“Of Consuls and Co-Nationals, Austria (-Hungary) and her Consulates in the United States of America 1820 – 1917,” written by the current Austrian Ambassador to Ethiopia Rudolf Agstner, was published in 2007. It offers a rare look at the little known relations between the Austrian Empire (referred to since the “Ausgleich” of 1867 as the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) and the United States.
Although many publications investigate the link between immigration and the origin and cultural impact of immigrants on their new countries, this publication is unique in that it examines the relationship between immigration and consular service. The book fills and important gap in the interesting historical development of the Austrian Foreign Ministry abroad. It represents a significant part of Ambassador Agstner’s continuing research on the history of all 725 Austrian/Austro-Hungarian consulates established worldwide between 1718 and 1918.
Following a short introduction to the history of relations between Austria and the United States other aspects include the early immigration of Austrians and Hungarians, expansion of the Austrian consular network from New York to San Francisco in the early 19th century and the role of Honorary Consuls as an important part of the Austrian consular presence. Individual case studies of the problems facing Austrian consulates before WW I and the impact of increasing immigration on how consulates were organized and how they discharged their new responsibilities were also included.
The book is intended to complement other publications by Ambassador Agstner on the Austrian (Austro-Hungarian) immigration to Canada and Latin America and the consular network in those regions.