The Habsburg Monarchy on the eve of the First World War: a status report
What did the state look like in 1914 as it prepared for a war that it would not survive?
In terms of population and economic strength, the Habsburg Monarchy was a second-class major power that had fallen behind the other superpowers of the time.
The development of Austria-Hungary reflected the diversity and heterogeneity of central Europe. Franz Joseph’s empire was a multinational state in which over ten languages were spoken and all European religions were represented.
The much-cited catchphrase of a multi-speed Europe applied very much to the Habsburg Monarchy. Apart from highly developed regions, there were also areas that were backward in terms of social and economic development.