Home Great Northern War Historical Atlas Guestbook
Maps Population Regents Scandinavia
  Roman Empire
  Frankish Kingd.



÷rjan Martinsson

Austria 1519-1699

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Domains of the Austrian Habsburgs
= Austrian territorial gain 1520
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire

Charles V who inherited the Burgundian lands in 1506, Spain and Both Sicilies in 1516 and the Austrian hereditary lands together with the Holy Roman Empire's throne in 1519, also had a brother named Ferdinand who according to German custom had an equal share of the government of the Habsburg lands within the Holy roman empire. A partition of the vast domains was therefore to take place 1521-22 so that Ferdinand got the Austrian hereditary lands (which had been expanded with WŁrttemberg in 1520) while Charles V got the rest. This meant that the Habsburg domains had been split between a Spanish and an Austrian branch of the dynasty.

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Domains of the Austrian Habsburgs
= Bohemian crown
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire
= Hungarian crown

In 1520 the Austrian archduke Ferdinand married the sister to Louis II who was king of Bohemia and Hungary. Louis was killed six years later in the disastrous defeat at Mohacs against the Turks. Ferdinand was elected to succeed Louis in Bohemia and also in the Hungarian part kingdom of Croatia But Hungary proper was divided between supporters to Ferdinand and the Transylvanian vojvod JŠnos Zapolya who had Turkish backing. A prolonged civil war erupted and Ferdinand would never gain control over all Hungary.

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Possessions of the Austrian line
= Possessions of the Styrian line
= Possessions of the Tyrolean line
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire
= Austrian territorial gain 1532
= Austrian territorial losses

Ferdinand's attempt to win Hungary's crown met such resistance from the Turks that Vienna was laid under siege by them in 1529. In the meantime had profound changes occurred in Germany where the ideas of Martin Luther spread rapidly. Ferdinand was not as hostile to these as his brother Charles V and the Protestant faith set root in the Austrian hereditary lands. Because Charles V gave priority to his Spanish realm was Ferdinand often left in charge of Germany and in 1531 was he elected to Roman King and thus the designated successor to Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor (which occurred in 1556). WŁrttemberg was retuned to its previous duke in 1534, but would remain under Austrian overlordship to 1599. The Silesian duchy of Oppeln, which was subordinated to the Bohemian crown, came on the other hand under direct Habsburg rule in 1532 when its reigning duke died without heirs. The long war over the Hungarian crown was decided in 1541 when the Turks conquered the central third of the Hungarian kingdom. The two claimants of the throne had to settle with one third each and the Turks gave the title King of Hungary to Ferdinand in exchange of an annual tribute while the son to JŠnos Zapolyas was given the title prince of Transylvania as a Turkish vassal. A Formal peace was however noted concluded until 1570.

Before that had Ferdinand died in 1564 and the Austrian hereditary lands were partitioned between his three sons. The oldest son Maximilian received Austria proper as well as becoming king of Bohemia and Hungary, and Holy Roman Emperor. He was leaning towards Protestantism but remained catholic throughout his life. Inner Austria (Styria, Carinthia and Carniola) went to Charles who believed in religious freedom. Further Austria (Tyrol and the Swabian possessions) was inherited by Ferdinand II who used force to suppress Protestantism in his territories. With this had the Austrian branch of the house of Habsburg been split in a Austrian, Styrian and a Tyrolean line.

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Domains of the Austrian Habsburgs
= Possessions of the younger Tyrolean line
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire
= Austrian territorial gain 1618
= Temporary losses 1621-29 and 1645-48
= Austrian losses 1620, 1635 and 1648

The tolerant archduke Charles of Inner Austria was succeeded in 1590 by his son Ferdinand who had been educated by Jesuits and he prohibited Protestantism in his territories. Also in Austria proper had a younger generation of Habsburg suppressed Protestantism and when this line became extinct in 1618 were they succeeded by Ferdinand who completed their work. The Tyrolean line had become extinct already in 1602 and its territories had then been united with Austrian line. But they were granted to Ferdinand's brother Leopold in 1625 (after a short rule by their cousin Albrecht 1620-21).

Ferdinand's struggle against Protestantism would however lead the break out of the Thirty Years' War in 1618. The direct cause was an insurrection in Bohemia, which Ferdinand only managed to suppress with support from other German states. This support was costly and led to the permanent secession of Lusatia to Saxony (confirmed 1635 in the Peace of Prague). Swedish and French intervention in the war spoiled Ferdinand's ambitions and resulted in a considerable weakening of the Holy Roman Emperor's power in the Westphalian Peace of 1648, although Austria's territorial losses were modest (Sundgau at the Rhine was ceded to France). The Hungarian border was however put under pressure during this period when the princes of Transylvania waged war against the Habsburg in a effort to protect the rights of the Hungarian protestants. Transylvania temporarily conquered several counties in Northern Hungary 1621-29 and 1645-48. The Turks had also conquered a small area along the Danube in 1620. But their right to tributes from the Habsburgs had been lost after a Thirteen year long war that ended in 1606.

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Domains of the Austrian Habsburgs
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire
= Territorial gains 1653, 1665 and 1675
= Territorial loss 1664
= Occupied by the Turks 1683

After the Westphalian Peace was Habsburg control over Silesia strengthened when the last important Silesian duchies were returned to the Bohemian crown 1653 and 1675 after the extinction of their ruling houses. Between these events had also the Habsburg line that ruled Further Austria with Tyrol died out whereupon all hereditary Austrian lands were ruled by one person. The Hungarian border continued to cause problems and in a humiliating peace in 1664 was another area along the Danube ceded to the Turks. The Ottoman Empire would finally reach its largest extent when they supported a Hungarian rebellion and occupied large parts of Habsburg controlled Royal Hungary. The conflict culminated 1683 with the Turk's second siege of Vienna, which however failed just like the first one had done in 1529.

= Domains of the Spanish Habsburgs
= Other parts of the Holy Roman Empire
= Domains of the Austrian Habsburgs
= Austrian territorial gain 1699

The Turkish defeat outside Vienna 1683 initiated a Christian war of reconquest of the Balkans which would last for sixteen years. Buda was conquered 1686 and two years later fall Belgrade. The Turks managed to retake Belgrade but suffered a great defeat at Zenta in 1697. In the following peace of Karlowitz in 1699 were the Turks forced to cede most of the territory of the Historic kingdom of Hungary. The peace was a relatively mild one, and this was because of a desire from the Austrians the finish the war before the expected War of the Spanish Succession erupted. The Spanish branch of the house of Habsburg would soon die out and both Austria and France made claims to inherit the vast Spanish realm.

The history of Austria continues on this page.