The Holy Roman emperor Charles V and the Empress Isabella (1500-1558) inherited the thrones of the Netherlands, Spain, and the Hapsburg possessions but failed in his attempt to bring all of Europe under his imperial rule. Born in Ghent on Feb. 24, 1500, Charles V was the oldest son of Philip the Fair of Hapsburg, Lord of the Netherlands, and Joanna the Mad of Aragon and Castile. When Philip died in 1506, Charles was in line for the rich inheritance of the Netherlands as well as Hapsburg Austria and possibly the office of emperor. Spain—the product of the rather recent union of Aragon and Castile under the Catholic Kings—fell to him because of a series of deaths in the Spanish family, which made his mother, Joanna, the legal successor to the Spanish throne.Charles's maternal grandfather, Ferdinand of Aragon, who had long tried to block a Spanish-Hapsburg union, favored the succession of Charles's younger brother, Ferdinand, to the Spanish crown. But the grandfather died in 1516 before he was able to alter the succession. Charles, who in 1515 had already taken over the government of the Netherlands, became regent of Aragon and Castile for his mother, who was confined because of mental illness to the castle of Tordesillas.

Emperor Karl VI. of Austria.Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI was the father of Empress Marie Theresa and the maternal grandfather of Marie Antoinette.Charles VI (1685 – 1740) succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria (as Charles III) in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II, in 1700. He married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands.Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, faced with his lack of male heirs, Charles provided for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the decree he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I. Charles sought the other European powers' approval. They exacted harsh terms: Britain demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company. In total, Great Britain, France, Saxony-Poland, the Dutch Republic, Spain,Venice,States of the Church, Prussia, Russia,Denmark,Savoy-Sardinia, Bavaria and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empirerecognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged. Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession, which plagued his successor, Maria Theresa, for eight years.

Habsburg dynasty family that ruled the Duchy (later Archduchy) of Austria from 1278. In 1526 they gained possession of the kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary (including Transcarpathia), and from 1452 to 1806 members of the family were the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire; in the 19th century, they took the title of Emperor of Austria (from 1867 the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary). The Habsburgs also acquired the titles of King of Galicia and Lodomeria (Volodymeria) after the annexation of Galicia in 1772, and Prince of Bukovyna in 1849. Maria Theresa (1740–80), Joseph II (1780–90), Leopold II (1790–2), Francis I (1792–1835), Ferdinand I (1835–48), Francis Joseph I (1848–1916), and Charles I (1916–18) were all Habsburgs who ruled over Galicia and Bukovyna. In general, the policy of the Habsburgs was oriented towards maintaining a centralized empire, to which end they followed the maxim of divide et impera. They tolerated national differences in cultural matters, but repressed any separatist movements. In socioeconomic affairs, Austria under the Habsburgs maintained the non-German provinces as internal colonies.

 The Monarchy was a composite state composed of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.Although the Duchy of Austria was just one of the duchies and lands that the Habsburgs eventually acquired in the eastern Alpine-Danubian region, the Habsburgs became known as the House of Austria after the Swiss peasantry ousted them from their original family seat in Habichtsburg in the Swiss canton of Aargau in 1386. The name Austria subsequently became an informal way to refer to all the lands possessed by the House of Austria, even though it also remained the proper, formal name of a specific region. Thus, through the legacy of common rule by the House of Austria, the lands that constitute the modern state of Austria indirectly adopted the name of one region of the country as the formal national name in the early twentieth century.Because the elector-princes of the Holy Roman Empire generally preferred a weak, dependent emperor, the powerful Habsburg Dynasty only occasionally held the imperial title in the 150 years after Rudolf's death in 1291. After the election of Frederick III in 1452 (r. 1452-93), however, the dynasty came to enjoy such a dominant position among the German nobility that only one non-Habsburg was elected emperor in the remaining 354- year history of the Holy Roman Empire.The Habsburgs' near monopoly of the imperial title, however, did not make the Habsburg Empire and the Holy Roman Empire synonymous. The Habsburg Empire was a supernational collection of territories united only through the accident of common rule by the Habsburgs, and many of the territories were not part of the Holy Roman Empire. In contrast, the Holy Roman Empire was a defined political and territorial entity that became identified with the German nation as the nation-state assumed greater importance in European politics.Although the succession of Holy Roman Emperors from the Habsburg line gave the House of Austria great prestige in Germany and Europe, the family's real power base was the lands in its possession, that is, the Habsburg Empire. This was because the Holy Roman Empire was a loosely organized feudal state in which the power of the emperor was counterbalanced by the rights and privileges of the empire's other princes, lords, and institutions, both secular and ecclesiastical.Habsburg power was significantly enhanced in 1453, when Emperor Frederick III confirmed a set of rights and privileges, dubiously claimed by the Habsburgs, that paralleled those of the elector-princes, in whose ranks the family did not yet sit. In addition, the lands the Habsburgs' possessed in 1453 were made inheritable through both the male and the female line. Because feudal holdings usually reverted to the emperor to dispose of as he wished when the holder of the fief died, the right of inheritable succession measurably strengthened the Habsburgs. The lands they held in 1453 became known collectively as the Hereditary Lands, and--with the exception of territories possessed by the archbishops of Salzburg and Brixen--encompassed most of modern Austria and portions of Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina(1717-1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it.[3] Upon the death of her father, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime. Frederick II of Prussia (who became Maria Theresa's greatest rival for most of her reign) promptly invaded and took the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia in the seven-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession. Over the course of the war, despite the loss of Silesia and a few minor territories in Italy, Maria Theresa successfully defended her rule over most of the Habsburg empire. Maria Theresa later unsuccessfully tried to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years' War.

Francis I, Stephan von Lothringen (1708-1765), emperor of Austria, though his wife effectively executed the real powers of those positions. Together they where the founders of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. They had 16 children, the youngest being Marie-Antoinette, the ill-fated queen of France.A Habsburg family of great fame was that of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I of the Holy Roman Empire. Maria Theresa von Habsburg was the eldest daughter of emperor Charles VI of the Holy Roman Emire.Altough never heard of in these days, Maria Theresa succeeded her father since he abolished male-only succession. Having no male issue Charles VI choose his eldest daughter as his successor over his brother. Maria Theresia was married to Francis Stephen, son of the Duke of Lorraine. They founded the new dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine. Maria Theresa was the only ruling female of the Habsburg dynasty, which ruled great parts of Europe during 650 years.The marriage of Maria Theresa and Fransic I was also arranged by Charles VI, and for that reason Francis grew up in Vienna together with Maria Theresa. Unlike many arranged marriages their’s was one of love and affection.

Francis I/Franz I. Stephan von Lothringen (1708-1765) was born 8 December 1708 in Nancy, France to Leopold von Lothringen (1679-1729) and Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans (1676-1744) and died 18 August 1765 in Innsbruck, Austria of unspecified causes. He married Maria Theresia von Habsburg (1717-1780) 12 February 1736 in Vienna, Austria. Notable ancestors include Charlemagne (747-814), Alfred the Great (849-899), Henry II of England (1133-1189), William I of England (1027-1087), Hugh Capet (c940-996), Rurik (c832-879), Willem van Oranje (1533-1584), Robert I of Scotland (1274-1329). Ancestors are from Austria, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Belarus, England, Poland, Bohemia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czechoslovakia, Turkey, Israel, Ireland, Scotland, the Byzantine Empire.

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor,Francis II ( 1768 – 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser (double emperor) in history.[1] For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary and Bohemia as Francis I. He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.

Catholic Habsburgs, the Austrian dynasty which itself was assembling a central-European empire that, after 1526, included the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia. Ferdinand I (r. 1556–64) and Maximilian II (r. 1564–76) were rulers who governed moderately and wisely the Holy Roman Empire. Ferdinand, through his marriage to the heiress of Hungary and Bohemia, added these lands to the family. Rudolf I (r. 1575–1612) was less capable and was deposed, and his successor, Mathias I (r. 1612–19), was not effective.A member of a cognate line, Ferdinand II (r. 1619–37), faced with rebellion by Protestants in both Bohemia and Austria, put these revolts down and came close to enforcing a revocation of the Treaty of Augsburg. For a while, it seemed that he would reach his goal in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48).Nonetheless, Ferdinand II and Ferdinand III (r. 1637–57) devoted their energies to Austrian expansion. Leopold I (r. 1657–1705) was the most dogged opponent of Louis XIV and the Turks. He was succeeded by Joseph I (r. 1705–11), who in turn was succeeded by his brother, Charles VI, who was the Austrian candidate in the War of the Spanish Succession.The death of Charles VI in 1740 led to the War of the Austrian Succession, as he left no male descendants. However, his capable daughter, Maria Theresa (1740–80), held the dominions together with the exception of Silesia. She was considered an enlightened despot, as she instituted civil reforms. Her son, Joseph II, tried to institute reforms too soon. His successors Leopold II (r. 1790–92) and Francis II (r. 1792–1835) were more conservative.The 19th and early 20th centuries saw new challenges as rising nationalism threatened to break up the multinational empire of the Habsburgs. The last ruler of the dynasty was Franz Josef, who ruled from 1848 to 1916. However, Austria lost territories to Italy and Germany despite gaining land in the Balkans.The end came in World War I when the Emperor Charles was forced to abdicate in 1918–19. Today, of the Habsburg descendants, the only monarchs are the ruling family of the tiny municipality of Liechtenstein sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland.

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor,Francis II ( 1768 – 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser (double emperor) in history.[1] For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary and Bohemia as Francis I. He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.

Emperor Franz married four times. These marriages were entered into for dynastic reasons, and some of his wives were very close relatives. Nonetheless, they developed into partnerships that were characterised by mutual trust and sympathy.His first wife, Elisabeth Wilhelmine of Württemberg (1767–1790), was chosen for him by his uncle, Joseph II. A union with the House of Württemberg was a politically opportune choice, as Elisabeth’s elder sister Sophie Dorothea was married to the heir to the Russian throne, Paul.He thus married again only six months after his first wife’s death. His second bride was Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Naples (1772–1807). Even by Habsburg standards, the couple were extremely closely related. Maria Teresa was the daughter of King Ferdinand I of Naples and Sicily and Archduchess Maria Karoline, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa. Franz was the son of Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Naples, a sister of his bride’s mother. Franz and Maria Teresa were thus first cousins on both sides. Despite this, the union was the only one of Franz’s four marriages to produce offspring, eventually resulting in a grand total of twelve children. His third wife was Maria Ludovika Beatrice of Modena (1787–1816), to whom he was also related. She was the youngest daughter of his uncle, Archduke Ferdinand, and the heiress to the northern Italian duchy of Modena, Maria Beatrice d’Este. Her family was driven out of their duchy by Napoleon’s troops, finding refuge in Austria, where Maria Ludovika grew up. In 1808 Luigia, as she was known in the family, was married to her cousin, Emperor Franz, who was almost twenty years her senior. The emperor was reportedly delighted by his young bride’s beauty and elegance.The emperor’s fourth and last wife was Karoline Auguste (1792–1873) from the Wittelsbach dynasty, a daughter of King Maximilian I of Bavaria. Her first marriage to Wilhelm of Württemberg had been annulled in 1815 with papal consent. The year afterwards, the 24-year-old princess married the thrice-widowed Emperor Franz, who was twice her age. When he saw his blooming young bride, Franz is alleged to have exclaimed ‘At least I won’t end up with a corpse again after a few years!’ Karolina Auguste was to outlive her husband by 38 year.

Emperor Franz II/I entering Vienna on the 16th June 1814.The Triumphal Entry of Emperor Francis I after the Peace of Paris on June 16th 1814.

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor,Francis II ( 1768 – 1835)was born in 1768, Joseph Charles Francis of Habsburg assumed the title Holy Roman Emperor Francis II in 1792, having inherited the position from his father, Leopold II (r. 1790-92). His reign coincided with a period of grave political turmoil in Europe. In fact, he acceded to the throne on July 14, 1792, the third anniversary of storming of the Bastille. On April 20, 1792, just months earlier, revolutionary France had declared war on Austria and the Holy Roman Empire – not, however, without provocation.In 1804, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II also became Emperor Francis I of Austria. He held the two titles simultaneously until Napoleon declared the Holy Roman Empire dissolved in 1806. By the time Francis acceded to the Austrian throne, the Habsburgs’ disastrous conflicts with Napoleon (r. 1804-1814/15) had already reduced their power to a fraction of what it once was. As a result, Francis sought to secure his position by proclaiming the Austrian ancestral domains the Austrian Empire, independent of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1805, Austria suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the French in the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1806, Francis found himself under even greater pressure from Napoleon, and the situation only became worse when sixteen southern and southwestern German estates withdrew from the Empire to found the Confederation of the Rhine on July 12, 1806. On August 6, 1806, Francis abdicated the imperial throne. He retained the title of Austrian Emperor and went on in this capacity to reassert Habsburg power after Napoleon’s defeat.The first two decades of his reign were marked by his struggle against the French Revolution and against Napoleon. As nephew of Marie-Antoinette, he had familial reasons for being distrustful of the French Revolution. And his ethnically multifarious lands made him fear calls for liberty and equality. His initial attempts to fight revolutionary France (ending at Valmy in September 1792) were unsuccessful. After taking of brunt of Napoleon's military genius during the First Italian campaign, he was forced to the negotiating table at Campo Formio (Venetian territory). Austrian territories on the Left Bank of the Rhine were handed to France in return for which Austria was allowed to keep its lands around Venice and in Dalmatia. Beaten again after the Second Italian campaign at Marengo (June 1800), Venice finally fell and Austrian influence in northern Italy was for the moment suspended as per the Peace of Lunéville. The Austrian Grand Duchy of Tuscany was given to France, the Batavian (once the Austrian Netherlands), Ligurian (once an imperial fief), Helvetic and Italian (once an imperial fief) republics were to be safeguarded from Austrian meddling and given independent status. With the loss of the left bank of the Rhine and the rise of the Napoleonic influence in German lands (as evinced by the German princes who came to welcome Napoleon on his imperial visit to Aachen in the autumn of 1804), Francis took the step of resigning as emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor (thus effectively killing it) and styling himself Francis I of Austria. Goaded by Napoleon's coronation as king of Italy, his wife Maria-Theresa's (and her party's) implacable hatred of the French Revolution and encouraged by Britain, Francis joined the Third Coalition in the late summer of 1805. But this mobilisation took place before the army was effectively ready. The defeats at Ulm and then Austerlitz lead to the humiliating treaty of Pressburg, and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine put the final touches to the death of the empire and giving a Napoleonic imprint to German lands. In 1809, Francis attacked France again, hoping to take advantage of the conflict embroiling Napoleon in Spain. He was again defeated, and this time was forced to ally himself with Napoleon, ceding territory to the Empire, joining the Continental System, and wedding his daughter Marie-Louise to the Emperor. Francis essentially became a vassal of the Emperor of France. The Napoleonic wars drastically weakened Austria and reduced its prestige, which would lead to Prussia's acquiring the edge in the contest for dominance of Germany. In 1813, for the fourth and final time, Austria turned against France and joined Britain, Russia, and Prussia in their war against Napoleon. Austria played a major role in the final defeat of France—in recognition of this, Francis, represented by Clemens von Metternich, presided over the Congress of Vienna, helping to form the Concert of Europe and the Holy Alliance, ushering in an era of conservatism and reactionism in Europe. The German Confederation, a loose association of Central European states was created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to organize the surviving states of the Holy Roman Empire. The federal diet met at Frankfurt under Austrian presidency (in fact the Habsburg Emperor was represented by an Austrian 'presidential envoy'). Within Austria, at the end of the Napoleonic wars Francis decided not to reinstate the Ancien Régime system but legitimised his rule by erecting a social conservative and finally reactionary system, as drafted by Metternich and established by the Holy Alliance founded in 1818. He followed the policies of his uncle Joseph II (known as Josephism) with its emphasis upon the role of the police, the censor and the repression of democratic tendencies.The Habsburg Monarchy and Bohemia, 1526–1848 This chapter presents an essay on the Habsburg Monarchy's administration of the kingdom of Bohemia during the period from 1526 to 1848. It suggests that during this period Bohemia became a tractable possession of Habsburg rulers partly because of the failure of the famous revolt of 1618–20. Bohemia was the material powerhouse of the Monarchy supplying personnel much its political, intellectual, and administrative leadership. After 1800, this relationship started to change but it was only in the revolution of 1848 that Bohemia's full debility was revealed..The Kingdom of Bohemia, was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, ruled also the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg and Bavaria.The kingdom was established by the Přemyslid dynasty in the 12th century from Duchy of Bohemia, later ruled by the House of Luxembourg, the Jagiellonian dynasty, and since 1526 by the House of Habsburg and its successor house Habsburg-Lorraine. Numerous kings of Bohemia were also elected Holy Roman Emperors and the capital Prague was the imperial seat in the late 14th century, and at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries.After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the territory became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire, and subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867. Bohemia retained its name and formal status as a separate Kingdom of Bohemia until 1918, known as a crown land within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its capital Prague was one of the empire's leading cities. The Czech language (called the Bohemian language in English usage until the 19th century) was the main language of the Diet and the nobility until 1627 (after the Bohemian Revolt was suppressed). German was then formally made equal with Czech and eventually prevailed as the language of the Diet until the Czech national revival in the 19th century. German was also widely used as the language of administration in many towns after Germans immigrated and populated some areas of the country in the 13th century. The royal court used the Czech, Latin, and German languages, depending on the ruler and period.Following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both the Kingdom and Empire were dissolved. Bohemia became the core part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic.

Portrait of Emperor Joseph II (right) and his younger brother Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany (left), who would later become Holy Roman Emperor as Leopold II.

Leopold II (born Peter Leopold Joseph) (May 5, 1747 – March 1, 1792) was the penultimate Holy Roman Emperor from 1790 to 1792 and Grand-duke of Tuscany (Leopold I - Pietro Leopoldo d'Asburgo-Lorena - Granduca di Toscana). He was the son of the Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Leopold was one of the "enlightened monarchs".Leopold was born in Vienna, a third son, and was at first educated for the priesthood, but the theological studies to which he was forced to apply himself are believed to have influenced his mind in a way unfavourable to the Church. On the death of his elder brother Charles in 1761, it was decided that he should succeed to his father's Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which was promoted into a "secundogeniture" or apanage for a second son. This settlement was the condition of his marriage on August 5, 1764 with Maria Louisa, daughter of Charles III of Spain and Maria Amalia of Saxony. On the death of his father Francis I (August 13, 1765), he succeeded to the grand duchy.

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