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The Autumn Revolutions were also the cause of the end of the Great War, as they led to unilateral ceasefire in October 15, 1920, which was accepted by Anglo-German troops the very day, and by their governments two days afterwards. It was the governments instaurated after the Autumn Revolutions which organised and negotiated the Saint Petersburg Peace Treaties which finalised the Great War for good, and forever changed the political appearance of Europe and the world. To this day, the Revolutions are universally lauded across the world because of their commitment to the establishment of universal civil and political rights. The Autumn Revolutions have been immortalised in incountable amounts of media, including the extremely popular books and films Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Les Victorieux by Jean Hugo (1968).
The Autumn Revolutions in France were the best-known of all major revolutions in Europe. They and the Russian revolution are the most often portrayed in the media, and are to this day one of the most discussed events in human history.
The Revolution had been long brewing, as several groups of students had formed even before the Great War to protest the Boulangist, and, eventually, Drumontian, governments, first amongst them the Society of the Rights of Man. These societies were long protesting the French government on the underlow, but were unable of any sort of revolution because of the oppression of French republicans, Orléanistes and socialists during both the Boulangist and Drumontian governments.
However, this changed as war exhaustion piled up. The police grew wearier of arresting for "traison", the title given to republicans and orléanistes, and more people stopped sympathising with the Drumontian government after several years of war and the beginning of a widespread pandemic of influenza. Open talk of opposing the government was, for the first time, heard in the streats of Paris in August of 1920, as noted by a gendarme in a letter to the Police Department. However, not great action was done, and the beginning of the revolution had been set in motion.
In October 9 of 1920, the Revolution finally began. The two main secret societies of the French leftist movements, the société des droits de l'homme and the societé des amis de l'abaisé met in the site of the closed newspaper Le Moniteur Universel's printitng office, and began the continued publication of a newspaper, L'Internationalle, calling for immediate revolutoin. The police, however, found the hideout and arrested several members of the revolution, including its leader, Marcel Cachin (who resisted arrest and was executed on the spot), leading the very young Laurent Enjolras (pictured) as leader of the revolutionary force.
However, this was not where the Revolution was to end. As the two secret societies were able to flee the offices of Le Moniteur and able to divulge L'Internationalle, together with news of the arrest and execution of Cachin. This drove many French, seeing in the revolutionaries a possible change to the status quo and end of the Great War. Great masses of people, whipped up into a frenzy by the secret societies, came marching across Paris, angrily shouting "Á bas les Bourbons! Á bas les aristocrates! Á bas Drumont!"
As the people massed to protests, the city of Paris grew increasingly quiet as people flocked to the centre of the city, as the central arrondisments were filled with protestors and barricades. While the two central protests had established barricades of their own and were fighting against, most of the rioting was instead created by other revolutionaries, mostly unaware of revolutionary action only two days before. The first and second day were full of rioting and destruction by both sides of the Revolution in Paris.
With the British fast approaching, and his home position now unsustainable, the Franco-Spanish king set off to Barcelona (unaware of the protests ocurring there) and Drumont fled to Tours. Many droite-boulangiste and royalist counter-protesters also fled the city now that the King was not there, and that the Orléanist-Republican mobs were getting increasingly armed and organised. A barricade covering most of the place de la Bastille, controlled by les amis de l'abaisé, even had two cannons.In France the revolution was at last victorious because of two major events. Firstly, in the northeast, the soldiers mutinied against several Drumontian generals, declaring unilateral ceasefire in the Somme Theatre. This made the armed forces of the French State "Comrade Soldiers", as the rebels now called them, and ended the military strength of the French government. That very same day (October 15), at 9:25 AM local time, General Drumont was found and caught in Orléans by Jewish and Orléaniste opponents, who returned him in the most shameful of conditions to Paris and then the Treaty of Versailles, where he was forced to sign his agreement of his abdication of the French crown, and the handing over of all power to the French Provisional Government, better known as the French Quadrumvirate, composed of Laurent Enjolras (for the protestors), Jean Jeaurés (for the Socialist parties and the bourgeoisie), General Jean Baptiste Marchand (for the military) and Philippe, duc d'Orléans (for the Orléanistes, moderate Republicans and the clergy).
The Quadrumvirate sent representatives to Saint Petersburg to begin negotiation of the Treaty of Peterhof, something which would eventually result in mostly favourable conditions to the French government. It also decided to remove most boulangist rules and dogmas. Rattachisme was repudiated, established a decree calling for elections to a Constitutent Assembly with universal suffrage, and began the long process of democratisation of the French state and its re-integration into the European continent.
Collapse was bloodier in Austria-Hungary, although it was far more localised, as many areas of the nation were under occupation by the victorious powers. The Austro-Hungarians, beaten back at every turn by the German and Russian powers, stronger than they were in almost every way, had remained remarkably stable throughout the war, with little, if any, revolts by part of neither the ethnic minorities or the urban socialists. However, as more land was lost each day, the Austrians became less and less happy. As it became clear that the French and their allies were to lose the war, many nationalist movements that had previously supported just autonomy in the Imperial framework began pressing for full independence. Not only was this support of independence now popular amongst the Slavs; it had begun to appeal to some Hungarian nationalists as well, and even some Austrian internationalists supported the decision of breaking up the Austro-Hungarian empire, which they saw as an oppressive bourgeois-capitalist empire. Soon enough, these problems became too great for the fragile state to weather, and it would be the reason for its collapse.The true collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire began with the death of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria. His heir, Prince Rudolph. had been very unpopular amongst the Austrian elites, as it seemed he was quite an Anglophile, having been shortly engaged to a Belgian princess. "If we are fortunate", the elite said, "the Empire will die before Franz Joseph". However, this was not the case, and Franz Joseph of Austria died in October 7 of 1919, aged 89, having a heart attack shortly after being told that the Germans had seized Linz. Franz Joseph had the second largest rule out of any known leader of Europe, with 71 years; only King Louis XIV surpassed him.
The succession of Rudolph to the throne was quite controversial, but originally not much changed, as the war seemed to have continued wihtout any major attempts by Rudolph of stopping it. However, the Austrian aristocrats were still not pleased. The government seemed to be lanning liberalisation and the weakening of the nobility, and this was completely unacceptable to the Austrian aristocracy, which thought had made the most sacrifices and deserved more power. While no true proof of wide-scale liberalisation has been found, this was eventually to whip the aristocracy into a paranoid frenzy. An assassination attempt occurred on January 2 of 1920, just a few months after the succession, and while that one failed, in August 4 of 1920 Emperor Rudolph was shot dead while visiting soldiers in Vienna.The aristocrats, however, were not happy with Franz Ferdinand, the new emperor, as he also had open plans to liberalise the Empire. Because of his high popularity, they were unable to arrange another murder, but they refused to hail him as new king. They claimed that his morganatic marriage to Sophia did not permit his succession to the throne, as he was unable to have any heirs. Instead, they claimed Franz Joseph's great nephew Karl was the true heir to the throne. Taking power in Budapest, Karl declared himself Emperor of Austria-Hungary, and openly challenged Ferdinand's claim.
The Second War of the Austrian Succession, as it is often known, eventually resulted in the end of the war in the East. Emperor Ferdinand agreed to surrender to the Germans in return of help in defeating Karl, to the East. The surrender terms included referenda in Cislethania regarding joining the promised independent state of Poland, independence, or joining Germany or Russia.
However, the German military was not necessary in defeating Karl, as its own population was the deciding factor behind the collapse. As the "Traitor King" was slowly pushed back in Burgenland, the people of the areas controlled by the nobility resented the fact that those in Cislethania and the Occupied Territories were able to decide their fate. Massive protests began throughout Translethania. Originally peaceful, as Karl's troops opened fire on the crowds they became increasingly violent. Up to 20,000 people died just in Vojvodina, as Serbian patriots fought with Hungarian nationalists and Karl's army. Revolts also had death tolls of more than 10 thousand in Croatia, Hungary and Transylvania, and of more than five thousand in Slovakia and Dalmatia. Eventually, as Hungarian nationalists rose in Budapest, Karl was forced to grant their demands, which heralded the end of German dominance over the Balkans. The results of the referenda, which attached the remaining Habsburg monarchy to the German Empire, resulted in the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.