- Emperor of Austria
Infobox Former Emperorship
realm = Austria
insignia = Wappen Kaisertum Österreich 1815 (Klein).png
insigniasize = 120px
insigniacaption = Coat of Arms of the Austrian Empire
caption = Francis I the first Emperor of Austria
first_emperor = Francis I of Austria
last_emperor = Charles I
11 August, 1804
11 November, 1918
The phrase "Emperor of Austria" describes an
hereditary imperialtitle and position proclaimed in 1804 by the Austrian HabsburgHoly Roman Emperor Francis II and continually held by him and his immediate successors until the Habsburg dynastywas overthrown in 1918.
In the face of aggressions by Napoleon, Francis feared for the future of the
Holy Roman Empireand wished to maintain his and his family's Imperial status in the event that the Holy Roman Empire should be dissolved, as it indeed was in 1806 when Austrian-led army suffered a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Austerlitzand the victorious Napoleon proceeded to dismantle the old "Reich" by severing a good portion from the empire and turning it into a separate Confederation of the Rhine. With the size of his imperial realm significantly reduced, Francis II, "Holy Roman Emperor" became Francis I, "Emperor of Austria". The new imperial title may have sounded less prestigious than the old one, but Francis' dynastycontinued to rule from Austria and a Habsburg monarch was still an emperor ("Kaiser"), and not just merely a king ("König"), in name.
The title lasted just a little over one century until 1918, but it was never clear what territory constituted the "Empire of Austria". When Francis took the title in 1804, the Habsburg lands as a whole were dubbed the "Kaisertum Österreich." "Kaisertum" might literally be translated as "emperordom" (on analogy with "kingdom") or "emperor-ship"; the term denotes specifically "the territory ruled by an emperor", and is thus somewhat more general than
Reich, which in 1804 carried connotations of universal rule. Austria proper (as opposed to the complex of Habsburg lands as a whole) had been an Archduchy since the 15th century, and most of the other territories of the Empire had their own institutions and territorial history, although there were some attempts at centralization, especially between 1848 and 1859. When Hungarywas given self-government in 1867, the non-Hungarian portions, although usually collectively called Austria, were officially known only as the "Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council ("Reichsrat")". The title of "Emperor of Austria" and the associated Empire (if there was such) were both abolished at the end of the First World War in 1918, when German Austriabecame a republicand the other kingdoms and lands represented in the Imperial Council established their independence or adhesion to other states.
The Austrian Emperors had an extensive list of titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and diversity of the lands ruled by the Austrian Habsburgs. [The official title of the ruler of Austrian Empire and later the Austria-Hungary had been changed several times: by a patent from August 1, 1804, by a court office decree from August 22, 1836, by an imperial court ministry decree from January 6, 1867 and finally by a letter from December 12, 1867. Shorter versions were recommended for official documents and international treaties: "Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia etc. and Apostolic King of Hungary", "Emperor of Austria and Apostolic Kind of Hungary", "His Majesty Emperor and King" and "His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty". The term
Kaiserlich und königlich(K.u.K.) was decreed in a letter from October 17, 1889 for the military, the navy and the institutions shared by both parts of the monarchy.
Otto's encyclopedia(published during 1888-1909), subject 'King', [http://encyklopedie.seznam.cz/heslo/285233-kral online in Czech] .] The full list (after the loss of the Lombardy in 1859 and Venetia in 1866):
Apostolic Kingof Hungary,"
Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria, and of Illyria,"
"King of Jerusalem, and so forth,"
Grand Dukeof Tuscanyand of Cracow,"
"Duke of Lorraine, of
Salzburg, of Styria, of Carinthia, of Carniolaand of the Bukovina,"
Grand Princeof Transylvania,"
Dukeof Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenzaand Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa and Zara,"
Princely Countof Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Goritzand Grandisca,"
Princeof Trient and Brixen (Bressanone),"
"Margrave of Upper and Lower
Lusatiaand in Istria,"
Countof Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, and so forth,"
Trieste, of Cattaroand of the Wendish Mark,"
"Grand Voyvode of the Voyvodie of
Serbia, and so forth,"
"Sovereign of the
Order of the Golden Fleece."
Emperors of Austria, 1804–1918
Holy Roman Emperor
List of Empresses of Austria
*List of Rulers of Austria
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