|Free State of Austria
Der Freistaat Österreich
|— State of the Danubian Federation —|
|Motto: Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan.|
|- Type||Federal Presidential Republic|
|- Chancellor||Lothair Ostwald|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|- Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The Free State of Austria [Ger: Der Freistaat Österreich] is one of the nine constituent states of the Danubian Federation [Ger: Die Donauföderation], the location of the Federal capital of Vienna, and the sole majority-German state in the Federation. Conquered by Charlemagne in 788, the territory was given to the House of Babenberg and governed as the Eastern March [Old High German: Ostarrîchi] until the end of that line in 1246.
Following the defeat of Ottokar II of Bohemia by Rudolph of Habsburg in 1278, the Duchy of Austria passed to the House of Habsburg and would remain that House's principal possession as it rose to prominence in the Holy Roman Empire; from 1438 until the Empire's dissolution, only Habsburgs were elected as Holy Roman Emperor. At its height in 1700, the Habsburg Monarchy included territory in the Holy Roman Empire, Hungary, Iberia, the Low Countries, and Italy. With the impending death of the Holy Roman Empire, Emperor Francis II declared the formation of the Austrian Empire in 1804 as part of his opposition to the growing threat of Napoleonic France. The Archduchy of Austria, as the imperial capital and hereditary seat of Habsburg power, would remain the keystone of the Empire until the liberal revolution of 1848.
After a series of disastrous decisions by Emperor Ferdinand I during the revolution of 1848, Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich defected from the royalist cause and proclaimed the Austrian Republic. By September of that same year, the Austrian and Hungarian revolutionaries had unified to form the now-famous "Federation of Equals" in opposition to the royalists. Following the end of the revolution, the Free State of Austria was incorporated into the Danubian Federation, with its capital of Vienna designated as the new seat of Federal government and its leading role in the revolution enshrined in the Danubian Constitution.
Form of Government
The Free State of Austria is a federal presidential republic within the Federal structure of the Danubian Federation. Initially formed as the independent Austrian Republic with Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich serving as its Chancellor and sole executive, the Free State emphasizes the role of the executive as the central figure in the government and concentrates the positions of head of state and head of government in the office of the State Chancellor [Ger: Staatkanzler]. Though considered a powerful figure by the standards of other parliamentary states, the Austrian Chancellor is limited in the scope of his actions by the State Council, a unicameral body elected through universal male suffrage and responsible for the passage of all state legislation, and the Austrian judiciary, which has the power to overturn laws and executive actions deemed contrary to the Austrian constitution. The majority of the State Chancellor's duties are in proposing and implementing state legislation, managing the Austrian militia, and representing the Austrian Free State on the Federal level. Each Chancellor serves a term of office lasting four years, congruent with Federal presidential terms, and may be re-elected an unlimited number of times. Any Austrian-born male at or over the age of 30 may stand for the office of State Chancellor provided that he does not hold a position in the Federal executive branch and is not in command of a military unit on the State or Federal level.
Positions in the Austrian Office
- The Austrian Chancellor is elected by popular vote by all male Austrians, who are 30 years old and over
- Any Austrian-born male, who is 30 years old and over, can become Chancellor
- Each term lasts for 4 years, and the elections run concurrently with the Federal Presidential elections
- The Chancellor can be re-elected for an unlimited amount of terms
- The duties of the Chancellor include, but are not limited to, proposing and implementing legislation, mobilizing the Austrian State Militia and vetoing legislation
- The Chancellor can be impeached or removed due to incompetence via a two-thirds vote in the State Council
- The Chancellor cannot hold the position of President of the Danubian Federation, and must immediately resign from either the Austrian Chancellorship or the Federal Presidency if he receives said position
- The Chancellor cannot command any military units at either the State or Federal level
- Is a unicameral body, with its representatives elected through popular vote by all male Austrians, who are 30 years old and over
- The number of seats for each State District is determined by the population of said State District
- The duties of the State Council include, but are not limited to, proposing and implementing legislation and holding the ability to remove the Chancellor via a vote of no-confidence, if a 2/3rds majority is reached
- Members of the State Council are elected every 6 years, and can be re-elected for an unlimited amount of terms
- Is strictly apolitical in nature and purpose, and political association is prohibited to those who work within the Austrian Judiciary
- The Austrian Judiciary can resolve State Constitutional disputes
- Members of the Austrian Judiciary are appointed by the Chancellor of Austria, and have to be confirmed by a 2/3rds majority in the State Council. Once confirmed, members of the Austrian Judiciary have to renounce their political affiliations and associations
- The Austrian Judiciary holds the power to veto, overturn or repeal laws that it deems contrary to the Austrian constitution
The Free State of Austria is divided into nine State Districts:
- Lower Austria
- Upper Austria
Of these regions, the most notable is Vienna [Ger: Wien], the capital of both the Free State of Austria and of the Danubian Federation. Ostensibly a sovereign district of Austria, Vienna is in actuality jointly administered by both the State and Federal government, given its unique status as a dual capital. While Federal authority is paramount within Vienna and particularly inside the Hofburg Palace, the State government is largely responsible for the city's upkeep and security, a fact not designed to please many Austrian officials. Though Austria is almost completely populated by ethnic Germans, Vienna itself is a cosmopolitan city, with citizens from all parts of the Federation in residence.
The majority of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna, and Burgenland reside within the Danube valley itself and have relatively flat, arable land. These districts are also more industrialized and interconnected by railways, while the other five Alpine districts are rugged and difficult to traverse on foot, much less to lay track through. Despite growing industrialization, the majority of Austria's economy is agricultural, with Vienna serving as a major hub for regional finance. Each of these districts retains a degree of regional autonomy, though they are ultimately subject to State and Federal authority.
Notable Individuals from der Freistaat Österreich
- Doctor Lothair Ostwald, Chancellor of Austria and Minister of Internal Affairs
- Wolfram Liberalen, President of the Federation and longtime citizen of Vienna
- Joachim von Kirchberg, Governor-General of Melilla and former Councillor for Austria
- Graf Ferdinand von Kirchberg, Former Chancellor of Austria
- Erich Vogel, Former Chancellor of Austria and Leader of the Radical Union
- Victor Kraus, Former President of the Federation and Councillor for Austria