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Magyars and Slavs never willingly recognized a style which ignored their national rights and implied the superiority of the German elements of the monarchy; to the Germans it was a poor substitute for a title which had represented the political unity of tbe German race under the Holy Empire. For long after the Vienna Congress of 1814-1815 the " Kaiser "as such exercised a powerful influence over the imaginations' of the German people outside the Uabsburg dominions; but this was because the title was still surrounded with its ancient halo and the essential change was not at once recognized. The outcome of the long struggle with Prussia, which in 1866 finally broke the spell, and the proclamation of the German empire in 1871 left the tillc of emperor «i Austria stripped of everything but a purely territorial significance It had, moreover, by the compact with Hungary of 1867. ceased even fully to represent the relation of the emperor to all his dominions; and the title which had been devised to cover the whole of the Habsburg monarchy sank into tbe official style of the sovereign of but a half; while even within the Austrian empire proper it is resented by those peoples which, like the Bohemians, wish to obtain the same recognition of their national independence as was conceded to Hungary. In placing the account of the origin and development of the Habsburg monarchy under this heading, it is merely for the sake of convenience.
The first nucleus round which the present dominions of the house of Austria gradually accumulated was the mark which lay along the south bank of the Danube, east of the river Enns. founded about A.d. 800 as a defence for the Frankish kingdom against the Slavs. Although its total length from east to west was only about 60 m., it was associated in the popular mind with a large and almost unbroken tract of land in the caat of Europe. This fact, together with the position of the mark with regard to Germany in general and to Bjv.ui i in particular, accounts for the name Oitcrreick (Austria), 11 east empire or realm, a word first used in a charter of 096, where the phrase in regions vuigari nomine Ostarrichi occurs. The development of this small mark into the AustroHungnrUn monarchy was a slow and gradual process, and falls into two mam divisions, which almost coincide with the periods daring which the dynasties of Babenberg and Habsburg have respectively ruled the land. The energies of the house ol Babenberg were chiefly spent in enlarging the area and strengthening the position of the mark itself, and when this was done the house of Habsburg set itself with remarkable perseverance and marvellous success to extend its rule over neighbouring territories. The many vicissitudes which have attended this development have not, however, altered the European position of Austria, which has remained the same for over a thousand years. Stand* ing sentinel over the valley of the middle Danube, and barring the advance of the Slavs on Germany, Austria, whether mark, duchy or empire, has always been the meeting-place of the Teuton and the Slav. It is this fact which gives it a unique interest and importance in the history of Europe, and which unites the ideas of the Germans to-day with those of Charlemagne and Ouo the Great.
The southern part ol the country now called Austria was inhabited before the opening of tbc Christian era by the Taurisci, a Celtic tribe, who were subsequently called the Norici, and who were conquered by the Romans about 14 B.c. Their land was afterwards included in the provinccsof Pinnonia and Noricum. and under Roman rule, Vindobona, tbe modern Vienna, became a place of some importance. The part ol the country north ol the Danube was peopled by the Marcom&nni and tbc Quadi, and both of these tribes were frequently at war with the Romans, especially during the reign of ibr emperor Marcus Aurelius, who died at Vindobona in A.d. 180 *bcn campaigning against them. Christianity and civilization ottained entrance into the land, but the increasing weakness of the Roman empire opened the country to the inroads of the turtarians, and during .the period of the great migrations it was ravaged .a quick succession by a number of these tribes, prominent tiling whom w«e the Hum. The lands on both banks of the
river shared the same fate, due probably to the fact to which Gibbon has drawn attention( that at this period the Danube was frequently frozen over. About 500 the district was settled by the Slovenes, or Corutanes, & Slavonic people, who formed part of the kingdom of Samo, and were afterwards included in the extensive kingdom of the Avars. The Franks claimed some authority over this people, and probably some of the princes of the Slovenes had recognized this claim, but it could not be regarded as serious while the Avars were in possession ol the land, f n 791 Charlemagne, after he had established his authority over the BajttMrii or Bavarians, crossed the river Enns, and moved against the Avars. This attack was followed by campaigns on the part of his lieutenants, and in 805 the Avars were finally subdued, and their land incorporated with the Frankish empire. This step brought the later Austria definitely under the rule of the Franks, and during the struggle £,^40,4.. Charlemagne erected a mark, called the East Mark, nteatot to defend the eastern border of his empire. A series of theEsst margraves ruled this small district from yog to 907, **a/*but as the Frankish empire grew weaker, the mark suffered more and more from the ravages of its eastern neighbours. During the oth century the Frankish supremacy vanished, and the mark was overrun by the Moravians, and then by the Magyars, or Hungarians, who destroyed the few remaining traces of Frankish influence.
A new era dawned after Otto the Great was elected German king in 936, and it is Otto rather than Charlemagne who must be regarded as the real founder of Austria. In August 055 he gained a great victory over the Magyars on the ^b*??*? Lechfcld, freed Bavaria from their presence, and re- tery. founded the East Mark for the defence of his kingdom. In 976 his son, the emperor Otto II., entrusted the government of this mark, soon to be known as Austria, to Leopold, a member of the family of Babenberg (?.v.), and its administration was conducted with vigour and success. Leopold and his descendants ruled Austria until the extinction of the family in 1246, and by their skill and foresight raised the mark to an important place among the German states. Their first care was to push its eastern frontier down the Danube valley, by colonizing the lands on either side of the river, and the success of this work may be seen in the removal of their capital from Pochlarn to Mclk, then to Tulln, and finally about 1140 to Vienna. The country as far as the Leitha was subsequently incorporated with Austria, and in the other direction the district between the Enns and the Inn was added to the mark in 1156, an important date in u(|Cft , Austrian history. Anxious to restore peace to Germany Auttrim in this year, the new king, Frederick I., raised Austria created, to the rank of a duchy, and conferred upon it ex- tl^6' ceptional privileges. The investiture was bestowed not only upon Duke Henry but upon his second wife, Theodora; in case of a failure of male heirs the duchy was to descend to females; and if the duke had no children he could nominate his successor. Controlling all the jurisdiction of the land, the duke's only duties towards the Empire were to appear at any diet held in Bavaria, and to send a contingent to the imperial army for any campaigns in the countries bordering upon Austria. In 1186 Duke Leopold I. made a treaty with Ottakar IV., duke of Styria, an arrangement which brought Styria and upper Austria to the Babcnbcrgs in 1192, and in 1229 Duke Leopold II. purchased some lands from the bishop of Freising, and took the title of lord of Carniola. When the house of Babcnberg became extinct in 1246, Austria, stretching from Fassau almost to Frcssburg, had the frontiers wliich it retains to-day, and this increase of territory had been accompanied by a corresponding increase in wealth and general prosperity. The chief reason for this prosperity was the growth of trade along the Danube, which stimulated the foundation, or the growth, of towns, and brought considerable riches to the ruler. Under the later Babenbergs Vienna was regarded as one of the'most important of German cities, and it was computed that the duke was as rich as the archbishop of Cologne, or the margrave of Brandenburg, and was surpassed in this respect by only one German prince, the *ing of Bohemia. The interests of the Austrian margraves and dukes were not confined to the acquisition of wealth either in land or chattels. Vienna became a centre of culture and learning, and many religious houses were founded and endowed. The _^ acme of the early prosperity of Austria was reached Lrepoun. u"l'rr Duke Leopold II., surnamed the Glorious, who reigned from 1194 to 1230. He gave a code of municipal law to Vienna, and rights to other towns, welcomed the Minnesingers to his brilliant court, and left to his subjects an enduring memory of valour and wisdom. Leopold and his predecessors were enabled, owing to the special position of Austria, to act practically as independent rulers. Cherishing the privilege of 1156, they made treaties with foreign kings, and arranged marriages with ihc great families of Europe. With full control of jurisdiction and of commerce, no great bishopric nor imperial city impeded the course of their authority, and the emperor interfered only to settle boundary disputes.
The main lines of Austrian policy under the Babenbergs were warfare with the Hungarians and other eastern neighbours, and a general attitude of loyalty towards the emperors. The story of the Hungarian wars is a monotonous record of forays, of assistance given at times to the Babenbergs by the forces of the Empire, and ending in the gradual eastward advance of Austria. The traditional loyalty to the emperors, which was cemented by several marriages between the imperial house and the Babenbergs, was, however, departed from by the margrave Leopold II., and by Duke Frederick II. During the investiture struggle Leopold deserted the emperor Henry IV., who deprived him of Austria and conferred it upon Vratislav II., duke of the Bohemians. Unable to maintain his position, Vratislav was soon driven out, and in 1083 Leopold again obtained possession of the mark, and was soon reconciled with Henry. Very similar Daki was the result of the conflict between the emperor ini/rrkk Frederick II. and Duke Frederick II. Ignoring the n.. iim privilege of 1156, the emperor claimed certain rights Quaml' jn Austria, and summoned the duke to his Italian diets. Frederick, who was called the Quarrelsome, had irritated both his neighbours and his subjects, and complaints of his exactions and confiscations reached -the cars of the emperor. After the duke had three times refused to appear before the princes, Frederick placed him under the ban, declared the duchies of Austria and Styria to be vacant, and, tided by the king of Bohemia, the duke of Bavaria and other princes, invaded the country in i »j6. He met with very slight opposition, declared the duchies to be immediately dependent upon the Empire, made Vienna an imperial city, and imposed other changes upon Eaiotilit t!lc constitution of Austria. After his departure, .>,.,.«• of however, the duke returned, and in 1239 was in "-ivn- possession of his former power, while the changes made •'"'''• by the emperor were ignored. Continuing his career of
violence and oppression, Duke Frederick was killed in battle by the Hungarians in June 1246, when the family of Babenberg became extinct.
The duchies of Austria and Styria were now claimed by the emperor Frederick II. as vacant fiefs of the Empire, and their D/« at a government was entrusted to Otto II., duke of Bavaria, loifw Frederick, however, who was in Italy, harassed and afBicted,could do little to assert the imperial authority, and his enemy, Pope Innocent IV., bestowed the two duchies upon Hermann VI., margrave of Baden, whose wife, Gertrude, was a niece of the hut of the Babenbergs. Hermann was invested by the German king, William, count of Holland, but he was unable to establish his position, and law and order were quickly disappearing from the duchies. The deaths of Hermann and of the emperor in 1250, however, paved the way for a settlement. Weary of struggle aud disorder, and despairing of any help from the central authority, the estates of Austria met at Trubensee in 1151, and chose Ottakar, son of Wenceslaus I., king of Bohemia, as their duke. This step was favoured by the pope, and Ottakar, eagerly accepting the offer, strengthened his position by marrying Margaret, a sister of Duke Frederick II., and in return for his investiture promised
his assistance to William of Holland. Styria appear* at this time to have shared the fortunes of Austria, but it was claimed by Beta IV., king of Hungary, who conquered, the land, and made a treaty with Oltakar in 1154 which confirmed him in its possession. The Hungarian rule was soon resented by the Styrians, and Ottakar, who ha8 become king of Bohemia in 1JJJ. took advantage of this resentment, and interfered in the affairs of the duchy. A war with Hungary was the result, but on this occasion victory rested with Ottakar, and by a treaty made with Bela, in March i>6i, he was recognized at duke of Styria. In 1260 Oltakar inherited the duchy of Carinthia on the death of Duke Ulrich III-. and, his power having now become very great, he began to aspire to the German throne. He did something to improve the condition of the duchies by restoring order. Introducing German colonists into the eastern districts, and seeking to benefit the inhabitants of the towns.
In 117) Rudolph, count of Habsburg, became German king, and his attention soon turned to Ottakar, whose power menaced the occupant of the German throne. Finding some Support in Austria, Rudolph questioned the title of fffrf<^p* the Bohemian king to the three duchies, and sought *«« to recover the imperial lands which had been in the possession of the emperor Frederick II. Ottakar was summoned twice before the diet, the imperial court declared against him, and in July 1275 he was placed under the ban. \Var was tbe result, and in November 1276 Ottakar submitted to Rudolph, and renounced the duchies of Austria, Styria And Carinthia. For some time the three duchies were administered by Rudolph in his capacity as head of the Empire, of which they formed part. Not content with thit tie, however, which was personal to himself alone, the king planned to make them hereditary possetlions of his family, and to transfer the headquarters of the Habsburgs from the Rhine to the Danube. Some opposition was offered to this scheme; but the perseverance of the king overcame all difficulties, and one of the most important events in European history look place on the J7lh of December _. «.». 1282, when Kudolph invested his tons, Rudolph and i,urT, Albert, with the duchies of Austria and Styria. He r.usretained Carinthit in his own hands until 1986, when, «•»•*'• in return for valuable services, he bestowed it upon u'Ji'rt*' Meinhard IV., count of Tirol. The younger Rudolph took no part in the government of Austria and Styria, which was undertaken by Albeit, until his election as German king in 1108. Albert appears to have been rather an arbitrary ruler. In 1188 he suppressed a rising of the people of Vienna, and he made the fullest use of the ducal power in asserting his real or supposed rights. At this time the principle of primogeniture was unknown in the house of Habsburg, and for many yetrt the duchies were • ruled in common by two, or even three, members of the family. After Albert became German king, his two elder sons, Rudolph and Frederick, were successively associated with him in the government, and after his death in ijo8. his four younger sons shared at one time or another in the administration of Austria and Styria. In 1314 Albert's ton, Frederick, was chosen German king in opposition to Louis IV., duke of Upper Bavaria, afterwards the emperor Louis IV., and Austria was weakened by the efforts of the Habsburgs to sustain Frederick in his contest with Louis, and also by the struggle carried on between another brother, Leopold, and the Swiss. A series' of deaths among the Habsburgs during the first half of the uth century left Duke Albert II. and his four sons as the only representatives of the family. Albert ruled the duchies alone from 1344 to 1356, and after this date his sons began to take pan in the government. The most noteworthy of these was Duke Rudolph IV., a son-in-law of the emperor Charles IV., who showed his interest in learning by founding the university of \ i, nm in i ',65. Rudolph's chief aim was to make Austria into an independent state, and he forged a series of privileges the purport of which was to free the duchy from all its duties towards the Empire. A sharp contest with the emperor followed this proceeding, and the Austrian duke, annoyed that Austria was not raised to the dignity of an electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356, did not shrink from a contest with Charles. In 1301. however, he abandoned his pretensions, but claimed the title of archduke (y.».) and in 1384 declared that Ihe posseslions of the Habsburgs were indivisible. Meanwhile the acquisition of neighbouring territories had been steadily pressed on. In 1335 the duchy of Carinthia, and a part of Carniola, were inherited by Dukes Albert II. and Otto, and in 1363 Rudolph IV. obtained the county of Tirol. In 1364 Carniola was made into an hereditary duchy; in 1374 part of Istria came under the rule of the Habsburgs; in 1382 Trieste submitted voluntarily to Austria, and at various times during the century, other smaller districts were added to the lands of the Habsburgs.
Rudolph IV. died childless in 1365, and in 1379 his two remaining brothers, Leopold III. and Albert III., made a division of their lands, by which Albert retained Austria proper and Carniola, and Leopold got Styria, Carinthia and Tirol. Leopold was killed in 1386 at the battle of Sempach, and Albert became guardian for his four nephews, who subsequently ruled their lands in common. The senior line which ruled in Austria was represented after the death of Duke Albert III. in 139; by his son. Duke Albert IV., and then by his grandson. Duke Albert V., who became German king as Albert II. in 1438. Albert married Elizabeth, daughter of Sigismund, king of Hungary and Bohemia, and on the death of his father-in-law assumed these two crowns. He died in 1439, and just after his death a son was born to him, who was called Ladislaus Posthumus, and succeeded to the duchy of Austria and to the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia. William and Leopold, the two eldest sons of Duke Leopold III.. and, with their younger brothers Ernest and Frederick, the Joint rulers of Styria, Carinthia and Tirol, died early in the I5th century, and in 1406 Ernest and Frederick made a division, of their lands. Ernest became duke of Styria and Carinthia, and Frederick, count of Tirol. Ernest was succeeded in 1474 by his sons, Frederick and Albert, and Frederick in 1439 by his ion. Sigismund, and these three princes were reigning when King Albert II. died in 1439. Frederick, who succeeded Albert is German king, and was soon crowned emperor as' Frederick III., v.i/.d as guardian for Sigismund of Tirol, who •was a minor, and H__ also became regent of Austria in consequence of the „,,„, infancy of Ladislaus. Hn rule was a period of struggle tnpcmr and disorder, owing portly to the feebleness of his own Jj'"'** character, partly to the wfsh of his brother, Albert, to share his dignities. The Tirolese soon grew weary oC his government, and, in 1446, Sigismund was declared of age. The estates of Austria were equally discontented and headed an open revolt, the object of which was to remove Ladislaus from Frederick's charge and deprive the latter of the regency. The leading spirit in this movement was Ulrich Eiczing (Eiuing or von Eiczingcr. d. before 1463), a low-born adventurer, ennobled by Albert II., in whose service he had accumulated vast wealth and power. In 1451 he organized an armed league, and in December, with '-<••>»•' tjieaid of the populace, made himself master of Vienna, °* whither he had summoned the estates. In March 1452 he was joined by Count Ulrich of Cilli, while the Hungarians and ih! powerful party of the great house of Rosenberg in Bohemia illachcil themselves to the league. Frederick, who had hurried hick from Italy, was besieged in August in the Vienna Neustadt, iiirf was forced to deliver Ladislaus to Count Ulrich, whose feffumcE had meanwhile eclipsed that of Eiczing. Ladislaus mv ruled nominally himself, under the tutelage of Count Ulrich. The country was, however, distracted by quarrels between the pirty of the high aristocracy, which recognized the count of Cilli as its chief, and that of the lesser nobles, citizens and piputacc, who followed Eiczing. In September 1453 the latter, by a tuccessful fmtate. succeeded in ousting Count Ulrich, and remained in power till February 1455, when the count once more entered Vienna In triumph. Ulrich of Citli was killed rjetnro Belgrade in November 1456; a year later Ladislaus ainnell died (November 1457). Meanwhile Styri* and Carinthia
were equally unfortunate under the rule of Frederick and Albert; and the death of Ladislaus led to still further complications. Austria, which had been solemnly created an archduchy by the emperor Frederick in 1453, was claimed by the three remaining Habsburg princes, and lower Austria was secured by Frederick, while Albert *"*>'• obtained upper Austria. Both princes were unpopular, and in 1461 Frederick was attacked by the inhabitants of Vienna, and was forced to surrender lower Austria to Albert, whose spendthrift habits soon made his rule disliked. A further struggle between the brothers was prevented by Albert's death in 1463, when the estates did homage to Frederick. The emperor was soon again at issue with the Austrian nobles, and was attacked by Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, *">*«*«» who drove him from Vienna in ^85. Although ham- SyHntfriL pcrcd by the inroads of the Turks, Matthias pressed On, and by 1487 was firmly in possession of Austria, Styria and Carinthia, which seemed quite lost to the Habsburgs.
The decline in the fortunes of the family, however, was to be arrested by Frederick's son, Maximilian, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I., who was the second founder ne of the greatness of the house of Habsburg. Like his cmpmf ancestor, Rudolph, he had to conquer the lands over i»m*iwhich his descendants were destined to rule, and by <""i"* arranging a treaty of succession to the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia, he pointed the way to power and empire in eastern Europe. Soon after his election as king of the Romans in 1486, Maximilian attacked the Hungarians, and in 1400 he had driven them from Austria, and recovered his hereditary lands. In the same year he made an arrangement with his kinsman, Sigismund of Tirol, by which he brought this county under his rule, and when the emperor Frederick died in 1493, Maximilian united the whole of the Austrian lands under his sway, Continuing his acquisitions of territory, he inherited the possessions of the counts of Gorz in 1500, added some districts to Tirol by intervening in a succession war in Bavaria, and acquired Gradisca in 1 51 1 as the result of a struggle with Venice. He did much for the better government of the Austrian duchies. Bodies were established for executive, financial and judicial purposes,' the Austrian lands constituted one of the" imperial circles which were established in 1513, and in 1518 representatives of the various diets (Landtagc) met at Innsbruck, a proceeding which marks the beginning of an organic unity in the Austrian lands. In these ways Maximilian proved himself a capable and energetic ruler, although his plans for making Austria into a kingdom, or an electorate, were abortive.
At the close of the middle ages the area of Austria had increased to nearly 50,000 sq. m., but its internal condition docs not appear to have improved in proportion to this Auarl,M increase in size. The rulers of Austria lacked the the clam prestige which attached to the electoral office, and, »'<»« although five of them had held the position of German «•***» king, the four who preceded Maximilian had added ****" little or nothing to the power and dignity of this position. The ecclesiastical organization of Austria was imperfect, so long as there was no archbishopric within its borders, and its clergy owed allegiance to foreign prelates. The work of unification which was so .successfully accomplished by Maximilian was aided by two events, the progress of the Turks in south-eastern Europe, and the loss of most of the Habsburg possessions on the Rhine. The first tended to draw the separate states together for purposes of defence, and the second turned the attention of the Habsburgs to the possibilities of expansion in eastern Europe. (A. W. H.*)
At the time of the death of the emperor Maximilian in 1519 the Habsburg dominions in eastern Germany included the duchies of Upper and Lower Austria, Slyria, Carinthia, Carniola and the county of Tirol. Maximilian was succeeded as archduke of Austria as well as emperor by c»«rfc« v. his grandson Charles of Spain, known in history as the *° emperor Charles V. To his brother Ferdinand Charles ** resigned all his Austrian lands, including his claims on Bohemia