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By Samuel R. Williamson

A textual content at the coming of global warfare I with regards to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. a part of a chain of especially commissioned titles targeting major and infrequently arguable occasions and topics of worldwide background within the current century.

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The army remained Franz Joseph's first love. With every male liable to military service, the military forces became the great equalizing agent, the assimilating institution for education, state loyalty and military values. Led by men who rose to the top through ability, and unlike their Prussian counterparts for whom noble pedigree remained essential, the Habsburg military took eleven nationalities and tried to form cohesive military units. A few German words serving as the unifying language and the kaiser's portrait the unifying ideology, the military forces reached into the lives of every citizen.

An opponent of universal suffrage, Stiirgkh remained in office until his murder in December 1916. Faced with continuous strife between the German and Czech factions, he resorted to Paragraph 14 of the Basic Law of Representation. This Austrian constitutional device permitted virtual emergency rule by the prime minister until the Reichsrat (Deputies and Lords) could retroactively ratify his decisions. Rule by Paragraph 14 became the easy way out for Stiirgkh. Finally, in March 1914 he adjourned the parliamentary bodies altogether.

Frequently this involved the intervention of the monarch, though he too was not always successful. In 1912 and 1913 the financial pressures of the Balkan Wars prompted intense negotiations, leading to larger defence expenditures and an increase in the size of the annual recruit contingent. In each instance the two governments negotiated the details before the Delegations met, then presented them with the proposed results. After suitable and heuristic verbal exercises, the respective delegate assemblies voted for their respective share of the 'common expenditures' and the Delegations adjourned until the next year.

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