The history of Austria covers the history of Austria and its predecessor states, from the farming communities of the early Stone Age to the present sovereign state. The name Austria has been in use since 996 AD when it was a margravate of the Duchy of Bavaria and from 1156 an independent duchy of the Holy Roman Empire. During this time Austria was dominated by the House of Habsburg from 1273 to 1806, when the old empire came to an end. Austria then emerged into the 19th century as the Austrian Empire, a part of the German Confederation until the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 excluded it, after which Austria continued as the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918) as a dual monarchy with Hungary. When this empire collapsed in 1918 after the end of World War I, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. Its territory was divided into four occupation zones and they belonged to the victorious countries: the Soviet Union, Britain, France and the United States. Later in the decade the resumption of the independence of Austria was negotiated, and only in 1955 it gained independence. In 1995 Austria joined the EU.
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