Dualism, the constitutional form of the Habsburg monarchy created under the Compromise of 1867 with Hungary. The two halves of the empire were linked through the ruler and through common affairs (foreign policy, army and finances) but were otherwise administered along different principles. Dualism was based on the hegemony of the two "leading nations", the rights of the nationalities living in the two halves of the empire were laid down by the two governments and/or parliaments. Hungary used its dominance in the part of the empire that lay east of the River Leitha to exert strong pressure on the other nationalities; the western half of the empire saw the outbreak of intense conflicts among the nationalities because the Slavs felt disadvantaged and tried to change the situation in their favour.
Literature#J. Redlich, Das oesterreichische Staats- und Reichsproblem, 2 vols., 1920-1926.