Page 4 - GC-Feb-March-2018
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Liechtenstein: Bigger is not always better

The states of Austria. by Martin Ederer which were united in 1719
and went on to become the
by Daniel Schwarz nated in Sarajevo, capital of Bos- We know that Liechten- Gutenberg Castle Principality of Liechtenstein.
nia which was part of the empire. stein is part of the Ger- The “principality” designa-
How and when did Austria This act started the domino effect man-speaking world main in Schaan. tion was not conferred, how-
become the Federal Re- of alliances initiating WWI! As (see German Citizen’s own name- As Roman power weakened in ever, until 1721, that decree
public of Austria (Repub- WWI ended and treaties were plate), but the main thing all of us the work of Emperor Karl VI
lik Österreich) that exists now? signed, the Austro-Hungarian know about it is that it is really, the west, the Germanic Alemanni (the father of Maria Theresia
The history of Austria includes Empire was dissolved and an in- really small. Nestled in the Alps overran the region. Clovis then of Austria).
being part of the Holy Roman Em- dependent Austria again was between Switzerland and Austria made the entire region part of his
pire. When the Empire was dis- formed as the First Republic of it ranks in Europe as only larger growing Frankish Empire in the It would take until 1818
mantled by Napoleon in 1804, the Austria. than (from smallest to largest) early 500s, which unified much of before any member of the
Empire’s former Emperor Francis Vatican City, Monaco and San north central Europe. Liechtenstein family actually
II, a Hapsburg monarch, formed During the 12 German Nazi Marino. went to visit the new princi-
the Austrian empire. years of 1933-1945 which includ- The original lan- guage pality bearing its name. A
ed the WWII years of 1939-1945, Total population is somewhere of the region was second visit took place in
This empire was subsequently Austria was annexed by intimida- north of 37,000, most officially Rhaeto-Ro- 1842. In the meantime,
transformed in 1867 when Hunga- tion as part of Germany. Roman Catholic. The capital is mansch, a Latin Liechtenstein became recog-
ry was incorporated and became Vaduz, although the largest city is dialect, but after nized as a sovereign state in
the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the WWII defeat of Ger- Schaan. Liechtenstein’s western 1100, German 1806, but remained closely
This empire also had a short life many and its Axis powers, the border with Switzerland is the dialects began to allied and integrated politi-
that ended with the end of WWI in allies occupied Germany and Aus- Rhine River. dominate. After cally and economically with
1918. tria to restore these countries and the breakup of the Austrian Empire created
rewrite their constitutions. Probably the first tribe in the the Frankish during the Napoleonic era, and
The Austro-Hungarian Empire region acknowledged by any writ- Empire after later Austria-Hungary.
made world headlines in 1914 The Second Republic of Aus- ten evidence were the Celtic Hel- Charlemagne, As Austria-Hungary began to
when on June 28 the heir to the tria was established in 1945. It vetii, who were defeated by Julius Liechtenstein disintegrate during the later years
Austro-Hungarian throne Arch- was not until 1955 that the leaders Caesar. Tiberius and Drusus solid- ended up at- of World War I, Liechtenstein cre-
duke Franz Ferdinand and his wife of Austria signed the Austrian ified the victory and the whole tached to the ated an economic union with its
the Duchess Sophie were assassi- State Treaty (Staatsvertrag) that region eventually became part of eastern, more other neighbor, Switzerland. The
the Roman province of Rhaetia. Germanic king- Swiss Franc continues to be the
Evidence of Roman structures re- dom, which eventually developed
into the very-decentralized Holy currency of Liech-
Austria would maintain a policy Roman Empire. tenstein.
of neutrality in perpetuity, and the
remaining Allied military forces At that point, the region was In 1921,
left the country. Austria flourished shunted back and forth among the Liechtenstein ad-
thereafter as an independent coun- Zähringen, Kyburg, Habsburg and opted a constitu-
try, appreciating its long cultural Savoy families. Finally Rudolf von tional monarchy
history and scenic beauty. Habsburg gained control of the re- with elements of
gion in 1264, went on to become direct democracy.
Austria joined the EU in 1995, Holy Roman Emperor in 1273 and During World
which now totals 28 member offered the region as a fief to the War II, Liechten-
countries. Since 2002 it gave up Counts of Hohenems. stein remained
its Shilling/Groschen currencies neutral, but by the
for the euro currency system. Al- Meanwhile, the family from end of the war
though the official language is which the principality ultimately Czechoslovakia
Austrian German, English, got its name, was nowhere in the and Poland con-
French, Italian, and several Aus- region. Rather, the House of Liech- fiscated much of
trian dialects are popular. tenstein – a humble noble family – the Liechtenstein family posses-
was cobbling together a domain sions – they were much-disliked
Present day Austria consists of well to the east in Lower Austria, ethnic Germans – in their respec-
nine states of which one is a city- Steiermark, Bohemia (present tive states. As a result, diplomatic
state being Vienna (Wien), which Czech Republic), Moravia (present grudges between Czechoslovakia
also is the country’s capital. The Czech Republic), and Silesia (pres- and Liechtenstein continued until
other eight states are: Lower Aus- ent Czech Republic and Poland). well after the breakup of Czecho-
tria (Niederösterreich), Upper slovakia. Liechtenstein was also
Austria (Oberösterreich), Styria The family eventually main- the last European state to grant
(Steiermark), Tyrol (Tirol), Carin- tained numerous scattered resi- women’s suffrage, a measure ap-
thia (Kärnten), Salzburg, Vorarl- dences far from the principality proved by the last vote of only
berg, and Burgenland. they would come to rule, including men.
in Vienna. The Emperor Matthias Low corporate taxes have
4 • • February-March 2018 von Habsburg granted Karl I von made Liechtenstein attractive for
Liechtenstein the title of “prince” numerous corporations. Tiny
for his service. Eventually this Liechtenstein might be, but much
made it possible for the family to like Switzerland, it is prosperous.
purchase the Dominion of Schel- Its strengths include business, ed-
lenberg and the County of Vaduz, ucation, winter sports and tour-
Liechtenstein is divided into
two electoral districts, Oberland
and Unterland, which are subdi-
vided into a total of 11 Gemein-
den. Liechtenstein shares many
close relationships with other al-
pine regions such as German-
speaking Switzerland, Bavaria,
Vorarlberg and Tirol. It has no
army, which was disbanded in
1868 for lack of funds.
Tiny, prosperous, and in a dra-
matic location, Liechtenstein is
doing just fine.
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