Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Ferguson

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Kyle D. Woods


The title of this work is “Indivisible and Inseparable” the motto of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This motto is just one of many ways in the Austro-Hungarian Empire fought against the centrifugal forces seeking to destroy it. I argue here that the historic theory of decline and fall is misguided as a model for understanding the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and question its usefulness when applied to other nation states and empires as well. I suggest that the Austro-Hungarian military, specifically its condition prior to the First World War, is an ideal lens for exploring the dissolution of the Empire at the end of the war in 1918. The Austro-Hungarian military was composed of over 10 different nationalities at a time of surging nationalism, and was the single most important institution charged with the preservation of the Empire. This unique linkage with the state of the Empire as a whole renders the military, in particular the Common Army, extremely useful for examining this issue. I will discuss the structure of the military, its response to the problems posed by nationalism, and contemporary public views about the military within the Empire.