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The House of Habsburg or Hapsburg (also known as House of Austria) was the most important and ancient (VI century) royal house of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1452 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrianmarker and Spanish Empires and several other countries. Originally from Switzerlandmarker, the dynasty first reigned in Austriamarker, which they ruled for over six centuries. A series of dynastic marriages brought Burgundy, Spain, Bohemia, Hungary, and other territories into the inheritance. In the 16th century the senior Spanish and junior Austrian branches of the family separated.

As royal houses are by convention determined via the male line, technically the reigning branches of the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II in 1700 and was replaced by the Anjou branch of the House of Bourbon in the person of his great-nephew Philip V. The Austrian branch went extinct in 1780 with the death of Empress Maria Theresa and was replaced by the Vaudemont branch of the House of Lorraine in the person of her son Joseph II. The new successor house styled itself as House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen).

Principal roles

Early personal arms of the Habsburgs.
Their principal roles were as:

Other crowns held briefly by the House included:

Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above.

History

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

From Counts of Habsburg to Holy Roman Emperors

The Habsburg dominions around AD 1200 are shown as , among the houses of , and
The Habsburg dominions within the Holy Roman Empire acquired before AD 1378 are shown as , among the houses of and


The dynasty is named after their seat of origin, the Habsburg Castlemarker founded by Radbot, Count of Habsburg in the Swiss Canton of Aargaumarker. The origins of the name of the castle are uncertain. Most people assume the name to be derived from the High German Habichtsburg (Hawk Castle), but some historians and linguists are convinced that the name comes from the Middle High German word 'hab/ hap' meaning fjord, as there is a river with a ford nearby. The first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries in the former duchy of Swabia, which incorporated present-day Aargaumarker, at the time of the Holy Roman Empire. From southwestern Germany (mainly Alsacemarker, Breisgaumarker, Aargaumarker and Thurgaumarker) the family extended its influence and holdings to the southeastern reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, roughly today's Austriamarker (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).

Maximilian I

On the evening of August 16, 1477, by marrying Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, Archduke Maximilian I acquired control of the Low Countries, effectively establishing the Habsburg Dynasty by extending their territories outside Austria. Maximilian's son, Philip the Handsome (also known as Phillip the Fair) married Joanna of Castile, also known as Joan the Mad, heiress of Castile, Aragonmarker and most of Spain. Phillip and Joan had six children, the eldest of whom became Charles V and inherited the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, Southern Italy, Austriamarker and the Low Countries.

Division of the house: Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs

After the April 21, 1521 assignment of the Austrian lands to Ferdinand I by his brother Emperor Charles V (also King Charles I of Spain) (1516–1556), the dynasty split into the minor branch of the Austrian Habsburgs and the major branch of the Spanish Habsburgs. The Austrian Habsburgs held the title of Holy Roman Emperor after Charles' death in 1558, as well as the Habsburg Hereditary Lands and the Kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary, while the Spanish major branch ruled over the Spanish kingdoms, the Netherlands, the Habsburgs' Italian possessions, and, for a time, Portugal. Hungary was partly under Habsburg rule from 1526. For 150 years most of the country was occupied by the Ottoman Turks but these territories were re-conquered in 1683–1699.
The Spanish Habsburgs died out in 1700 (prompting the War of the Spanish Succession), as did the last male of the Austrian Habsburg line in 1740 (prompting the War of the Austrian Succession), and consequently the entire line itself in 1780. 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 Viennamarker under the dynastic name Habsburg-Lorraine, although technically a new ruling house came into existence in the Austrian territories, the House of Lorraine (see Dukes of Lorraine family tree). It is thought that extensive intra-family marriages within both lines contributed to their extinctions.

Extinction of a royal dynasty

Charles II's family tree showing the large amount of inbreeding
The Habsburgs sought to consolidate their power by the frequent use of consanguineous marriages, with ultimately disastrous results. Marriages between first cousins, or between uncle and niece, were commonplace in the family. A study of 3,000 family members over 16 generations by the University of Santiago de Compostela suggests that inbreeding directly led to their extinctions. The gene pool eventually became so small that the last of the Spanish line Charles II, who was severely disabled by genetic disorders, possessed a genome comparable with that of a child born to a brother and sister as did his father, likely due to "Remote Inbreeding". The infamous Habsburg jaw was one such prominent manifestation of inbreeding.

On August 6, 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved under the French Emperor Napoleon I's reorganization 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) 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 full list of titles: "We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungarymarker, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatiamarker, Slavoniamarker, Galicia and Lodomeria; Archduke of Austriamarker; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburgmarker, Würzburgmarker, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola; Grand Duke of Cracowmarker; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomirmarker, Masovia, Lublinmarker, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitzmarker and Zatormarker, Teschenmarker, and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgadenmarker and Mergentheimmarker; Princely Count of Habsburg, Goriziamarker, and Gradiscamarker and of the Tirol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istriamarker".

Under the terms of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 effective autonomy was given to Hungary (see Austria-Hungary). Under this arrangement, the Hungarians referred to their ruler as king and never emperor. This prevailed until the Habsburgs' deposition from both Austria and Hungary in 1918 following defeat in World War I.

On November 11, 1918, with his empire collapsing around him, the last Habsburg ruler, Charles I (who also reigned as Charles IV of Hungary) issued a proclamation recognizing Austria's right to determine the future of the state and renouncing any role in state affairs. Two days later, he issued a separate proclamation for Hungary. Even though he did not officially abdicate, this is considered the end of the Habsburg dynasty. In 1919, the new republican Austrian government subsequently passed a law banishing the Habsburgs from Austrian territory until they renounced all intentions of regaining the throne and accepted the status of private citizens. Charles made several attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, and in 1921 the Hungarian government passed a law which revoked Charles' rights and dethroned the Habsburgs.

The Habsburgs did not formally abandon all hope of returning to power until Otto von Habsburg, Emperor Charles' eldest son, renounced all claims to the throne.

The dynasty's motto is "Let others wage wars, but you, happy Austria, marry!" (Bella gerant alii, tu, felix Austria, nube!), which indicates the knack of the Habsburgs to have their members intermarry into other royal houses, to make alliances and inherit territory. Empress Maria Theresa is recognized quite notably for it and is sometimes referred to as the "Great-Grandmother of Europe".

Family tree

This family tree only includes male scions of the direct House of Habsburg who survived to adulthood.

Main line

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

Ancestors



Counts of Habsburg



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 Austriamarker which covered only what is today Lower Austriamarker 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 Tirol in 1363. Their original scattered possessions in the southern Alsacemarker, south-western Germany and Vorarlbergmarker were collectively known as Further Austria. The Habsburg dukes gradually lost their homelands south of the Rhinemarker and Lake Constancemarker 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.

  • Rudolph II, son of Rudolph I, duke of Austria and Styria together with his brother 1282–1283, was dispossessed by his brother, who eventually would be murdered by one of Rudolph's sons.
  • Albert I (Albrecht I), son of Rudolph I and brother of the above, duke from 1282–1308; was Holy Roman Emperor from 1298–1308. See also below.
  • Rudolph III, oldest son of Lenihan I , designated duke of Austria and Styria 1298–1307
  • Frederick the Handsome (Friedrich der Schöne), brother of Rudolph III. Duke of Austria and Styria (with his brother Leopold I) from 1308–1330; officially co-regent of emperor Louis IV since 1325, but never ruled.
  • Leopold I, brother of the above, duke of Austria and Styria from 1308–1326.
  • Albert II (Albrecht II), brother of the above, duke of Vorderösterreich from 1326–1358, duke of Austria and Styria 1330–1358, duke of Carinthia after 1335.
  • Otto the Jolly (der Fröhliche), brother of the above, duke of Austria and Styria 1330–1339 (together with his brother), duke of Carinthia after 1335.
  • Rudolph IV the Founder (der Stifter), oldest son of Albert II. Duke of Austria and Styria 1358–1365, Duke of Tirol after 1363.


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 Austriamarker and Leopold ruling over Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, the Windish March, Tirol, and Further Austria.

Albertine line: Dukes of Austria

  • Albert III (Albrecht III), duke of Austria until 1395, from 1386 (after the death of Leopold) until 1395 also ruled over the latter's possessions.
  • Albert IV (Albrecht IV), duke of Austria 1395–1404, in conflict with Leopold IV.
  • Albert V (Albrecht V), duke of Austria 1404–1439, Holy Roman Emperor from 1438–1439 as Albert II. See also below.
  • Ladislaus Posthumus, son of the above, duke of Austria 1440–1457.


Leopoldine line: Dukes of Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol

  • Leopold III, duke of Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol, and Further Austria until 1386, when he was killed in the Battle of Sempachmarker.
  • William (Wilhelm), son of the above, 1386–1406 duke in Inner Austria (Carinthia, Styria)
  • Leopold IV, son of Leopold III, 1391 regent of Further Austria, 1395–1402 duke of Tyrol, after 1404 also duke of Austria, 1406–1411 duke of Inner Austria


Leopoldine-Inner Austrian sub-line

* Ernest the Iron (der Eiserne), 1406–1424 duke of Inner Austria, until 1411 together and competing with his brother Leopold IV.
* Frederick V (Friedrich), son of Ernst, became emperor Frederick III in 1440. He was duke of Inner Austria from 1424 on. Guardian of Sigismund 1439–1446 and of Ladislaus Posthumus 1440–1452. See also below.
* Albert VI (Albrecht VI), brother of the above, 1446–1463 regent of Further Austria, duke of Austria 1458–1463
* Ernestine line of Saxon princes, ancestor of George I of Great Britain-descended from sister of Frederick III; also Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse King of Finland 1918


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.


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 Austriamarker after the death of Matthias Corvinus, who resided in Viennamarker and styled himself duke of Austria from 1485–1490.

King of the romans and Holy Roman Emperors previous to the reunion of the Habsburg possessions



Kings of Hungary previous to the reunion of the Habsburg possessions



Holy Roman Emperors, Archdukes of Austria



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.

Austrian Habsburgs: Holy Roman Emperors, Archdukes of Austria



The War of the Austrian Succession took place after the extinction of the male line of the Austrian Habsburg line upon the death of Charles VI. The direct Habsburg line itself became totally extinct with the death of Maria Theresa of Austria, when it was followed by the House of Lorraine, styled of Habsburg-Lorraine.

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 of the House of Bourbon. Alfonso XIII's wife Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg was descended from King George I of Great Britain from the Habsburg Leopold Line {above}.

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 daughter Adelaide, Queen of Sardina was the wife of King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia and King of Italy. Their Children married into the Royal Houses of Bonaparte; House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha {Bragança {Portugal}; House of Savoy {Spain}; and the Dukedoms of Montferrat and Chablismarker.

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.



House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Tuscany line, post monarchy


See Line of succession to the Tuscan Throne

House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Dukes of Modena
The duchy of Modenamarker was assigned to a minor branch of the family by the Congress of Vienna. It was lost to Italian unification.



House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Modena line, post monarchy


House of Habsburg-Lorraine: Empress consort of France
  • Marie Louise of Austria 1810–1814


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 wife Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie (better known to history as Josephine de Beauharnais) in her favour.



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 Mexicomarker, becoming Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. The conservative Mexican nobility, as well as the clergy, supported this Second Mexican Empire. His consort, Charlotte of Belgium, a princess of the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, encouraged her husband's acceptance of the Mexican crown and accompanied him as Empress Carlota of Mexico. The adventure did not end well. Maximilian was shot in "Cerro de las Campanas" in 1867 by the republican forces of Benito Juárez.



House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Emperors of Austria



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 Austro-Hungarian throne

Burials

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 until 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.

Albertine line: Kings of Hungary



Austrian Habsburgs: Kings of Hungary



House of Habsburg-Lorraine, main line: Kings of Hungary



Kings of Bohemia

The kingship of Bohemia was from 1306 a position elected by its nobles. As a result, it was not an automatically inherited position. Until rule of the Ferdinand I Habsburgs didn't gain hereditary accession to the throne and were shifted by other dynasties. Hence, the kings of Bohemia and their ruling dates are listed separately.

Main line



Albertine line: Kings of Bohemia



Austrian Habsburgs: Kings of Bohemia



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.



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.

Pre-division Habsburgs



Austrian Habsburgs



Spanish Habsburgs



Habsburg-Lorraine



Queens Consort of Portugal

Due to its proximity (geographic, strategic and religious) the Habsburgs always consolidated their alliances with the Portuguese Royal House of Aviz, which gave them this Kingdom in 1580. When the Braganzas expelled the Spanish Habsburgs (1640), new alliances were set-up, this time with the Austrian Habsburgs.

Pre-division Habsburgs



Austrian Habsburgs



Habsburg-Lorraine

  • Marie Leopoldina, Archduchess of Austria (1797–1826), first wife of Peter I, Emperor of Brazil, also known as Peter IV, King of Portugal. Marie Leopoldina was Marie Louise younger sister.


Tuscan Duchy and Salzburg descendants

The members of this family bear the titles Archduke (Archduchess) of Austria, Prince (Princess) of Hungary, Prince (Princess) of Tuscany (Imperial and Royal Highness). Descendants of morganatic marriages, except those granted specific titles such as the Princes von Altenburg, generally bear the title "Graf (Gräfin) von Habsburg-[Lothringen]".

See also



Notes

  1. "Habsburger-Gedenkjahr im Aargau", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, (page 17) 23 May 2008.
  2. art-tv.ch
  3. Kanton Aargau
  4. Great Events from History, The Renaissance & Early Modern Era, Vol I, p. 112–114, author-Clare Callaghan, ISBN 1-58765-214-5.


Further reading

  • Brewer-Ward, Daniel A. The House of Habsburg: A Genealogy of the Descendants of Empress Maria Theresia. Clearfield, 1996.
  • Crankshaw, Edward. The Fall of the House of Habsburg. Sphere Books Limited, London, 1970. (first published by Longmans in 1963)
  • Evans, Robert J. W. The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550–1700: An Interpretation. Clarendon Press, 1979.
  • McGuigan, Dorothy Gies. The Habsburgs. Doubleday, 1966.
  • Palmer, Alan. Napoleón and Marie Louise Ariel Mexico, 2003.
  • Wandruszka, Adam. The House of Habsburg: Six Hundred Years of a European Dynasty. Doubleday, 1964 (Greenwood Press, 1975).


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