Austrian History (4)


Friedrich III    

Friedrich III was a very pious man and was very interested in alchemy and astrology. The mystery of his personal insignia “AEIOU” has prevailed throughout the centuries, the meaning of which is not clear and has been interpreted in many different ways.
In 1453, the Habsburg Lands became known as the Habsburg Hereditary Lands and could be passed on to both the male and the female line.
The lands with the exception of Salzburg and Brixen took in most of today’s Austria together with parts of Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia.
In 1477, the marriage of Friedrich III’s son, the future Emperor Maximilian I, to Mary of Burgundy brought Burgundy and the Netherlands under Habsburg rule.


Maximilian I  (*1459-†1519)  

Maximilian was Holy Roman Emperor and German king from 1493-1519.
He attempted to restore imperial leadership and brought about administrative reforms to stabilise the empire.
Maximilian I,  was the son of Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal.

Maximilian married Mary of Burgund and managed to expand the influence of the House of Habsburg.
Maximilian established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain by marrying his son Philip to the future Queen Joanna of Castile in 1498.

Maximilian's grandson Karl was allowed to rule over Leon-Castile and Aragon.
Karl succeeded Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor in 1519 - see Karl V.


Maximilian and Mary with their family

Mary of Burgundy  (*1457-†1482)    

After her father’s death in 1477, Louis XI of France occupied Burgundy and Picardy and prepared to annex the Netherlands together with Artois, Luxembourg and Franche-Comté. Mary of Burgundy granted certain privileges in order to gain the assistance of Brabant, Flanders, Hainaut and Holland and rejected the French king’s proposal that she marry the Dauphin Charles.
Mary of Burgundy then married Maximilian of Austria and thus established the Habsburgs in the Netherlands provoking rivalry between France and Austria. In 1483, Maximilian was forced to agree to the Treaty of Arras and forfeited the provinces of Franche-Comté and Artois to France.
Mary’s early death after a fall from horseback left her young son Philip (Philip I of Castile) as heir and in 1493, Maximilian was able to regain control over the Netherlands.
The Treaty of Senlis in 1493 with France gave Artois and Franche-Comté to Philip but at the cost of Burgundy and Picardy remaining French.

Philip I - Philip the Handsome (*1478 - †1506

Spanish king of Castile (1506), archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy.
Philip was held prisoner after the death of his mother in the city of Ghent. Maximilian secured his son’s release in 1485 and gained control over the Netherlands in Philip’s name in 1493.
In 1496, Philip married Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon. Joanna became queen of Castile in 1504 and Philip became joint ruler of Castile with his wife two years later. Joanna became increasingly insane after the death of Philip in 1506 and Ferdinand again became joint ruler of Castile.
Philip’s dominions in the Netherlands were passed on to his son Karl (Karl V).

Karl V  (*1500 -  †1558)

Habsburg-Spanish and Austrian lines  
In 1516, the accession of Emperor Karl V to the Spanish throne brought Spain and its empire under the rule of the Habsburgs. Karl divided his empire, giving Spain and the Netherlands to his son Philip and Austria to his brother Ferdinand.


Ferdinand I (*1503 - †1664)


Ferdinand was to increase his territorial claims by marrying into the royal family of Bohemia and Hungary but was faced with the rival claims of a Hungarian nobleman and the Turkish occupation of Hungary.
Ferdinand could only claim authority over some of the territory in northern and western border areas of Hungary and the Turks ruled over Transylvania in the east of Hungary.