The Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich, 1867
The rise of European nationalism, and its corollary the nation-state, spelled doom for the essentially medieval Habsburg Austrian Empire, which had managed to survive the convulsions of 1848–49 by the barest of margins. This success stemmed from the Habsburgs’ ability to play off one nationalist group against another. The diverse ethnonational makeup of the empire’s population made anti-Habsburg unity difficult to achieve. Finally, it was German nationalism, and not the national aspirations of the Habsburgs’ non-German subjects, that actually undermined the continued existence of the medieval state that they controlled.