Vienna 1814-1914

Ref: C2345407

In the 19th century, the population of Vienna grew from 300,000 people to more than 2 million and it became the sixth largest city in the world, capital of an empire of 53 million and a centre for the arts, scientific ideas, and political theorising. We will look at the significance of the Congress of Vienna for the city, the revolution in 1848 and its effects, the diversion of the Danube and the development of the Ringstrasse, and the massive migration to the city as a result of large-scale industrialisation. We will also look at some of the personalities who lived in the city, like Johann Strauss the younger, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler and Leon Trotsky, and how music and art changed over this period. Finally, we'll see how the assassination of Archduke Franz Josef, the heir to throne, was received in Vienna - an event that led to the First World War and the destruction of the empire.

Course aim

A look at Vienna during the 19th century, including the Congress of 1814-15, the 1848 Revolution, the Ringstrasse development, Johann Strauss and the waltz, the Mayerling affair, and some of the various personalities who chose to live in the city.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe some of the successes and failures of the Congress of Vienna
  • Outline how the waltz developed during the 19th century
  • Identify some of the reasons for the construction of the Ringstrasse and its buildings
  • Explain why the Mayerling affair was not only a personal tragedy for the Habsburg monarchy but also indirectly led to the First World War

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our learning platform, Canvas, and access a Zoom presentation. If you’d like to understand more about Zoom please visit:

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Vienna 1814-1914


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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