Special Sub-Topic: Mighty Monarchs VI (Austria)
|In 976 AD the Margraviate of Austria was created by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, to secure his empire's eastern frontier. The title of Margrave was given to this man - founder of the Babenberg dynasty. Who was it? |
Leopold I. Leopold I (r. 976-994 AD) would establish a dynasty that lasted till 1246 AD.
|In 1156 AD Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, elevated Austria to the status of a Duchy. His cousin had already performed the functions of margrave since 1141 AD and was delighted with his new titles. Which individual was it?|
Henry II. Henry II (r. 1141-1177 AD) was married to Theodora Comnena, niece of the Byzantine emperor, Manuel I, in 1148 AD in Constantinople. It was meant to be a political alliance between Conrad III, Holy Roman Emperor (and Henry's half-brother), and Manuel against the Norman Kingdom of Sicily.
|This Duke was insulted by Richard I Lionheart, King of England, during the last days of the Third Crusade's siege of Acre (Jun 1191 AD). The leadership of the German contingents had fallen on him after the deaths of Frederick I, Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, and his son, Frederick, Duke of Swabia, in 1190 AD and 1191 AD respectively. He returned to Austria seething for revenge soon after the capture of the city. Which individual was it?|
Leopold V. Richard I would be forced to travel overland on his return from the Holy Land. He tried to disguise himself to prevent detection by Leopold V (r. 1177-1194 AD) but was captured near Vienna (Dec 11, 1192 AD). Leopold eventually handed him over to his overlord, Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (Mar 1193 AD). Richard was a valuable asset for Henry: he was the brother-in-law of Henry, the Lion, Duke of Saxony (the emperor's enemy in Germany) and the ally of Tancred, King of Sicily (Henry claimed the throne of Sicily through his wife, Constance, daughter of the late King of Sicily (Roger II). Richard would eventually be ransomed in Mar 1194 AD.
|Upon the death of Duke Frederick II, the Fighter, in 1246 AD, the Babenberg dynasty ended and direct imperial control over the Duchy was imposed by this Holy Roman Emperor. Who was it?|
Frederick II. Duke Frederick II (r. 1230-1246 AD). The emperor held Austria until 1248 AD when it was given to Herman of Baden (r. 1248-1250 AD). Between 1250-1253 AD was the Interregnum which only ended when Ottokar II, King of Bohemia, seized the duchy.
|In 1253 AD this King of Bohemia claimed the Duchy of Austria through his marriage to Margaret, sister of the late duke, Frederick II, the Fighter. He would struggle with Rudolf I, Holy Roman Emperor, over control of the duchy til he was defeated and killed during the Battle of Marchfield Plain (Durnkrut) on Aug 26, 1278 AD. Which individual was it?|
Ottokar II. Ottokar (r. 1253-1276 AD) officially abdicated his position over Austria to Rudolf in 1276 AD but continued to struggle til his death in battle. Wenceslaus II who already had reigned as King of Bohemia from 1230-1253 AD was restored and reigned from 1278-1305 AD.
|In 1276 AD Rudolf I, Holy Roman Emperor, took over possession of the Duchy of Austria. It would remain in his dynasty's possession til 1918 AD. Which dynasty was it? |
Habsburg. Rudolf I was the first Habsburg to be emperor (1273-1291 AD) and the first to be duke (1276-1282 AD). He would turn over control of the duchy to his son Albert I (r. 1282-1308 AD). Austria would be the Habsburg powerbase. The imperial title would become hereditary (1438 AD) and by marriage alliances and military might they would eventually control the largest family "empire" in Europe.
|In 1519 AD the grandson of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria, assumed both of his grandfathers titles and duties. He would turn over control of Austria to his brother, Ferdinand I in 1522 AD and finally abdicated the imperial throne in 1556 AD. Which Archduke was it? |
Charles I. Charles I, Archduke of Austria (r. 1519-1522 AD), is better known in history by his imperial title (Charles V, r. 1519-1556 AD). Before becoming emperor and archduke he had already been King of Spain (Charles I, r. 1516-1556 AD) and King of the Two Sicilies (r. 1516-1556 AD). He also ruled over the Netherlands and the recently discovered New World. Upon his death the Habsburg "Empire" was permenantly divided into two branches of the family - the Austrian and Spanish. Note: the varying titles that he held indicates that each unique state he governed still retained its own laws and government (i.e. just because he became Holy Roman Emperor did not mean that Spain became a part of the Empire).
|In 1740 AD the War of Austrian Succession began when this individual succeeded their father, Archduke Charles II. Which individual was it?|
Maria Theresa. Charles II, Archduke of Austria (r. 1711-1740 AD) and Holy Roman Emperor (Charles VI, r. 1711-1740 AD) had sought the assurance of the other European monarchs that they would recognize his daughter's rights to the succession of his Habsburg lands (including the Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Bohemia which had both been acquired in 1526 AD). By 1732 AD the major powers had agreed to his 'Pragmatic Sanction' but she would be excluded from the imperial title. When the war ended in 1748 AD she not only retained her family lands (excluding Silesia which Prussia had seized) and titles but her husband, Francis I, sat on the imperial throne. She would rule til her death in 1780 AD.
|In 1804 AD the Austrian Empire was declared by this archduke in response to Napoleon Bonaparte's declaration of a French Empire earlier in the year. The archduke feared that Napoleon I would dissolve the Holy Roman Empire and take over control of the lesser German states and he wished his family to retain the prestige of an imperial title which it had held since 1438 AD. Which Archduke was it? |
Francis I. Francis I, Archduke of Austria (r. 1792-1835 AD) and Holy Roman Emperor (Francis II, r. 1792-1806 AD) was correct in his fears but it was not till Aug 6, 1806 AD that the Holy Roman Empire was officially dissloved (founded on Dec 25, 800 AD). Napoleon I had earlier formed the Confederation of the Rhine (Jul 12, 1806 AD) which included all of his German allies.
|After being defeated in the Seven Weeks' War (1866 AD) and excluded from the new North German Confederation (1867 AD) the Austrians were forced to turn their attention towards their holdings to the East. In 1867 AD the Austrian Empire was declared a dual monarchy with Hungary. This was to gain the support of the Hungarians by making them equal partners in the empire (they had always resented German rule). Who was the Austrian Emperor who proclaimed the new arrangement? |
Franz Josef. Franz Josef (r. 1848-1916 AD) led the Habsburg dynasty towards its final decline. His inability to control events after the assassination of his nephew and heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, led to the outbreak of World War I. He would be succeeded by one last Habsburg - Charles I. On Nov 3, 1918 AD the Republic of Austria was declared and on Nov 16, 1918 AD the Republic of Hungary was declared.
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