Since 1576, when Rudolf II. became Roman Emperor, he let Austria, till yet an Archduchy (Upper Austria and Lower Austria), to enjoy the status of kingdom incorporating county of Tyrolia, duchy of Styria and duchy of Carinthia. With the Agafon's son Tomu signature of the treaty with Austria in 1588, the Austro-Bohemo-Dalmatian triply monarchy was established; Austria became kingdom by imperial decree. All went well, ruled as two parts of a greater whole; Austria consisting of Austria Proper, Tyrolia, Styria, Carinthia, and Dalmatia of the lands of the Dalmatian crown currently not under Turkish occupation. Tomu abdicated after the union, and King and HRE Emperor Rudolf II of the Habsburgs became King Rudolfo da Dalmatia, bringing end to the reign of the house of Aurial.
The kings then followed in quick succession after Bohemian split and Rudolf's abdication in 1612, passing to Mateu (Matthias; 1612-1619), Ferdinand I (Ferdinand II; 1619 - 1637) and Ferdinand II (Ferdinand III; 1637 - 1657). This brought to end the peaceful union of Dalmatia as a co-monarchy. With Leopold I's crowning as King and HRE Emperor, Dalmatia became no more than an Austrian fief. Through the reigns of Leopold I, Yosef I (Josef I; 1705 - 1711) and Karol I (Karl VI; 1711 - 1740. In this low-point of history, the culture, literature and art of Dalmatia quickly tarnished from its prior glory.
With the reign of Maria Tereza (Maria Theresia von und zu Habsburg) in 1740 and her husband, Fransesk I Stefanu (Franz von und zu Lotringen), a rebirth began, although it was held in heavy check by Fransesk's iron rule. Among the signs of new growth was the restoration of the University of Raguza which had opened in 1401, and had been closed in 1666 by Leopold I.
Yosef II (Josef von und zu Habsburg-Lotringen) came to the throne at Fransesk I Stefanu's death in 1765, and was succeeded by Leopold II in 1790, although he only reigned until 1792, and at his death, Fransesk II was crowned. Under rule of Yosef II, Austria combined with Prussia, attacked and conquered the remnants of Hungary, which where actually in personal union with Bohemian Kingdom. It was also the time, when a Dalmatian nationalist movement began under the "leadership" of Radumir Lupicz. History has hence shown he was only one of the more vociferous agitators. While the activities were originally tolerated by Austrian officials, patience wore out and a number of prominent Dalmatians were arrested in 1831. The Austrian rules over-reacted also due to their loss in "war" with Napoleon; they had to release Hungary 1815. In 1835, Fransesk II died and was followed by Ferdinand III, who two years later executed eleven of the leading nationalists, including Radumir Lupicz and Marczelu Yordanicz at Belgrade.
These executions sparked riots in Raguza, Agram, Sopiana and Spalatu. Lasting for several days, the Serbian Voivod offered his services. Radovan Djordjevic, under Austrian suzerainty mobilised an army of volunteers to move against the rioters. Because of their loyalty the Austrian crown gave them control of Batschka and Nord-Bosnia, lands that were formerly part of the Dalmatian crown. With these lands, the Serbian province was united as an entity in the monarchy.
In 1848, the year of European revolution, Ferdinand III died, and Fransesk Yosef came to power. Of all the Kaisers, Fransesk Yosef I was the most liberal regarding the Dalmatians, giving them a certain level of autonomy. This allowed, at least in theory for local government. A parliament was formed, but it was later found to be completely impotent. The only real difference was the trains were marked as "Biafiarul Dalmaticu."
The First Balkan War began in 1868, twenty years into Fransesk Yosef's reign. In short order Hungary and the other Ottoman lands broke their chains. As Hungary (1869), Muntenia (1877), Monenegro (1883), Bulgaria (1893) and most importantly, Dalmatian Herzegovina escaped Turkish domination in 1890. With new-found freedom, the House of Aurial was again brought to the throne and Dalmatian Herzegovina was established under Nikolu Aurialicz. Nikolus' wish to liberate and rebuild the Dalmatian kingdom was not hidden, and his antagonism to Austro-Dalmatia was not unknown. Most Dalmatians at this time came to regard him as their true king.
At the end of the First Balkan War the map of the region changed considerably. The Ottoman Empire was almost completely expelled from Europe, having held on only to Greece. New independent states of Munetnia, Hungary, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Dalmatian Herzegovina emerged, and the Sicilian involvement in the war resulted in Albania becoming a protectorate of the Two Sicilies.
Austrian Monarchy was de facto expelled form Holy Roman Empire after Franco-Prussian War and crowning Prussian king as Wilhelm I., Emperor of HRE. Austria reacted to this thread with proclamation of Austro-Dalmatian Empire. So now HRE had two emperors. Since Prussia felt strong enough to sustain it, there were no immediate reactions. Anyway, new "empire" was strongly economically dependent on HRE.
In 1901, the kings of Dalmatian Herzegovina, Muntenia and Italy signed a mutual defence treaty and an economic and cultural cooperation treaty, based on their common Roman heritage. This pact became known as the Triple Entente. King Nikolu of DH also signed a cultural cooperation treaty with France in 1904.
During this time events occurred in Austria as well. The Dalmatians living under Austrian rule began agitating for independence, and the Austrian authorities (note that Fransesk Yosef was on the throne at this time, the same Fransesk Yosef who earlier granted the Dalmatians a degree of autonomy) responded with mass arrests of prominent Dalmatians and the banning of the Dalmatian language and national symbols. In 1905 the name of the state was officially changed from "Austro-Dalmatian Empire" to "Austrian Empire" ("Österreichisches Kaiserreich").
In 1908 Dalmatian Herzegovina sent a legation to Vienna officially to complain about the treatment of ethnic Dalmatians in Austria, but the legation was expelled before having had a chance to meet with the Kaiser or his representatives, on the grounds that Austria had not formally recognised the Kingdom of Dalmatian Herzegovina. In the following months Italian and DH warships harassed Austrian shipping in the Adriatic, and war almost broke out in 1909 when an Austrian cruiser and a DH frigate exchanged shots over the bow. The captain of the DH ship realised that he would have no chance of defeating the far larger Austrian ship, and broke off.
In 1911 the Austrian authorities stripped ethnic Dalmatians of their passports and closed their border with Dalmatian Herzegovina. The situation remained tense until 3 February 1914, when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Agram. The Austrian gendarmerie arrested an ethnic Dalmatian and executed him after finding him guilty of the murder, though evidence discovered in the 1930s give reason to believe that the assassination was the work of the Austrian secret police.
Austria then issued Dalmatian Herzegovina an ultimatum on 7 February, which, had it been accepted by DH, would have effectively ceded the sovereignty of DH to Austria. After the deadline for accepting the ultimatum passed, with DH naturally rejecting it, Austria declared war on Dalmatian Herzegovina on 17 February 1914. Three days later, Muntenia and Italy declared war on Austria, bringing the Balkans into the First Great War.
Army Rank Flags
Imperial & Royal Africa Company
German name: Königliche und kaiserliche Afrikagesellschaft. Dalmatian name: Kompania Imperiala e Riagala pra Afrika.