Austria Economy, History and Politics


Austria’s economy

Austria is one of the economically strong countries. The market economy is well developed and the standard of living is high. Services take up the most space. They generate 70 percent for the country. Trade, but also finance, is one of them.

28 percent of economic output comes from industry. In mining, mainly salts, sand and gravel are still extracted. Overall, however, it has lost its importance, and coal mining ended in 2006.

Cereals, potatoes and grapes

Agriculture only produces 1.3 percent, but it is highly developed. 38 percent of Austria’s area is used for agriculture. These areas are mainly in the flat east of the country. Grains, potatoes and grapes are the main crops. Grapes are processed into wine, which is one of the most important export products.

Many farmers in Austria operate organic farms. So you try to protect the environment and avoid, for example, harmful pesticides.

Cattle are traditionally kept in the Alps. Cattle, sheep and goats are driven to the alpine pastures in summer, where they can eat fresh green grass. But alpine farming also includes making hay. This is how the food is made for the winter. But cows and pigs are also kept in the lowlands.


Tourism plays a major role in services. In the Alps people go hiking in summer and ski in winter. In addition, there are cities such as Vienna, Salzburg or Graz, which also attract many visitors from abroad.

As a country located in Europe detailed by aristmarketing, Austria ranks first worldwide in terms of per capita income from tourism. Most of the guests from abroad come from Germany. A total of around 18 million people come to Austria every year.

Austria Tourism

History and Politics

First people in Austria

The oldest human traces in today’s Austria have been found in the Repolust cave in Styria. These traces come from the Paleolithic. There are 300,000 year old traces of fire.

The two oldest works of art are significantly younger. They come from the Neolithic Age. They are the Venus from Galgenberg and the Venus from Willendorf. The two figurines represent women.

Ötzi is even younger. That was the name given to a glacier mummy that was found in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy. Ötzi lived around 3300 BC. Its discovery brought many new discoveries to science. A period of the Iron Age, the Hallstatt culture, is named after the place Hallstatt.

Roman provinces

The Roman Empire continued to expand. In the year 15 BC The Romans finally conquered what is now Austria. They established three provinces here: Raetia in the west, Noricum in the middle and Pannonia in the east. Of course, these provinces were not within today’s boundaries. So Pannonia extended over today’s countries Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. In the province of Raetia the Romans immediately founded a city which they called Brigantium. It is today’s Bregenz. A city was also founded in the east: Vindobona. It later became Vienna.

Time of the Great Migration

The decline of the Roman Empire began slowly. When the Huns invaded Central Europe from the east in AD 375, the Germanic tribes fled west and south. This is also called the migration of peoples.

The Goths first invaded the Noricum province, along with other peoples. From the 6th century, Bavarians settled here. A duchy emerged that was ruled by the Agilofinger family. Alemanni settled in the west, in today’s Vorarlberg.

Franconian Empire and Holy Roman Empire

The duchy of the Bavarians came under the rule of the Franks in the 8th century. When the Franconian Empire was divided in 843, Baiern belonged to Eastern Franconia. In the east of the Duchy of Baiern (in today’s Lower Austria) the Ostland was founded. As a border area, it should protect the Franconian Empire. This Marcha Orientalis (Eastern Mark) later became the nucleus of Austria.

But first the Hungarians invaded in 907. In 955 the East Franconians were able to defeat the Hungarians, recaptured the East and pushed their way east, where new settlements were founded.

In 976 the Duchy of Carinthia was established. Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, wanted to limit the power of the Bavarian duke after he had intrigued against him. So he split off Carinthia.

In the same year, 976, Otto II transferred the Ostmark to a Bavarian count: Leopold. The Margraviate of Austria now existed. Leopold became the progenitor of the Babensberg family, who ruled Austria for a long time. The name Ostarrichi is first recorded in 996. In 1156 the margraviate was raised to an independent duchy within the Holy Roman Empire, independent of Bavaria.

The Přemyslids ruled Austria from 1251, and the Habsburgs from 1282. They extended their domain by annexing Carinthia, Tyrol and other areas to their duchy. They also increased their power by almost all of the Roman-German emperors from 1438 onwards.

In the 17th century Austria was constantly under attack from the Ottoman Empire. In 1683 the Turks besieged Vienna for two months, but were successfully repulsed. One speaks of the Second Siege of Vienna by the Turks because there was one (equally unsuccessful) one as early as 1529.

In the following decades Austria rose to become a major European power. The Holy Roman Empire and its allies successfully advanced eastwards in the Great Turkish War and drove the Turks out of Hungary.

In 1713 Charles VI. a law that made the Habsburg territory inseparable and indivisible, the so-called Pragmatic Sanction. It now made possible the female line of succession should the male line of rulers die out.

In fact, this new law was soon applied when Karl’s daughter Maria Theresa claimed the throne after his death in 1740. So she became Archduchess of Austria. In 1745 she achieved that her husband Franz I Stephan became Roman-German Emperor. With him she founded the new ruling house of Habsburg-Lothringen.



About the author