A lost era loses its last human thread

The news is obscure in the United States, but a milestone passed yesterday, with the death of Otto Habsburg-Lothringen, a man most people have never heard of. OHL, you see, when he was born in 1912, was the eldest son of the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire, immediately named Archduke, and in line to become Emperor. The wave of destruction and chaos brought about by a war unlike any other humanity had ever known, ended his empire and his imperial destiny, and with it the Old Order of Europe stretching back to feudalism. The modern world really began with World War I, which smashed the old monarchical stasis which had held Europe for centuries under a system of rulers claiming a divine right, hand in glove with the church.  Central to the old system was Austria-Hungary under the Hapsburgs, an empire comprised of many different ethnicities.  Nationalism and centralized states were rising in the 19th century, but Austria-Hungary held on to the old order in which...(Read Full Post)

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