History Files
 

 

European Kingdoms

Central Europe

 

 

 

Austria

With the Danube to the north, Austria had provided a home to various tribes by the first century BC, including the Celtic Ambidravi and Ambisontes, and the Sarmatian Alauni. Eastern Austria formed part of the province of Pannonia during the Roman empire period while the western section fell within the Noricum province, the home of the powerful Taurisci tribe. Barbarian incursions were frequent, however, especially by the Quadi. Following the decline of the empire in the west, the region was controlled successively by the Huns (circa 400-460), the Ostrogoths and Rugii (circa 460-488, with the latter in Lower Austria), the Langobards (in Lower Austria, 488-c.540), and the Bavarii (in western Austria, (circa 568), before also undergoing Slav incursions during the sixth century.

Only once the German Holy Roman empire was unified and strengthened by Otto I did Austria begin to emerge with any identity of its own. Once the Habsburgs inherited the title, it became virtually indivisible from that of Holy Roman Emperor, and then Emperor of Austria. However, reignal numbering for the Habsburgs in Austria itself was often different to that of the imperial title, due to the differing origins of the two bodies.

15 BC - AD 445

The region is part of the Roman empire.

c.445 - 451

The Hunnic empire controls the area.

c.451 - 488

The Ostrogoths' territory now encompasses the area.

488 - 568

The region falls under the control of the Langobards until they move into northern Italy.

568 - 788

The area is occupied by the Bavarii as they migrate into what becomes their traditional territory.

788 - 843

The region is conquered and controlled as part of the Carolingian empire of the Western Franks.

843 - 907

The Treaty of Verdun. The Western Franks secede from the Germanic empire, and Austria is controlled by the East Frankish rulers of the fledgling Holy Roman empire.

880 - 907

Aribo

Also ruled Styria.

907 - 955

Former Bavarian Austria passes to Hungary, until the latter is defeated by Saxon emperor Otto I.

Margraves of Austria (Regensburg)
c.AD 960 - 975

Now that the German Holy Roman empire had full control of Austria, the title of margrave was granted to its ruler.

c.960 - 975

Burchard

Margraves of Austria (Babenburg)
AD 976 - 1248

976 - 994

Leopold I

994 - 1018

Henry I

1012

The young Herman III of Swabia dies childless, ending the Conradine succession to the duchy. Through his marriage to Gisela, heiress of Swabia (and Herman's sister), Ernest I of Babenburg, son of Margrave Leopold I, becomes duke of Swabia.

1015

Following the untimely death of Duke Ernest I of Swabia, his son succeeds him as a minor. At first, the boy's mother is regent, but she is eventually replaced by Poppo, archbishop of Trier and another son of Leopold I of Austria.

1018 - 1055

Adalbert

1055 - 1075

Ernest

1075 - 1102

Leopold II

1102 - 1136

Leopold III the Saint

1136 - 1141

Leopold IV

1141 - 1177

Henry II Jasomirgott

Title elevated to duke of Austria (1156).

1177 - 1194

Leopold V

1192

Austria gains the margraviate of Styria.

1194 - 1199

Frederick I

1199 - 1230

Leopold VI the Glorious

1230 - 1246

Frederick II the Warlike

1246 - 1248

Frederick III

Dukes of Austria (Zahringen)
AD 1248 - 1250

1248 - 1250

Herman

Herman VI of Baden.

Dukes of Austria (Przemyslid)
AD 1250 - 1278

1250 - 1278

Ottokar II the Great
 

King of Bohemia. Duke of Carinthia. Margrave of Slovenia, Margrave of Styria.

1276 - 1278

Rudolph of Habsburg wrests the duchy Austria from Ottokar in 1276, and kills the Przemysl king in battle on the Moravia Field, on the right bank of the River Morava in Austria, two years later.

Dukes of Austria (Habsburg)
AD 1278 - 1358

Rudolph of Habsburg had already been involved in European politics before gaining the duchy of Austria. In 1266 he had invaded the Savoyard canton of Vaud, briefly capturing the chateau there before being expelled by the troops of Count Peter II.

From this point forwards, the new Habsburg rulers of Austria became heavily involved in the title of Holy Roman Emperor. After several non-dynastic periods of rule, from 1438 onwards the two titles became virtually indistinguishable. Following German custom, there were some subdivisions created within Habsburg-controlled territory, but no real power was handed out until 1379-1457, when the descendants of Albert III and Leopold III ruled the duchy and the Tyrol separately.

1278 - 1282

Rudolph I of Habsburg

HRE (1273-91). Duke of Carinthia (1276-86).

1282 - 1283

In December 1282, as Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph gives the duchies of Austria and Styria to his sons, Albert and Rudolf II. On 1 June 1283, the Treaty of Rheinfelden stipulates that Rudolph II has to relinquish his title in favour of Albert. In compensation he is appointed duke of Swabia, little more than an honorific title as the duchy no longer exists as a coherent entity. Various minor territories previously held by the counts of Habsburg are later classed as Further Austria, but these are never possessed by Rudolph.

1282 - 1308

Albert I

HRE (1298-1308). Assassinated.

1282 - 1290

Rudolph II

Joint rule. 'Duke of Swabia' (1289-90).

1306 - 1307

Rudolph III

HRE (1306-1307). King of Bohemia-Moravia (1306-1307).

1308

Thanks to Albert's failure to address the problem of adequate compensation for the loss of Styria in 1283 by Rudolph II, the king is assassinated by Rudolph's son, John. John is named 'Parricide', and continues to hold his inherited claim on Swabia. The death of Albert also loses for the Habsburgs the imperial crown until 1404, but the loss seems to energise them to expand and strengthen their personal possessions, especially under Rudolph IV, making them one of the most powerful noble houses in Europe.

1308 - 1330

Frederick IV the Fair

Rival HRE (1325-1330).

1308 - 1326

Leopold VII

Joint rule.

1313

With the death of John Parricide, any claim to the former Swabian duchy dies with him. Large areas of its territory have already gone to the established county of Württemberg and the margraviate of Baden. Territory formerly belonging to the Alemanni people also later forms parts of Austria (Vorarlberg), France (Alsace) and Switzerland, as well as the Bavarian Swabia region of Bavaria.

1314 - 1322

When Louis IV (Louis the Bavarian) is elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1314, a minority faction elects Frederick the Fair of Hapsburg as emperor. Louis defeats Frederick in 1322, but the Pope refuses to recognise or crown him, so Louis has himself crowned emperor by representatives of the Roman people. This coronation is part of an agreement that has been reached with Frederick whereby the latter is crowned king of the Romans to administer Germany as regent while Louis will fulfil his role from Italy.

1330

Frederick IV's death means that he is succeeded by the sons of the late Duke Albert I. The elder of the two sons also adds the county of Pfirt and several cities to his domains through his marriage in 1324 to Johanna of Pfirt, daughter of Count Ulrich III.

1330 - 1358

Albert II the Wise

Son of Albert I. Duke Albert II of Carinthia (1335-1358).

1330 - 1339

Otto the Cheerful

Brother. Joint rule. Duke Otto IV of Carinthia (1335-1339).

1335

With the death of Duke Henry V of Carinthia, the now-vacant duchy is passed by Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian to Otto and Albert, the sons of Duke Albert I. The southern section of the Tyrol is added to Carinthia's holdings, all of this taking place on 2 May 1335.

1344

Otto's son, Leopold II, is due to succeed him as duke of Carinthia once he comes of age, but his early death prevents that. With Otto's own individual line of Habsburgs extinct, the duchy passes to Frederick, the second son of Albert II.

Archdukes of Austria (Habsburg)
AD 1358 - 1780

The title of archduke (erzherzog in German) was 'granted' to Austria in 1359, even though it had to be invented and proclaimed by the first archduke, Rudolph IV. The bluff was propagated to make up for the loss to the Habsburgs of the imperial title and their failure to receive an electoral vote in the Golden Bull of 1356 which was proclaimed by Emperor Charles IV. Instead, Rudolph created the Privilegium Maius, a document that had no authority behind it but which raised the dukes of Austria to archdukes, a new title, and one which granted them the same level of status as the seven prince-electors of the Holy Roman empire. The title would be claimed and used by each of Rudolph's successors and would become an honorific for all Habsburg males from the sixteenth century onwards.

It would be a further seventy-nine years before a Habsburg gained the imperial throne again, but once they did they held onto it for good. The descendants of the second archduke, Albert III, died out in 1457, and the divided Habsburg lands were reunited under Frederick V. The dukes of Austria were frequently also joint dukes of Carinthia and dukes of Styria, the latter of which had been a firm Austrian possession since 1192.

1358 - 1365

Rudolph IV the Founder

Son of Albert II. Ruled Carinthia, Carniola, Tyrol & Styria.

1363

Rudolph agrees with the widowed Margaret Maultash, countess of Gorizia-Tyrol, that upon the death of her only son, Meinhard III, he will inherit the county of Tyrol. In the end, Meinhard predeceases his mother and she remains in full command of the county until her own death in 1369, not least because her brother-in-law, Duke Stephen II of Bavaria, invades and holds the county. Once Rudolph's successor has the Tyrol safely under his control, the title of count would frequently be passed to junior members of the Habsburgs.

1364 - 1365

The Carinthian march of Carniola is declared by Rudolph to be a duchy. In the following year he establishes the town of Novo Mesto in Lower Carniola (modern Slovenia). In German the town is known as Rudolfswert in his honour. Around the same time, he also agrees another contract of inheritance, this time with his father-in-law, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, which sets up the principle of mutual inheritance between the Habsburgs and the Luxemburg counts. One of Rudolph's last acts in 1365 is to found the University of Vienna as a rival to the University of Prague which had been founded by Charles IV in 1348. Rudolph has dedicated much of his efforts as archduke to increasing the prestige of Vienna, making it a major European capital.

1365 - 1395

Albert III

Brother. Duke of Carinthia. Count of Tyrol (1386-1395).

1365 - 1379

Leopold III the Just

Brother. Joint rule. Duke Carinthia. Count of Tyrol (1365-1386).

1379

Albert and Leopold share the rule of Austria under the principles of Rudolph's 'Rudolfinian House Rules', but in reality all they do is quarrel. Their disputes threaten Austria's unity, so they agree to divide their holdings under the terms of the Treaty of Neuberg. Albert becomes sole archduke of Austria, while Leopold takes precedence in Carinthia (Inner Austria), Further Austria, Styria, and Tyrol.

1395

Albert III dies at Schloss Laxenburg and his united realm is divided between three members of the family. His only son, Albert IV, succeeds him as archduke of Austria, William the Courteous retains Carinthia (Inner Austria) and Tyrol in place of his father, the late Leopold III, and Leopold IV retains Further Austria.

1395 - 1404

Albert IV

Son of Albert III.

1404 - 1439

Albert V

HRE Albert II. Also King of Bohemia (1437/8-1439), & Hungary.

1406

The death of Duke William of Carinthia, Carniola, Styria, now collectively referred to as Inner Austria, along with Tyrol at a relatively young age - he is about thirty six - sees his lands divided between his brothers. Frederick, who has already been sharing the rule of the Tyrol, gains that territory, while Ernest is granted Carinthia, Carniola, and Styria. Both brothers also act as guardians for the young Albert V.

1407 - 1411

Duke Ernest of Carinthia (Inner Austria) has been in conflict with a brother, Leopold IV of Further Austria, and now their enmity erupts into civil war. It is resolved by 1409, and when Leopold dies in 1411 without having produced a male heir, Ernest becomes head of the house and sole ruler of both Inner Austria and Further Austria.

1420

Austria gains part of the partitioned province of Istria.

1439 - 1440

The title is vacant for a year. In 1440, Duke Frederick III of Carinthia is elected king of the Romans, and he begins to unite all of the divided Habsburg lands under one ruler, laying the foundations for the later greatness of the Habsburgs in Central Europe.

1440 - 1457

Ladislas Posthumus

King of Bohemia (1439-1457).

1457 - 1458

The title is vacant for a year. With the accession of Frederick, Holy Roman Emperor and duke of Carinthia, to the archduchy of Austria, the duchy of Carinthia is united fully to Austria. It remains an integral part of the Austrian succession until 1564.

1458 - 1493

Frederick V

HRE Frederick III (1440-1493). Duke of Carinthia (1424).

1493 - 1519

Maximilian I

Son. HRE (1493-1519). Count of Tyrol (1490-1519).

1519 - 1520

Charles I

HRE Charles V (1519-1556). King of Spain (1516-1556).

1519 - 1534

Austria controls Württemberg directly.

1520 - 1564

Ferdinand I

HRE (1558-64). Count of Tyrol (1519). King of Bohemia & Croatia.

1521

The French are again driven out of Milan, now by Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Charles V who installs Duke Massimiliano's younger brother, Francesco II Sforza. His brief tenure is soon ended, however, again by a French occupation.

1526

Following a devastating defeat at the Battle of Mohács and the death of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia, the Habsburgs inherit Hungary from the Lithuanian Jagiellos, but are opposed by the Zapolyas.

1556

Upon the death of Charles I of Spain, the former HRE until 1520, his vast single dominion is divided between his son and his brother. His son, Philip, gains the throne of Spain, and the holdings in the Netherlands, while his younger brother, Ferdinand, is confirmed in Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary. Younger members of the royal house are also confirmed as dukes of Carinthia and counts of Tyrol, both following Ferdinand's death in 1564.

1564 - 1576

Maximilian II

HRE (1564-1576).

1576 - 1608

Rudolf V

HRE Rudolf II (1576-1612).

1602 - 1605

Austria occupies Transylvania.

1608 - 1619

Matthias

HRE (1612-1619). King of Bohemia.

1619 - 1637

Ferdinand II

HRE. Duke of Inner Austria (Carinthia). Ruled Tyrol & Bohemia.

1637 - 1657

Ferdinand III

HRE. Duke of Inner Austria (Carinthia).

1657 - 1705

Leopold VIII

HRE Leopold I.

1663 - 1664

The Fourth Austro-Turkish War ends in the Battle of Saint Gotthard on 1 August 1664 in which the Ottomans are defeated by Austrian troops under Raimondo Montecuccoli (with a company of 140 men being led by Count Herman Adolph of Lippe-Detmold). The Turks are forced to agree to the Peace of Vasvár with Austria.

1665

Austria permanently absorbs the County of Tyrol.

1683

John III of Poland and Charles V of Lorraine lift the siege of Vienna on 12 September, ending Ottoman expansion in Europe.

1699

Austria takes permanent control of Transylvania.

1702 - 1715

Portugal initially supports France during the War of Spanish Succession but Britain alters the situation with the signing of the Methuen Treaty with Portugal on 16 May 1703. In December 1703 a military alliance between Austria, Britain, and Portugal sees them invade Spain. The allied forces capture Madrid in 1706, although the campaign ends in a defeat at the Battle of Almansa.

1705 - 1711

Joseph I

HRE.

1711 - 1740

Charles II

HRE Charles VI.

1715

The conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession sees Spain giving up Milan, Naples, Sardinia, and the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium) to Austria (to become known as the Austrian Netherlands), and Sicily to the duchy of Savoy. The Papal States are forced to hand over the territories of Parma and Piacenza to Austria, a definite blow to the papacy's prestige. Philip, duke of Anjou, is recognised as the Bourbon King Philip V of Spain, but only on the condition that the Bourbon crowns of Spain and France can never be united under a single ruler.

1717 - 1720

King Philip V of Spain is unhappy with the arrangements set at the end of the War of Succession and occupies Sardinia and Sicily, triggering the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The war begins with Philip's first actions of 1717, and is formally declared in 1718. Austria, Britain, France, and Holland unite to defeat Spain, and peace is again declared with the Treaty of The Hague which is signed in 1720.

1740 - 1780

Maria Theresa

Dau. HRE. Heiress of Austria.

1740 - 1748

The War of the Austrian Succession is a wide-ranging conflict that encompasses the North American King George's War, two Silesian Wars, the War of Jenkins' Ear, and involves most of the crowned heads of Europe in deciding the question of whether Maria Theresa can succeed as archduke of Austria and, perhaps even more importantly, as Holy Roman Emperor. Austria is supported by Britain, Schaumburg-Lippe, the Netherlands, the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, and Saxony (after an early switchover), but opposed by an opportunistic Prussia and France, who had raised the question in the first place to disrupt Habsburg control of central Europe, backed up by Bavaria and Sweden (briefly). Spain joins the war in an unsuccessful attempt to restore possessions lost to Austria in 1715 (such as Milan).

War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession saw Europe go to war to decide whether Maria Theresa would secure the throne left to her by her father, but several other issues were also decided as a wide range of wars were involved in the overall conflict

The War of Jenkins' Ear pitches Britain against Spain between 1739-1748. The Russo-Swedish War, or Hats' Russian War, is the Swedish attempt to regain territory lost to Russia in 1741-1743. King George's War is fought between Britain and France in the French Colonies in 1744-1748. The First Carnatic War of 1746-1748 involves the struggle for dominance in India by France and Britain. Henry Pelham, leader of the English government in Parliament, is successful in ending the war, achieving peace with France and trade with Spain through the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Austria is ultimately successful, losing only Silesia to Prussia.

Archdukes of Austria (Lorraine-Habsburg / Baudemont)
AD 1780 - 1806

1780 - 1790

Joseph II

HRE.

1790 - 1792

Leopold II

HRE. Died suddenly.

1792 - 1806

Francis II

HRE. Last Holy Roman Emperor.

1792 - 1797

Austria declares war on republican France, along with Prussia and the Savoyard kingdom of Sardinia, as part of the First Coalition. Prussia withdraws in 1795, along with Spain, and the coalition is ended in 1797, although Austria has already benefited in the partitions of Poland-Lithuania. The captured territories are formed into the kingdom of Galicia & Lodomeria. Austria also gains Dalmatia and the remainder of the province of Istria, and all of the former republic of Venice in 1797, but loses portions of Italy to France.

1799 - 1800

The Second Coalition is formed by Austria and Russia against republican France. It ends in Austrian defeat at the Battle of Marengo, which eventually secures the French client republics in the Netherlands and Italy.

1805

The Third Coalition is formed against France, so in a swift campaign, Napoleon marches east and, in October, the outnumbered Austrian army of General Mack surrenders to him without battle at Ulm in Bavaria. The French go on to occupy Vienna. On 2 December, Napoleon defeats large armies of Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz, and the coalition lays in ruins. Austria loses the county of Tyrol to Bavaria.

1806

The formal end of the Holy Roman empire is declared under the dictates of the French Emperor Napoleon I. However, the Austrian empire retains most of its eastern possessions and is (to an extent) a continuation of the HRE in all but name. Archduke Francis II of Austria becomes Emperor Francis I of the Austrian empire.

Map Emperors of Austria (Lorraine-Habsburg / Baudemont)
AD 1806 - 1918

1806 - 1835

Francis / Franz I

Formerly HRE Francis II.

1806

France creates the grand duchy of Warsaw out of Prussian Polish territories, so Austria appoints military governors to oversee its own Polish satellite kingdom of Galicia & Lodomeria.

1807

France defeats the Austrians and Russians at Freidland in 1807, and goes on to occupy Portugal.

1810

Following a further Austrian defeat in 1809, at the Battle of Wagram, Bavaria agrees to grant the Tyrol to Italy, while Istria, Dalmatia and Ragusa are incorporated into the new Illyrian Provinces. In the same year, Napoleon Bonaparte makes what he thinks is an important dynastic link by marrying Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria, although her father has no intention of voluntarily allowing any unity between the two countries.

1814

With Napoleon's defeat and abdication, Austria regains the county of Tyrol from Bavaria, as well as regaining control of its northern Italian and Polish territories. Milan is occupied on 28 April 1814, and on 30 May the Treaty of Paris officially hands the remains of the kingdom of Italy to Austria.

1835 - 1848

Ferdinand (IV)

Died 1875.

Archduke Franz Karl Joseph

Brother. Renounced claim to throne in favour of his son.

1846

Ferdinand terminates the Krakow Republic in Poland, replacing it with a grand duchy with him holding the title. This arrangement remains in place until 1918.

1848 - 1916

Francis Joseph / Franz Josef

Son. Born 1830.

1848 - 1849

In a year of European revolutions, a popular uprising known as the 'Five Days of Milan' drives the Austrians out of Lombardy-Venetia on 22 March 1848 largely, it is said, due to the resentment built up by Viceroy Archduke Rainer's tax collections. Milan becomes the seat of the Provisional Government of Lombardy. On the following day, Venice experiences a similar uprising, with the Provisional Government of Venice being formed. King Charles Albert of Savoy briefly goes to war against Austria in what is a short-lived encounter. He is defeated. In the following year he tries again and is similarly defeated in quick fashion, but the two attempts become known as the First War of (Italian) Independence.

Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph

Brother. Viceroy of Italy (1857-59). Emperor of Mexico (1864-67).

1859

The Second Italian War of Independence sees Lombardy taken from Austrian hands. The change in ownership is ratified in the same year by the Treaty of Zurich, creating the beginnings of a unified kingdom of Italy. Venice is captured in 1866, formally terminating the Austrian kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.

1866

Prussia fights the Austro-Prussian War against Austria, essentially as a decider to see which of the two powers will be dominant in Central Europe. Prussia gains the newly-created kingdom of Italy as an ally in the south and several minor German states in the north. Austria and its southern German allies are crushed in just seven weeks (giving the conflict its alternative title of the Seven Weeks' War), and Prussia is now unquestionably dominant.

Bismark oversees the seizure of four of Austria's northern German allies, the kingdom of Hanover, the electorate of Hessen-Kassel, and the duchy of Nassau, along with the free city of Frankfurt. Prussia also subsumes Schleswig and Holstein, although the former has technically been Prussian since 1864, and forces Saxe-Lauenberg into personal union (annexation in all but name, which turns into fact in 1876). Many of these gains ensure that Prussian territories in the east and west are now connected through the Rhineland and Westphalia.

1882

Italy and France disagree over their respective colonial expansionism so, seeing an opportunity to isolate France, Bismarck welcomes Italy into a Triple Alliance with Prussia and Austria. Italian relations with Berlin now enter their best period, although Vienna remains icily formal with its former subject.

Archduke Rudolph

Son of Franz Josef. Committed suicide in 1889.

1903

FeaturePolitical manoeuvring denies the pro-French Cardinal Rampolla the office of pope to replace the late Leo XIII. Although Rampolla achieves the sufficient level of support during conclave, Cardinal Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko, archbishop of Krakow, delivers the veto on behalf of Franz Joseph. This is in revenge for the cardinal denying a church funeral for the emperor's son, Crown Prince Rudolph, when the latter had committed suicide.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Brother of Franz Josef and heir. Assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914.

1914

FeatureThe heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, is assassinated by Serb nationalists. The murder is used by Austria to declare war on Serbia, from which declaration the First World War results, with Germany becoming immediately involved as a close ally against Britain, France, and Russia. Austria's traditional enemy, Turkey, joins the German cause on 31 October.

1915

In the secret Treaty of London of 26 April, Italy agrees to abandon its allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, declaring war on them instead in return for promises of almost all the Austrian territory it covets. However, on 6 September, Austria gains Bulgaria as an ally in its operations against Serbia.

1916

On 17 August, Rumania, long courted by the Allies, is finally persuaded by promises from France and Russia that it will gain the principality of Transylvania from Hungary. Its war effort is quickly defeated when it attacks into Hungary instead of holding a front against Bulgaria, as agreed.

1916 - 1918

Charles / Karl (III)

Last Austrian emperor. Deposed (1918) and banished.

1917

In April, Bolivia, Cuba, and the USA all side with the allies but Bolivia takes no active role in the war. In October, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay also join the allied side, with Ecuador and Panama following suit in December.

1918 - 1919

In April 1918, Guatemala joins the allies, followed a month later by Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Honduras makes the same move in July. Austria-Hungary is fast failing, however. Its loyal subjects are tired of war and its many non-German and non-Hungarian peoples are becoming increasingly nationalist in thought and deed. Realising the inevitability of the break-up of the empire, on 16 October the emperor issues a manifesto to his people that, in effect, transfers the state into a federation of nationalities. He is too late.

On 6 October, his Serb, Croat, and Slovene subjects form a provisional government of the Southern Slavs, or Yugoslavia. The day after, the Habsburg Poles unite with the former Russian and German-ruled Poles to declare a free and independent Poland, while on 28 October a Czecho-Slovak republic is declared in Prague, the capital of the former Bohemia and Moravia. On 30 October, the emperor's most loyal German subjects claim in a constituent assembly the right to govern themselves, effectively dismissing their former ruler from office. On 1 November, Austria's partner, Hungary, re-establishes itself as an independent kingdom (which, constitutionally it already is). The other former imperial nationalities, Ruthenes and Rumanians, are already making provision for themselves, with the latter taking Transylvania. The troops of the empire begin to disarm themselves and head home, mostly to newly-created independent states. The new Austrian authority opens field negotiations with Italy (and the British and French forces which have been propping it up), and a ceasefire is agreed on 3 November 1918, although not fully recognised by the Italians until the following day. Italy gains Istria for its efforts in the war. The Austrian empire has ceased to exist and Germany now stands alone.

Modern Austria
AD 1918 - Present Day

Karl III was expelled from his Austrian domains after the conclusion of World War I and the empire was divided up into a series of democratic states which helped to shape modern Europe. The archduke and his family were forced out of Austria in 1919, and the Habsburg titles remain unrecognised there to date. (More details are available on the German language web site, below.) Several Habsburgs are also involved as rival Carlist claimants of the Spanish throne during the early and mid-twentieth century.

Successive claimants to the imperial throne are given a shaded background.

(Additional information from External Link: Otto von Habsburg.)

1918 - 1922

Charles / Karl (III) von Habsburg

Died 1922.

1919 - 1920

The Austrian First Republic is created out of the ashes of the empire in 1919. Otto, Charles' son, is forced to flee the country on 24 March 1919. He goes into exile in Switzerland. The Canal Valley region of Carinthia is ceded to the kingdom of Italy under the terms of the Treaty of St Germain. The Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920 sees the majority of Carinthia become a constituent state of Austria, while a small slice is adjoined to the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (the modern region of Slovenian Carinthia).

1922 - 1954

When Charles dies, Otto becomes head of the House of Habsburg with his mother, French-born Empress Zita, as guardian. Following a failed attempt to re-establish the empire in the same year, Otto is exiled to Spain until 1929, Belgium (1929-1940 - where he studies at university and gains a doctorate), France (1940), USA (1940-1944), and then France & Spain (1944-1954).

1922 - 2007

Otto von Habsburg

Son. Born 20 November 1912. Died 4 July 2011.

1922 - 1930

Zita von Bourbon-Parma

Mother and guardian.

1936

The republican Popular Front government in Spain defeats the right wing National Front in elections, forming the new government. In July, General Francisco Franco and a combination of monarchists and conservatives initiates a coup d'etat which triggers the Spanish Civil War. Franco makes it clear that he will never accept Alfonso as king, instead preferring to play diplomatic games with all three claimants, the last of these being Archduke Charles of Habsburg and Bourbon, a grandson of Charles (VII) of Bourbon Spain through the female line.

1938 - 1945

Austria is forcibly annexed to Nazi Germany.

1945 - 1950

Austria is subject to Allied military occupation.

1950

The Austrian Second Republic is created.

1951 - 1999

In 1951 Otto marries Princess Regina von Saxonia Sachsen-Meiningen (born 1925). From 1966, after relinquishing his claim to inherit the empire (in 1961), he is allowed access into Austria, and becomes a member of the European Parliament for the CSU on 10 June 1979. In 1999 he stands down for health reasons.

2007

On 1 January 2007, Otto relinquishes his status as head of the House of Habsburg in favour of his son and heir, Karl.

2007 - Present

Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen

Son. Born 11 January 1961.

Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen

Son and heir. Born 21 June 1997.