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Image:Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy; also used as the flag of the Austrian Empire until the Ausgleich of 1867.
Image:Wappen röm.kaiser.JPG
Coats of arms of a Habsburg Emperor showing the variety of his territories.

Habsburg (spelled both 'Habsburg' and 'Hapsburg' in English-speaking countries) was an important ruling house of Europe and is best known as the ruling House of Austria (and the Austrian Empire) for over six centuries.

Their principal roles were as:

Other crowns held briefly by the House included:

Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above.


[edit] A brief history of the House of Habsburg

[edit] From Counts of Habsburg to Roman Emperors

Image:Armoiries Habsbourg.png
Coats of arms of early counts of Habsbourg

The name is derived from the Swiss Habichtsburg (Hawk Castle), the family seat in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries at Habsburg in the former duchy of Swabia in present-day Switzerland (Switzerland did not exist then in its present form, and the Swiss lands were part of the mainly Germanic Holy Roman Empire). From southwestern Germany (mainly Alsace, Breisgau, Aargau and Thurgau) the family extended its influence and holdings to the southeastern reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, roughly today's Austria (1278 - 1382). Within only two or three generations, the Habsburgs had managed to secure an initially intermittent grasp on the imperial throne that would last for centuries (1273 - 1291, 1298 - 1308, 1438 - 1740, and 1745 - 1806).

After the marriage of Maximilian I with Mary, heiress of Burgundy (the Low Countries) and the marriage of his son Philipp the Handsome with Juana, heiress of Spain and its newly-founded empire, Charles V inherited Spain, Southern Italy, Austria and the Low Countries. In 1580 his son Philip II inherited Portugal and its colonies, thus ruling over an empire where "the sun does not set".

Under Maximilian II, the Habsburgs first acquired the land upon which would later be erected the Schönbrunn Palace: the Habsburgs' summer palace in Vienna and one of the most enduring symbols of the dynasty.

[edit] Division of the House: Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs

Image:Habsburg Map 1547.jpg
A map of the dominion of the Habsburgs following the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) as depicted in The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (1912); Habsburg lands are shaded green. Not shaded are the lands of the Holy Roman Empire over which the Habsburgs presided, nor are the vast Castilian holdings outside of Europe, and particularly in the New World, shown.

After the April 21, 1521 assignment of the Austrian lands to Ferdinand I from his brother Emperor Charles V (also King Charles I of Spain) (1516 - 1556), the dynasty split into one Austrian and one Spanish branch. The Austrian Habsburgs held (after 1556) the title of Holy Roman Emperor, as well as the Habsburg Hereditary Lands and the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary, while the Spanish Habsburgs ruled over the Spanish kingdoms, the Netherlands, the Habsburgs' Italian possessions, and, for a time, Portugal. Hungary, nominally under Habsburg kingship from 1526 but mostly under Ottoman Turkish occupation for 150 years, was reconquered in 1683 - 1699.

The Spanish Habsburgs died out in 1700 (prompting the War of the Spanish Succession), as did the Austrian Habsburgs in 1740 (prompting the War of the Austrian Succession). However, the heiress of the last Austrian Habsburg (Maria Theresa) had married Francis Stephan, Duke of Lorraine, (both of them were great-grandchildren of Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III, but from different empresses) and their descendants carried on the Habsburg tradition from Vienna under the dynastic name Habsburg-Lorraine. (It is often speculated that extensive intra-family marriages within both lines contributed to their extinctions, but there were few such marriages in the Austrian line. Smallpox killing young heirs was a greater cause.)

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: the Austrian Empire

On August 6 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved under the French Emperor Napoleon I's reorganisation of Germany. However, in anticipation of the loss of his title of Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II declared himself hereditary Emperor of Austria (as Francis I, thereof) on August 11, 1804, three months after Napoleon had declared himself Emperor of the French on May 18, 1804.

Emperor Francis I of Austria used the official great title: "We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, and Lodomeria; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola; Grand Duke of Kraków; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir, Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen, and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia, and Gradisca and of the Tyrol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria".

In 1867 effective autonomy was given to Hungary under the terms of the Ausgleich or "compromise" (see Austria-Hungary) until the Habsburgs' deposition from both Austria and Hungary in 1918 following defeat in World War I.

The current head of the Habsburg family is Otto von Habsburg, Emperor Karl's eldest son.

[edit] Main Line

Before Rudolph rose to German king, the Habsburgs were Counts in what is today southwestern Germany and Switzerland.

[edit] Ancestors

[edit] Counts of Habsburg

[edit] Kings of Germany

[edit] Dukes of Austria

In the late Middle Ages, when the Habsburgs expanded their territories in the east, they often ruled as dukes of the Duchy of Austria which covered only what is today Lower Austria and the eastern part of Upper Austria. The Habsburg possessions also included Styria, and then expanded west to include Carinthia and Carniola in 1335 and Tyrol in 1363. Their original scattered possessions in the southern Alsace, south-western Germany and Vorarlberg were collectively known as Further Austria. The Habsburg dukes gradually lost their homelands south of the Rhine and Lake Constance to the expanding Old Swiss Confederacy. Unless mentioned explicitly, the dukes of Austria also ruled over Further Austria until 1379, after that year, Further Austria was ruled by the Princely Count of Tyrol. Names in italics designate dukes who never actually ruled.

After the death of Rudolph IV, his brothers Albert III and Leopold III ruled the Habsburg possessions together from 1365 until 1379, when they split the territories in the Treaty of Neuberg, Albert keeping the Duchy of Austria and Leopold ruling over Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, the Windish March, Tyrol, and Further Austria.

[edit] Albertine line: Dukes of Austria

[edit] Leopoldine line: Dukes of Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol

[edit] Leopoldine-Inner Austrian sub-line

[edit] Leopoldine-Tyrol sub-line

  • Frederick IV (Friedrich), brother of Ernst, 1402 - 1439 duke of Tyrol and Further Austria
  • Sigismund, also spelled Siegmund or Sigmund, 1439 - 1446 under the tutelage of the Frederick V above, then duke of Tyrol, and after the death of Albrecht VI in 1463 also duke of Further Austria.

[edit] Reuniting of Habsburg possessions

Sigismund had no children and adopted Maximilian I, son of duke Frederick V (emperor Frederick III). Under Maximilian, the possessions of the Habsburgs would be united again under one ruler, after he had re-conquered the Duchy of Austria after the death of Matthias Corvinus, who resided in Vienna and styled himself duke of Austria from 1485 - 1490.

[edit] German Kings and Holy Roman Emperors previous to the reunion of the Habsburg possessions

[edit] Kings of Hungary previous to the reunion of the Habsburg possessions

[edit] Main Line: Holy Roman Emperors, Archdukes of Austria

[edit] Spanish Habsburgs: Kings of Spain, Kings of Portugal (1580-1640)

See also: Portuguese House of Habsburg

The War of the Spanish Succession took place after the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg line, to determine the inheritance of Charles II.

[edit] Austrian Habsburgs: Holy Roman Emperors, Archdukes of Austria

Maria Theresa of Austria, Habsburg heiress and wife of emperor Francis I Stephen, reigned as Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia 1740 - 1780.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Holy Roman Emperors, Archdukes of Austria

Queen Maria Christina of Austria of Spain, great-granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor above. Wife of Alfonso XII of Spain and mother of Alfonso XIII.

The House of Habsburg-Lorraine retained Austria and attached possessions after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire; see below.

A son of Leopold II was Archduke Rainer of Austria whose wife was from the House of Savoy; a daugther Adelaide, Queen of Sardina was the wife of King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardina and King of Italy. Their Children married into the Royal Houses of Bonaparte; House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha {Braganza {Portugal}; House of Savoy {Spain}; and the Dukedoms of Montferrat and Chablis.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Grand dukes of Tuscany

Francis Stephen assigned the grand duchy of Tuscany to his second son Peter Leopold, who in turn assigned it to his second son upon his accession as Holy Roman Emperor. Tuscany remained the domain of this cadet branch of the family until Italian unification.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Tuscany line, post monarchy

see Line of succession to the Tuscan Throne

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Dukes of Modena

The duchy of Modena was assigned to a minor branch of the family by the Congress of Vienna. It was lost to Italian unification.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Modena line, post monarchy

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Duchess of Parma

The duchy of Parma was likewise assigned to a Habsburg, but did not stay in the House long before succumbing to Italian unification. It was granted to the second wife of Napoleon I of France, Maria Luisa Duchess of Parma, a daughter of the Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, who was the mother of Napoleon II of France. Napoleon had divorced his sterile wife Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie (better known to history as Josephine de Beauharnais) in her favour.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Emperor of Mexico

Maximilian, an adventurous younger son, was invited as part of Napoleon III's manipulations to take the throne of Mexico. The adventure did not end well. Maximilian was shot in "Cerro de las Campanas" in 1867.

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Emperors of Austria

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Heads of the House of Habsburg (post-monarchy)

Charles I was expelled from his domains after World War I and the empire was abolished.

see Line of succession to the Austria-Hungary Throne

[edit] Burials

See Imperial Crypt in Vienna.

[edit] Habsburgs as Kings of Hungary

The kingship of Hungary remained in the Habsburg family for centuries; but as the kingship was not strictly inherited (Hungary was an elective monarchy till 1687) and was sometimes used as a training ground for young Habsburgs, the dates of rule do not always match those of the primary Habsburg possessions. Therefore, the kings of Hungary are listed separately.

[edit] Albertine line: Kings of Hungary

[edit] Austrian Habsburgs: Kings of Hungary

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Kings of Hungary

[edit] Habsburgs as Kings of Bohemia

The kingship of Bohemia was for centuries a position elected by its nobles. As a result, it was not an automatically inherited position. The king of Bohemia tended to be a Habsburg, but was not always. Hence, the kings of Bohemia and their ruling dates are listed separately.

[edit] Main line: Kings of Bohemia

[edit] Albertine line: Kings of Bohemia

[edit] Austrian Habsburgs: Kings of Bohemia

[edit] House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Kings of Bohemia

From the accession of Maria Theresa, the kingship of Bohemia became united with the Austrian possessions.

[edit] Habsburgs as Queens Consort of France

From the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, the greatest non-Habsburg power in Europe was usually France. As a result, in usually futile attempts to either unite Europe under the Habsburg family or to prevent French enmity, Habsburg daughters were wed to successive kings of France.

[edit] Austrian Habsburgs

[edit] Spanish Habsburgs

[edit] Habsburg-Lorraine

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • Brewer-Ward, Daniel A. The House of Habsburg: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Empress Maria Theresia. Clearfield, 1996.
  • Evans, Robert J. W. The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700: An Interpretation. Clarendon Press, 1979.
  • McGuigan, Dorothy Gies. The Habsburgs. Doubleday, 1966.
  • Wandruszka, Adam. The House of Habsburg: Six Hundred Years of a European Dynasty. Doubleday, 1964 (Greenwood Press, 1975).

[edit] External links

bs:Habsburg br:Habsbourged bg:Хабсбурги ca:Dinastia dels Habsburg cs:Habsburkové da:Habsburg de:Habsburg et:Habsburgid es:Casa de Austria eo:Habsburgoj fr:Habsbourg hr:Habsburg id:Habsburg it:Asburgo he:בית הבסבורג lt:Habsburgų dinastija hu:Habsburg-család nl:Habsburg ja:ハプスブルク家 no:Huset Habsburg pl:Habsburgowie pt:Casa de Habsburgo ro:Habsburg ru:Габсбурги sk:Habsburgovci sl:Habsburžani sr:Хабзбуршка династија fi:Habsburg-suku sv:Habsburg vi:Habsburg tr:Habsburg Hanedanı uk:Габсбурґи zh:哈布斯堡王朝


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