Sixtus's

proposal

(the connection

demarche bring noteworthy;

Germany might
Alsace-Lorraine,

make

concessions

to

France

and as a
Galicia. of

substitute for her losses in the

West take

permanent possession of a Poland supplemented by
These plans found a basis
a
in the prospect

concluding

favourable

peace

with

Russia,

which had opened up shortly before the abdication of the Tsar in March. To reinforce his Count Czernin, on April efforts, 4, sent to the
1

Emperor William a report, drawn up by himself for the Emperor Charles in person, in which the internal situation of the Habsburg Monarchy was
painted in the blackest colours, and its collapse, involving a revolution and the downfall of the

At the dynasty, was represented as imminent. same time Czernin renewed in authoritative quarters in Germany his offer to compensate the German

Empire
enlarged

in

case

of

possible

losses

in

Alsace-

Lorraine by the permanent acquisition of Poland

by

the

addition
his

of

Galicia.

But
refused

the
to

Emperor William and

counsellors

open negotiations with the enemy on this basis, and urged the continuation of the war. It soon
afterwards became plain that the secret negotiations

conducted by Sixtus of Parma with the Entente

Powers would not lead

to

the

results

desired by

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
the

109

Emperor and Czernin. For Italy held to her bond, and demanded the cession of all those which had provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy To been promised her by the Treaty of London.
this,

however, the Emperor Charles, particularly view of the mihtary situation at the time, neither would nor could consent.
in

The
having
results,

the Western Powers negotiations with the present led to no tangible thus for

Emperor and Czernin decided at Kreuznach (May 17-18) to come to an agreement with the German Government, in which
the
there

was no further mention of the cession of Alsace-Lorraine, but in which it was stipulated
Austria-Hungary that not only should her receive integrity be guaranteed, but she should

by

considerable accessions of territory in the Balkans. Germany, furthermore, agreed, in the event of

Courland and Lithuania joining and concurrently Poland leaning towards the German Empire, that

Rumania, so far as occupied, with the exception of the Dobruja (frontier anterior to 191 3) and
a border
strip

"

to

the

south of the

Cernavoda-

Constanza railway, falls as a separate State into the Austro -Hungarian sphere of interests, subject
to

a

guarantee of

Germany's economic
the
fulfilment

interests

in

Rumania."

On

of

these

con-

ditions

Austria-Hungary consented to renounce her condominium in Poland, and promised to declare her desinteressement, political and military, in

110
Poland.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
On June
by
Avhich
8

the

Emperor William and
was
placed
Alliance

Charles signed an agreement as to Poland's military
forces,
their

organization

entirely in the

hands of Germany.

The war continued.
exerted
all
its

The Quadruple
strength,

military

and even now

gained

not

inconsiderable

successes.

On

the

Western front the Germans held at bay the attacks of the French and British troops, lavishly furnished with war material. On the Eastern front the
armies of the Alliance fought successfully against the Russians.
In
the

stiffened

South the armies of Austria -Hungary, by German troops, undertook an invasion

of Italy,

which led

to

the occupation
all

of

further

Italian territory.
suffice
to

But

these successes did not

compel a desire for peace on the part
while,
in

of

the

enemy,

the

countries

of

the

Quadruple Alliance, war weariness, furthered by a skilfully managed propaganda on the part of
the Entente, kept spreading to wider circles

among
Powers

the

soldiers

and

citizens

of

the

Central

and and

their allies.

This feeling

among

the people,

the recognition of the fact that the

war could

only be ended by diplomatic means, decided Czernin to resume with the greatest energy his efforts to
achieve a
interests

of

peace which should preserve the the Monarchy. In this he

vital

was

strongly

supported

by

the

declaration

made by
July 19,

the majority in the

German Reichstag on

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
1

111

91

7, in

favour of a peace by agreement, in which
acquisition

territory and oppresand financial measures sive poHtical, were repudiated, and the freedom of the seas and the renunciation by the enemy of the economic blockade of the Central Powers were demanded.

the

forcible

of

economic

Yet neither the Pope's ofificial efforts for peace nor the secret Revertera-Armand (July-August) and

Mensdorff-Smuts
tangible results, tion as to the

(December) negotiations led to since the enemy had exact informacritical

internal

situation

of

the

Powers of

the

upon

the strong support of the

Quadruple Alliance, and, counting United States for

the following year,

made

conditions to which,

in

view of her favourable military situation at the end of the year 191 7, Germany would not accede.
attempt of General Smuts to promote the idea of a separate peace with Austria-Hungary on the basis of her being strengthened by a

And

the

poHdcal and economic union with Rumania and Serbia failed, because Czernin refused to leave Germany in the lurch during the war. At this
time, moreover, the prospect

cluding a favourable peace in the East

was opening of conwhich would
full

enable them to
their

fall

with their

strength

upon

enemies in the West.
revolution which

The
in

had taken place

in

Russia

March,

191
the

7,

had not brought peace;

on the

contrary,

numerous
the

place

between

negotiations which took Central Powers and Russia,

112

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

having as their aim the conclusion of a separate The war was peace, dragged on inconclusively.

waged
allies.

successfully by
in

Germany, and brought wide

territories

the

East into the possession of the

But a decisive change took place in the attitude of the Russian politicians in November, when the isecond phase of the Russian revolution

— the

"

social

Kerensky—was

revolutionary phase led by succeeded by a third, that of the

"

As early Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Trotsky. as the end of November the new Government

summoned

all the

belligerents to enter immediately

upon an armistice and begin negotiations for the conclusion of a general peace which should assure to every nation freedom of economic and cultural When the Entente Powers refused development. to comply with this summons, the Russians, on
entered into a suspension of hostilities with Germany and her allies, which was to last
3,
till

December

December

17.

On December
till

15 the suspenarmistice,

sion of hosdlities

was succeeded by an
January
right
14,

which was

to last

be continued with the
seven days' notice.

to

and then denounce it on
191
8,

December
ducted
in

22

at

Peace negotiations began on Brest -Litovsk, and were con-

public.

The

upshot

was

that

on

December 25 the Quadruple Alliance accepted the Russian proposals for the conclusion of a peace
without annexations and indemnities as the basis
for a general peace.

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

113

At the suggestion of the Russian delegates the negotiations were suspended for ten days, and a

was addressed to the enemies of the Quadruple AUiance that they should take part in further deliberations on the basis of the resolutions adopted on December 25. But the Entente Powers
request
refused.

Thereupon

negotiations

were

(January 9, 191 8) Russia and the Quadruple Alliance
not

for a separate peace
;

begun between

but they did run so smoothly as the majority of Austro-

Hungarian polidcians had hoped.
chief
of the
for

Trotsky,

the
full

Russian
the

delegation,
to

demanded
be
held
in

freedom

plebiscites

the

Russian provinces occupied by the Central Powers,

and with

this

object

proposed

that

should evacuate them.

On

the

troops of this rejection

their

proposal
delegates,

by

the

German and Austro-Hungarian

meanwhile
of
the

he protracted the negotiations in order to introduce Bolshevik ideas into the

territories of the

Quadruple Alliance. The progress negotiations was hampered by quarrels among the Russians, and by the appearance at Brest-Litovsk of a Ukrainian delegation, which
pressed for the establishment of a Russian federal Since on this question no agreement republic.

could

be

arrived

at,

the

representatives

of

the

Ukraine, on January 24, announced the complete independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic,

and on February 9 concluded a separate peace with the Quadruple Alliance, which, so far as
8

114

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
left

Austria -Hungary was concerned,
his eagerness
to

the

frontier

between the two States unchanged.
bring
to

Inspired by

of

Austria,
the

and above
longed

the starving population all to the inhabitants of
"

Vienna,

for

bread

peace,"

which

stipulated for the delivery of food -stuffs

from the

Ukraine, Czernin, in compliance with the ardent desire of the Ukrainian delegation, carried out
their

of
the

demand Cholm in

for the incorporation of the district the newly created republic,

erection of East

Galicia into

and for an autonomous

Austrian

Crown

territory.

negotiations with Russia had meanwhile been continued. Czernin, zealously seconded in his efforts for peace by the Emperor Charles,

The

pressed for a conclusion, but met with determined
opposition

from

the

German

negotiators.

On

February lo Trotsky declared that Russia, renouncing a formal treaty of peace, regarded the

war against the Quadruple Alliance as at an end, and would reduce her troops to a peace But since this solution footing on all fronts. did not meet with the whole-hearted consent of the Central Powers, Germany resumed the struggle.
state of

The Austro-Hungarian troops did not enter into the war against Soviet Russia, but after a few days joined the march of the German troops into The Russians, defeated by Germany the Ukraine. in the field, now changed their tactics and declared
themselves prepared to conclude a formal peace,

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
which was signed on March 3
It

115

at

Brest-Litovsk.

brought the

Habsburg Monarchy no accessions
by the
the
official

of territory,

but,

retirement of the
their

Russians
involved

from
a

ranks

of

enemies,
of

it

considerable

strengthening

the

Quadruple Alliance.
the provisions of the
this

Poland had become independent of Russia by Peace at Brest-Litovsk, but
did not
settle

the

Polish

question.

The

negotiations conducted by the Cabinets of Vienna and Berlin as to the fate of Poland in the spring

and summer of
since
the

1

917

led

to

conflicting

interests
to

no practical issue, of the two Powers

concerned were shown

be irreconcilable.
that

The

Archduke plan advocated by Austria, Charles Stephen should be made Regent, and afterthe

wards King, was accepted neither by the Emperor William nor by the German Government. In the

autumn
year to
pensate
up,

of

1

9

1

7

the decision
to
in

made

earlier in the

abandon Poland
Austria -Hungary
the

Germany and comRumania was given

the
in

Austro -Polish solution advocated by Emperor Charles and Czernin was approved
principle.

and

In the negotiations which followed

as to the carrying out of this plan, however, the

old antagonism of interests again

became apparent.
would

Germany

declared
in

that

she

make

her

acquiescence

the

Austro -Polish

solution

con-

tingent upon the cession to her of large portions " of Polish territory, as rectifications of frontier,"

116

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

and upon her retaining a decisive influence upon the utilization of the economic and military forces of a Polish State which was not to be incorporated
Austria-Hungary, but merely joined to her by To this, however, the Vienna a personal union. Government would not agree, and once more the
in

PoHsh attempt to reach a definitive solution of the
question broke down. The Poles, anxious about their future and keenly desirous to
themselves,

make
took

it

as

favourable as possible to
of

advantage

these

differences

to continue negotiations with both sides, in order to secure for their State the widest possible territorial

extension

and the greatest possible measure of They resolutely protested against independence.
the cession of the district of

Cholm

to the

Ukraine,
in

and on March
the

4,

with

the aid

of the Poles

Habsburg Monarchy, they succeeded in obtainconcerned in the ing the signature, by the Powers
of
the

Peace Treaty of February 9, of a protocol in which it was laid down that the frontiers between Poland and the Ukraine were
conclusion

by a new agreement, arrived at with the co-operation of the Poles, and perhaps
to

be

settled

to

be altered
the
the
to

in

their

favour.
of

The
Poland
the

negotiations

between
as

Cabinets

Vienna
of
to

and
still

BerHn
went

future

destiny

on.

The

former
it

clung

Austro -Polish

was evident from many indications solution, but that the German Government showed less and less

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
inclination
to

117
the

consent

to

it.

In

July,

after

luckless

Austrian offensive

in

Italy,

the

German

Chancellor, Count Hertling, declared that he would no longer recognize the Austro -Polish solution.

Poland was

to

have the free choice of her future
its

form of government, but before
must

establishment
the

come

to

arrangements

with
to

Central
their

Powers permanently calculated economic and military interests.
agreed
to

secure

Austria-Hungary

these

negotiations
like all the

But the proposals in principle. which were now entered upon led,

preceding ones, to no definite results, though they provided the Poles once more with the
desired opportunity for fishing in troubled waters. The ending of the war between Russia and the

Quadruple
on

Alliance

also

compelled

Rumania

to

conclude peace with the victors,

December

17,

191

7,

had
long

to

having already, submit to an
the

armistice.

After

rather

negotiations

peace preliminaries were signed at the chateau of Buftea, near Bucharest, on March 6, and on May 7
the definite peace
;

but the latter was not ratified

by Rumania.
economic
immediate

Austria-Hungary received a favour-

able strategic frontier in the Carpathians, important
concessions,

and
of

the

promise
provinces

of of

an
the

evacuation

the

Habsburg Monarchy still occupied by Rumania. King Ferdinand had to thank the personal intervention of the Emperor Charles for the fact
that he retained his

crown.

118

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

successes in the East, gratifying though they were in themselves, did not deceive the governing
circles

The

at

the

Ballplatz as

to

the

danger on the
that

verge of which they hovered.
the filling

They knew

up of the seriously depleted ranks of

the troops, the production of arms and munitions, the provisioning of the soldiers and of the population,

would

get

more

difficult

every

month.

Reports kept coming in as to the increasing warweariness of the troops and the more and more openly expressed anti-dynastic sentiments of the

non-German or non-Magyar

portions of the population of the Monarchy, as to the correctness of All these reasons which there could be no doubt.

increased the desire of the
to

Emperor and

of Czernin

bring the war to an end as quickly as possible. As early as the autumn of 191 7 the German

Government had been informed from Vienna that Austria-Hungary's strength was exhausted, and she
insistently

urged

sacrifices

which might content the

enemy. The same point of view had been adhered Gerto during the negotiations at Brest-Litovsk. in the East compensations for the many was to find
cessions

which she

must make

in

the

West

in

order to bring the

enemy round the peace table. For the negotiations secretly carried on by several

Austro-Hungarian statesmen with the representatives of the Entente States had left no doubt as
to

the

fact

that

there could be no

thought of a

serious entry

upon peace negotiations on the part

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
of the Western Powers before

119

Germany should have

precise declarations which should meet their views on the questions of Belgium and Alsace-

handed

in

Lorraine.
It was thus very opportune for the Court of Vienna when President Wilson, in his Message to Congress of January 8, 191 8, defined the Fourteen

Points, in

which he perceived a suitable basis for
It
is

the establishment of a lasting peace.
that

true

several of these points involved considerable
to
;

but in their Austro-Hungarian interests seemed to afford Czernin the possientirety they

damage

He enbility of initiating peace negotiations. deavoured in divers ways, and especially through the mediation of the King of Spain, to enter into
Wilson, but in vain. Equally fruitless were the informal conversations
negotiations

with

President

carried

with

by Austro-Hungarian representatives French delegates in Switzerland and other

on

places.

Czernin firmly refused the demand of the Western Powers for the conclusion of a separate

peace
tion,

;

but he continued

his

efforts

at

negotiathat

though he recognized

at the

same time

the acceptance of the conditions under which the

enemy would be prepared
Quadruple the Germans, above
Alliance
all

to make peace with the could not be expected from

Command,

since

parations for

from the Higher Army had already made all prethey a new campaign in the West which
be decisive.

was intended

to

120

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
1

At the beginning of April,
this

9

1

8,

shortly after

German

offensive

Czernin emphasized, in of the Viennese Town Council, his loyalty

had successfully begun, an address to a delegation
to

Ger-

many, as proved by peace offers, which

his

rejection

of the

French on
the

were
this

conditional

recognition of France's claims to Alsace-Lorraine.

Clemenceau declared

assertion

to

be

a

lie,

and, in the course of the feud that followed, published the letter of the Emperor Charles to Prince
Sixtus of

March

24,

191

7,

in

which he alluded

to

his willingness to advocate with his allies France's " " to Alsace-Lorraine. The Austrojust claims

Hungarian Monarch's
thus

loyalty

to

his

placed

in

an equivocal

light,

alliance was and Czernin's

refusal to accept full responsibility for these pro-

ceedings led to his resignation. Count Burian being In order to calm reappointed as his successor.
the

agitation

German
Charles

Emperor William and the statesmen and Generals, the Emperor " to had to make another journey
of
the
at Spa,
to

Canossa

"

and there on May
the

i

2

he put his

signature
military

agreements union between

for a closer political

and
the

two

countries,

coming
heavy
of this
the two

into

force of which

would have involved

damage
treaty,

Hungary.

to the independence of AustriaBut since the condition of the validity

namely an understanding between Powers on the Polish question, broke down,
the
irreconcilable nature of their diver-

owing

to

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
gent interests, the a scrap of paper.
in
;

121

Spa agreement,

too,

remained

Meanwhile Germany was putting forth her
strength
success
the

last

hope
initial

of

but

her

achieving successes were

a

decisive

followed

by

reverses.

the battles

Austria-Hungary had taken part in on the Western front, but only within

modest
attack
troops.

limits.

on

In June she attempted a sudden Italy with the principal body of her But here, too, the decisive victory which

had

been

failures,

These expected was not achieved. together with the ever -increasing lack

of effective soldiers, arms, munitions

and

food-stuffs,

deepened

the

longing

of

the

Habsburg Monarchy for peace. Emperor Charles became alive to the more and more open opposition of the non-German and nonMagyar peoples of his dominions, and likewise to the revolutionary spirit which was becoming

peoples of the In addition, the

among the working classes in many and he began to tremble for his crown places, and the fate of the dynasty. In proportion as the
conspicuous

German hope

of extorting peace by force of arms diminished, a more favourable prospect seemed to

open up for the efforts of Austro-Hungarian statesmen to put an end to the war by way of diplomatic negotiations. At the end of June Baron
Kiihlmann,
the

German

Secretary

of
to

State

for

Foreign

Affairs,

had been compelled

resign in

consequence of

his declaration in the

Reichstag that

122

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

an end of the war through a purely military deciBut by August 14 sion could not be expected. Ludendorff himself, who had played a prominent
part in bringing
at

about Kiihlmann's

fall,

declared

Headquarters in Spa that they could no longer the foe by hope to break the military spirit of
force of arms.

Thus, when Burian again approached the German Government, he no longer met with any opposition

on principle.

Yet great differences presented themto

selves in the course of the deliberations as to the

method of proceeding
wanted
to

be adopted.

The Germans

wait for an improvement of the military situation in the West and then begin negotiations

with the enemy through a neutral Power— Holland or Spain— while Austro-Hungarian statesmen advo-

an immediate and open appeal to all the combatant Powers. At the beginning of September
cated
the

new German Foreign Minister, Hintze, spent some time in Vienna in order to arrive at an agreed
course
of
action.

But since
determined,
to

this

could

not

be
to

achieved,

Burian

without

regard

Germany's opposition,
to
all

have an appeal sent out
the

opening of peace President Wilson answered, however, negotiations. a few days' interval, that he had repeatedly after
the belligerents
for

and
tions

in the plainest terms

made known

the condi-

on which he was prepared to consider the hence the Government of the conclusion of peace
;

United States could not and would not accept a

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY

128

proposal for the holding of a conference concerning a matter in which it had already clearly made The Cabinets of known its attitude and aims.
Paris
result

The sole and London were equally cold. the increase of of Burian's new effort was

the Entente's hopes of victory.

On September

i

5

in the ranks of

ensued a violent attack against the Bulgarian Army, which war-weariness had for long
past

made down
Sofia

serious inroads.
little

The Bulgarian troops
;

offered but
laid

great bodies of them their arms and returned to their homes.
resistance

The

Government, at the head of which Mahnov, who was friendly to the Entente, had for some months taken the place of Radoslavov, resolved to propose an armistice, which was granted

on September 29 under conditions which signified for the Central Powers the loss of the Balkans. King Ferdinand abdicated. These events, and the
great successes of the English troops in Palestine, At the beginproduced their effect upon Turkey.

ning of October the

Enver and Talaat took place at Constantinople, and thus the way was An armistice was opened for a separate peace. concluded between Turkey and the Entente on October 31, which brought the Dardanelles and the Bosporus under their power, and pledged the
fall

of

Turks

to

break

off

all

relations

with the Central

Powers.

Meanwhile the catastrophe had taken place in Encouraged by the Austria-Hungary as well.

124

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
'

repeated pronouncements of President Wilson as to the right of nations to self-determination, the
separatist ideas of those peoples of the which did not acknowledge German or

Monarchy
Hungarian
articulate.

nationality

became

more

and
it

more

There were disturbances
disruptive influences

in various parts,

and these

month by month increasingly difficult to keep the army efficient for war. Both Austria-Hungary and Germany now
decided to address to President Wilson the offer
of an armistice, to be followed by negotiations for To this offer the President at first made peace.
!

made

no reply

and thereupon the Emperor Charles, in order to save the dynasty, issued on October 1 6 a manifesto in which he proclaimed that Austria,
;

in
to

accordance with the

will

of her peoples,

was
I

be erected into a Federal State, in which every race would be free to establish its own form of

body politic on the territory occupied by it. The union of the Austrian Poles with an independent Polish State was not contemplated. The Imperial
manifesto was only to apply to Austria.
gary,

For Hun-

they were already working for a union and for a complete separation from personal Austria, the manifesto laid stress upon the integrity
the Southern Slavs must no longer hope for a realization they of their national aspirations within the bounds of the Monarchy. But the Emperor's expectation of
that

where

of the Hungarian kingdom. It thus became clear to

11

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
conciliating 'the

125
the

Austrian

Slavs by

means of

manifesto met with no success.

President Wilson,

He too, rejected the Vierma Cabinet's peace offer. declared that the Government of the United States
had already recognized Czecho-Slovakia as a belligerent Power and the Czecho-Slovak National
the

Council as a belligerent Government, as well as justice of the national aspirations of the

Southern Slavs. It was therefore for these peoples themselves to decide which of the resolutions of
the Austrian

Upon

this the request for

Government were acceptable to them. an armistice made by the
at the beginning of

Emperor Charles

October was

I

declared to be no longer in force. During October independent national representative bodies assembled in Prague, Agram, Laibach and Vienna. The Emperor's dominions thus dissolved and slipped

from

his

grasp.

These internal movements led
which up
the
to this

to the disintegration of the armies,

moment had fought
the
several

bravely.

The Governments
their

of

countries
the

constituting

Monarchy,
co-

Hungary leading

way, summoned

nationals to the defence of their particular frontiers

or called them back home.
to save
to

The Emperor

tried

what still could be saved. He was prepared conclude a separate peace with the enemy on terms which would make possible the continuance

of the old Monarchy, even though with diminished territory and as a loose aggregation of separate
territorial

groups under the dynasty of Habsburg-

126

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
On
October 24 Count Julius Andrassy
as

Lorraine.

— the
order

son of the great Austro-Hungarian states-

man—succeeded Burian
to

Foreign

Minister,

in

begin negotiations
to

for a separate

peace,
of

Three days was given

later the office of

Premier in Austria

Heinrich

Lammasch, Professor

International

Law and

a well-known pacifist.

On

the same day renewed proposals for an armistice were made to President Wilson, and the peace pourparlers, which had never been entirely interrupted, were resumed in Switzerland with representatives

of

the

Entente by various spokesmen

of the

Habsburg Monarchy. Once more, however, reached no result. they At the end of October, after the revolution in
Hungary,
troops
the

and

when increasing numbers of
in

the

fighting

Italy

had started homewards,

an

Austro-Hungarian Army the from armistice

Command
Italians,

asked for

who

were

victoriously advancing against the demoralized

and

dissolving

This was Austro-Hungarian forces. on November 3 on conditions of pitiless granted Austria-Hungary had to reduce her severity.

army
sions

at

once

were

peace footing only twenty divito evacuate all enemy excepted
;

to a

occupied by her troops to surrender to the enemy large portions of Austrian territory, and to hand over all war material actually in these
territories still
;

territories, as well as the
this

whole of her

fleet.

By

means

all resistance

was made impossible even

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN POLICY
after the expiry of the armistice.
less,

127

Utterly defence-

the

that of the ancient
victors.

Emperor had to place his own fate and Monarchy in the hands of the The latter also demanded free passage
and water-

for their armies over all roads, railways

ways of

the

Monarchy.
It

Germany's resistance was
protest,

thus to be broken by

new dangers threatening her
was only under
and

from the South.

bowing
his

to necessity, that the

Emperor

Charles gave

consent to these demands, which promised to be fatal to his ally. The negotiations for a separate

peace

were indeed now

still

carried

on by the

diplomatists

who remained

true to the dynasty, but

they hardly met with a hearing from the Entente Powers. The process of dissolution ran its course
in

the

old

Monarchy.
all

On November

i

i

the

Emperor renounced

share in the business of

in Austria and the Lammasch government Government resigned. The Emperor Charles did

On the followhowever, renounce his crown. in the Austrian National Assembly, a ing day,
not,

Republic was proclaimed, which was at first intended to form a component part of the new

German
The

Republic.

On November

i6 the republican
in

form of government was introduced
ancient

Hungary.

Austro-Hungarian
;

its role thereby ceased to exist Great Power was at an end.

Monarchy had as a European

Thus

I

return to

my

starting point, namely, the
policies.

interrelation

between foreign and internal

128
I

AUSTRIAN ^FOREIGN POLICY
you have gathered from my statements Austria-Hungary broke down in consequence

trust that

that

of the disastrous war.

She might, but

for the war,

have existed as a Great Power for many years
longer.

The

World

War

was

therefore

the

immediate occasion for the downfall of the old

Monarchy.
nationalities,

But the deeper causes of

lay in the irreconcilable

its collapse of the different antagonism

which aimed at an independence
the

in-

compatible imperial unity and of the ascendancy which the Germans had enjoyed
with
idea
of
for

hundreds of years.
avail.

Regrets, however, are of

no

History
is

Austria-Hungary
problem,
as
a

pronounced its verdict. no more. But the Austrian

has

problem of a free supernational State uniting in an organic and lasting manner the inhabitants of Central and Eastern Europe, is by no means solved by the downfall of the Habsburg
It still exists, to be sure, no longer as Monarchy. an Austrian, but as a European problem. The

solution of

it

will

be

I

feel

certain

— one

of the

most

but also most important questions of European politics. That a solution may be found not only for the welfare of my own country and of
difficult

the

other
rescue

nations

directly involved,

but

also

for

the

of

expression Austrian State,
express in

of

Europe's threatened which I venture to
is

culture,
call

one

the

new

the hope which

I

am

anxious to

concluding

my

lectures.

-«i

r^ 1^1 fvi

ot-r

m^

i

'I

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