Archduchy of Austria
Erzherzogtum Österreich (German)
Motto: Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan
"All the world is subject to Austria"
The Archduchy of Austria within the Habsburg hereditary lands (orange), 1477
|Status|| State of the Holy Roman Empire (1453–1806)|
Crown land of the Habsburg Monarchy (from 1526)
|Common languages||Central Bavarian, German|
| Ladislaus the Posthumous |
(first formal archduke)
|Francis I (last a )|
|Historical era||Early modern period|
• Emperor Frederick III acknowledged archducal title
|6 January 1453|
• Joined Austrian Circle
|28 April 1521|
• Austrian Empire proclaimed
|11 August 1804|
• Holy Roman Empire dissolved
|6 August 1806|
|ISO 3166 code||AT|
^a The title "Archduke of Austria" remained part of the official grand title of the rulers of Austria until 1918.
The Archduchy of Austria (German : Erzherzogtum Österreich) was a major principality of the 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.
Its present name originates from the Frankish term Oustrich - Eastern Kingdom (east of the Frankish kingdom). The Archduchy developed out of the Bavarian Margraviate of Austria, elevated to the Duchy of Austria according to the 1156 Privilegium Minus by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The House of Habsburg came to the Austrian throne in Vienna in 1282 and in 1453 Emperor Frederick III, also the ruler of Austria, 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 ended with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in 1806. It was replaced with the Lower and Upper Austria crown lands of the Austrian Empire.
Part of a series on the
|History of Austria|
Located in the Danube basin, the ancient Roman province Pannonia Superior, Austria bordered on the Kingdom of Hungary beyond the March and 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 and the Thaya river marked the border with Bohemia and Moravia.
In the west, the Upper Austrian part bordered on the Bavarian stem duchy. The adjacent 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 and the Berchtesgaden Provostry.
After Austria was detached from Bavaria and established as an Imperial estate in 1156, the Babenberg dukes also acquired the neighbouring 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 and enfeoffed his son Albert I.
In 1358/59 the Habsburg duke Rudolf IV, in response to 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, the 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.
On Epiphany 1453 Emperor Frederick III, regent of 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 Crown 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 of 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 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 (Habsburg-Lorraine from 1745 on), which as Archdukes of Austria and Kings of Bohemia ruled as Holy Roman Emperors until the Empire's dissolution in 1806.
In 1804, Emperor Francis II of Habsburg who was also ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy promoted his territories within the Holy Roman Empire together with his Kingdom of Hungary to the Austrian Empire in reaction to Napoleon I's proclamation of the French Empire; two years later Francis formally dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. The Archduchy of Austria continued to exist as a constituent crown land (Kronland) within the empire, although it was divided into Upper and Lower Austria for administrative purposes. Hungary preserved its earlier status as Regnum Independens. The title of archduke continued to be used by members of the imperial family and the archduchy was only formally dissolved in 1918 with the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the creation of the separate federal states of Lower and Upper Austria in the new Republic of German Austria.
The House of Habsburg, also House of Austria, was one of the most prominent royal houses of Europe in the 2nd millennium.
Babenberg was a noble dynasty of Austrian margraves and dukes. Originally from Bamberg in the Duchy of Franconia, the Babenbergs ruled the Imperial Margraviate of Austria from its creation in 976 AD until its elevation to a duchy in 1156, and from then until the extinction of the line in 1246, whereafter they were succeeded by the House of Habsburg.
Rudolf I was the first king of Germany from the House of Habsburg. The first of the count-kings of Germany, he reigned from 1273 until his death.
The Duchy of Carinthia was a duchy located in southern Austria and parts of northern Slovenia. It was separated from the Duchy of Bavaria in 976, and was the first newly created Imperial State after the original German stem duchies.
The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.
Archduke was the title borne from 1358 by the Habsburg rulers of the Archduchy of Austria, and later by all senior members of that dynasty. It denotes a rank within the former Holy Roman Empire (962–1806), which was below that of Emperor and King but above that of a Grand Duke (debatably), Prince and Duke.
The Privilegium Minus is the denotation of a deed issued by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa on 17 September 1156. It included the elevation of the Bavarian frontier march of Austria to a duchy, which was given as an inheritable fief to the House of Babenberg.
The Privilegium maius was a medieval document forged in 1358 or 1359 at the behest of Duke Rudolf IV of Austria (1358–65) of the House of Habsburg. It was essentially a modified version of the Privilegium minus issued by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1156, which had elevated the former March of Austria into a duchy. In a similar way, the Privilegium maius elevated the duchy into an Archduchy of Austria.
The Treaty of Neuberg, concluded between the Austrian duke Albert III and his brother Leopold III on 25 September 1379, determined the division of the Habsburg hereditary lands into an Albertinian and Leopoldian line.
Inner Austria was a term used from the late 14th to the early 17th century for the Habsburg hereditary lands south of the Semmering Pass, referring to the Imperial duchies of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola and the lands of the Austrian Littoral. The residence of the Inner Austrian archdukes and stadtholders was at the Burg castle complex in Graz.
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The Duchy of Austria was a medieval principality of the Holy Roman Empire, established in 1156 by the Privilegium Minus, when the Margraviate of Austria (Ostarrîchi) was detached from Bavaria and elevated to a duchy in its own right. After the ruling dukes of the House of Babenberg became extinct in male line, there was as much as three decades of rivalry on inheritance and rulership, until the German king Rudolf I took over the dominion as the first monarch of the Habsburg dynasty in 1276. Thereafter, Austria became the patrimony and ancestral homeland of the dynasty and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1453, the archducal title of the Austrian rulers, invented by Duke Rudolf IV in the forged Privilegium Maius of 1359, was officially acknowledged by the Habsburg emperor Frederick III.
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The Duchy of Styria was a duchy located in modern-day southern Austria and northern Slovenia. It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806 and a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary until its dissolution in 1918.
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