Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as South Tyrol and Trentino.
For the Roman history of the region, see Rhaetia.
Middle ages and early modern era
The Tyrol, incorporated into the southern part of the Duchy of Bavaria during the Early Middle Ages, consisted largely of ecclesiastical holdings of the Bishops of Brixen and Trento. Over the centuries, the Counts residing in Castle Tyrol , near Meran, extended their territory over much of the region and came to surpass the power of the bishops, who were nominally their feudal lords. Later counts came to hold much of their territory directly from the Holy Roman Emperor. The Meinhardinger family, originating in Gorizia, held not only Tyrol and Gorizia, but for a time also the Duchy of Carinthia.
Tyrol's independence came to an end in 1363, when countess Margarete Maultasch, lacking any descendants to succeed her, bequeathed it to Duke Rudolf IV of Habsburg. From that time onwards, Tyrol was ruled by various lines of the Habsburg family, who held the title of the Count of Tyrol (see List of rulers of Austria).
Napoleonic Wars and 19th century
Following defeat by Napoleon, Austria was forced cede the Tyrol to Bavaria in 1805. In 1809 the Tyroleans, who are known to be an obstinate and proud people, rose up against the Bavarian authority and succeeded twice in defeating Bavarian and French troops trying to retake the county. Often glorified as Tyrol's national hero, Andreas Hofer, the leader of the uprising, was executed in 1810 in Mantua, having lost a third and final battle against the French and Bavarian forces. The Tyrol remained divided under Bavarian and Italian authority for another four years before being reunified and returned to Austria following the decisions at the Congress of Vienna in 1814, Integrated into the Austrian Empire, from 1867 onwards, it was a Kronland of Cisleithania, the western half of Austria-Hungary
World War I and its aftermath
In the final days of World War I, the already disintegrating Austrian-Hungarian troops were defeated in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto on October 29, 1918. Even though the subsequent armstice signed on November 3 was not to enter into force until November 4, the Austrian command ordered its troops to cease hostilities one day too early. This not only allowed Italian troops to take 356,000 soldiers of the Austrian army as prisoners, but also to overrun the Austrian positions and occupy Tyrol, including the northern part. The Treaty of Saint-Germain then ruled that southern part of Tyrol had to be ceded to Italy, according to London Pact. The region included not only the largely Italian speaking area today known as Trentino (then often called Welschtirol in German), but also the territory now known as South Tyrol, although it harbored only a 3%-minority of Italians.
The northern part, consisting of the geographically separate regions of Northern Tyrol and Eastern Tyrol, is today one of nine federal states of the Federal Republic of Austria called Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol).
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