Austria-Hungary, or the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (Ger. österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie or österreichisch-ungarisches Reich), the official name of a country situated in central Europe, bounded E. by Russia and Rumania, S. by Rumania, Servia, Turkey and Montenegro, W. by the Adriatic Sea, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the German Empire, and N. by the German Empire and Russia. It occupies about the sixteenth part of the total area of Europe, with an area (1905) of 239,977 sq. m. The monarchy consists of two independent states: the kingdoms and lands represented in the council of the empire (Reichsrat), unofficially called Austria (q.v.) or Cisleithania; and the "lands of St Stephen's Crown," unofficially called Hungary (q.v.) or Transleithania. It received its actual name by the diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I. of the 14th of November 1868, replacing the name of the Austrian Empire under which the dominions under his sceptre were formerly known. The Austro-Hungarian monarchy is very often called unofficially the Dual Monarchy. It had in 1901 a population of 45,405,267 inhabitants, comprising therefore within its borders, about one-eighth of the total population of Europe. By the Berlin Treaty of 1878 the principalities of Bosnia and Herzegovina with an area of 19,702 sq. m., and a population (1895) of 1,591,036 inhabitants, owning Turkey as suzerain, were placed under the administration of Austria-Hungary, and their annexation in 1908 was recognized by the Powers in 1909, so that they became part of the dominions of the monarchy.
The present constitution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (see Austria) is based on the Pragmatic Sanction of the emperor Charles VI., first promulgated on the 19th of April 1713, whereby the succession to the throne is settled in the dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine, descending by right of primogeniture and lineal succession to male heirs, and, in case of their extinction, to the female line, and whereby the indissolubility and indivisibility of the monarchy are determined; is based, further, on the diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I. of the 20th of October 1860, whereby the constitutional form of government is introduced; and, lastly, on the so-called Ausgleich or "Compromise," concluded on the 8th of February 1867, whereby the relations between Austria and Hungary were regulated.
The two separate states - Austria and Hungary - are completely independent of each other, and each has its own parliament and its own government. The unity of the monarchy is expressed in the common head of the state, who bears the title Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary, and in the common administration of a series of affairs, which affect both halves of the Dual Monarchy. These are: (1) foreign affairs, including diplomatic and consular representation abroad; (2) the army, including the navy, but excluding the annual voting of recruits, and the special army of each state; (3) finance in so far as it concerns joint expenditure.
For the administration of these common affairs there are three joint ministries: the ministry of foreign affairs and of the imperial and royal house, the ministry of war, and the ministry of finance. It must be noted that the authority of the joint ministers is restricted to common affairs, and that they are not allowed to direct or exercise any influence on affairs of government affecting separately one of the halves of the monarchy. The minister of foreign affairs conducts the international relations of the Dual Monarchy, and can conclude international treaties. But commercial treaties, and such state treaties as impose burdens on the state, or parts of the state, or involve a change of territory, require the parliamentary assent of both states. The minister of war is the head for the administration of all military affairs, except those of the Austrian Landwehr and of the Hungarian Honveds, which are committed to the ministries for national defence of the two respective states. But the supreme command of the army is vested in the monarch, who has the power to take all measures regarding the whole army. It follows, therefore, that the total armed power of the Dual Monarchy forms a whole under the supreme command of the sovereign.
The minister of finance has charge of the finances of common affairs, prepares the joint budget, and administers the joint state debt. (Till 1909 the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were also administered by the joint minister of finance, excepting matters exclusively dependent on the minister of war.) For the control of the common finances, there is appointed a joint supreme court of accounts, which audits the accounts of the joint ministries.