05/09/2021 (Sun) 06:58:59
They had a large impact. But - if being unbiased - I can't say categorically they were bad for Central Eastern Europe. I don't know what would have happened without them, so no basis of comparison. I know however what's going on now and I believe it could be so much better. If I define "better" as a more independent, self reliant Central Eastern Europe, with higher living standards (although I see problems with this living standard thing - for example being indebted forever and capable to buy a new iShit and bluetooth refrigerator every month and having three cars per family counts as higher living standards?)
Could have been the nations turning on each other here prevented? No. Different constellations of the nations could have rise (instead of Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia), but simply just the "who will be the top dog in this region" would have caused wars, most likely with the tint of ethnic hatred after the birth of the third large political ideology, the nationalism.
I don't blame nationalism, because it is great for uniting people to act together for a common goal based on common interest. But it's easy to fall over to the other side of the horse and hate on the other group just because it's another group. And lotsa people don't have that maturity to see that other people can love their own, how we love ours, and respect that, and can't see that cooperation can exist between these groups.
So Habsburgs exploiting this shortcomings of the people, especially in those times when nationalism was young and it was very much alive, its flames rising high, is unfortunate but it's just a different kind of bad.