The Habsburgs


"Empire, over which the sun never sets"

   By 1493 union of the Habsburg dominions in Central Europe in the hands of Maximilian has been completed. In recent years the XV century it was the only male Hapsburg, not counting his own son Philip. Maximilian, thanks to a clear vision and series of dynastic marriages, not only managed to elect the Holy Roman Emperor, but also to make the sort of hegemony of Renaissance Europe. Son Philip was born in the capital of Flanders Bruges and was a family name of the Dukes of Burgundy, as his mother Mary of Burgundy was the heir to huge estates of Charles the Bold on the eastern borders of France. Burgundy has remained a matter for the French, and to Philip with the title of Duke of Burgundy from their ancestral possessions moved richest "Low Countries" (Netherlands in the broadest sense) and strategically located in the heart of Europe, the county Franche-Comté.

   After the death of Mary of Burgundy Emperor Maximilian devised to marry another heiress - Anne de Bretagne, but the fight for her hand and heart won the French king. In 1496 Maximilian achieved new success by agreeing with their Catholic Majesties "(just the unification of Spain under his scepter) marriage of their daughter and heiress of Juana and his son Philip of Burgundy. This dynastic union finally strengthened the Habsburgs in the role of the most powerful dynasty in Europe, and around the world: in the Spanish Succession, Juana entered the kingdom of Sicily in southern Italy and the ever-increasing colony in the New World. Maximilian outlived his son, passing on the death in 1519 all gained possession of her grandson, Charles V, who claimed that over his possessions the sun never sets.

   Habsburgs with inherited long-standing enmity Burgundy The local rulers of the French crown, which exacerbated the dispute over the western regions of Burgundy and hand Breton heiress. The French kings could not help but notice that the Habsburgs surround them with their possessions. Connection of Burgundy and the Austrian Habsburgs prevented flowering Duchy of Milan, which Charles V, occupied in 1535. For possession of these lands he had with the French grueling Italian war. Only the force of bribery and weapons he was able to get the imperial title, and these difficulties were partly due to opposition from the French. Up to a diplomatic revolution in the middle of XVIII century Austro-Spanish Habsburgs and the French House of Capet (represented by the Valois and the Bourbons) remained bitter enemies, and almost continuously waged war among themselves.