Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, May 8, 2023

The Parallel Collapses of the Romanov and Habsburg Dynasties

The Emperor Franz Josef Fleeing the Russian Steamroller (Punch)

In October 1918, there was an armed uprising in Budapest, and Czechoslovakia declared independence, all of which marked the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On the territory of the former Austria-Hungary arose the Republics of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia (and a number of territories became part of Romania and Italy).

Russia, as a result of the February and October revolutions, separately withdrew from the war on extremely unfavorable terms, and the Brest peace was concluded. In 1917, Russia was no longer able to fight, which allowed Germany to continue the war for another year. During the February revolution of 1917, the Russian monarchy was overthrown. On the territory of the former empire, a number independent states were formed—Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Finland, the Belarusian People’s Republic, and the Ukrainian People’s Republic. The latter two soon joined the USSR.

What was common between the collapses of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires was that they occurred during the First World War and during armed uprisings.

The difference is that the failure of the Russian Provisional Government to resolve pressing issues led to the October revolution and a separate peace, while there was no deepening of the revolution on the territory of Austria-Hungary. Perhaps the reason for the differences was that in the Russian Empire, the revolution took place earlier than in Austria-Hungary by a year.

Source: Bystudin, 11 April 2020

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