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The Danubian Revolution, was a large military conflict between the long-standing Austrian Empire, ruled by the Hapsburgs, and a group of revolutionaries, opposed to the authority exercised by the Imperial Crown. After six months of warfare, the Austrian Empire, plagued with new-found unpopularity, was decisively defeated by the rebel forces, who subsequently established the Danubian Federation.
Outbreak of Hostilities
By 1848, liberal and radical supporters across continental Europe were beginning to rise up against the old order. The flame of rebellion first emerged in Prussia, after disastrous defeats and forced concessions to Russia and France. These wars were paid entirely by massive taxes instituted by the Kaiser and the government, prompting protests that eventually turned violent after military suppression. A full-blown Jacobin Rebellion was the first uprising against the Imperial rule, which eventually painted a model for the citizens of the Austrian Empire.
The revolution emerged from a fervor of nationalism from the Hungarian people, who perceived themselves oppressed by a hegemonic ethnic Austrian group. In a similar pattern to that of Prussia, protests were transformed into rebellions, and finally, in March, Hungary declared its independence.
Revolution in the Empire
The declaration of Independence on behalf of the Hungarians provoked the Austrian Emperor, Ferdiand, into ordering a full mobilization of Imperial forces, even going as far as to attempt to persuade the Russians into intervention. Initial Hungarian gains were thwarted by Austrian troops near the border, but such a threat prompted the Imperial Authority to take drastic measures, eventually putting a total ban on public meeting areas. This prevision of private individualism sparked a angry response in Vienna, where Prince Metternich made a decision to resign his position and take up arms with the rebels. Austrian Radicals stormed to the Hofsburg with Metternich, taking heavy casualties by retreating Imperial Forces, who were forced into withdrawal when the building was captured. As a result, Metternich declared Austria a Republic, which threw the state into utter chaos.
By August, Republican forces were advancing, and soon the last Royalist Army fell in Italy at the Battle of the Plains of Padua, on the 4th of September. The Hungarians on the other hand, had been overwhelmed by the central Royalist forces, who had marched as far to threaten the host of Hungarian power, at Budapest. In desperate action, the Hungarians sent a delegation to Vienna, proposing a equal alliance that would eventually be coined by a Hungarian politician as, "A Federation of Equals." One last defeat, 50 miles north of the capital, pushed the alliance through Parliament unopposed. The federation arguably saved the Hungarian rebels, with Danubian forces, mostly made up of Republican Austrians, retaking Bratislava on 16th September. The Federation continued to gain victories over Royalist forces, eventually capturing Ferdinand in Prague in early October. His execution in front of the Hofburg, which had been converted into the new parliament building for the Federation, ended Royalist resistance, with most accepting of the status quo in the absence of an heir.