Österreichische Pläne zur Herrschaft über die Ionischen Inseln

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Harald Heppner


Neither the Austrian Adria-policy nor the Austrian-Greek relations have
ever been thoroughly investigated. The present study is meant to contribute
to these topics. As long as the Habsburg Monarchy had hardly any access to the sea, there existed no plans for a closer contact between Austria and Greece. Such a question first turned up during the time of Prince Eugene, when the Imperial troops had gained ground in the Balkans and the Kingdom of Naples belonged to the Habsburg Empire. The main reasons for these attempts were commerdał ones. Due to political and economical changes in the second half of
the eighteenth century, Joseph II and Tsarina Catherine started talks on the
division of the Balkan area. Austria showed particular interest in Corfu and
the Ionian Islands. It was not before Napoleon’s campaigns and the dissolution of the Venetian Republic in 1797 that the Viennese Court had a chance
to realize these intentions. But the development of Austrian-French relations
forced the Imperial government to disclaim its Venetian inheritance in Greece,
in order to secure the possession of the Dalmatian coast. During the Congress
of Vienna (1815) England temporarily supported the plans to concede Corfu
to Austria in order to prevent a political influence of Russia. After the Battle
of Waterloo the British government decided to take over the protectorate of
the Ionian Islands. Austria would have liked to gain complete control over
this archipelago—not only because of economical reasons but also to be able
to control the upcoming Greek National Movement and to counterbalance

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