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Fall Of The Habsburg Empire Essay

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The famous saying associated with the Habsburg Empire “Where others have to wage wars, you, lucky Austria, marry!” (Mamatey 6) could possibly illustrate one of the biggest reasons as to how this “minor Germanic noble family” (Pelling 2) became one of the biggest empires to dominate Europe, particularly during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Habsburg empire was a “supranational dynastic empire” (Mamatey 1) and it was not formed through the conquest of any single territory. Rather, it was formed through the “association, originally voluntary, of several feudal states… under the Habsburg dynasty” (Mamatey 1). It was a German dynasty and, up until 1867, “the German Austrians were not only their most numerous subjects but also socially and culturally their most…show more content…
The reasons to why the Habsburg empire came to its eventual demise are usually rooted in two different arguments. There is the nationalism argument which states that the Habsburg empire fell because the rise of nationalism was bound to be “a sentence of death upon an Empire consisting of at least eleven different ethnic groups” (Pelling 11) and there are those that argue that the monarchy collapsed because of its foreign policy decisions. Arguably, the demise of the Empire was influenced by various factors like the rise of nationalism and its foreign policy issues. However, as this essay points out, these may not be the biggest reasons as to why the Habsburg empire fell.
The first significant events that eventually led to the rise of this great empire started during the reign of Rudolph I, the Count of Habsburg. In 1273, Rudolph I was elected Holy Roman Emperor and in 1278, he “fought for and won the archduchy of Austria and the lands around Vienna” (Pelling 2). Over the many periods of its existence, the Habsburgs built a huge empire “covering about
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