Habsburg monarchy


August 14, 2022

The Habsburg Monarchy (German Habsburgermonarchie) or colloquially the Austrian Monarchy (German Österreichische Monarchie), or The Danubian Monarchy (Donaumonarchie) or just Austria for short, are the unofficial names of the nameless historical state ruled by the Austrian branch of the Habsburg dynasty and their successor the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty from 1526–1804. A large part of the Habsburg succession officially belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, while the other substantial part consisted mainly of the Kingdom of Hungary and was located outside the Empire. The Habsburg Monarchy was created as a personal union when Ferdinand I. Habsburg, who until now controlled only the hereditary Habsburg lands, acquired the Czech and Hungarian crowns in 1526. Despite temporary setbacks, the Habsburgs eventually managed to integrate the individual parts of the monarchy and create a centralized administration. Finally, in 1804, Francis I accepted the imperial title and the hitherto nameless state was transformed into the Austrian Empire.


The Birth of the Monarchy (1526–1597)

Ferdinand's union and provocation of the Ottoman Empire

In 1515, the Vienna Treaties were concluded between the Habsburgs and the Jagiellonians, which included the arrangement of the marriage of Ferdinand of Habsburg with Anna Jagiellon, which took place in 1521. The following year, the hereditary Habsburg lands (Lower and Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Tyrol) were assigned to Ferdinand by the Treaties of Brussels ), Alsace and Württemberg. When Louis Jagiellon died suddenly in 1526, Ferdinand I of Habsburg tried to assert his wife's right of inheritance to the Crown of Bohemia and the Kingdom of Hungary. In Bohemia, Ferdinand's hereditary claims were rejected, but he was accepted by election. In the other annexed lands of the Czech Crown, the right to inherit was recognized. A similar dispute about the recognition of Ferdinand's claim also arose in Hungary, where, however, a split in opinion led to the establishment of a dual government (Jan Zápolský became the second Hungarian king). whose army in the ensuing war not only helped Zápolský (who became a Turkish vassal) to control Transylvania, but even besieged Vienna in 1529 and plundered Austrian lands in 1532. The war conflict continued even after Zápolský's death, until finally the Turks captured Buda in 1541 and established the Buda Vilayet on a large part of Hungary. Transylvania was ruled by the Turkish vassal Jan Zikmund Zápolský, and in the end Ferdinand was left with only Royal Hungary.

The world of thought under the first Habsburgs

However, the war in Hungary significantly increased Ferdinand's financial demands on the estates, which was particularly displeasing to the Czech estates, which represented the biggest opposition to the king in the monarchy, accused the king of provoking the war in Hungary and were not too willing to militarily or financially support this "private matter of the king in Hungary" . In addition, the Czech estates also faced centralization and integration efforts and efforts to strengthen the power of the king or the Austrian estates at the expense of the Czech Crown. However, even in other parts of the monarchy, the position of the Catholic king was not easy. The Reformation was spreading in the lands of Ferdinand's domain. Lutheranism was accepted especially in Austria, Silesia and among Czech and Hungarian Germans. Calvinism gained its followers especially in Hungary and Bohemia (Jednota fraternská). Utraquism prevailed in Bohemia, and New Baptists flocked to Moravia. In addition to these main currents, numerous sects of Unitarians (especially in Transylvania) or Nonconformists arose in the monarchy. The rise of Protestantism accompanied the decline of the Catholic Church, and Catholic institutions were preserved only because the disunited evangelical churches were not larger.