Habsburg-Bohemian War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Control of the Austrian territories. Result: Rudolf’s victory and establishment of the Habsburg Dynasty in Austria, from which it would build a major European empire.
The Babenberg Dynasty that had ruled Austria and Styria died out in 1246. In the subsequent competition to seize the territories, King Otakar II of Bohemia drove out his rival, the king of Hungary, by 1260. In the following years, Otakar exploited the weak and divided government in the Holy Roman Empire to add Carniola, Carinthia, and Friaul to his possessions, becoming the most powerful prince in central Europe. In 1273, he tried to get himself elected king of the Romans, the prelude to becoming Holy Roman Emperor. His fortunes turned, however, when the other electors voted for the fifty-five-year-old Count Rudolf von Habsburg, a powerful magnate from the southwest part of the empire. As king, Rudolf wanted to reassert imperial rights, including the questionable disposition of the Austrian lands. Otakar was reluctant to offer his homage to the new king. Rudolf forced the issue in November, 1274, when he demanded from Otakar clarification of his Austrian possessions and homage.
Otakar delayed and avoided appearing before Rudolf. Thus, in June, 1275, Rudolf gained a judgment of the princes against Otakar for contumacy, technically making him an excommunicated outlaw. Rudolf...
(The entire section is 692 words.)
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