AUSTRIA AND ITS CIVILIZATIONAL INFLUENCE ON SERBIA FROM THE END OF THE XVII TO THE END OF THE XVIII CENTURY
In the Middle Ages the Serbian people and their state were entering the sphere of the Byzantine Orthodox civilization, but they were open to the influences of the Western European, namely Mediterranean and Central European civilization. With the fall of Serbia under the Turkish rule, the influence of this civilization on Serbia had almost completely disappeared, but its touch remained with the part of the Serbian ethnicity which found itself, through migrations, in Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy, namely in the regions under the influence of the Venetian Republic.
The renewed influence of the Western European civilization on Serbia emerged by the end of the XVII century and in the first half of the XVIII century, through Austria which had at several occasions set foot into Serbia and especially in the period of over two decades when it established its administration there. However, this was not a good administration and it was oppressive so that it could not exert a positive civilizational influence on the people, except on the stratum of merchants - craftsmen and the higher church hierarchy in Belgrade since only they wanted partly to be peer with the German colonists and the Catholic clergy. When in 1739. Serbia fell again under the Turkish rule, this social stratum moved to Austria and contributed to the economic and cultural advancement of cities populated with Serbs, transferring also what they had accepted in Serbia from the Western European civilization. Upon this they successfully built a superstructure of those civilizational Legacies which have been widely accepted by the Serbs, which have since the XIV century, inhabited the Pannonian region. By returning under the Turkish rule, the traces of the Western European civilization have disappeared from Serbia, which were not renewed on a larger scale through commercial ties in the second half of the XVIII century, neither through short, two-year presence of the Austrian administration in Serbia at the time of the last Austrian -Turkish war in 1788 - 1791.