House of Habsburg

The House of Habsburg tracks its origins to Habichtsburg Castle, Switzerland. It succeeded the Babenberg dynasty and the Bohemians in Austria. Members of the House were very frequently Holy Roman Emperors. Their control of the Empire led to their gaining immense influence throughout Europe. They temporarily acquired Bohemia and Hungary in the 1430s. Though they lost these two regions, Maximillian of Habsburg arranged a royal marriage with Spain in the late 15th century. His son, Emperor Charles V, acquired both realms to make the largest empire in Europe. The Habsburgs expanded their empire throughout Europe and the New World until 1556, when Charles V abdicated. The empire was divided into its Austrian and Spanish components. The Habsburgs lost control of Spain in the War of the Spanish Succession, when Philip of France acquired the realm. They continued to rule Austria as it succeeded the Holy Roman Empire following its dismemberment by Napoleon. Following a defeat by Prussia, Hungary demanded equal representation in the nation and it became the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. That nation collapsed following World War I. The Habsburg monarch was forced into exile, and the dynasty lost all of its power.