Account for the weaknesses and decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1869 and 1914.
The weaknesses and decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1869 and 1914 is mainly due to the nationalities problem and how the Austro-Hungarian policy handled it, for example the new ideas that started coming up during that time period such as "self-determination" were not handled well by the Monarchy's policy of divine rule. The change of the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry and its policies did not help to ease the nationalities problem.
The nationalities problem was a major factor in the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There was too much of a variety of ethnic groups that spread all over the empire, that also believed they had the right of self-determination. For example, the Slavs, a major ethnic group inside the empire, wanted an independent nation. During the same time, Pan-Slavism grew rapidly and Russia, a major threat to the empire, supported Serbia because of their Slavic brotherhood. The ideas of nationalism and self-determination spread through out the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and since the empire had such a problem with the surplus of ethnicities, all the problems mounted on to each other, which therefore weakened the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Two examples are the Serbs, and than the Czech who started to pressure Austria-Hungary's weak point.
Austria- Hungary's policy of divine rule by the emperor did not solve the nationalities problem. Instead of helping to solve the problems, the policy of favoritism worsened the nationalities problem.
Austria-Hungary's dual monarchy under the divine rule of the emperor Franz Joseph favored the two major ethnicities, Magyar and Austrian over the rest of the others, for example the Serbs and the Bohemians. The policy that favored the two major ethnicities didn't make the other states to feel like part of the empire. This arouses a feeling of nationalism inside the separate states, so areas, such as Serbia and Czechoslovakia, with support from Russia, began to demand an independent state from the empire.