and Hungary. Mohács and its results. Austria and Spain were thus divided, and, in spite of the efforts of the archduke Charles in the Spanish Succession War, were never again united, for at the battle of Mohács, on the 28th of August 1526, Suleiman the Magnificent defeated and killed Louis, king of Bohemia and of Hungary, whose sister Anne had married Ferdinand. By this victory the Turks conquered and retained, till the peace of Karlowitz in 1699, the greater part of Hungary. During most of his life Ferdinand was engaged in combating the Turks and in attempting to secure Hungary. In John Zápolya, who was supported by Suleiman, Ferdinand found an active rival. The Turks besieged Vienna in 1530 and made several invasions of Hungary and Austria. At length Ferdinand agreed to pay Suleiman an annual tribute for the small portion—about 12,228 sq. m.—of Hungary which he held. Charles V. and Austria. During Charles V.'s struggles with the German Protestants, Ferdinand preserved a neutral attitude, which contributed to gain Germany a short period of internal peace. Though Ferdinand himself did not take a leading part in German religious or foreign politics, the period was one of intense interest to Austria. Throughout the years from 1519 to 1648 there are, said Stubbs, two distinct ideas in progress which “may be regarded as giving a unity to the whole period.... The Reformation is one, the claims of the House of Austria is the other.” Austria did not benefit from the reign of Charles V. The emperor was too much absorbed in the affairs of the rest of his vast dominions, notably those of the Empire, rent in two by religious differences and the secular ambitions for which those were the excuse, to give any effective attention to its needs. The peace of Augsburg, 1555, which recognized a dualism within the Empire in religion as in politics, marked the failure of his plan of union (see Charles V.; Germany; Maurice of Saxony); and meanwhile he had been able to accomplish nothing to rescue Hungary from the Turkish yoke. It was left for his brother Ferdinand, a ruler of consummate wisdom (1556-1564) “to establish the modern Habsburg-Austrian empire with its exclusive territorial interests, its administrative experiments, its intricacies of religion and of race.”
Before his death Ferdinand divided the inheritance of the The policy of Ferdinand and Maximillian II. German Habsburgs between his three sons. Austria proper was left to his eldest son Maximilian, Tirol to the archduke Ferdinand; and Styria with Carinthia and Carniola to the archduke Charles. Under the emperor Maximilian II. (1564-1576), who was also king of Bohemia and Hungary, a liberal policy preserved peace, but he was unable to free his government from its humiliating position of a tributary to the Turk, and he could do nothing to found religious liberty within his dominions on a permanent basis. The whole of Austria and nearly the whole of Styria were mainly Lutheran; in Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia, various forms of Christian belief struggled for mastery; and Catholicism was almost confined to the mountains of Tirol. The reign of Rudolph II. The accession of Rudolph II. (1576-1612), a fanatical Spanish Catholic, changed the situation entirely. Under him the Jesuits were encouraged to press on the counter-Reformation. In the early part of his reign there was hardly any government at all. In Bohemia a state of semi-independence existed, while Hungary preferred The family compact, 1606. the Turk to the emperor. In both kingdoms Rudolph had failed to assert his sovereign power except in fitful attempts to extirpate heresy. With anarchy prevalent within the Austrian dominions some action became necessary. Accordingly in 1606 the archdukes made a compact agreeing to acknowledge the archduke Matthias as head of the family. This arrangement proved far from successful. Matthias, who was emperor from 1612 to 1619, proved unable to restore order, and when he died Bohemia was practically independent. His successor Ferdinand II. (1619-1637) was strong of will; and resolved to win back Germany to the Catholic faith. As archduke of Styria he had crushed out Protestantism The Thirty Years' War. in that duchy, and having been elected king of Bohemia in 1618 was resolved to establish there the rule of the Jesuits. His attempt to do so led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War (see Bohemia; Thirty Years' War). Till 1630 the fortunes of Austria brightened under the active rule of Ferdinand, who was assisted by Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League, and by Wallenstein. The Palatinate was conquered, the Danish king was overthrown, and it seemed that Austria would establish its predominance over the whole of Germany, and that the Baltic would become an Austrian lake. The fortunes of Austria never seemed brighter than in 1628 when Wallenstein began the siege of Stralsund. The Swedish and French intervention. His failure, followed by the arrival of Gustavus Adolphus in Germany in 1630, proved the death blow of Austrian hopes. In 1632 Gustavus Adolphus was killed, in 1634 Wallenstein was assassinated, and in 1635 France entered into the war. The Thirty Years' War now ceased to be a religious struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism; it resolved itself into a return to the old political strife between France and the Habsburgs. The peace of Westphalia, 1648. Till 1648 the Bourbon and Habsburg powers continued the war, and at the peace of Westphalia Austria suffered severe losses. Ferdinand III. (1637-1657) was forced to yield Alsace to France, to grant territorial supremacy, including the right of making alliances, to the states of the Empire, and to acknowledge the concurrent jurisdiction of the imperial chamber and the Aulic council. The disintegration of the Holy Roman Empire was now practically accomplished, and though the possession of the imperial dignity continued to give the rulers of Austria prestige, the Habsburgs henceforward devoted themselves to their Austrian interests rather than to those of the Empire.
In 1657 Leopold I., who had already ruled the Austrian Leopold I.}} dominions for two years, succeeded his father Ferdinand and was crowned emperor in the following year. His long reign of 48 years was of great importance for Austria, as determining both the internal character and the external policy of the monarchy. The long struggle with France to which the ambitions of Louis XIV. gave rise, and which culminated in the War of Spanish Succession, belongs less to the history of Austria proper than to that of Germany and of Europe. Wars with Turkey. Of more importance to Austria itself was the war with Sweden (1657-60) which resulted in the peace of Oliva, by which the independence of Poland was secured and the frontier of Hungary safeguarded, and the campaigns against the Turks (1662-64 and 1683-99), by which the Ottoman power was driven from Hungary, and the Austrian attitude towards Turkey and the Slav peoples of the Balkans determined for a century to come. The first war, due to Ottoman aggression in Transylvania, ended with Montecuculi's victory over the grand vizier at St Gothard on the Raab on the 1st of August 1664. The general political situation prevented Leopold from taking full advantage of this, and the peace of Vasvár (August 10) left the Turks in possession of Nagyvarad (Grosswardein) and the fortress of Érsekujvár (Neuhäusel), Transylvania being recognized as an independent principality. The next Turkish war was the direct outcome of Leopold's policy in Hungary, where the persecution of the Protestants and the suppression of the constitution in 1658, led to a widespread conspiracy. This was mercilessly suppressed; and though after a period of arbitrary government (1672-1679), the palatinate and the constitution, with certain concessions to the Protestants, were restored, the discontent continued. In 1683, invited by Hungarian malcontents and spurred on by Louis XIV., the Turks burst into Hungary, overran the country and appeared before the walls of Vienna. The victory of the 12th of September, gained over the Turks by John Sobieski (see John III. Sobieski, King of Poland) not only saved the Austrian capital, but was the first of a series of successes which drove the Turks permanently beyond the Danube, and established the power of Austria in the East. The victories of Charles of Lorraine at Párkány (1683) and Esztergom (Gran) (1685) were followed by the capture of Budapest (1686) and the defeat of the Ottomans at
- Rudolph V. as archduke of Austria, II. as emperor.