Talk:Archduchy of Austria

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Library of Congress[edit]

Public domain information from the Library of Congress Country Studies:[1]

Territorial Expansion, Division, and Consolidation The Habsburgs also increased their influence and power through strategic alliances ratified by marriages. Owing to premature deaths and/or childless marriages within the Burgundian and Spanish dynasties into which his grandfather, Maximilian I (r. 1493-1519), and his father had married, Emperor Charles V (r. 1519-56) inherited not only the Hereditary Lands but also the Franche-Comt้ and the Netherlands (both of which were French fiefs) and Spain and its empire in the Americas.

Challenged on his western borders by France and on his eastern borders by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, Charles V divided his realm geographically in 1522 to achieve more effective rule. Retaining the western half under his direct control, he entrusted the eastern half, the Hereditary Lands, to his brother, Ferdinand (r. 1522-64). Although Ferdinand did not become Holy Roman Emperor until 1556 when Charles V abdicated, this territorial division effectively created two branches of the Habsburg Dynasty: the Spanish Habsburgs, descended through Charles V, and the Austrian Habsburgs, descended through Ferdinand In addition to the lands he received from his brother, Ferdinand also increased his territorial reach by marrying into the Jagiellon family, the royal family of Hungary and Bohemia. When his brother-in-law, King Louis, died fighting the Turks at the Battle of Mohแcs in 1526, Ferdinand claimed the right of succession. Although the diets representing the nobility of Bohemia (and its dependencies of Moravia and Silesia) did not acknowledge Ferdinand's hereditary rights, they formally elected him king of Bohemia. As king of Bohemia, he also became an elector-prince of the Holy Roman Empire. In Hungary and in the subordinate Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia, however, Ferdinand faced the rival claim of a Hungarian nobleman and the reality of the Turkish conquest of the country. He was able to assert authority only over the northern and western edges of the country, which became known as Royal Hungary. His Hungarian rival became a vassal of the Turks, ruling over Transylvania in eastern Hungary. The rest of Hungary became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1603.

Although Ferdinand undertook various administrative reforms in order to centralize authority and increase his power, no meaningful integration of the Hereditary Lands and the two newly acquired kingdoms occurred. In contrast to the authority of kings of Western Europe, where feudal structures were already in decline, Ferdinand's authority continued to rest on the consent of the nobles as expressed in the local diets, which successfully resisted administrative centralization.

The Protestant Reformation in the Habsburg Lands From the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the 1520s, Protestant doctrines were welcomed by the people living in the areas under Habsburg domination. By the middle of the sixteenth century, most inhabitants were Protestant. Lutherans predominated in German-speaking areas, except in Tirol, where the Anabaptists were influential. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church retained the support of the Habsburg Dynasty and was able to maintain a strong presence throughout the area.

Religious violence and serious persecution were rare after the 1520s, and an uneasy coexistence and external tolerance prevailed for most of the sixteenth century. Ferdinand pressed Rome for concessions that would bridge the positions of moderate reformers and Catholics, but at the Council of Trent (1545-63), the Catholic Church chose instead a vigorous restatement of Catholic doctrine combined with internal reforms. The council thus hardened lines of divisions between Catholicism and Protestantism and laid the foundation for the Counter-Reformation, which the Habsburgs would pursue aggressively in the 1600s.

The Turkish Threat After the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529, Ferdinand recognized that defense of the Habsburg lands required that Hungary form a bulwark against the Turks. Although Turkey's ultimate objective was the conquest of Europe, Western Europe did not see the Turks as a threat and was unwilling to aid Ferdinand in the defense of the continent's eastern borders. He thus signed a peace agreement with the Turks in 1562 that formalized the stalemated status quo in Hungary.

Division and Rebellion Ferdinand I died in 1564, and Habsburg territories in Central Europe were divided among his three sons, with the eldest, Maximilian III (r. 1564-76), becoming Holy Roman Emperor. Although Maximilian's sympathetic policies toward the Protestants contrasted with his brothers' efforts to reestablish Catholicism as the sole religion in their lands, military policy, not religious doctrine, was to divide the dynasty in the final years of the sixteenth century and open the door to the religious wars of the seventeenth century.

Maximilian's son, Rudolf II (r. 1576-1612), succeeded his father as both king of Hungary and Holy Roman Emperor. After the Turks reopened the war in Hungary in 1593, Rudolf was blamed for the rebellion among Protestant nobles in Royal Hungary caused by his brutal conduct of the war. Backed by junior members of the dynasty, Rudolf's younger brother, Matthias (r. 1612-19), confiscated Rudolf's lands, restored order, and, after Rudolf's death, became Holy Roman Emperor. But the religious and political concessions that the two brothers had made to the nobility to win their support in this dynastic feud created new dangers for the Habsburgs.

The childless Matthias chose his cousin Ferdinand as his successor. To facilitate Ferdinand's eventual election as Holy Roman Emperor, Matthias secured his election as king of Bohemia in 1617. Before accepting Ferdinand as king, however, the Protestant nobility of Bohemia had required this strong proponent of the Catholic Counter-Reformation to confirm the religious charter granted them by Rudolf II. A dispute over the charter in 1618 triggered a rebellion by the Protestant nobles. Hopes for an arbitrated settlement were dashed when Matthias died in March 1619, and other areas under Habsburg control rebelled against Habsburg rule.

The Peace of Westphalia The Thirty Years' War was finally ended in 1648 by the Peace of Westphalia. The treaty guaranteed the religious and political constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, giving the German princes the sovereign right to settle the religious question in their respective territories. France also achieved its main war aim because the costly war and the concessions to the princes effectively stopped the Habsburgs from transforming the Holy Roman Empire into an absolutist state under their direction. Nonetheless, in their own lands, the Habsburgs enjoyed greater political and religious control than before the war: they had gained loyal new followers from among the nobles by redistributing estates confiscated from rebels, and they were free to enforce religious conformity, which they did based on the model applied earlier in Bohemia. THE BAROQUE ERA Political and Religious Consolidation under Leopold Reconstruction of the social, political, and economic infrastructure destroyed by the Thirty Years' War began during the reign of Ferdinand III (r. 1637-57) and continued through the reign of his son, Leopold I (r. 1658-1705). Central to the restoration of the Habsburgs' social and political base was the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Habsburgs did not seek to make the church an independent force within society. They found no contradiction between personal piety and use of religion as a political tool and defended and advanced their sovereign rights over and against the institutional church.

The Habsburg effort to establish religious conformity was based on the model already implemented in Bohemia. Closure of Protestant churches, expulsions, and Catholic appointments to vacated positions eliminated centers of Protestant power. Reform commissions made up of clergy and representatives of local diets appointed missionaries to Protestant areas. After a period of instruction, the populace was given a choice between conversion and emigration--an estimated 40,000 people emigrated between 1647 and 1652.

The reestablishment of Catholic intellectual life and religious orders and monasteries was a key component of Habsburg Counter-Reformation policies. The Jesuits led this effort, and their influence was broadly disseminated throughout Central European society, owing to their excellent schools, near monopoly over higher education, and emphasis on lay organizations, which provided a channel for popular devotional piety. Benedictine, Cistercian, and Augustinian monastic foundations were also revitalized through the careful management of their estates, and their schools rivaled those of the Jesuits.

Through the court's patronage of the arts and religious orders and through public celebrations, both secular and religious, the dynasty transmitted a worldview based on the values of the Counter-Reformation. These values, rather than common governmental institutions and laws, gave the Heriditary Lands a sense of unity and identity that compensated for the continued weakness of administrative bodies at the center of Habsburg rule.

Political and Religious Consolidation under Leopold Reconstruction of the social, political, and economic infrastructure destroyed by the Thirty Years' War began during the reign of Ferdinand III (r. 1637-57) and continued through the reign of his son, Leopold I (r. 1658-1705). Central to the restoration of the Habsburgs' social and political base was the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Habsburgs did not seek to make the church an independent force within society. They found no contradiction between personal piety and use of religion as a political tool and defended and advanced their sovereign rights over and against the institutional church.

The Habsburg effort to establish religious conformity was based on the model already implemented in Bohemia. Closure of Protestant churches, expulsions, and Catholic appointments to vacated positions eliminated centers of Protestant power. Reform commissions made up of clergy and representatives of local diets appointed missionaries to Protestant areas. After a period of instruction, the populace was given a choice between conversion and emigration--an estimated 40,000 people emigrated between 1647 and 1652.

The reestablishment of Catholic intellectual life and religious orders and monasteries was a key component of Habsburg Counter-Reformation policies. The Jesuits led this effort, and their influence was broadly disseminated throughout Central European society, owing to their excellent schools, near monopoly over higher education, and emphasis on lay organizations, which provided a channel for popular devotional piety. Benedictine, Cistercian, and Augustinian monastic foundations were also revitalized through the careful management of their estates, and their schools rivaled those of the Jesuits.

Through the court's patronage of the arts and religious orders and through public celebrations, both secular and religious, the dynasty transmitted a worldview based on the values of the Counter-Reformation. These values, rather than common governmental institutions and laws, gave the Heriditary Lands a sense of unity and identity that compensated for the continued weakness of administrative bodies at the center of Habsburg rule. Political and Religious Consolidation under Leopold Reconstruction of the social, political, and economic infrastructure destroyed by the Thirty Years' War began during the reign of Ferdinand III (r. 1637-57) and continued through the reign of his son, Leopold I (r. 1658-1705). Central to the restoration of the Habsburgs' social and political base was the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Habsburgs did not seek to make the church an independent force within society. They found no contradiction between personal piety and use of religion as a political tool and defended and advanced their sovereign rights over and against the institutional church.

The Habsburg effort to establish religious conformity was based on the model already implemented in Bohemia. Closure of Protestant churches, expulsions, and Catholic appointments to vacated positions eliminated centers of Protestant power. Reform commissions made up of clergy and representatives of local diets appointed missionaries to Protestant areas. After a period of instruction, the populace was given a choice between conversion and emigration--an estimated 40,000 people emigrated between 1647 and 1652.

The reestablishment of Catholic intellectual life and religious orders and monasteries was a key component of Habsburg Counter-Reformation policies. The Jesuits led this effort, and their influence was broadly disseminated throughout Central European society, owing to their excellent schools, near monopoly over higher education, and emphasis on lay organizations, which provided a channel for popular devotional piety. Benedictine, Cistercian, and Augustinian monastic foundations were also revitalized through the careful management of their estates, and their schools rivaled those of the Jesuits.

Through the court's patronage of the arts and religious orders and through public celebrations, both secular and religious, the dynasty transmitted a worldview based on the values of the Counter-Reformation. These values, rather than common governmental institutions and laws, gave the Heriditary Lands a sense of unity and identity that compensated for the continued weakness of administrative bodies at the center of Habsburg rule.


Political and Religious Consolidation under LeopoldReconstruction of the social, political, and economic infrastructure destroyed by the Thirty Years' War began during the reign of Ferdinand III (r. 1637-57) and continued through the reign of his son, Leopold I (r. 1658-1705). Central to the restoration of the Habsburgs' social and political base was the reestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church. But the Habsburgs did not seek to make the church an independent force within society. They found no contradiction between personal piety and use of religion as a political tool and defended and advanced their sovereign rights over and against the institutional church.

The Habsburg effort to establish religious conformity was based on the model already implemented in Bohemia. Closure of Protestant churches, expulsions, and Catholic appointments to vacated positions eliminated centers of Protestant power. Reform commissions made up of clergy and representatives of local diets appointed missionaries to Protestant areas. After a period of instruction, the populace was given a choice between conversion and emigration--an estimated 40,000 people emigrated between 1647 and 1652.

The reestablishment of Catholic intellectual life and religious orders and monasteries was a key component of Habsburg Counter-Reformation policies. The Jesuits led this effort, and their influence was broadly disseminated throughout Central European society, owing to their excellent schools, near monopoly over higher education, and emphasis on lay organizations, which provided a channel for popular devotional piety. Benedictine, Cistercian, and Augustinian monastic foundations were also revitalized through the careful management of their estates, and their schools rivaled those of the Jesuits.

Through the court's patronage of the arts and religious orders and through public celebrations, both secular and religious, the dynasty transmitted a worldview based on the values of the Counter-Reformation. These values, rather than common governmental institutions and laws, gave the Heriditary Lands a sense of unity and identity that compensated for the continued weakness of administrative bodies at the center of Habsburg rule.

The Turkish Wars and the Siege of Vienna In 1663 rivalries between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs in Transylvania triggered renewed fighting between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire. The Turkish threat, which included a prolonged but unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683, prompted Poland, Venice, and Russia to join the Habsburg Empire in repelling the Turks. In 1686 Habsburg forces moved into central Hungary and captured Buda. By 1687 the Ottoman Empire had been eliminated as a power in central Hungary. In the late 1690s, command of the imperial forces was entrusted to Prince Eugene of Savoy. Under his leadership, Habsburg forces won control of all but a small portion of Hungary by 1699.

The War of the Spanish SuccessionIn 1700 the death of Charles II of Spain ended the Spanish Habsburg line. Spain's steady decline throughout the seventeenth century had already led to minor armed conflicts aimed at a realignment of power among European countries, and these rivalries blossomed into the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). Both Leopold I and King Louis XIV of France, Charles's two nearest relatives, hoped to establish a junior branch of his own dynasty in Spain. But neither was willing to rule out the possibility that a single heir might someday inherit the lands of both the principal line and its Spanish offshoot. The strong central government and political institutions of France made the possible union of Spain and France a far greater threat to other European countries than the possible union of Spain and the Habsburg lands in Central Europe. Thus, when the dying Spanish king named as his heir Louis's son, Philip, Britain and a number of other European countries rallied to the Habsburg cause.

Despite early victories by the Austro-British alliance, the allies were unable to install the Austrian Archduke Charles on the Spanish throne. As the war dragged on, the alliance began to unravel, especially when, after the death of Leopold's elder son, Charles became Holy Roman Emperor in 1711. The actual unification of the Habsburg lines in Charles VI (r. 1711-40) posed a greater threat to other European powers than did the possible union of war-weakened France and Spain. Austria's allies made peace with France in 1713 and signed the Treaty of Utrecht. Because his former allies negotiated a treaty to protect their own interests, the settlement Charles received when he finally abandoned the war in 1714 was meager: the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Belgium) and various Italian territories.

The Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-48Although the Habsburg Empire continued to expand in the east at Turkish expense, Charles VI recognized that defense of Austria's position in Europe required greater economic and political centralization to foster the development of a stronger economic base. Because he lacked a male heir, however, the continued unity of the Habsburg Empire was jeopardized. In 1713 Charles promulgated the Pragmatic Sanction to establish the legal basis for transmission of the Habsburg lands to his daughter Maria Theresa (r. 1740-80). The price extracted by local diets and rival European powers for approval of the Pragmatic Sanction, however, was abandonment of many centralizing reforms.

Nonetheless, Charles's concessions did not prevent the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) from breaking out on his death in 1740. Prussia occupied Bohemia's Silesian duchies that same year. Late in 1741, the elector-prince of Bavaria, Charles Albert, occupied Prague, the capital of Bohemia, with the aid of Saxon and French troops and was crowned king of Bohemia. This paved the way for his election as Holy Roman Emperor in 1742, thus breaking the Habsburgs' three-hundred-year hold on the imperial crown.

The Austrians, however, retook Prague, and Maria Theresa was crowned queen of Bohemia in the spring of 1743. Aided by a British diplomatic campaign, Austria also made important military gains in Central Europe. Thus, when Charles Albert unexpectedly died in January 1745, his son made peace with Austria and agreed to support the Habsburg candidate for emperor. This enabled Maria Theresa's husband, Franz (r. 1745-65), to be elected Holy Roman emperor in October 1745. In the west, the war with France and Spain gradually settled into a military stalemate, and negotiations finally led to the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

Although Maria Theresa emerged with most of her empire intact--owing largely to the early support she received from Hungarian nobles--Austria was obliged to permanently cede Silesia, its most economically advanced territory, to Prussia. Recognizing that the costly war with France had done more to promote British colonial interests in North America than its own interests in Central Europe, Austria abandoned its partnership with Britain in favor of closer ties with France. This reversal of alliances was sealed by the marriage of Maria Theresa's youngest daughter, Marie Antoinette, to the future Louis XVI of France.

THE REFORMS OF MARIA THERESA AND JOSEPH II Baroque Absolutism and Enlightened Despotism

Although her husband was emperor, Maria Theresa ruled the Habsburg lands. However, when her son Joseph became Holy Roman Emperor after the death of her husband in 1765, she made her son coregent. Following Maria Theresa's death in 1780, Joseph II reigned in his own right until his death in 1790. The Counter-Reformation's political and religious goals had largely been accomplished by the time Maria Theresa came to the throne, but maintaining Austria's great-power status urgently required broad internal reform and restructuring to strengthen the central authority of the monarchy and curtail the power of the nobility.

Maria Theresa began administrative and economic reforms in 1749, drawing on mercantilist theory and examples provided by Prussian and French reforms. In addition, she undertook reforms in the social, legal, and religious spheres. During the coregency and after Maria Theresa's death, Joseph continued the reforms along the lines pursued by his mother. But mother and son had sharply different motivations. Maria Theresa was a pious Catholic empress working within the structure of a paternalistic, baroque absolutism and was unsympathetic to the Enlightenment. Joseph, in contrast, gave the reforms an ideological edge reflecting the utilitarian theories of the Enlightenment. Because his reforms were more ideologically driven and thus less flexible and pragmatic, they frequently were also less successful and disrupted the stability of the Habsburg Empire.

Although the statist religious policy that evolved in this era became known as Josephism, Joseph's policy was largely an extension of his mother's, whose piety did not exempt the church from reforms designed to strengthen state authority and power. Joseph's utilitarianism, however, contributed to two important divergences from Maria Theresa's policy: greater religious toleration and suppression of religious institutions and customs deemed contrary to utilitarian principles. The Edict of Tolerance, issued in 1781, granted Protestants almost equal status with Catholics; other decrees lifted restrictions on Jews and opened up communities, trades, and educational opportunities previously barred to them. The utilitarian principles behind religious toleration, however, also inspired Joseph to dissolve Catholic monasteries that were dedicated solely to contemplative religious life and to suppress various traditional Jewish customs he viewed as detrimental to society and a hinderance to the Germanization of the Jewish population.

The reforms created an administrative, fiscal, and judicial bureaucracy directly responsible to the monarch. As the seat of the new centralized institutions, Vienna grew from merely being the sovereign's place of residence to a true political and administrative capital. Hungary, however, was not included in these centralizing administrative reforms. In appreciation for the support Austria had received from the Hungarian nobles during the War of the Austrian Succession, Maria Theresa never extended her reforms to that kingdom.

The Strategic Impact of the Reform Era Although the reforms improved Austrian military preparedness, they fell short of their original goal of enabling Austria to defend its interests in Europe. Hopes of regaining Silesia and partitioning Prussia were abandoned after only limited military success in the Austro-Prussian Seven Years' War (1756-63). Efforts to check Russian expansion yielded mixed results. Unable to prevent Russian and Prussian ambitions against Poland, Austria reluctantly joined them in the First Partition of Poland in 1772 and gained the province of Galicia. Five years later, Austria intervened between Russia and Turkey to prevent Russian gains at Turkish expense and in the process acquired Bukovina, a territory adjacent to Galicia and Transylvania. Because the new territories were economically backward, their acquisition served mainly to shift the ethnic balance of the Habsburg Empire through the addition of a large Slavic population (Poles and Ruthenians), a sizable Jewish minority (which accounted for 60 percent of the empire's total Jewish population), and a lesser number of Romanians.

The ideological rigidity with which Joseph II carried out his reforms also weakened the Habsburg Dynasty by provoking social unrest and, in Hungary and Belgium, rebellion. When Joseph died in 1790, his brother, Leopold II (r. 1790-92), had to reverse many of the reforms and offer new concessions to restore order. To get Prussian support for the military action that reestablished Habsburg authority in Belgium in 1790, Leopold foreswore further Austrian territorial gains at Turkish expense. He also confirmed Hungary's right not to be absorbed into a centralized empire, but to be ruled by him as king of Hungary according to its own administration and laws. In exchange, the Hungarian nobility ended their rebellion.

THE HABSBURG EMPIRE AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION The Napoleonic Wars What began as a retrenchment in Austria's reform program ground to a complete halt when the international crisis caused by the French Revolution engulfed Europe in a generation of war. Meeting in Potsdam in 1791, Leopold II and the king of Prussia jointly declared that the revolutionary situation in France was a common concern of all sovereigns. Although the declaration did not become the framework for European military intervention in France as its authors had hoped, it set Austria and the French Revolution on an ideological collision course. In April 1792, revolutionary France declared war on Austria.

The first war lasted for five years until Austria, abandoned by its allies, was forced to make peace on unfavorable terms. Austria renewed the war against France in 1799 and again in 1805 but was swiftly defeated both times. In the otherwise unfavorable settlement after the defeat in 1805, however, Austria did receive Salzburg, a territory formerly ruled by an archbishop, in compensation for the loss of various Italian and German possessions.

Because French domination of Germany raised the possibility that Napoleon Bonaparte or one of his subordinates could be elected Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold's son, Franz II (r. 1792- 1835), took two steps to protect Habsburg interests. First, to guarantee his family's continued imperial status, he adopted a new, hereditary title, Emperor of Austria, in 1804, thus becoming Franz I of Austria. Second, to preclude completely the possibility of Napoleon's election, in 1806 he renounced the title of Holy Roman Emperor and dissolved the Holy Roman Empire.

In the final years of the decade, the German Habsburg area was swept with anti-French nationalist fervor. Erroneously believing that similar nationalist fervor throughout Germany would produce a victory, Austria declared war on France in April 1809. In the Tirol, then under Bavarian rule, the peasants, led by Andreas Hofer, rebelled and scored surprising victories before being subdued by Napoleon's forces. Elsewhere in Germany, however, nationalist feeling had little effect. Austria's defeat was swift, and significant territorial losses followed.

In the wake of this defeat, Franz appointed a new foreign minister, Clemens von Metternich, who sought reconciliation with France. He accomplished this by arranging a marriage between Franz's daughter, Marie Louise, and Napoleon, who was eager for the prestige of marriage into one of the principal dynasties of Europe and the creation of an heir. The marriage took place in the spring of 1810 but yielded little immediate return for Austria.

In 1813 Napoleon's position began to weaken. His invasion of Russia had failed, and Britain was scoring victories in the Iberian Peninsula. Both sides of the conflict began bidding for Austria's support. In August of that year, Austria broke its alliance with France and declared war. Despite generous subsidies from Britain, the final campaigns against Napoleon in 1814 and 1815 strained Austria's financial and human resources. Thus, Austria emerged as a victor from the war but in a severely weakened state.

The Napoleonic Wars What began as a retrenchment in Austria's reform program ground to a complete halt when the international crisis caused by the French Revolution engulfed Europe in a generation of war. Meeting in Potsdam in 1791, Leopold II and the king of Prussia jointly declared that the revolutionary situation in France was a common concern of all sovereigns. Although the declaration did not become the framework for European military intervention in France as its authors had hoped, it set Austria and the French Revolution on an ideological collision course. In April 1792, revolutionary France declared war on Austria.

The first war lasted for five years until Austria, abandoned by its allies, was forced to make peace on unfavorable terms. Austria renewed the war against France in 1799 and again in 1805 but was swiftly defeated both times. In the otherwise unfavorable settlement after the defeat in 1805, however, Austria did receive Salzburg, a territory formerly ruled by an archbishop, in compensation for the loss of various Italian and German possessions.

Because French domination of Germany raised the possibility that Napoleon Bonaparte or one of his subordinates could be elected Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold's son, Franz II (r. 1792- 1835), took two steps to protect Habsburg interests. First, to guarantee his family's continued imperial status, he adopted a new, hereditary title, Emperor of Austria, in 1804, thus becoming Franz I of Austria. Second, to preclude completely the possibility of Napoleon's election, in 1806 he renounced the title of Holy Roman Emperor and dissolved the Holy Roman Empire.

In the final years of the decade, the German Habsburg area was swept with anti-French nationalist fervor. Erroneously believing that similar nationalist fervor throughout Germany would produce a victory, Austria declared war on France in April 1809. In the Tirol, then under Bavarian rule, the peasants, led by Andreas Hofer, rebelled and scored surprising victories before being subdued by Napoleon's forces. Elsewhere in Germany, however, nationalist feeling had little effect. Austria's defeat was swift, and significant territorial losses followed.

In the wake of this defeat, Franz appointed a new foreign minister, Clemens von Metternich, who sought reconciliation with France. He accomplished this by arranging a marriage between Franz's daughter, Marie Louise, and Napoleon, who was eager for the prestige of marriage into one of the principal dynasties of Europe and the creation of an heir. The marriage took place in the spring of 1810 but yielded little immediate return for Austria.

In 1813 Napoleon's position began to weaken. His invasion of Russia had failed, and Britain was scoring victories in the Iberian Peninsula. Both sides of the conflict began bidding for Austria's support. In August of that year, Austria broke its alliance with France and declared war. Despite generous subsidies from Britain, the final campaigns against Napoleon in 1814 and 1815 strained Austria's financial and human resources. Thus, Austria emerged as a victor from the war but in a severely weakened state.

The Congress of Vienna From September 1814 to June 1815, representatives of the European powers met in Vienna. Guided by Metternich, the Congress of Vienna redrew the map of Europe and laid the foundation for a long period of European peace. The Habsburg Empire emerged with boundaries both more extensive and compact than it had had for several centuries. Belgium and the Habsburg lands in southwest Germany were lost, but Austria regained all other possessions that it had held in 1792 and virtually all of those it had obtained during the long years of war, including Salzburg (see fig. 3). The Holy Roman Empire was not resurrected but was replaced with a German Confederation composed of thirty-five sovereign princes and four free cities. Austria held the permanent presidency of the confederation and probably had more real influence in Germany than it had had under the Holy Roman Empire. Austria also enjoyed the dominant position on the Italian peninsula, where it possessed the northern territories of Lombardy and Venetia.

The wartime allies--Austria, Britain, Russia, and Prussia-- concluded the Congress of Vienna by signing the Quadruple Alliance, which pledged them to uphold the peace settlement. In a secondary document, the European monarchs agreed to conduct their policies in accordance with the Christian principles of charity, peace, and love. This "Holy Alliance," proposed by the Russian tsar, was of little practical import, but it gave its name to the cooperative efforts of Austria, Russia, and Prussia to maintain conservative governments in Europe.

Although Austria emerged from the Congress of Vienna as one of the great powers in Europe, throughout the nineteenth century its status and territorial integrity depended on the support of at least one of the other great powers. As long as the allies were willing to cooperate in the "Congress System" to maintain the peace, order, and stability of Europe, Austrian interests were protected. But the other great powers, which were better able to defend their interests by force, did not always share Austria's devotion to Metternich's creation.

The current flag was not used by the Archduhcy of Austria, they used the red-white-red triband flag. The one currently on the page is incorrect.Rcduggan (talk) 20:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

the Austrian Naval Ensign was not the flag of the Archduchy either![edit]

As mentioned by Rcduggan, the yellow flag with the black eagle that was once in this article is incorrect (it was the ancient symbol of the Holy Roman Emperors), but so is his statement that the red-white-red triband flag was the "Flag of the Archduchy of Austria". There was no such thing as a specific "official flag" for the Archduchy, and therefore I suggest that we use the simple black-and-gold striped flag of the Habsburgs for display purposes here. Another option would be to use the simple red-white-red triband flag (much like the one used by the Republic of Austria today) which was used by the Babenberg and Habsburg dynasties in their capacity as rulers of the Duchy and Archduchy. The worst option of all, in my view, is to use the Austrian Naval Ensign (red-white-red with a red-white-red shield royally crowned) and to call it the "Flag of the Archduchy of Austria", as that would simply be wrong. Cyan22 (talk) 11:08, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Infobox dates[edit]

According to the infobox, Austria was established as a margraviate in 960, raised to duchy in 1457 and to archduchy in 1359, which makes no sense and flatly contradicts its own previous section as well as the article: "In 1156, the margravate was raised to the status of a duchy through the Privilegium Minus issued by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa." I changed the infobox to reflect this and was reverted. Always according to the article, the only significance of the year 1457 is the reunification of Inner Austria with Austria proper under one person, which does not affect the status of the Archduchy itself because Inner Austria comprises three separate duchies (Styria, Carinthia and Carniola).

From the above I conclude that this is not the milestone we are seeking here, and that either the article is wrong—in which case it ought to be corrected—or the date in the infobox ought to be changed back to 1156. (Or at the very least the entry ought to be moved after the "Raised to archduchy" one so that a chronological order may exist, though it wouldn't make much more sense than it does now.) Waltham, The Duke of 16:09, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Hello, by here [[2]] austria became a duchy in 1156, and gets recognized as a archduchy in 1457. The artice says "The archduchy however was not formally recognized until Ernest's son Frederick V was elected Holy Roman Emperor and the Habsburgs gained control of the office to legitimate their usurpation in 1453" but there's no source, so I think the date of 1457 is the correct. btw in the mean time i corrected the infoxbox that is undoubtful wrong.-Ilhador- (talk) 16:47, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm confused now. It seems that we are disagreeing not on when Austria became a duchy but on which is the appropriate date to give for the elevation to archduchy... In which case why have the margraviate and duchy dates been removed? The source to which you link seems to agree with those dates. Waltham, The Duke of 17:06, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
But the duchy was not established in 1457 as was stated. And the infobox has space for just one event_pre, so I had to delete them.-Ilhador- (talk) 17:41, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I've done a little research into how that template works... You are right as long as the genesis of the Archduchy is considered to be 1457; however, self-proclamation is often considered a state's starting point. I do not intend to spend more time on an topic I do not understand well, but I note that this article cites no sources, and the Duchy of Austria one cites only a single source (on an apparently tangential matter). What matters here is what historians believe is the conventional division: the Privilegium Maius succeeded in affecting history irrespective of the document's nature as a forgery, so we cannot dismiss it out of hand. Waltham, The Duke of 18:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I just modified the 1156 start. In reality, between 1358, 1453 and 1457, I don't have any real favorite.-Ilhador- (talk) 21:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Grammar Issues[edit]

I've repaired most of the grammar issues. Can someone just make sure they're okay? 19:25, 22 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.53.40.180 (talk)