Creation of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary: History & Impact Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Reforms in Russia Under Tsar Alexander II: Examples & Impact

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:07 Creation of Austria-Hungary
  • 2:03 The Ausgleich
  • 3:43 Impact
  • 4:12 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we explore the 19th-century compromise between the Austrian monarchy and the ruling Magyar families of Hungary that created the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary.

Creation of Austria-Hungary

High school can be a rough time in a kid's life. Friends are made, cliques are formed, and exclusionary games can be played by the meaner members of a group. In the scramble to unite the German lands in the mid-19th century, Austria got forced out of any resulting German state after a war with Prussia in 1866. Just like a spurned group member in high school, it was forced to form its own.

Austria had been a member state of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries. By the beginning of the early modern period, the Austrian ruling family, the Hapsburgs, traditionally controlled the imperial throne. After the Thirty Years' War ended in 1648, the emperorship lost most of its traditional power over the affairs of other German states, and, in turn, the Austrian Hapsburgs began to focus on exerting control over the territory it directly controlled in South-Central Europe. By the beginning of the 18th century, Austria controlled much of its surrounding territory, including Silesia, Bohemia, and parts of Hungary.

In the 18th century, as the influence of the Holy Roman Empire continued to wane, Austria's power in Central Europe rose in tandem with the power of a northern German state, Prussia. In fact, the two burgeoning German countries fought two wars in the middle of the 18th century, the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, in which Austria lost Silesia to Prussia.

The two states were both defeated and conquered by Napoleon in the early 19th century, and after Napoleon's defeat were the two principal powers of the German Confederation that was formed in 1815. Austria and Prussia vied for control of the loosely-affiliated confederation. In 1866, Prussia refused Austrian troops entry to cross Prussian territory, and Prussia subsequently declared war on Austria. Despite having the support of most of the Confederation, Austria was soundly defeated by the better trained and better equipped Prussian military. As a result, Prussia formed a new German Confederation that specially excluded territories directly ruled by Austria.

The Ausgleich

Exclusion from the now Prussia-controlled German Confederation left Austria in economic and political crisis. As a result, it turned to consolidate power in its territories held outside the reach of the soon-to-be-united Germany. Austria had controlled parts of Hungary since Austria's rise to regional prominence in the 17th century, and those parts had been a continual source of intermittent rebellion against the Austrian monarchy.

Instead of opting for a costly campaign that would have further reduced the already ailing Austrian treasury, the Austrian Emperor, Francis Joseph, chose to negotiate with the Magyar families that had traditionally ruled Hungarian lands. In 1867, the two parties signed the Ausgleich - literally, the 'Compromise' - which acknowledged the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph as King of Hungary and granted him control of all of the territory in the Balkans and Eastern Europe under Hungarian control.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account