This chapter provides an overview of the principal developments in Austrian political and legal history. In political affairs, it outlines the most notable events which have helped to shape the present day Austria. In legal matters, it describes the evolution of law and law application in the developing Austrian territories and, in doing so, outlines the transition from unwritten, ad hoc and localised dispute settlement to a formal, highly organised and prescribed system for the administration of justice. As a consequence, Austria has developed a very codified legal system.