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House of Habsburg

Habsburg, House of, European family from which came rulers of Austria (1282–1918), the Holy Roman Empire (1438–1806), Spain (1516–1700), Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, and other countries. Count Rudolf IV, who was crowned King Rudolf I of Germany in 1273, founded the imperial line. Thereafter Habsburg (also spelled Hapsburg) power and hereditary lands grew until, under Charles V, they included most of Europe (excepting France, Scandinavia, Portugal, and England). After Charles, the Habsburgs were divided into Spanish and imperial lines. When the Spanish line died out, Charles V's granddaughter, Maria Theresa, gained the Austrian title. Her husband, Francis I (Duke of Lorraine), became Holy Roman Emperor (1745), and the Habsburg-Lorraine line ruled the Holy Roman Empire until its demise. The last Habsburg ruler, Charles I, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, abdicated in 1918, after World War I.

See also: Austria-Hungary; Holy Roman Empire.

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