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king of Bohemia. The interests of the Austrian margraves and dukes were not confined to the acquisition of wealth either in land or chattels. Vienna became a centre of culture and learning, and many religious houses were founded and endowed. Duke Leopold II. The acme of the early prosperity of Austria was reached under Duke Leopold II., surnamed the Glorious, who reigned from 1194 to 1230. He gave a code of municipal law to Vienna, and rights to other towns, welcomed the Minnesingers to his brilliant court, and left to his subjects an enduring memory of valour and wisdom. Leopold and his predecessors were enabled, owing to the special position of Austria, to act practically as independent rulers. Cherishing the privilege of 1156, they made treaties with foreign kings, and arranged marriages with the great families of Europe. With full control of jurisdiction and of commerce, no great bishopric nor imperial city impeded the course of their authority, and the emperor interfered only to settle boundary disputes.

The main lines of Austrian policy under the Babenbergs were warfare with the Hungarians and other eastern neighbours, and a general attitude of loyalty towards the emperors. The story of the Hungarian wars is a monotonous record of forays, of assistance given at times to the Babenbergs by the forces of the Empire, and ending in the gradual eastward advance of Austria. Duke Frederick II., the Quarrelsome. The traditional loyalty to the emperors, which was cemented by several marriages between the imperial house and the Babenbergs, was, however, departed from by the margrave Leopold II., and by Duke Frederick II. During the investiture struggle Leopold deserted the emperor Henry IV., who deprived him of Austria and conferred it upon Vratislav II., duke of the Bohemians. Unable to maintain his position, Vratislav was soon driven out, and in 1083 Leopold again obtained possession of the mark, and was soon reconciled with Henry. Very similar was the result of the conflict between the emperor Frederick II. and Duke Frederick II. Ignoring the the privilege of 1156, the emperor claimed certain rights in Austria, and summoned the duke to his Italian diets. Frederick, who was called the Quarrelsome, had irritated both his neighbours and his subjects, and complaints of his exactions and confiscations reached the ears of the emperor. After the duke had three times refused to appear before the princes, Frederick placed him under the ban, declared the duchies of Austria and Styria to be vacant, and, aided by the king of Bohemia, the duke of Bavaria and other princes, invaded the country in 1236. End of the House of Babenberg. He met with very slight opposition, declared the duchies to be immediately dependent upon the Empire, made Vienna an imperial city, and imposed other changes upon the constitution of Austria. After his departure, however, the duke returned, and in 1239 was in possession of his former power, while the changes made by the emperor were ignored. Continuing his career of violence and oppression, Duke Frederick was killed in battle by the Hungarians in June 1246, when the family of Babenberg became extinct.

The duchies of Austria and Styria were now claimed by the Dispute as to the Austrian succession. emperor Frederick II. as vacant fiefs of the Empire, and their government was entrusted to Otto II., duke of Bavaria. Frederick, however, who was in Italy, harassed and afflicted, could do little to assert the imperial authority, and his enemy, Pope Innocent IV., bestowed the two duchies upon Hermann VI., margrave of Baden, whose wife, Gertrude, was a niece of the last of the Babenbergs. Hermann was invested by the German king, William, count of Holland, but he was unable to establish his position, and law and order were quickly disappearing from the duchies. The deaths of Hermann and of the emperor in 1250, however, paved the way for a settlement. Weary of struggle and disorder, and despairing of any help from the central authority, the estates of Austria met at TrĂ¼bensee in 1251, and chose Ottakar, son of Wenceslaus I., king of Bohemia, as their duke. Ottakar of Bohemia, duke. This step was favoured by the pope, and Ottakar, eagerly accepting the offer, strengthened his position by marrying Margaret, a sister of Duke Frederick II., and in return for his investiture promised his assistance to William of Holland. Styria appears at this time to have shared the fortunes of Austria, but it was claimed by Bela IV., king of Hungary, who conquered the land, and made a treaty with Ottakar in 1254 which confirmed him in its possession. The Hungarian rule was soon resented by the Styrians, and Ottakar, who had become king of Bohemia in 1253, took advantage of this resentment, and interfered in the affairs of the duchy. A war with Hungary was the result, but on this occasion victory rested with Ottakar, and by a treaty made with Bela, in March 1261, he was recognized as duke of Styria. In 1269 Ottakar inherited the duchy of Carinthia on the death of Duke Ulrich III., and, his power having now become very great, he began to aspire to the German throne. He did something to improve the condition of the duchies by restoring order, introducing German colonists into the eastern districts, and seeking to benefit the inhabitants of the towns.

In 1273 Rudolph, count of Habsburg, became German king, Rudolph of Habsburg. and his attention soon turned to Ottakar, whose power menaced the occupant of the German throne. Finding some support in Austria, Rudolph questioned the title of the Bohemian king to the three duchies, and sought to recover the imperial lands which had been in the possession of the emperor Frederick II. Ottakar was summoned twice before the diet, the imperial court declared against him, and in July 1275 he was placed under the ban. War was the result, and in November 1276 Ottakar submitted to Rudolph, and renounced the duchies of Austria, Styria and Carinthia. For some time the three duchies were administered by Rudolph in his capacity as head of the Empire, of which they formed part. Not content with this tie, however, which was personal to himself alone, the king planned to make them hereditary possessions of his family, and to transfer the headquarters of the Habsburgs from the Rhine to the Danube. The Habsburgs established in Austria, 1282. Some opposition was offered to this scheme; but the perseverance of the king overcame all difficulties, and one of the most important events in European history took place on the 27th of December 1282, when Rudolph invested his sons, Rudolph and Albert, with the duchies of Austria and Styria. He retained Carinthia in his own hands until 1286, when, in return for valuable services, he bestowed it upon Meinhard IV., count of Tirol. The younger Rudolph took no part in the government of Austria and Styria, which was undertaken by Albert, until his election as German king in 1298. Albert appears to have been rather an arbitrary ruler. In 1288 he suppressed a rising of the people of Vienna, and he made the fullest use of the ducal power in asserting his real or supposed rights. At this time the principle of primogeniture was unknown in the house of Habsburg, and for many years the duchies were ruled in common by two, or even three, members of the family. After Albert became German king, his two elder sons, Rudolph and Frederick, were successively associated with him in the government, and after his death in 1308, his four younger sons shared at one time or another in the administration of Austria and Styria. In 1314 Albert's son, Frederick, was chosen German king in opposition to Louis IV., duke of Upper Bavaria, afterwards the emperor Louis IV., and Austria was weakened by the efforts of the Habsburgs to sustain Frederick in his contest with Louis, and also by the struggle carried on between another brother, Leopold, and the Swiss. A series of deaths among the Habsburgs during the first half of the 14th century left Duke Albert II. and his four sons as the only representatives of the family. Albert ruled the duchies alone from 1344 to 1356, and after this date his sons began to take part in the government. Duke Rudolph IV. The most noteworthy of these was Duke Rudolph IV., a son-in-law of the emperor Charles IV., who showed his interest in learning by founding the university of Vienna in 1365. Rudolph's chief aim was to make Austria into an independent state, and he forged a series of privileges the purport of which was to free the duchy from all its duties towards the Empire. A sharp contest with the emperor followed this proceeding, and the Austrian duke, annoyed that