until 1457 1564-1619

Inner Austria 1457-1564

In 1457 the Inner Austrian (Styrian) line of the Habsburg Dynasty ended, and Emperor Frederick III. united the Austrian lands under his rule. In 1460 he added the County of Gorizia and the inheritance of the Counts of Cilli to his possessions, thus adding to Inner Austria.
The Habsburg Dynasty, under Frederick III. (in German : Friedrich III.), pursued an ambitious dynastic policy. The dynasty managed to maintain the Imperial crown within the family, pursued marriage treaties which resulted in the acquisition of the Burgundian inheritance (1477), Castile (1504), Aragon (1516), the lands of the Bohemian Crown (1526). Both policies were expensive, and their power basis, the Austrian lands, were subjected to increased taxation. The treasury of Emperors Frederick III. (1440-1493), his son Maximilian I. (1493-1519) was permanently empty, even Emperor Charles V. (1519-1556) was dependent on credits by bankers such as the Fuggers.
Increased taxation caused the Styrian Nobles' Revolt 1467-1471 and the Carinthian Peasant Revolt of 1478; in 1479 a number of Styrian and Austrian nobles, as well as cities, among them Vienna, renounced their allegiance to the Emperor and invited King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary to take over their protection; only after the King's death, the Emperor managed to reassert his control (Austro-Hungarian War 1479-1491). In 1515-1516, a large scale peasants revolt began in Carniola and spread into Carinthia and Styria. In 1525 peasants and knights in Carinthia rebelled again.
In 1463 Bosnia had submitted to Ottoman pressure, and from that year onward, functioned as a basis for Ottoman raids. Carinthia was targetted by such raids in 1473, 1476, 1478, 1480 and 1483; in 1478 Ottoman raiders annihilated the force assembled by the rebel Carinthian peasants, and thus terminated the revolt. The Ottomans posed a threat much more dangerous than rebellious subjects and the Hungarians, all the more after the Hungarians suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Mohacs in 1526.
Emperor Charles V. demanded the Austrian Estates to finance mutual defence and entrusted his brother Ferdinand with organizing it. A force comprising of foreign mercenaries - many of them Croats - and of drafted men from the Austrian lands was formed. Already in 1529, during the First Ottoman Siege of Vienna, they had to stand a test.
The effort to defend the Empire against the Ottoman threat was costly; a part of these costs was covered by Imperial contributions. A considerable part of the money raised was invested to fortify Royal Croatia, which functioned as a buffer zone between Ottoman Bosnia and the Empire. from 1526 to 1564, Royal Croatia was ruled as an annex to Inner Austria.
Between 1530 and 1564, the Lutheran Reformation spread into Inner Austria, finding followers under the German and Slovenian population. The first books in Slovenian language were printed in 1557 - a translation of the New Testament and a Catechism (see Reformation in Slovenia).

Zeitafel Kärnten (Timeline Carinthia), Steiermark (Timeline Styria), posted by Archiv Verlag, in German, detailed
DOCUMENTS Map of Central Europe / Austrian Lands c 1460, from Freeman's Historical Geography (1903), posted by Perry Castaneda Library, Univ. of Texas, Map Coll.
REFERENCE Arnold Suppan, Zwischen Adria und Karawanken, Deutsche Geschichte im Osten Europas (Between Adria and Karawanken Mts., German History in Europe's East), Berlin : Siedler 1998, in German

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on August 28th 2004, last revised on November 12th 2004

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