Austria 1893-1914
the Economy

Austria-Hungary in World War I, 1914-1918 : the War Economy

Austria had less of an industrial base than Germany, much of it's industry concentrated in Bohemia and Moravia, the Czech lands, where the population was indifferent to the war effort, or worse. The government and army mainly drew it's support from the German and Hungarian population groups.
As elsewhere, the Austro-Hungarian government soon took control of the economy, planning the distribution of scarce raw materials, conscripting a workforce to replace the workers serving in uniform (many women had to work in offices, factories etc.). As the industry focussed on war essentials (artillery, weapons, uniforms etc.), consumer goods (food, clothing, shoes etc.) became scarcer and scarcer. To ensure just distribution, COUPONS were introduced. As other countries, Austria asked it's population to voluntarily contribute to the war effort by signing WAR BONDS, to donate scarce materials (certain metals) etc.
Yet Austria fared worse with the situation than Germany; Austrian writer HUGO VON HOFFMANNSTHAL, who supported the war effort by writing essays intended to boost morale, admired the superior German organization.

DOCUMENTS War Loans : Austria, from Propaganda Postcards of World War I
Photo : Austrian female railway conductors, WW I, from AustroDIR
Alice Hamilton, At the War Capitals (1916), from How Did Women Peace Envoys Promote Peace by Touring European Capitals in 1915 ? at Binghamton, scroll down for Vienna
One example of the collection of shares, loans and bonds shows the third Austrian-Hungarian war-loan during dated October 1, 1915. from Österreichisches Staatsarchiv

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 12th 2004

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