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Archduchy of Austria (English)
Erzherzogtum Österreich (German)
Timeline: Principia Moderni III (Map Game)
OTL equivalent: Archduchy of Austria
Flag of Austria.svg 1358 - Present
Coat of arms
Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan (German)
"All the world is subject to Austria"
Map of Austria in 1440. Austria shown in dark green. Personal vassals shown in green. Other members of the Holy Roman Empire shown in light green.
Official languages Austro-Bavarian (German)
Demonym Austrian
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Monarchy
 -  Archduke Wolfgang I
 -  Royal House Habsburg
 -  Privilegium Maius 20 July 1358 
 -  Treaty of Neuberg 9 September 1379 
 -  Recognition as Archduchy 4 February 1411 
Currency Reichstaler

The Archduchy of Austria (German: Erzherzogtum Österreich), is a large and influential state within the Holy Roman Empire, and is the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. Created as an archduchy in 1358 following the creation of the forged Privilegium Maius, a modified version of the Privilegium Minus issued by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1156, which had elevated the former March of Austria to a duchy, the Archduchy of Austria has since grown through a unique connection between the House of Habsburg and Austria following the document, and has managed to shape the political landscape of the Holy Roman Empire. The Archduchy of Austria since its inception has grown to become one of the most influential states within the Holy Roman Empire, its ruling House of Habsburg producing many powerful emperors, chancellors, military commanders, and statesmen, becoming a renown dynasty across Europe. In 1411 Austria was officially recognized as an archduchy in 1411 by Albert II of Germany, after being elected emperor the year prior. Since Albert II, Austria has been home to a number of Habsburg emperors, who have ruled continuously since Albert in 1410.

The Archduchy of Austria is a monarchy with its capital in Vienna, its largest and most populous city, settled upon the Danube River. The ruling monarch of Austria comes from the House of Habsburg, a vast family named for Habsburg Castle in Habsburg, Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, near the Aar River, from which the royal family derives. Austria has since spread to include several other counties in Europe, including holdings in Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. Beginning in the fifteenth and sixteenth century Austria also established a successful colonial empire, being on the forefront of scientific and exploration endeavors around the globe. Through conquest, expansion, and trade Austria established several colonial possessions and territories in North and West Africa, including colonies in the Maghreb, Sahel, and sub-Saharan regions. Austria was also one of the first nations to begin active trading within the New World, as part of the Empire of Hispania, naming and heavily settling the Imperial Sea, as well as parts of Borealia and Hesperia.


March of Austria

Main Article: March of Austria

The majority of territory that would become the Archduchy of Austria was known as the march(i)a orientalis or "eastern march" during the 800's AD, following the 788 decision by Charlemagne to incorporate the Bavarian stem duchy into the Frankish Empire. Shortly afterword the Avar March would also be established by Charlemagne in the adjacent eastern territories along the Danube. After several campaigns against the Avars this would be extended to the March of Pannonia, a part of East Francia following the 843 Treaty of Verdun. Most of the territory would eventually be lost by the Franks to the Magyars after their defeat of a Bavarian army at the Battle of Brezalauspurc in 907.

In 955 AD the Magyar incursions were finally neutralized by the German King Otto I in the Battle of Lechfeld. In the regained marcha orientalis the early Slavic populations became overwhelmed with German settlers. The territory became one of the marches of the Holy Roman Empire and was given a margrave around 960. In 976 Emperor Otto II appointed Leopold I from the House of Babenberg margrave for his support in the conflict with the insurgent Duke Henry II of Bavaria. In a deed issued by Emperor Otto III in 996, it is noted that the march was referred to as Ostarrîchi in the local dialect. This name is the ancestor of the present-day German name for Austria, Österreich.

Duchy of Austria

Main Article: Duchy of Austria

The margravate of Austria would later be raised to the status of a Duchy in 1156 through the Privilegium Minus issued by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. In 1138 Frederick's uncle German King Conrad III of Hohenstaufen had deprived his Welf rival Henry X the Proud of the Bavarian duchy and granted it to the Austrian margrave Leopold IV of Babenberg. Emperor Frederick however wished to settle the dispute with the Welf dynasty and restored the Duchy of Bavaria to Henry the Lion. In compensation, Leopold's brother Henry II of Babenberg, who had inherited Austria and Bavaria in 1141 and now had to resign as Bavarian duke, was raised in his margravate to a "Duke of Austria".

With the death of Duke Frederick II of Austria in 1246, the Babenberg dynasty became extinct. In the course of the following inheritance dispute, the Bohemian prince Ottokar II Přemysl invaded Austria in 1251 and was proclaimed duke by the local nobility. The next year he legitimated his succession by marrying Frederick's sister Margaret of Babenberg, then about thirty years his senior. His rule however was not acknowledged by the Swabian count Rudolph of Habsburg, who after his election as King of the Romans claimed Austria as a reverted fief. He finally defeated Ottokar at the 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld and secured the duchy for the Habsburg dynasty. Austria together with the Duchy of Styria formed the "hereditary lands" bequested to Rudolph's sons Albert and Rudolph II, again enlarged with the acquisition of Carinthia and Carniola by Duke Otto IV the Merry in 1335.

Archduchy of Austria

Main Article: Privilegium Maius

Though the Habsburgs already ruled a significant territory by then, their claims were not considered in the Golden Bull of 1356, when Emperor Charles IV, a member of the rivaling Luxembourg dynasty, determined the seven Prince-electors to vote for the German king. In 1359, deprived Duke Rudolf IV of Austria therefore forged the Privilegium Maius to elevate the status of his duchy to that of an "archduchy", making it equal-ranking with an electorate including the right of primogeniture, though the action was not recognized by the Emperor. Rudolf's efforts laid the foundation for the rising of the Habsburg dynasty, and he also gained Tyrol from Countess Margaret Maultasch in 1363. However, after his death in 1365, his brothers quarreled about their heritage and by the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg finally split the Habsburg lands into Austria proper and an Inner Austrian territory consisting of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola. The partition again weakened the position of the House of Habsburg in favour of the Luxembourgish.

Following Duke Rudolf IV’s creation of the forged Privilegium Maius, the nation of Austria would begin increasing the legitimacy of its nation to begin rising through the ranks of the Holy Roman Empire. Like many nations in the region, Austria’s farms remained small and fragmented, accounting for little of the overall agricultural production within its respective trade network. Archduke Albert IV expressed desires to expand this and encouraged expansion of local fields by requiring that all major cities must keep a small supply of grain in case of attack or famine.

In 1400 in an effort to adequately protect the nation, Albert IV called for the creation of a professional army loyal to Austria. Recruits from many of Austria’s provinces began to be called for training in such an army, employing tactics learned from Swiss mercenaries and leading military techniques. The initial army was mostly taken from the medieval levies of central Austria and kept in reserve. With the Austrian levy replaced recruits began to specialize in certain schools of fighting, creating divisions of pikemen and other forms of infantry. Individual county armies were left intact, allowing local counts and rulers subordinate to the archduke to continue utilizing levies and other means of protection. This army would lay the foundation for the Imperial-Royal Landwehr (German: kaiserlich-königliche Landwehr or k.k. Landwehr).

Appensell Wars

In Appensell conflicts over grazing rights, taxes, and tithes would cause Abbot Kuno von Stoffeln to contact the Habsburg Count of Toggenburg asking for help. As Toggenburg prepared for war in what would have been a simple conflict, Albert IV stepped in seeing the conflict as an opportunity to test his new military organization. Hoping to strike down the rebelling peasants before they could gain greater local support, Albert IV ordered the raising of 7500 Infantry and 3250 Cavalry, which was to support the 5,500 Infantry and 600 Cavalry in the hands of the local Further Austrian territories. After negotiating a deal with the nearby territory of Sargans, an additional 4,000 men were called into action by the following year.

By 1402 the fighting in Appensell had come to a close, with the last of the small band of rebels being crushed by the Swiss-German army. Albert IV had a treaty arranged to be signed officially establishing St. Gallen, Thurgau, Appenzell, Uznach, Wingegg/Gaster, Sargans, Rheintal, and all other pre-existing Habsburg territories and German counties in Switzerland as territory of the Archduchy of Austria. By putting these territories under his direct control, Albert IV hoped to end internal fighting and secure his border. He invited the Swiss Confederation and the Duchy of Milan to the conference to ratify the Treaty of St. Gallen, firmly establishing their current border, ending all previous hostilities, and cementing the three nations' current alliance.

Reign of Albert IV

During his reign Albert IV would also begin military alliances with the states of Milan and the Swiss Confederation to bring down any further insurrection along their common border. In an attempt to further increase the Archduchy’s legitimacy and gain power within the Holy Roman Empire in light of the Privilegium Maius, Albert IV would then propose an alliance with the Archbishop of Mainz, Trier, Cologne, the Kingdom of Bohemia, the County Palatine of the Rhine, the Duchy of Saxony, and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, all of which serving as prince electors within the empire. He stressed that as a Catholic nation it was important to alliance with the Papal States, as well as the nation of Genoa and Naples to further increase Austria’s influence in Italy and the reach of the Empire in case of attack. Positive diplomatic relations were opened with the Byzantines, the successors to the once great Romans. In return Austria would send them aid in their defense against the Ottomans, and ask for a royal marriage. A similar offer was made to the nation of Muscovy, who was believed to be a valuable trade partner in the east, and with Castile, Austria’s Catholic brethren in the Iberian peninsula.

To prevent infighting among states of the Holy Roman Empire Albert IV would begin asking for non aggression pacts with Bayern-Landshut, Oldenburg, and other influential German states, as well as with the nations of Hungary, the Kalmar Union, France, and Burgundy.

Following the outbreak of the Great Northern War the Archduchy of Austria was angered by the loss of a potential trade partner and the growing power of the nation of Poland. In retaliation Austria ended all diplomatic relations with Poland and began considering a military operation into Poland to cut its nation down to size. Joined by the Kingdom of Bohemia and several other German states, Austria prepared for war, but the conflict never came to fruition. Likewise the Archduchy of Austria supported the Teutonic Order following the Treaty of Danzig, which originally increased the power of Poland further. Although hostilities over the treaty would later be quelled following an agreement to amend the treaty, Austria would remain an ally of the Teutonic Order.

Muscovite Crusade

By 1403 many in the region of Muscovy which had been ceded into the hegemony of the Kingdom of Poland began to resist Polish rule. Following the Tarzhestvo Pravoslaviya (the triumph of Orthodoxy), an Orthodox feast, held on the first Sunday of Mass, the unrest of many Orthodox Russians in the newly created Polish dominated state of the Grand Duchy of Muscovy became apparent, and many began to rebel against rule of non-Orthodox heretics. In the city of Moscow a protest descended into an all out rebellion, with the pro-Lithuanian ruler being ousted by the populace. The rebels would declare Muscovy to be an independent state and began an armed insurrection to restore the duchy to the status quo.

The rebellion would also spread to the Grand Principality of Smolensk, where a riot in the city of Smolensk had lead to the destruction of several Polish storefronts. Several Polish leaders in the city were also captured and thrown out windows by the rebels, in an event that would become known as the Defenestrations of Smolensk.

Sensing the rebellion in Poland as the perfect opportunity to strike against their enemy, the Teutonic State, by then known as Prussia, declared war. The official Lithuanian conversion to Christianity had removed the religious rationale for the Order's activities in the area, however the Knights responded by publicly contesting the sincerity of Jogaila's conversion. Territorial disputes also arose over the region of Samogitia, which was hastily and inadequately resolved through the Treaty of Danzig. Following their German ally, the Archduchy of Austria and several other German states allied with the Teutonic Order or linked to the Baltic Sea trade of Russia also declared war, beginning a four year conflict that would later become known as the Muscovite Crusade.

Reign of Albert V

With the Muscovite Crusade underway, in 1404 Albert IV died at Klosterneuburg, Lower Austria. He was buried in the Ducal Crypt in the Stephansdom in Vienna, and was succeeded by his son Albert. At the time of his ascension Albert V was only seven years old, requiring his uncle, Duke William of Inner Austria, then head of the rivaling Leopoldinian line, followed by his brothers Leopold IV and Ernest the Iron in 1406.

In 1410 the reigning emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Rubert II of the County Palantine, died, leaving the electors to elect a new ruler. Albert was unexpectedly elevated to his position as Archduke of Austria, sensing the upcoming election as an opportunity to finally elevate Austria to a position of power, living up to the dream of his ancestors to make Austria a significant part of the empire. Albert would use his favor and influence that his nation had acquired over the last decade to become a valid candidate among the electors, with many of which he has already retained positive relations and alliances which he inherited from his father’s rule. Albert would promise to the German states and many nobles, following the recent uproar over the collapse of Genoa, that he would become a strict ruler of the empire to prevent such a thing happening again. In the meantime propaganda was posted falsely noting that the government of Genoa was the true “false Catholic” government, having seemingly harbored an anti-Pope. Despite the possible inaccuracies, the effort worked to quell some criticism, and even helped Albert gain support and legitimacy.

Albert was unanimously elected by the electors that year. Despite this many were still cautious about his age. His only real opponent, Sigismund of Bohemia, had himself backed Albert, leaving the electors little chose but to support Albert. At the time of his coronation as Albert II of Germany, he would inherit a very delicate situation among the Holy Roman Empire's neighbors. Albert would thank the Kingdom of Bohemia and improve relations greatly by donating 1,000 soldiers to help quell uproar in their nation, and as a gift for their support in his election. Acting on his promise to protect states of the empire from foreign invasion or influence, Albert issued a formal demand to the nations of the Kalmar Union, stating that the United Norse Crown should immediately cease expansion and influence into the north German states of the empire. He would strategically forge alliances with Bremen, Luneburg, and Lübeck, but by then the United Norse Crown had managed to gain some support in northern Germany, leading to an increase in hostilities.

In 1411 Leopold IV died officially solidifying Albert as the undisputed ruler of Austria. That same year, having been elected as emperor the year before, Albert officially recognized the Privilegium Maius and approved Austria's usurpation, making Austria an archduchy. At this time the states of Salzburg, Gorizia, and Aquileia would officially become vassals of the Archduchy of Austria, loyal to Albert II.

Venetian-Padua Conflict

On 1 November 1411 the Serene Republic of Venice invaded the Imperial city state of Padua, on the border of the Holy Roman Empire between Milan and Ferrara. Fearful of another Genoa-like situation, Albert II was pressured to intervene to save Padua from foreign invasion. Albert responded by declaring war on the nation of Venice, and calling all loyal states of the empire to follow suit. Several neighboring Italian states and some major German states would do so, mobilizing their forces and placing command in the hand of the emperor for full coordination against Venice.

Albert II would announce to all nations of Europe that this conflict was to be a purely defensive war, and that Austria would not allow for Venice to be destroyed or sacked. The city of Venice was to remain intact for the nations of Europe to trade with. It was stressed by the empire, however, that Austria would not tolerate aggression against the empire, and would make an example out of Venice by preventing expansion into the Italian mainland at Padua.

In 1412 the Doge of Venice proposed peace between Austria and Venice, in return withdrawing from Padua and allowing for the re-instatement of the status quo. Albert II would accept this offer and further tried to acquire the signing of the Treaty of Trieste, although failed in his attempts. Officially the conflict was resolved. Venice withdrew all soldiers from Padua, leaving Padua as an independent nation within the Holy Roman Empire. Venice was to pay for all damages caused to the city of Padua caused during the invasion by the Venetian army, although this never came to fruition due to Venice invading territory of the Holy Roman Empire a second time soon after the creation of the treaty as part of the UNC war against the HRE.

Norse Invasions

In the early 1410's the United Norse Crown, a kingdom consisting of the crowns of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, had begun expanding rapidly into northern Germany, through conquest and diplomatic maneuvering, causing fear among many North German states, who felt the UNC was undermining the political stability of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as threaten valuable trade routes in the area. By this time the UNC had already partially restricted access for German and Hanseatic ships through the Øresund, hindering the free flow of valuables to the Russian states and to Germany.

In 1413 the first of the Norse Wars began, a series of large scale conflicts and skirmishes involving the nation of the United Norse Crown occurring concurrently for the most part, with the Norse invasion of Northern Germany via the state of Lüneburg. The UNC invasion of Germany was said to be in retaliate of actions against Venice, but more so to further the expansion goals of the nation south.

Albert II of Germany, Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria responded by declaring war on the United Norse Crown, and asking all his allies to follow, stating that no excessive act of aggression against the Holy Roman Empire by a foreign power would be tolerated. Many North German states followed, swearing to protect their homeland at all costs. Satisfied with the diplomatic end to skirmishes in Venice, many German states were persuaded to give support, those of which including the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Margrave of Moravia, the Electorate of Brandenburg, the Duchy of Luxembourg, the ecclesiastical prince-electors of Mainz,Trier, and Cologne, and the nation of Hesse.

Hoping to break away from Norse influence, many oppressed or otherwise occupied vassals in Germany attempted to declare independence from the UNC in favor of supporting their German brothers in liberation of their homeland; those being the states of Hamburg, Mecklenburg, and others, who all openly rebelled against the Norse.

Sensing the opportunity as a time to strike against the Norse and effectively end their monopoly on the Russian trade markets, in 1413 the Russian states declared war on the UNC, those including the nations of Muscovy, Novgorod Republic, Tver, and Pskov, who all mobilized immediately to strike against the UNC while their attention was diverted. The Russian states, although initially successful in applying pressure to the UNC, would be attacked by the Golden Horde, who slowed down any advance by the Russians.

Ultimately the war in North Germany would come to an end, with neither side able to make any significant campaigns into the other's heartland. German forces took back much of their territory south of the Jutland Peninsula and in Pomerania, but were stopped in Denmark by the Norse army. The war became a stalemate, eventually forcing both sides to meet and discuss terms for peace. In 1415, with neither side gaining any real significant advantages over the other, the belligerents of the war met in the city of Danzig to discuss peace. The ensuing Treaty of Danzig would be signed officially ending the war.

The war in Northern Germany would bring about the effective end of Norse influence in Lower Saxony for several decades to come after, being the climax of a generation long struggle to achieve superior hegemony in the region. With the United Norse Crown rapidly expanding into Germany, the emperor was fearful of further foreign invasion of the empire, prompting support from many north German states and allies. On the other hand the emperor was combated by old enemies in Germany and supporters of the Norse, who wished to diminish Austrian power in the empire.

After the war with the United Norse Crowns relations between Austria and several Norse supporters, including Bavaria and Venice, were heavily damaged. Austria would spend the next few decades re-estblishing trade and good relations between the nation of Bavaria, elevating the region to a grand duchy within the Holy Roman Empire. A trade agreement would not be officially signed with Venice until years later, although eventually becoming allies in the early 1440's.

Expansion in Germany

After the Norse Wars Albert II began a series of actions to strengthen Austria and the Holy Roman Empire in light of the recent bloodshed. In 1414 Albert II would organize and endorse the Council of Constance, a meeting of the religious and political leaders of the Catholic Church, which established a single Pope over Catholics, essentially ending the western schism, which had plagued Europe for years. All Popes currently active up to that point advocated, allowing for fair elections to take place.

The naval tradition begun by his father was expanded, beginning after the Norse Wars with the organization of all Imperial naval assets, officially founding the kaiserliche und königliche Kriegsmarine (Imperial and Royal War Navy). Each ship of his existing navy was organized into a specific Einsatzflottille (Flotilla). Sailors were trained on naval vessels to ensure that the emperor’s personal vessels would be well trained in case of attack. Small hand cannons, which have been in development by the Landwehr for several years, were mounted on the sides of several bimereiche ships during this time, laying the foundation for Austrian naval cannons.

As new technology and techniques of warfare continued to be refined, the emperor ordered the construction of a Marineschule (naval academy) in Trieste to train Austria’s future naval commanders. The campus was planned to be built in the Gulf of Trieste, overlooking the harbor (on the location of OTL Miramare Castle). The campus was to consist of a large fort, serving to protect the harbor, as well as house the naval academy. At the time of its founding the teachings of the naval academy was heavily limited, with a curriculum based only in basic naval sciences and navigation. The successful naval academy, which began construction in 1419, would eventually convince Albert II to found an officer's academy as part of the University of Vienna.

While improving and rebuilding sections of Germany throughout the late 1410's and early 1420's, the nation of Austria would also become interested in foreign affairs. In 1421 support was pledged for the Knights Hospitaller, hoping that they be successful in their conquest against the heathen of Cyprus who fell under the sway of Muslim influence in the first and second Cypriot Wars.

In 1422 Albert II was wed to Elisabeth of Görlitz, only daughter and heiress of John of Görlitz, the third son of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Until then Elisabeth served as monarch of the Kingdom of Bohemia and its possessions, including the Margrave of Moravia and the Duchy of Luxembourg, following the successful deposing of Wenceslaus in the early 1400's. The territories of Bohemia joined Austria in personal union, with Albert as their ruler.

During this period many minor German states, particularly in Swabia and areas bordering the nation, became vassals of Austria, heavily dependent on Austrian trade and support, thereby searing fealty to the Archduke of Austria. These states included Salzburg, Gorizia, Augsburg, Burgau, Patria del Friuli, Chur, Württemberg, the Electorate of the Palatinate, Oettingen, Ulm, Cilli, Mainz, Hohenlohe, and others, who all became vassals of Austria by the 1440's. In Aquileia the population would begin to be assimilated, growing closer through trade. Aquileia would become an important naval ally of Austria, eventually being granted rights to construct bimereiche ships for the empire. In Augsburg the Mixed Imperial City of Augsburg encouraged the growth of industry, producing large quantities of woven goods, cloth and textiles. The city of Augsburg would become established as a major city of the Holy Roman Empire through the creation of several banking and financial institutions.

The borders of the Holy Roman Empire would be strengthened, first through Albert II's offer for an alliance with France to the west, as well as establishing positive relations. In the east, when a dispute was raised over the Hungarian vassalization of Cilli, Albert II negotiated a deal splitting the German portion of the state from the Hungarian vassal, which remained in the the empire. This encounter helped to improve relations with Hungary, to home Albert was related by law.

In 1429 Austria would aid the nation of Hesse against the nation of Saxony and its Wettin allies. Lasting three years, the Saxon War ended with Austria acquiring Saxony as a vassal. The rest of Saxony's land, was taken by Hesse or vassalized by either side. Saxony would remain an Austrian vassal for several decades, before being released following a revolt led by the Wettins, which established Saxony and Thuringia as independent nations.

Fifteen Years War

In 1435 rebellion led by Karl van Nassau of the Netherlands broke out in the lowlands. Fueled by the desire for an independent kingdom in the Lowlands, and by recent religious tension following the conversion of the Lowlands to the reformist beliefs, a lengthy rebellion period in which militia and lightly armed Dutch forces, supported by Holland-Brabant-Hainaut had begun. The conflict led to the raiding of several northern German states in the Lowlands, and numerous deaths.

After an official invasion, the Dutch actions were met by resistance from several German lords, whose actions were supported by the Holy Roman Emperor, Albert II. The emperor personally sent two companies of Austrian landsknechts to support the local lords, under the command of Hans Khevenhüller, as well as allowing German forces to garrison in the Duchy of Luxembourg. This company of soldiers was comprised mostly of Landsknechts and veteran soldiers, armed with pikes, Zweihänders, and halberdiers for close combat against both infantry and attacking cavalry. This group was also outfitted with Hakenpistoles and conventional ranged weaponry, such as bows, to support the infantry.

While the General Estates continued to agitate for Netherlander separation from the Holy Roman Empire, the counts and dukes of the smaller Netherlander Estates were hesitant to make a move, stating that under a German lead empire their rights would eventually be stripped and hindered by the Austrians, and German dominated institution would crush Dutch and Wallon autonomy and freedom which was protected under the Wittelsbach Emperors a century ago. Despite this, support would eventually rally behind the young Karl von Nassau, who would lead the first official into neighboring territory in 1438.

Rebels and personal soldiers of the General Estates pushed into Liege, forcing the local lords to mobilize an army of mostly German peasants to combat the invasion. The nation of Liege was initially successful, gathering support among the Prince-Bishopric from the near entirely Catholic population. Austrian forces were sent to break the conflict in Liege, only to be engaged by skirmishers at the border of the General Estates. Two hundred men were also moved to Cleves-mark with permission as a sign of good faith and to act quickly in the north, which would develop into a second northern garrison. Luxembourg was advised to be vigilant in case rebels move south again.

Expansion in Africa

Austria would aid its ally Castile in the Second Morocco Crusade, leading German and central European troops against the nation of Morocco. A small fleet of the emperor’s bimereiches, galleys and cogs sailed several hundred Landsknechts south, making landfall at the city of Melilla. After a brief siege supported by naval cannons and other gunpowder based weapons, the surprised Moroccan garrison, mostly of armed citizenry, was dispersed. With the landing of soldiers, a base of operations was established to aid the Castilians, fortifying the city’s keep until re-inforcements could arrive to hold the position. Throughout the war the city would become an important checkpoint and would be the head of one of many supply lines into occupied territory, supporting the Christian forces in the area.

The war would become a decisive Christian victory, leading to the partitioning of Morocco among the allied nations. Austria acquired the region of Melilla, including the city it had seized and the surrounding towns and ports, including the city of Nador. All fortifications around the region were rebuilt and manned by stationed guards in case of an attack. To protect Melilla the construction of a fortress outside the city was ordered. The port of Melilla was also rebuilt to begin operation as a trade port and military outpost. Melilla would become one of Austria's most important shipyards and ports, besides Trieste, housing elaborate facilities capable of housing and repairing friendly warships. As defenses were constructed, Melilla became one of the most heavily defended and fortified cities in North Africa, capable of repulsing a potential naval raid or invasion. The port became the home of a small regional fleet, capable of responding to threats in the area or west of the Straits of Gibraltar. On land the city housed a large garrison which would be put to work securing the newly acquired territory and combating any insurrection. With much of the Muslim population of Melilla left dead after the war against Morocco, the local government attempted to entice settlers by offering large quantities of land to Christian settlers. Many Europeans, particularly of German descent and from central Europe began settling the area around Melilla.

Melilla would become a staging point for expeditions west of the Straits of Gibraltar, leading to Austria exploration of West Africa over the next few decades. In Austria a joint stock company known as the Trieste Company was formed as a private trading company, hoping to take part in recent economic activities in Europe and Africa. The company established outposts in Trieste and Melilla, trading with several nations of the Mediterranean. With finances from Augsburg-based banking establishments, the Trieste Company would launch an expedition under the command of Ambrosius Federmann to open trade in the Atlantic. Three bimereiches under his command traveled from Melilla to Gibraltar, to Casablanca, to Agadir, to the Canary Islands. From there his voyage continues south, along the coast. The group would come to a peninsula inhabited by nearby natives, and establish peaceful contact. The area was named Bezeguiche by the sailors, named for a local ruler.

The group initiated trade with the natives for provisions and other goods. Before leaving the area, the group would leave a stone obelisk on the beach of the peninsula to mark their voyage. Returning back to Melilla, the Trieste Company became interested in the prospect of continuing trade in Bezeguiche, and trade ships began trading in the area, alongside Castilian vessels and other nations. Gum arabic and other goods would begin to be imported to Austria through trades with the natives. A second expedition would be launched by Ambrosius Federmann to West Africa, establishing a permanent trade post to facilitate trade with the natives.

Initially the group had trouble cultivating plants, but with the help of the local Wolof, the settlement begins exploiting Fonio as a sustaining crop. Fishing was also undertaken at times. Deals were made with the Wolof for slaves and other goods, beginning a peaceful relationship. The settlement would become known as Albrechtburg, and would grow to be the largest of Austria's settlements in West Africa, known as Westenland. The second largest post would be named Dominusburg, unlike other outposts in Africa, centered around a monastery. Initially twenty soldiers and several priests would set up residence in the barracks, within the wooden fort that began construction. Conversion of the natives began around the settlement.


During the reign of Albert II the first attempts at Imperial reform (German: Reichsreform) were undertaken within the Holy Roman Empire. The first objectives of Albert II's reforms were to reform the constitutional order (Verfassungsordnung) of the Holy Roman Empire, creating a unified government under the emperor's supremacy. It was during this time that the empire was divided into administrative divisions known as imperial circles, created as a regional grouping of territories of the Holy Roman Empire, primarily for the purpose of organizing a common defensive structure and collecting the imperial taxes, but also as a means of organization within the Imperial Diet and the Imperial Chamber Court. Discussions were also held on a revision of the rights of coinage and escort (Geleitrecht).

In 1441 an international organization within the Holy Roman Empire known as the German Union was created by Ludwig I of Hesse. Originally consisting of a military alliance between Hesse, Bavaria, Oldenburg, and Hamburg, the organization would lead to increased desire for reform among some of the empire's largest states. Albert II took advantage of this to draft further legislation, integrating the German Union's system into the empire.

These reforms would culminate in a 1450 meeting of the Reichstag in Augsburg to institute Reichsregiment, an imperial government, consolidating the Imperial Diet and reducing legislative complexity. The legislation created the related installation of the Reichskammergericht (Imperial Chamber Court), a supreme court for all of the Empire's territory, separating the jurisdiction from the person of the Emperor as the head of the imperial executive.

Legislatively, the legislation led to the establishment of Imperial Circles with their own Circle Diets. The Circles were to meet as constituencies of the Reichsregiment, enabling a more uniformed administration of the Empire to better execute the taxation and the raising of troops. Similarly, a permanent diet was established as a legislative body of the Holy Roman Empire in the city of Augsburg to vote on imperial reforms and to create decrees for the empire.

The permanent Reichstag in Augsburg consisted of three colleges; the Electoral College (Kurfürstenrat), led by the Prince-Archbishop of Mainz in his capacity as Archchancellor of Germany, and including the seven Prince-electors as designated by the Golden Bull of 1356, the College of Imperial Princes (Reichsfürstenrat or Fürstenbank), incorporating the Imperial Counts as well as immediate lords, Prince-Bishops and Imperial abbots, and the college of Imperial Cities (Reichsstädtekollegium).

One of the largest changes brought upon by the 1450 reforms was the creation of the office of Chancellor, created as an elected position within the Holy Roman Empire. The chancellor, a lord chosen among the Reichstag would serve as a speaker of the house within the diet, organizing legislation and conducting other duties. The first chancellor election would take place in 1458, officially electing Jakob von Sierk, Archbishop-Elector of Trier as chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire.

Lastly, the Reichstag officially recognized the previously passed legislation of the German Union, including the Alliance and Merchant Act of 1446 and the Militia and Navy Act of 1448, which were recognized as legal legislature of the Holy Roman Empire for their relevant nations. Following the signing of the legislation, the German Union officially disbanded, having been fully integrated into the government of the empire proper.

Reign of George I


The nation of Austria is an archduchy, a title (feminine: Archduchess) (German: Erzherzog, feminine form: Erzherzogin) created by the Habsburg rulers of the Austria. It denotes a rank within the Holy Roman Empire below that of king and above that of duke. This form of government first came into use in 1358 following the creation of the forged Privilegium Maius by Duke Rudolf IV of Austria. This would later be confirmed by Albert II of Germany in 1411 following his election as Holy Roman Emperor the year earlier.

Royal Family

The Archduchy of Austria has been ruled by the House of Habsburg from 1282 to the present, and the current ruler is Wolfgang I.

House of Habsburg

The House of Habsburg is the principle house of Austria, and one of the most important royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire is currently ruled by the House of Habsburg, beginning in 1410 with the election of Albert II of Germany. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, as well as rulers of other German and Italian countries.

Albert IV
(1377 - 1404)
Johanna Sophia of Bavaria
(1373 - 1410)
Elisabeth of Bohemia
(1390 - 1455)
Albert V
(1397 - 1464)
(1395 - 1447)
Dmitri I
Albert von Wettin
(1412 - 1465)
Dorothea of Brandenburg
Mary of Pomerania
Carlos of Castile
of Wettin
Brandenburgian Line
John of Castile
Charles V
Alexis of Castile
Magnus von Wittlsbach
Phillip I
Ferdinand I
(1515 - 1567)
(1515 - 1572)
(1517 - 1589)
(1518 - 1580)
House of Habsburg-Wittlesbach
Wolfgang I
Elisabeth von Hohenzollern
Eberhard von Württemberg
Leopold I
Elizabeth Valois-Arc
Afonso of Portugal
House of Habsburg-Breslau
House of Württemberg
Rudolph II
Ferdinand II
Proserpina of Oldenburg
Anna van Nassau-Orleans
William de la Marck
Anna von Sonderburg
Maria Amelia
Karl von Liechtenstein
Luise Ulrike von Hohenzollern
Leopold II
(1670 - 1760)
Maria Anna
House of La Marck
Karl Eusebius
Eleonora Maria
Stephen II Palaiologos
Joseph I
Giovani d'Visconti
Maria Theresa
Charles de Trastamara-Wittelsbach
Maria Amalia
Frederick von Croÿ

Brandenburgian Line

The Brandenburgian Line of the House of Habsburg, named for the territory originally associated with the line, refers to the descendants of Magnus von Habsburg, Margrave of Brandenburg.

Mary of Pomerania
Urraca of Portugal
Frederick I
Lothar I
(1518 - 1577)
Lothar II
William of Britannia
Magnus II
(1564 - 1631)
Teresa Manrique de Figueroa
Otto I

House of Württemberg

The House of Württemberg is the primary house of Swabia. One of the region's most powerful families, the family successfully unified the duchy, which it rules to this day.

Eberhard IV
(1388 – 1419)
(1387 – 1444)
Ulrich V/I
(1413 - 1481)
Henry I
(1435 - 1511)
Archbishop of Trier
Maximilian I
Eberhard I
(1460 – 1527)
(1470 – 1546)
House of Habsburg
(1480 – 1552)
Ludwig I
(1483 – 1559)
(1488 – 1560)
(1505 – 1578)
Ulrich II
(1508 – 1585)
(1510 – 1571)
Johann I
Irene Strategopoulos
Anne von Hohenzollern

House of Wettin

The House of Wettin is the primary house of Saxony.

(1412 - 1465)
Anne von Habsburg
George II
(1468 - 1536)
(1470 - 1548)
Rudolph I
(1488 - 1558)
(1491 - 1557)
Frederick I
(1507 - 1577)
(1510 - 1589)
(1511 - 1581)
Frederick II

House of Habsburg-Wittlesbach

The House of Habsburg-Wittlesbach is a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg, created upon the marriage of Magnus von Wittlesbach and Anna of Austria.

Magnus von Wittlsbach
Urraca Manrique de Figueroa
Edmund von Jülich

House of Habsburg-Breslau

The House of Habsburg-Breslau is a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg, named for their capital of city of Breslau, in the Duchy of Silesia which they rule.



With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy is centered in the Danube basin of the regions of Lower Austria and upper Austria. Located in the southeastern periphery of the Holy Roman Empire, the archduchy borders the Kingdom of Hungary beyond the Leitha river. In the south it is confined by the Duchy of Styria, with the border at the historic Semmering Pass, while in the north the Bohemian Forest and the Thaya river marks the border with Bohemia and Moravia. In the west, the Upper Austrian part borders on the Duchy of Bavaria, whereby the historic Innviertel belongs to the Bavarian dukes, as well as on the Archbishopric of Salzburg in the Salzkammergut region.

King Ottokar II of Bohemia, the Austrian duke from 1251 to 1276, was the first to separate those Austrian lands west of the Enns river, which had belonged to the Bavarian stem duchy since the establishment of the Imperial March of Austria in 976. It stood as the administrative unit of Austria superior (Upper Austria) — a tradition adopted by the later Habsburg rulers.


The military of the Archduchy of Austria is divided into the land forces and naval units. The land forces are primarily consisting of militia and conscripted lower class, as well as royal units trained for border protection and in wartime.


Before the 15th century the army of Austria was almost entirely composed of levies raised from local counties loyal to the Austrian ruler. This tradition would continue will into the 1400's, as levies continued to comprise the backbone of the Austrian army. Beginning in 1400 in an effort to adequately protect the nation, Albert IV called for the creation of a professional army loyal to Austria. Recruits from many of Austria’s provinces began to be called for training in such an army, employing tactics learned from Swiss mercenaries and leading military techniques. The initial army was mostly taken from the medieval levies of central Austria and kept in reserve.

With the Austrian levy replaced recruits began to specialize in certain schools of fighting, creating divisions of pikemen and other forms of infantry. Individual county armies were left intact, allowing local counts and rulers subordinate to the archduke to continue utilizing levies and other means of protection. This army would lay the foundation for the Imperial-Royal Landwehr (German: Kaiserlich Königliche Landwehr or K.K. Landwehr). Today the Austrian Landwehr is the largest branch of Austria's military, serving in services to the Archduchy and to the Holy Roman Empire.


Under Construction

  • Army of Austria
    • 7500 Infantry
    • 3250 Cavalry
  • Army of Toggenburg
    • 5500 Infantry
    • 600 Cavalry
  • Army of Sargans
    • 4000 Infantry


The Austrian Kriegsmarine, officially known as the Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine (Imperial and Royal War Navy), is the second largest and most developed branch of the Austrian armed forces. The Kriegsmarine comprises all of Austria's naval assets, including warships, military transports, and the emperor's personal ships. Officially founded in 1417 by Albert V, the Kriegsmarine replaced the previous system, reorganizing all naval assets of Austria. Each ship of his existing navy was organized into a specific Einsatzflottille (Flotilla), and sailors began to be trained on naval vessels to ensure that the emperor’s personal vessels were well trained in case of attack. Small hand cannons, which have been in development by the Landwehr for several years at this time, were also mounted on the sides of several Bimereiche ships.

Before the official founding of the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Austria was considered quite small. With only one major maritime port; Trieste, Austria did not have much need to army and facilitate a large navy. The first naval refurbishments began under Albert IV, who commissioned a modern shipyard in the city of Trieste to further trade among the Mediterranean Sea and to facilitate a proper fleet if necessary. Albert IV would also fund the design of a new type of ship for his own personal use. The ship resembled a small European merchant ship with two masts. The mainmast was designed as being lateen-rigged with a trapezoidal mainsail, but with the foremast carrying the conventional square course and square topsail. Displacement was to be under 100 tons. The archduke commissioned the first of these ships, which would become known as the “Bimereiche”, named for its two masts and a combination of the German word for ship and oak. Over the next few decades many of these ships would be commissioned, with the first one being christened the "Habsburg".


Following the expansion of the Archduchy of Austria's influence in mainland Europe, and the creation of a strong navy capable of protecting overseas possessions during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Austria established several territorial and colonies possessions, collectively known as the "Austrian Empire". Several territories would be acquired through conquest, while others through economic and colonial ventures, which would allow the migration of German and Austria citizens to colonies in Africa and the New World.

Name Status Date Established Government Change OTL Location Pixels Sq Km
Archduchy of Austria Main Nation 1358 1411 Austria, Germany, Slovenia
Kingdom of Bohemia In personal union under Austria 1198 1422 Czech Republic
Margraviate of Brandenburg Dynastic union and vassal of Austria 1157 1487 Brandenburg, Germany
Duchy of Luxembourg In personal union under Austria 1353 1422 Luxembourg (And surrounding area)
Melilla Colony 1439 1439 Meilla, Spain; Moroccan Coast 71
  • Abrechtburg (Dakar)
  • Dominisburg (Nouakchott)
  • Rudolph (Banjul)
  • Strom-Stadt (Bissau)
  • Gründerburg (Ziguinchor)
  • Neu Bruchhausen (Ivory Coast)
  • Ludwig Insels (Bijagos Islands)
Colony/Trade Posts 1444 1444 Senegal, Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast 48+
German West Indies
  • Vultsburg (Trinidad)
  • St Boniface (St Lucia)
  • St Leopold (St Vincent)
  • Scriptura (Grenada)
  • Käfigburg (Barbados)
  • Fürstburg (Tobago)
Colony/Trade Posts 1516 1516 Caribbean Area
  • Fürstburg (Douala)
  • Kroneburg (Buea)
  • Wolfgang-Stadt (Libreville)
  • Sanctusburg (Kango)
  • Beginnburg (Bata)
  • Trotzenhafen (Port-Gentil)
Colony Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon
  • Walsburg (St. John's)
  • St. Koloman (St. Pierre)
  • Siegsburg (Stephenville)
Colony 1626 1626 Newfoundland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Lacusstadt (Lagos)
Colony 1540 1540 Nigeria
Ionia Territory 1453 1487 Ionian Islands, Albania
Duchy of Swabia Vassal of Austria 1467 1467 Württemberg-Baden
County Palatine of the Rhine Vassal of Austria 1085 1420?
Electorate of Mainz Vassal of Austria 780 1430? Rhineland-Palatinate
Elsaß-Lothringen Vassal of Austria 1262 1531 Alsace-Lorraine


The Colony of Melilla is an Austrian territory located in North Africa as an enclave of Morocco. Founded in 1439 following the successful Second Morocco Crusade. The territory includes the port cities of Melilla, Nador, and the surrounding countryside, and is guarded by a series of fortifications and defenses intended to prevent pirate or other sea raids and protect the territory from possible invasion.


The Colony of Westenland ("West Land") refers to the German and Austrian settlements directly administered or protected by the Archduchy of Austria in the region of West Africa. Westenland was born out of trade posts and expeditions on the African coast launched from Austrian ports in Melilla and in nearby Spanish islands, eventually establishing a foothold in the region. The colony was officially founded in 1444, upon the creation of Abrechtburg (Dakar), Westenland's administrative center and largest settlement. Westenland also includes several other notable settlements, including those settled or conquered by Austria, such as the settlements of Dominisburg (Nouakchott), Rudolph (Banjul), Strom-Stadt (Bissau), Gründerburg (Ziguinchor), Neu Bruchhausen (Ivory Coast), and the Ludwig Insels (Bijagos Islands), as well as Hamburger and other German trade posts in the region.


Since the end of the middle ages Austria has been on the forefront of scientific and academic discovery and research. The capital city of Vienna, Austria is home to the University of Vienna (German: Universität Wien), a public university, founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365, making it the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the biggest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, responsible for educating a number of renown scientists and scholars, as well as promoting the research of a number of sciences.

Imperial Society

The Imperial Society of Vienna for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Imperial Society, is a learned society for science, and is one of Europe's most important scientific communities. Founded in November 1636, it was granted a Royal Charter by Holy Roman Emperor Wolfgang I as the "Imperial Society of Vienna". Since its inception the organization has attracted some of Europe's most important and knowledgeable scientists and mathematicians.


In the seventeenth century Austria sponsored the German-English scientist Ruprecht Bayer, largely regarded as one of the first modern chemists, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, as well as one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. Bayer is best known for discovering and describing Bayer's Law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system.


Austria is considered the birthplace of classical mechanics and physics, with experiments from such scientists as Giovanni Gentili creating the basis of such fields. As an Austrian educated scientist living in Trent, Gentili began his research in 1635, where he conducted several experiments with pendulums. Gentili made the claim that a simple pendulum is isochronous, meaning that its swings always take the same amount of time, independently of the amplitude. This would later be proven by scientist Christian Hurrle to only be partially true, publishing in his major work on pendulums and horology that pendulums are not quite isochronous: their period depends on their width of swing, with wide swings taking longer than narrow swings. Hurrle discovered the curve down which a mass will slide, under the influence of gravity in the same amount of time, regardless of its starting point. Pendulums were proven to not be isochronous, by using geometric methods to show pendulums to be a cycloid, rather than the circular arc of a pendulum's bob. Hurrle would also solve the problem of calculating the period of a pendulum made in an arbitrarily shaped swinging rigid body, by discovering the center of oscillation and its reciprocal relationship with the pivot point. It was Gentili who discovered that the square of the period varies directly with the length of the pendulum.

Gentili would put forward the basic principle of relativity, stating that the laws of physics are the same in any system that is moving at a constant speed in a straight line, regardless of its particular speed or direction, meaning there is no absolute motion or absolute rest. This principle would later be built upon in Gentili's Laws of Motion. Through a range of experiments Gentili proved that dropped balls of the same material, but of different masses, from high heights, demonstrating that their time of descent was independent of their mass. From this, Gentili proposed that a falling body would fall with a uniform acceleration, as long as the resistance of the medium through which it was falling remained negligible, or in the limiting case of its falling through a vacuum. He derived the kinematical law for the distance traveled during a uniform acceleration starting from rest, stating that it is proportional to the square of the elapsed time ( d ∝ t 2 ).