Monarchy (German: Habsburgermonarchie) or Empire is an
unofficial appellation among historians for the countries and
provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House
of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of
Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The
Monarchy was a composite state
composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire,
united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was
Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From
1804 to 1867 the Habsburg
Monarchy was formally unified as the
Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian
The head of the Austrian branch of the
House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg was often
elected Holy Roman Emperor: from 1415 until the Empire's dissolution
in 1806, Charles VII of
Bavaria (1742–1745) was the only Holy Roman
Emperor who was not Habsburg ruler of Austria. The two entities
were never coterminous, as the Habsburg
Monarchy covered many lands
beyond the Holy Roman Empire, and most of the Empire was ruled by
This Austrian Habsburg
Monarchy must not be confused with the House of
Habsburg, existing since the 11th century, whose vast domains were
split up in 1521 between this "junior" Austrian branch and the
"senior" Spanish branch.
2 Origins and expansion
6 Habsburg territories outside the Habsburg Monarchy
8 Rulers of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1521–1918
8.3 Family tree
9 In literature
11 Further reading
12 External links
The monarchy had no official name. Instead, various names included:
Habsburg Empire (Habsburgerreich)
Habsburg/Austrian Hereditary Lands (Habsburgische/Österreichische
Monarchy (Österreichische Monarchie)
Origins and expansion
The Habsburg family originated with the
Habsburg Castle in modern
Switzerland, and after 1279 came to rule in
Austria ("the Habsburg
Hereditary Lands"). The Habsburg family grew to European prominence
with the marriage and adoption treaty by
Emperor Maximilian I at the
First Congress of
Vienna in 1515, and the subsequent death of adopted
Louis II of
Bohemia in 1526.
Following the death of Louis II of
Bohemia in the Battle
of Mohács against the Turks, his brother-in-law Archduke Ferdinand of
Austria was elected the next King of
Bohemia and Hungary.
Names of the territory that (with some exceptions) finally became
Habsburg monarchy or Austrian monarchy (1526–1867): This was an
unofficial, but very frequent, name even during that time. The entity
had no official name.
Austrian Empire (1804–1867): This was the official name. Note that
the German version is Kaisertum Österreich, i.e. the English
translation empire refers to a territory ruled by an emperor, not just
to a "widespreading domain".
Hungary (1867–1918): This was the official name.
An unofficial popular name was the Danubian
Donaumonarchie) also often used was the term Doppel-Monarchie ("Double
Monarchy") meaning two states under one crowned ruler.
Crownlands or crown lands (Kronländer) (1849–1918): This is the
name of all the individual parts of the
Austrian Empire (1849-1867),
and then of Austria-
Hungary from 1867 on. The Kingdom of
exactly the Lands of the Hungarian Crown) was not considered a
"crownland" after the establishment of Austria-
Hungary 1867, so that
the "crownlands" became identical with what was called the Kingdoms
and Lands represented in the Imperial Council (Die im Reichsrate
vertretenen Königreiche und Länder).
The Hungarian parts of the Empire were called "Lands of the Holy
Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen" or "Lands of Holy (St.) Stephen's
Crown" (Länder der Heiligen Stephans Krone). The Bohemian (Czech)
Lands were called "Lands of the St. Wenceslaus' Crown" (Länder der
Names of some smaller territories:
Austrian lands (Österreichische Länder) or "Archduchies of Austria"
(Erzherzogtümer von Österreich) - Lands up and below the Enns (ober
und unter der Enns) (996–1918): This is the historical name of the
parts of the
Archduchy of Austria
Archduchy of Austria that became the present-day Republic
Austria (Republik Österreich) on 12 November 1918 (after Emperor
Charles I had abdicated the throne). Modern day
Austria is a
semi-federal republic of nine states (Bundesländer) that are: Lower
Austria, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Styria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Vorarlberg
Burgenland and the Capital of
Vienna that is a state of its own.
Burgenland came to
Austria in 1921 from Hungary.
became Austrian in 1816 after the Napoleonic wars (before it was ruled
by prince-archbishops of
Salzburg as a sovereign territory).
Vienna, Austria's capital became a state January 1, 1922, after being
residence and capital of the
Austrian Empire (Reichshaupt und
Residenzstadt Wien) for the Habsburg monarchs for centuries. Upper and
Lower Austria, historically, were split into "
Austria above the Enns"
Austria below the Enns" (the Enns river is the state-border
between Upper- and Lower Austria). Upper
Austria was enlarged after
Treaty of Teschen
Treaty of Teschen (1779) following the "War of the Bavarian
Succession" by the so-called
Innviertel ("Inn Quarter"), formerly part
Hereditary Lands (Erblande or Erbländer; mostly used Österreichische
Erblande) or German Hereditary Lands (in the Austrian monarchy) or
Austrian Hereditary Lands (
Middle Ages – 1849/1918): In a narrower
sense these were the "original" Habsburg Austrian territories, i.e.
basically the Austrian lands and
Carniola (not Galicia, Italian
territories or the Austrian Netherlands).
In a wider sense the
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
Lands of the Bohemian Crown were also included in
(from 1526; definitely from 1620/27) the Hereditary lands. The term
was replaced by the term "Crownlands" (see above) in the 1849 March
Constitution, but it was also used afterwards.
The Erblande also included lots of small and smallest territories that
were principalities, duchies or counties etc. some of them can namely
be found in the reigning titles of the Habsburg monarchs like Graf
(Earl/Count of) von Tyrol etc.
Within the early modern Habsburg Monarchy, each province was governed
according to its own particular customs. Until the mid 17th century,
not all of the provinces were even necessarily ruled by the same
person—junior members of the family often ruled portions of the
Hereditary Lands as private apanages. Serious attempts at
centralization began under Maria Theresa and especially her son Joseph
II in the mid to late 18th century, but many of these were abandoned
following large scale resistance to Joseph's more radical reform
attempts, although a more cautious policy of centralization continued
during the revolutionary period and the Metternichian period that
Another attempt at centralization began in 1849 following the
suppression of the various revolutions of 1848. For the first time,
ministers tried to transform the monarchy into a centralized
bureaucratic state ruled from Vienna. The Kingdom of Hungary, in
particular, ceased to exist as a separate entity, being divided into a
series of districts. Following the Habsburg defeats in the Wars of
1859 and 1866, this policy of net-absolutist centralization was
After experimentation in the early 1860s, the famous Austro-Hungarian
Compromise of 1867 was arrived at, by which the so-called Dual
Monarchy of Austria-
Hungary was set up. In this system, the Kingdom of
Hungary was given sovereignty and a parliament, with only a personal
union and a joint foreign and military policy connecting it to the
other Habsburg lands. Although the non-Hungarian Habsburg lands,
often, but erroneously, referred to as "Austria", received their own
central parliament (the Reichsrat, or Imperial Council) and
ministries, as their official name – the "Kingdoms and Lands
Represented in the Imperial Council" – shows that they remained
something less than a genuine unitary state. When Bosnia and
Herzegovina was annexed (after a long period of occupation and
administration), it was not incorporated into either half of the
monarchy. Instead, it was governed by the joint Ministry of Finance.
Hungary collapsed under the weight of the various unsolved
ethnic problems that came to a head with its defeat in World War I. In
the peace settlement that followed, significant territories were ceded
Romania and Italy, new republics of
Austria (the German-Austrian
territories of the Hereditary lands) and
Hungary (the Magyar core of
the old kingdom) were created, and the remainder of the monarchy's
territory was shared out among the new states of Poland, Kingdom of
Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia), and Czechoslovakia.
Growth of the Habsburg Monarchy
The territories ruled by the branch changed over the centuries, but
the core always consisted of four blocs:
The Hereditary Lands, which covered most of the modern states of
Austria and Slovenia, as well as territories in northeastern
(before 1797) southwestern Germany. To these were added in 1779 the
Inn Quarter of Bavaria; and in 1803 the
Bishoprics of Trent and
Napoleonic Wars caused disruptions where many parts of the
Hereditary lands were lost, but all these, along with the former
Archbishopric of Salzburg, which had previously been temporarily
annexed between 1805 and 1809, were recovered at the peace in 1815,
with the exception of the Vorlande. The Hereditary provinces included:
Archduchy of Austria
Archduchy of Austria (Upper Austria);
Archduchy of Austria
Archduchy of Austria (Lower Austria);
Duchy of Styria;
Duchy of Carinthia;
Duchy of Carniola;
The Adriatic port of Trieste;
Istria (although much of
Istria was Venetian territory until 1797);
Gorizia and Gradisca;
These lands (3–8) were often grouped together as Inner Austria.
County of Tyrol
County of Tyrol (although the
Bishoprics of Trent and Brixen
dominated what would become the South Tyrol before 1803);
Vorarlberg (actually a collection of provinces, only united in the
The Vorlande, a group of territories in
Breisgau and elsewhere in
Germany lost in 1801 (although the Alsatian territories
(Sundgau) which had formed a part of it had been lost as early as
Vorarlberg and the
Vorlande were often grouped together as Further
Austria and mostly ruled jointly with Tyrol.
Grand Duchy of
Salzburg (only after 1805);
Coronation of Maria Theresa in Pressburg, Kingdom of Hungary, 1741
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
Lands of the Bohemian Crown – initially consisting of the five
lands: Kingdom of Bohemia, Margraviate of Moravia, Silesia, and Upper
and Lower Lusatia. Bohemian Diet (Czech: zemský sněm) elected
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, as king in 1526.
Lusatia was ceded to
Saxony in 1635.
Silesia was conquered by Prussia in 1740–1742 and the
remnants which stayed under Habsburg sovereignty were ruled as Duchy
of Upper and Lower
Silesia (Austrian Silesia).
The Kingdom of
Hungary – two thirds of the former territory that was
administered by the medieval Kingdom of
Hungary was conquered by the
Ottoman Empire and the Princes of vassal Ottoman Transylvania, while
the Habsburg administration was restricted to the western and northern
territories of the former kingdom, which remained to be officially
referred as the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1699, at the end of the
Ottoman-Habsburg wars, one part of the territories that were
administered by the former medieval Kingdom of
Hungary came under
Habsburg administration, with some other areas being picked up in 1718
(some of the territories that were part of medieval kingdom, notably
those in the south of the Sava and Danube rivers, remained under
Kingdom of Croatia
Europa regina, symbolizing a Habsburg-dominated Europe.
Soldiers of the
Military Frontier against the incursions of the
Ottoman Turks, 1756
Over the course of its history, other lands were, at times, under
Austrian Habsburg rule (some of these territories were
secundogenitures, i.e. ruled by other lines of Habsburg dynasty):
Serbia occupation (1686–1691);
Kingdom of Slavonia
Kingdom of Slavonia (1699–1868);
Grand Principality of Transylvania, between 1699 (Treaty of Karlowitz)
and 1867 (Ausgleich)
Austrian Netherlands, consisting of most of modern
Duchy of Milan
Duchy of Milan (1713–1797);
Kingdom of Naples
Kingdom of Naples (1713–1735);
Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia (1713–1720);
Banat of Temeswar
Banat of Temeswar (1718–1778);
Oltenia (1718–1739, de facto, 1737), as Grand-Voivodate (sometimes
designated as Valachia Caesarea);
Kingdom of Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily (1720–1735);
Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma (1735–1748);
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, in modern
Poland and Ukraine
Duchy of Bukovina
Duchy of Bukovina (1774–1918);
Serbia occupation (1788–1792);
New Galicia, the Polish lands, including Kraków, taken in the Third
Kingdom of Dalmatia
Kingdom of Dalmatia (1797–1805, 1814–1918);
Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia (1814–1859);
Kraków, which was incorporated into Galicia (1846–1918);
Serbian Vojvodina (1848–1849); de facto entity, officially
Serbia and Banat of Temeschwar (1849–1860);
Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia
Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868–1918);
Sanjak of Novi Pazar
Sanjak of Novi Pazar occupation (1878–1913);
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918).
The boundaries of some of these territories varied over the period
indicated, and others were ruled by a subordinate (secundogeniture)
Habsburg line. The Habsburgs also held the title of Holy Roman Emperor
between 1438 and 1740, and again from 1745 to 1806.
Habsburg territories outside the Habsburg Monarchy
See also: Spanish Empire
Habsburg territories in 1700. The Habsburg
Monarchy is shown in
yellow, while the territories of the senior Spanish Habsburgs are
shown in red.
The Habsburg monarchy should not be confused with various other
territories ruled at different times by members of the Habsburg
dynasty. The senior Spanish line of the Habsburgs ruled over Habsburg
Spain and various other territories from 1516 until it became extinct
in 1700. A junior line ruled over
Tuscany between 1765 and 1801, and
again from 1814 to 1859. While exiled from Tuscany, this line ruled at
Salzburg from 1803 to 1805, and in
Würzburg from 1805 to 1814.
Another line ruled the
Duchy of Modena
Duchy of Modena from 1814 to 1859, while
Empress Marie Louise, Napoleon's second wife and the daughter of
Emperor Francis, ruled over the
Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma between 1814
and 1847. Also, the Second Mexican Empire, from 1863 to 1867, was
headed by Maximilian I of Mexico, the brother of
Emperor Franz Josef
For a historical account, see:
Austria in the Habsburg Monarchy
Hungary under the Habsburg Monarchy
Kingdom of Bohemia: 1526–1648, 1648–1867, 1867–1918.
Croatia (Habsburg); Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia; Kingdom of
Kingdom of Serbia: 1718–1739, 1788-1791
Slovakia within the Habsburg Monarchy
Economy of the Habsburg Monarchy
History of the Balkans
Rulers of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1521–1918
Main article: List of rulers of Austria
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Infanta Maria of Spain
with their children.
Ferdinand I 1521–1564
Maximilian II 1564–1576
Rudolf II 1576–1612
Ferdinand II 1619–1637
Ferdinand III 1637–1657
Leopold I 1657–1705
Joseph I 1705–1711
Charles VI 1711–1740 "Karl VI."
Maria Theresa 1740–1780 (German: Maria Theresia)
Joseph II 1780–1790 known as "the great Reformer"
Leopold II 1790–1792 from 1765 to 1790 "Grandduke of Tuscany"
Francis II 1792–1835 correctly written "Franz" (became Emperor
Francis I of
Austria in 1804, at which point numbering starts anew)
Ferdinand I 1835–1848 known as "Ferdinand the Good" German:
"Ferdinand der Gütige"
Francis Joseph I 1848–1916 Brother of
Emperor Maximilian of Mexico
Charles I 1916–1918 last reigning Monarch of Austria-Hungary
Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen or sometimes called Otto von Österreich
Crown Prince of
Austria to be found as Otto von Habsburg
Habsburg family tree
The most famous memoir on the decline of the Habsburg Empire is Stefan
Zweig's The World of Yesterday.
^ "Smoldering Embers: Czech-German Cultural Competition, 1848–1948"
by C. Brandon Hone. Utah State University.
^ a b "
Czech Republic - Historic Centre of
Heindorffhus, August 2007, HeindorffHus-Czech Archived 2007-03-20 at
Vienna website; "Archived copy". Archived from the original on
2011-11-23. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
^ Encyclopædia Britannica online article Austria-Hungary;
^ Metropolitan Museum of Art;
^ University of Wisconsin;
^ "Ferdinand I". Encyclopædia Britannica.
^ Simon Adams (30 July 2005). The Balkans. Black Rabbit Books.
pp. 1974–. ISBN 978-1-58340-603-8.
^ SCOTT LACKEY (30 October 1995). The Rebirth of the Habsburg Army:
Friedrich Beck and the Rise of the General Staff. ABC-CLIO.
pp. 166–. ISBN 978-0-313-03131-1.
^ Carl Cavanagh Hodge (2008). Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism,
1800-1914: A-K. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 59–.
^ Giorgio Manacorda (2010) Nota bibliografica in Roth La Marcia di
Radetzky, Newton Classici quotation:
Stefan Zweig, l'autore del più famoso libro sull'Impero asburgico,
Die Welt von Gestern
Ingrao, Charles. The Habsburg Monarchy, 1618–1815 (2000) excerpt and
Ingrao, Charles. In Quest and Crisis:
Emperor Joseph I and the
Judson, Pieter M. The Habsburg Empire: A New History (2016). Downplays
the disruptive impact of ethnic nationalism.
Kann, Robert A. A History of the Habsburg Empire: 1526–1918 (U of
California Press, 1974)
Lieven, Dominic. Empire: The Russian empire and its rivals (Yale UP,
2002), comparisons with Russian, British, & Ottoman empires.
Macartney, Carlile Aylmer The Habsburg Empire, 1790–1918, New York,
McCagg, Jr., William O. A History of the Habsburg Jews, 1670–1918
(Indiana University Press, 1989)
Oakes, Elizabeth and Eric Roman. Austria-
Hungary and the Successor
States: A Reference Guide from the
Renaissance to the Present (2003)
Robert John Weston Evans, The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy,
1550–1700: An Interpretation, Oxford University Press, 1979.
Sked Alan The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815–1918,
London: Longman, 1989.
Steed, Henry Wickham; et al. (1914). A short history of
Hungary and Poland.
Taylor, A.J.P. The Habsburg monarchy, 1809–1918: a history of the
Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, (London: Penguin Books. 2nd ed.
1964) excerpt and text search
HABSBURG in an email discussion list dealing with the culture and
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Monarchy and its successor states in central
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