Habsburg Exclusion Act
- As World War I came to an end in November 1918, Emperor Charles I (King Charles IV of Hungary) issued a declaration in which he removed himself from participation in the government of the Austrian republic, which was beginning to take shape. Though he left Vienna with his family, he continued to reside in a nearby castle. On 23 March 1919, he departed the country for exile in Switzerland. At the Swiss–Austrian border, however, he produced a second manifesto that seemed to leave open the possibility that he and his heirs would not respect the form of government taking hold in the new state.Fearing attempts at a Habsburg restoration that would further complicate an already chaotic political situation, the National Assembly passed the Habsburg Exclusion Act on 3 April 1919. This stripped sovereign rights in Austria from the house of Habsburg–Lorraine forever. The “former holder of the crown,” Charles and his heirs, had to leave the country unless they swore to live as loyal citizens of the republic. This meant that they would have to renounce their membership in the house of Habsburg and their claims to serve as rulers. The First Austrian Republic seized the landed property of the dynasty and its cadet lines as well as other assets. These were to be used to aid those whose health was impaired by the war or who had lost their breadwinners in the conflict.
Historical dictionary of Austria. Paula Sutter Fichtner. 2014.
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