from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Erz herzog (abbreviation: Ehzg. ) Was from 1453 to 1918 the title of the ruler of the Archduchy of Austria as Archduke of Austria , Archidux Austriae ( Middle Latin ; abbreviation: AA ). From the 18th century onwards, the female descendants of the Habsburg-Lothringen family also bore the title.

All Roman-German emperors and kings from the House of Habsburg elected from 1486 , or from 1780 Habsburg-Lothringen , carried the title in the sense of a hereditary nobility title and in this sense all emperors of Austria carried it from 1804 . Since the Habsburg house law required divisions of inheritance between sons up to the 17th century and several princes ruled in parallel in parts of the Habsburg monarchy , all rulers carried the title of archduke. After division was ruled out by the pragmatic sanction , "Archduke of Austria" and "Archduchess of Austria" were the titles of nobility and dignity of all (from 1804: imperial) princes and princesses of the House of Austria, regardless of the exercise of government over the Archduchy of Austria .

Creation of the title

The title was created with the addition of " Arch " in the form of Palatine Duke by Duke Rudolf IV in a document from 1359 called Privilegium Maius .

The title of Archduke refers to the electors , also called Erzfürsten (archbishops; Rabsaris, -marschall, - gift - Steward ) were known. The three archchancellors of the Holy Roman Empire were ex officio of its three archbishops as spiritual archbishops and electors, i.e. that of Mainz (archchancellor for Germany), that of Cologne (archchancellor for Italy ) and that of Trier (archchancellor for Burgundy ).

The Golden Bull of Charles IV. 1356 stipulated in writing which imperial princes as so-called electors (to mhd. Kur or kure for election ) had the right to elect the emperor; this was accompanied by a number of other privileges. Since the Habsburgs missed out on the Golden Bull, Rudolf quickly had his own (false) privilege created to increase his family, the Privilegium Maius, which among other things gave him the title of Palatine Duke and thus de facto put him on an equal footing with the Elector. However, this new title was not recognized by Emperor Charles IV, his father-in-law. From 1414, Duke Ernst the Iron was the first prince to hold the officially not yet recognized title of Archduke .

Use of the title

The title of Archduke formed one of the fundamental pillars of the Habsburg domestic power policy , as it was supposed to secure the hereditary possessions and claims to power inextricably linked to the family in the times when the Habsburgs were kings of Bohemia and kings of Hungary , as well as kings of the Romans and power the latter title of the Pope or his deputy the Elector of Cöllen, Arch Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire of the Italian Nation, who were crowned or to be crowned Emperor of the entire Holy Roman Empire , were dependent on an election or confirmation of office, but neither a very own royal title nor held a hereditary electoral dignity (the latter was associated with the royal dignity of Bohemia).

On Epiphany 1453 , the Roman-German Emperor Friedrich III confirmed. himself and his brother as well as their descendants this title and thus made it valid. The title thus also targeted the House of Austria (the Habsburg dynasty) as a whole. This made the Duchy of Austria an Archduchy and the title a characteristic of the House of Habsburg, as there was or is no second Archduchy in the world. In the opinion of the Albrecht biographer Konstantin Langmaier, who interprets the source from 1453 literally rather than in terms of historical effects, one aim of the archduke's uprising was to deprive the subjects of the Habsburg lands the possibility of appealing to the head of the empire, which brings an approximation to the position and meant the rank of elector, which in the event of a transfer of royal rule to another dynasty should result in a legal advantage for the House of Austria.

In order to safeguard the rule of principle established by Rudolf IV the founder in Rudolf IV's house rules in 1364 and the mutual (priority) inheritance claims of all Habsburgs among themselves, regardless of genealogy , all Habsburg sons increasingly carried the title of Archduke, which made it a kind in-house prince title . This also applied to the Spanish line , where the inheritance took place there and was lost in the War of the Spanish Succession .

According to the house contract Pactum Mutuae successionis Charles VI. from 1703, which was made public as a pragmatic sanction in 1713 and which not only stipulated the indivisibility of all Habsburg hereditary lands , but also extended the line of succession to the daughters, if (even younger) sons were not present, all Habsburg women also carried the official hereditary title of Archduchess and were entitled to rule - which only happened once, in 1740, with Maria Theresa and the War of the Austrian Succession .

From around the 15th century onwards, every prince and from the 18th century onwards every princess of the House of Habsburg (this one up to their marriage) bore this title from birth.

For the ruler of the Habsburg monarchy, the title Kaiser von Österreich was created in 1804 , which ranked above all other titles. In the title of the ruling Habsburgs ( major title of the Emperor of Austria as well as the medium and small title ), the archduke title took a prominent position immediately behind the royal titles . From 1804 onwards, an archduke or an archduchess (apart from the emperor and the empress) was to be addressed as imperial highness . Since the emperor was legally designated as emperor and king from 1867 onwards in order to emphasize the independence of Hungary, the address of an archduke was formally from 1867 to imperial and royal highness (k. And k. Highness).

The two parts of the historical Duchy of Austria ( Austria above and below the Enns ) were already formally defined as independent archduchies during the time of Maria Theresa and finally in 1861 and remained so until 1918. The other Austrian hereditary and crown lands stood as far as they were There were no kingdoms , of the rank of duchies or below, and in some cases they were included in the Czech or Hungarian crown under constitutional law .

In order to distinguish itself from other dynasties, the term ore house was subsequently used. This made any addition superfluous (since there was no other ore house) and underlined the uniqueness of the ruling family.

In what is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia , the nobility was abolished in December 1918; in Austria, the title of Archduke, like the other titles of nobility , was repealed with the Nobility Repeal Act of April 3, 1919. In 1921 this provision was also extended to Burgenland .

Rights and duties of the title holder

Archduchesses and archduchesses, previously only serene , were to be addressed as imperial sovereignty in the Austrian Empire from 1804 and were above all other nobles in terms of rank. The family statute issued by the emperor in 1839 required them to have marriages, changes of residence and trips abroad approved by the emperor and only to marry appropriately. Children who did not come into being appropriately were excluded from membership in the ore house and from any claim to succession to the throne.

The Supreme Family Welfare Fund (also called Family Fideikommiss ), administered under the supervision of the Emperor and confiscated by the Republic of Austria on April 3, 1919 under the Habsburg Law , was used to provide adequate care for family members who did not have sufficient personal income . On the same day was the nobility repeal Act Austrian citizens of any use of the title of nobility prohibited.

Other uses of the title

The Bourbons, who had ruled Spain since the War of the Spanish Succession, continued to use all the titles of the Habsburgs, so that they too called themselves Archdukes of Austria (Spanish: Archiduque de Austria ). According to the Spanish constitution , historical and expired titles may also be used, but Juan Carlos I waived this.

Members of the Habsburg-Lothringen family still have no objection to being referred to as "Archduke" or "Archduchess". Habsburgs with non-Austrian citizenship can officially use this former status in accordance with the laws of the respective country, while citizens of the Republic of Austria are not allowed to do so due to the provisions of the Nobility Repeal Act of 1919.

The sons and daughters from marriages that the family considered morganatic or inappropriate according to the house laws that were in force until 1918 were often given the title "Count" or "Countess von Habsburg". Archduke heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand's sons, were Duke ( the first-born after their mother's death in 1914) and Prince Hohenberg until 1919 , as the Emperor had given their mother the title of Duchess of Hohenberg in 1909 .

See also

  • List of Archdukes of Austria ; the rulers of Austria, who held this title as rulers of today's Lower and Upper Austria
  • Archduke's hat , the ceremonial headgear of the Archduke of Austria as sovereign, corresponding to a crown

Web links

Wiktionary: Archduke  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. An informative and factual overview of the Priviligium maius can be found at
  2. ↑ In 1792, Louis XVI sede vacante rightly declared war not on the emperor but, almost correctly, on the roi allemand (recte: roi des Romains ) because his nephew, the later (good emperor) Franz II. And even later Franz I. of Austria, had not yet been crowned.
  3. ^ Heinrich Koller: Emperor Friedrich III. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2005, pp. 135 and 136f.
  4. ^ Entry Archduke, m. archidux. In: Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm: German Dictionary . Leipzig 1854–1960 (
  5. Konstantin Moritz Langmaier: Archduke Albrecht VI. von Österreich (1418–1463) A prince caught between dynasty, regions and empire . In: Research on the emperor and papal history, Regest Imperii . tape 38 , p. 339 f .
  6. Almanach de Gotha 2000