1457-1564 1619-1740

Inner Austria 1564-1619

Emperor Ferdinand I. died in 1564; while his son Maximilian succeeded as Archduke of Austria proper, as Emperor and as nominal king of Hungary and Croatia, his son Charles (Karl) inherited Inner Austria, comprising of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Gorizia and Triest. The Styrian capital of Graz became residence of Archduke Charles and administrative center of Inner Austria.
The territorial arrangement of 1564 separated Inner Austria (under Charles) from Croatia (under Maximilian II.). Defense - preparation against potential Ottoman attacks - was the most costly policy, despite subsidies from the Empire weighing heavily on the Inner Austrian lands. Archduke Charles and the estates of the Inner Austrian lands demanded the continuation of the subsidies, the appointment of Archduke Charles as in charge of the defense of the Croatian defense, and the centralization of military command.
In 1553 for the first time a supreme commander had been appointed; in 1577/1578 a Hofkriegsrat (Court War Council) was established with seat in Graz. The estates granted the budget and approved the authorization of the Hofkriegsrat under the condition that the Archduke in return guaranteed them freedom of religion. He did, but limited that freedom to the nobles.
After 1578 the Hofkriegsrat turned into a strong instrument of ducal policy; the estates had little choice but to approve the annual budget. Upon the death of Archduke Charles, the estates wanted his successor to guarantee their freedom of religion; yet pressure from Vienna and the Ottoman menace (the next war with the Ottoman Empire began in 1592) caused them to approve the budget without the Archduke making such a concession. In effect, the establishment of the Hofkriegsrat in 1578 marked the beginning of the decline of the Inner Austrian estates.
The Inner Austrian line of the Habsburg Dynasty was committed to the Counterreformation. Primus Truber, the reformer of Slovenia, went into exile in 1565, the year after Charles had become Archduke of Styria etc. In 1572 he invited the Jesuits who founded college in Graz, in 1585 elevated to the status of a university. His son Ferdinand II. intensified the policy of Counterreformation; a Jesuit college established in Laibach (Ljubljana) in 1596; in 1598-1602 all Lutheran preachers were banished (see also : Reformation in Slovenia.
The Croatian Peasant Rebellion of 1573 spilled across the border into Inner Austria, affecting parts of Carniola and Styria. In 1635 another peasant rebellion erupted in southern Styria, which affected border regions of Carniola.
The Habsburg-Ottoman War of 1592-1606 overshadowed the rigidly implemented Counterreformation. In the course of the latter, the young Lutheran church of Inner Austria was thoroughly uprooted, and the estates were reduced to insignificance. Similarly, the cities, most of whom had been Lutheran, lost much of their autonomy in the process of Counterreformation. Archduke Ferdinand had established an early absolutist regime.
Archduke Charles had turned his residence capital of Graz into a fortress; in 1584-1590 he had the palace at Karlau constructed, in 1580 the studfarm at Lipizza established, which continue to breed white horses, the main attraction in the Spanish Riding School in the Vienna Hofburg still today.

Zeitafel Kärnten (Timeline Carinthia), Steiermark (Timeline Styria), posted by Archiv Verlag, in German, detailed
Biography of Karl II., from BBKL, in German
Biography of Ferdinand II., from BBKL, in German
History of the Spanish Riding School, by Spanische Reitschule
Radkersburg, from Walled Towns
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 29th 2004, last revised on November 12th 2004

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