Austria has had several forms of government throughout its history. It was a margraviate from 976 to 1156, a duchy from 1156 to 1457, and an archduchy from 1457 to 1804. Throughout this period, Austria was a constituent state of the Holy Roman Empire. During the archduchy period, most of the Holy Roman Emperors also held the title of Archduke of Austria. In 1804, the Emperor Francis II proclaimed Austria an empire itself, and two years later, dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. The ruler of Austria was the Emperor of Austria until 1918. In 1867, the Empire of Austria was united with the Kingdom of Hungary, and this union was commonly known as Austria-Hungary. That union dissolved in 1918 at the close of World War I, and Austria became a republic.
The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. The head of state was the president, which was largely a figurehead office. Most power rested with the chancellor. After nearly two decades of instability, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938 and remained part of Germany until the end of World War II in 1945. The Allied occupiers established a new republican government in that year, but maintaining a strong hold over the government until 1955, when Austria officially regained its independence. Unlike Germany, Austria was not subject to division between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, and remained a single state.
|3||Franz Josef I||1848-1916|
Incumbent at series' end, 1945
Former President and Chancellor Arthur Seyss-Inquart is alive for the PODs of both The Man With the Iron Heart and "The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging." While the former novel grants him a stay of execution for at least two years, the POD of the latter probably did not affect his fate.
Historical rulers in non-ruling roles
- German Emperor, the monarch of Germany between 1871 and 1918. In OTL, both the German Empire and the Empire of Austria-Hungary were abolished in the closing days of World War I. In some Harry Turtledove timelines, both empires endure well past 1918.
- Führer of the Greater German Reich, the head of state and government of Germany from 1934 until 1945. From 1938, Austria was a region within the Reich, an arrangement which persists indefinitely in some Turtledove timelines.