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Brief History and Culture of Austria - Essay Example

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This paper "Brief History and Culture of Austria" focuses on the fact that when one thinks of Austria, one thinks of the Alps. The eastern alpine range is one of the prominent geographic features of Austria, starting at Lake Constance and Lake Como and spreading across the Hinterrein Valley. …
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Brief History and Culture of Austria
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Download file to see previous pages As for topography, it is varied, as it features plains and upland territories in addition to their famous Alps. The flat or rolling terrain, which is generally considered more hospitable for a living than in the Alps, consists of territory along the Danube, on the eastern fringes of the Alps and in the Vienna basin. Additionally, there are vast reaches of the forest, called the Bohemian Forest (Baedeker, 1995, p. 12). The population is concentrated in the low-lying areas of the country, particularly Vienna (Baedeker, 1995, p. 13).
Austria has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, judging by the 25,000-year-old example of human art that was found in the Danube Valley, while a body of a man that dated to the Stone Age was also found discovered in a glacier (Bedford & Pitcher, 2005, p. 21). The Celt's arrival in 500 BC is when civilization took hold.
Austria has had various kings and rulers, including Charlemagne in 800 AD, Otto the Great in 955, and Leopold Babenberg, who established the Babenberg Dynasty for 270 years. This was a time of great prosperity for all of Austria. Their dynasty ended when Duke Friedrich II died without an heir, which paved the way for Rudolf Habsburg and his sons to take over. This is the dynasty that would be in power until the 20th Century (Bedford & Pitcher, 2005, p. 22). During this period of time, Austria would be involved in the Spanish War of Succession, from 1701-1714, and also saw attempted coups of Maria Theresia, who was a Habsburg heiress in 1740. This resulted in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War in the mid-1700s. Theresia ended up holding her position, however, and she issued Austria into a modern state - centralizing control, reforming the army and economy, introducing public schools and improving civil rights (Bedford & Pitcher, 2005, p. 25). Her son, Josef, was a visionary, issuing an edict that all faiths would be tolerated, abolishing serfdom and secularizing religious property.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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