After World War II, the U.S. and Britain declared the Austrians a “liberated” people, but the Russians prolonged the occupation. Finally Austria concluded a state treaty with the USSR and the other occupying powers and regained its independence on May 15, 1955.
The flag of Austria has three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red. The Austrian flag is said to be among the oldest national flag designs in the world. In fact, the flag was designed in the 13th century by Duke Frederick II of Austria. He sought greater independence from the Holy Roman Emperor. To this end, he had a new coat of arms designed: The double headed eagle, symbolizing the old Austro-Hungarian Empire was replaced with a single headed eagle.
During the 17c and 18c, Britain, France, Austria, Prussia, and Russia were able to establish or maintain a strong monarchy, standing army, efficient tax structures, large bureaucracy, and a more or less domesticated, divided or loyal nobility so that this period is known as the "Age of Absolutism."
This period saw the beginnings of two long-term conflicts--Britain and France over trade and overseas empire and Austria and Prussia over the leadership of Germany.
Austria did progress economically during the nineteenth century but not at a pace sufficient to keep up with the German states within the Zollverein (Custom Union), which Austria was excluded from because of its protectionist trade policy.
Despite being on par with the other German states and with France at the beginning of the nineteenth century Austria was considerably outdistanced by Germany and France during the nineteenth century because these latter area, especially Germany, accelerated their economic development.
World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, and The War to End All Wars, was a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths. Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918.
The context which helps explain the war was increasing economic and military competition between Britain and Germany. Germany's industrial economy was fast overtaking Britain's, but the German economy lacked a major empire to back up its home economy. The economic race between the two powers led to military competition, in particular the building of numerous "Dreadnoughts" -powerful military ships.
The immediate cause of the war was the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary and member of the Black Hand. The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against the Kingdom of Serbia activated a series of alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations. Within a month, much of Europe was in a state of open warfare.
A union between Germany and Austria had been forbidden under the terms of the Versailles Treaty but in 1938 this took place. Between 1933 and 1935, Austria had been protected against any German bullying by Italy. In fact, in 1934, Italy had massed her troops on the Brenner Pass when it seemed that Germany might take over Austria after the Austrian chancellor Dollfus had been murdered by right-wing thugs. The message to Hitler was clear and there was no German occupation of the Austria.
By 1936, Germany and Italy were forming a friendship and by the end of 1936, Mussolini withdraw his support for Austria. In 1937, the Austrian chancellor, Schuschnigg, was actually told by Mussolini that Italy would no longer defend Austria against attack.
Hitler had always seen Austria as being part of Germany. He, himself, had been born in the Austrian town of Brannau, but for all his life Hitler considered himself German. Many Austrians had the same belief so that Hitler felt empowered to bully Schuschnigg into submission. In February 1938, Hitler gave the Austrian chancellor a list of ten demands. The chief demand was that a man called Seyss-Inquart should be made Minister of the Interior. Seyss-Inquart was an Austrian Nazi and such a position would give him control of the Austrian police. Such a demand was clearly unacceptable to Schuschnigg.
Austria gained sovereignty and independence after World War II. The re-established small country of Austria inherited a long tradition and history. The political and cultural roots of the country, today known as Austria go back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the rule of the House of Habsburg, the family Babenberg and the ancient population of the area. The strategic options for a small country, which was situated along the Iron Curtain, seem to be very limited. Additionally, Austria's status as neutral country, following the paradigm of Switzerland, should be considered in keeping with the State Treaty of 1955. Surprisingly enough, Austria established its place in the international environment in three phases. First Austria normalized relations with its neighboring countries. In the 1970's Austria tried to play a co-leading role in the group of neutral and non-allied countries, in the process gaining an international reputation. In addition, Austria developed a unique system of area defense, in response to the superior forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Finally, during the 1980's Austria focused more and more efforts towards Europe. Overall, Austria developed a healthy economy with high social standards from 1955 until the end of the Cold War.
United States-Australia relations refers to international relations between Australia and the United States of America. While Australia has traditionally been aligned with the Commonwealth of Nations, it has strengthened its relationship with the United States since 1942, as Britain's influence in Asia declined. At the governmental level, United-States-Australia relations are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement. Moreover, the United States has had a considerable impact on Australian culture [ citation needed]
Both the United States and Australia share some common ancestry and history (see British Empire), having both been British colonies. Both countries had native peoples who were dispossessed of their land. Both have been part of the Western alliance of nations in various wars. There are numerous other similarities.