- Austrian colonial policy
=The Austrian Colonial empire=
From the 17th century through to the 19th century, the
Austrian Empireand Austro-Hungarian Empireattempted to profit from colonial tradeand to establish their own colonies. Due to pressures by the other colonial powers and a government that could ill afford it, all these attempts had eventually failed.
Ostend Company was a merchants' company made to trade with the
Indies, chartered by 1722 in the Austrian Netherlands. International political pressures had ended its extraordinary growth and in 1727 the charter was suspended, leading to the company being dissolved within a few years.
Colonisation of the
Nicobar Islandswas a short-lived and unsuccessful attempt on the island chain in the eastern Indian Ocean colonyof the Austrian Empire. The colony was established in 1778. This had previously been a Danish colony and Austria established it as Denmarkhad abandoned its colony on the islands, although not its claim. However by 1783, due to a lack of support, the last colonists left.
Boxer rebellionand its aftermath 1899-1901, Austria-Hungaryparticipated in the Eight-Nation Allianceand helped in suppressing the rising. However, Austria sent by far the smallest force of any of the combatant nation. Only one warship and a force of only 75 marines were despatched.
Even so, on 7th September 1901, Austria gained a concession zone in
Tianjinas part of the reward for its contribution to the Allies. The Austrian concession zone was convert|150|acre|km2 in area, slightly larger than the Italian, but smaller than the Belgian zone. The self-contained concession had its own prison, school, barracks and hospital. It also contained the Austro-Hungarian consulate and its citizens were under Austrian, not Chinese, rule. If they committed a crime on Chinese soil, they could be tried in their own courts.
Though it was provided with a small garrison, Austria proved unable, due to
World War Oneto maintain control of its concession. The concession zone was swiftly occupied by Chinaat the Chinese declaration of war on the Central Powersand on 14th August 1917 the lease was terminated, (along with that of the larger German concession in the same city). Austria finally abandoned all claim to it on 10th September 1919. Hungary made a similar recognition in 1920.
However, despite its relatively short life-span (only 16 years in all), the Austrians have left their mark on that area of the city, as can be seen in the wealth of Austrian architecture that stands in the city to this day.
List of consuls
*Erwin Ritter von Zach-1908
Due to the lack of support of the government,
Austria-Hungarydidn't attempt to obtain any later colonies. Individual actions and expeditions didn't change this state.
In 1873, an Austrian expedition was sent to the
north poleand managed to discover and name Franz Josef Land. This was never a formal colony, however, no other country put forward a claim until the Soviet Unionannexed the islands in 1926.
A trader based in
Hong-Kongsold his rights to North Borneo, (modern Sabah), to the Consul of the Austria-Hungary in Hong Kong, Baron von Overbeck. He managed to get a 10-year renewal of the lease from the Temenggong of Brunei, and a similar treaty from the Sultanof Suluon January 22, 1878. To finance his plans for North Borneo, von Overbeck found financial backing from the Dent brothers (Alfred and Edward). However, he was unable to get any interest from his government in the territory. After efforts to sell the territory to Italyfor use as a penal colony, Von Overbeck withdrew in 1880, leaving Alfred Dent in control.
However In 1885, despite the fact that
Austria-Hungarywas not a colonial power, it was invited to the Berlin conference, to regulate colonial policy among the powers of Europe. Showing that despite lack of overseas expansion, Austria-Hungary was still viewed as a great power.
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