European Countries That No Longer Exist

The world as we know it has changed multiple times throughout its history. Empires have risen and fallen and countries that once were, are no longer, and some of this occurred as recently as 50 years ago. Whether it was because of war, loss of support or funding, these countries who once had a spot and title on the world map no longer do, so let’s find out who they are and why they no longer exist. 

1. Austria-Hungary

Austria and Hungary have been ruled by the Habsburg monarchy since the 1500s in a very similar manner to how England and Scotland were ruled. The Act of Union changed that; it allowed the monarchs to rule the countries independently with their own governments, laws, and budgets. Everything was going well until the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 and the Hapsburgs joined the countries together. The unification meant that Hungary was nominally independent, and their people were not happy about it. Throughout the years the Hapsburgs struggled to maintain peace and after the country’s role in World War I, it was dismantled. 

2. The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, created by Osman I, was one of the longest-surviving empires in the world’s history. The empire dominated parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East but by the 20th century, they struggled to maintain a hold of their millions of people. They formed a bloc with Germany but when a war broke out in 1914 and the Ottomans found themselves on the losing side. By the end of World War I the empire was dismantled, mostly thanks to Turkey who declared themselves a secular republic. 

3. Prussia

The Prussian Kingdom was founded in 1701 when Frederick III crowned himself Frederick I and began building his state and later established his bureaucracy. It became one of the greatest powers in Europe and the world, reaching the height of power in 1870. In 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated, many feared that Prussia would be used to launch a communist uprising, and it was when Hitler rose to power shortly after. After World War II, in 1947, Prussia was dismantled.

4. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

The Kingdom of Two Sicilies, Sicily and Naples, took several forms throughout history but for much of its existence, it was ruled by the royal families of Aragon and Spain. These rulers would pass the kingdoms on to their close relatives or heirs, but it wasn’t until 1818 that the two were officially united. A few years after the Italian Unification, which hit the Two Sicilies hard, Garibaldi conquered the kingdom with the help of British allies. In 1861, the Two Sicilies were absorbed into the new Kingdom of Italy.

5. The United States of the Ionian Islands

The United States of the Ionian Islands was a small country off the coast of Greece and when it was created, it was the first time in history that a Greek national governed themselves. The island was seized by the French in 1807 after which it was made a protectorate of Britain at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Although it was under British rule, they were self-governing and thriving, but anti-British riots swept through the country resulting in civil unrest. After the country crowned their king in 1864, the British gave up the island to him. 

 

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