Around the middle of the 13th century, German King Rudolf I of Hapsburg gave the area to his boys, and the Hapsburgs ruled Austria into the twentieth century. During World War II, Austria became part of Germany (1938). The Allied Forces occupied the country after the war until 1955, when Austria became an independent Republic sworn to neutrality.
Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and the Euro monetary system in 1999. Austria is a representative democracy.