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The Archduchy of Austria
Austria
(German: Erzherzogtum Österreich) was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery. The Archduchy developed out of the Bavarian Margraviate of Austria, elevated to the Duchy of Austria
Duchy of Austria
according to the 1156 Privilegium Minus by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg
came to the Austrian throne in Vienna
Vienna
in 1282 and in 1453 Emperor Frederick III, also Austrian ruler, officially adopted the archducal title. From the 15th century onwards, all Holy Roman Emperors but one were Austrian archdukes and with the acquisition of the Bohemian and Hungarian crown lands in 1526, the Habsburg "hereditary lands" became the centre of a major European power. The Archduchy's history as an Imperial State
Imperial State
ended with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
of the German Nation in 1806. It was replaced with the Lower and Upper Austria
Austria
crown lands of the Austrian Empire.

Contents

1 Geography 2 History

2.1 From Duchy to Archduchy 2.2 Austrian Empire

3 See also 4 References

Geography[edit] Located in the Danube
Danube
basin, Austria
Austria
bordered on the Kingdom of Hungary beyond the March and Leitha
Leitha
rivers in the east. In the south it was confined by the Duchy of Styria, with the border at the historic Semmering Pass, while in the north the Bohemian Forest
Bohemian Forest
and the Thaya
Thaya
river marked the border with Bohemia
Bohemia
and Moravia. In the west, the Upper Austrian part bordered on the Bavarian stem duchy. The adjacent Innviertel
Innviertel
region belonged to the Bavarian dukes, until it was occupied by Austrian forces during the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778 and incorporated into the archducal lands according to the Peace of Teschen. In the course of the German mediatisation in 1803, the Austrian archdukes also acquired the rule over the Electorate of Salzburg
Electorate of Salzburg
and the Berchtesgaden Provostry. History[edit]

Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, created for then-Archduke Ferdinand in 1549, with Reichsadler
Reichsadler
on the boots signifying his title King of the Romans. The parade armour was crafted by the eminent master plate armourer Kunz Lochner
Kunz Lochner
from Nuremberg.

After Austria
Austria
was detached from Bavaria and established as an Imperial estate in 1156, the Babenberg dukes also acquired the neighbouring Duchy of Styria
Duchy of Styria
in 1192. After the extinction of the line in 1246 and the occupation by King Ottokar II of Bohemia, it was seized by the Habsburg king Rudolf I of Germany, who defeated Ottokar in the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld
Battle on the Marchfeld
and enfeoffed his son Albert I. In 1358/59 the Habsburg duke Rudolf IV, in response of the Golden Bull of 1356, already claimed the archducal title by forging the Privilegium Maius. Rudolf aimed to achieve a status comparable to the Empire's seven prince-electors, holders of the traditional Imperial 'arch'-offices (cf. Archchancellor); however, his attempts failed as the elevation was rejected by the Luxembourg emperor Charles IV. By the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg, his heirs divided the Habsburg lands, whereafter the Austrian duchy remained under the rule of the Albertinian line. From Duchy to Archduchy[edit] On Epiphany 1453 Emperor Frederick III, regent of Austria
Austria
for his minor Albertinian cousin Ladislaus the Posthumous, finally acknowledged the archducal title. It was then conferred to all Habsburg emperors and rulers, as well as to the non-ruling princes of the dynasty, however, it still did not carry the right to vote in the Imperial election. Frederick further promoted the rise of the Habsburg dynasty into European dimensions with the arrangement of the marriage between his son Maximilian I and Mary the Rich, heiress of Burgundy in 1477. After Maximilian's son Philip the Handsome in 1496 had married Joanna the Mad, Queen of Castile and the Kingdom of Aragon, his son Charles V could come into an inheritance "on which the sun never sets". Nevertheless, Charles' younger brother Ferdinand I claimed his rights and became Archduke
Archduke
of Austria
Austria
according to an estate distribution at the 1521 Diet of Worms, whereby he became regent over the Austrian archduchy and the adjacent Inner Austrian lands of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Gorizia (Görz). By marrying Princess Anna of Bohemia
Bohemia
and Hungary, Ferdinand inherited both kingdoms in 1526. Also King of the Romans from 1531, he became the progenitor of the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg
(Habsburg-Lorraine from 1745 on), which as Archdukes of Austria
Austria
and Kings of Bohemia
Bohemia
ruled as Holy Roman Emperors until the Empire's dissolution in 1806. Austrian Empire[edit] In 1804, Emperor Francis II of Habsburg promoted his territories within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
together with his Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
to the Austrian Empire
Austrian Empire
in reaction to Napoleon I's proclamation of the French Empire; two years later Francis formally dissolved the defunct Holy Roman Empire. The Archduchy of Austria
Austria
continued to exist as a constituent crown land (Kronland) within the empire, although it was divided into Upper and Lower Austria
Austria
for some purposes. The title of archduke continued to be used by members of the imperial family and the archduchy was only formally dissolved in 1918 with collapse of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and the creation of the separate federal states of Lower and Upper Austria
Austria
in the new Republic of German Austria. See also[edit]

History of Austria List of rulers of Austria

References[edit]

^ Heinz-Dieter Heimann, Die Habsburger. Dynastie und Kaiserreiche. 2010. pp. 38–45. ISBN 3-406-44754-6

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Circles est. 1500: Bavarian, Swabian, Upper Rhenish, Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Franconian, (Lower) Saxon Circles est. 1512: Austrian, Burgundian, Upper Saxon, Electoral Rhenish     ·     Unencircled territories

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 270951

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