Renaissance and Reformation


The empire of Austria-Hungary did not exist as a nation, but it consisted of many separate states during the time of the Renaissance and Reformation. The House of Hapsburg ruled the area of Austria-Hungary during the Renaissance.  The family originally ruled Austria, but because several marriages, they were really informal alliances,  were made, they came to control much of Europe.  The family split in the 16th century.  Charles II ruled Spain, while Phillip V ruled the Austrian Branch.  The Austrian Hapsburgs became part of the Holy Roman Empire. 


In the 1700s, the Austrian branch had no heir, as well as the Spanish branch.  The half great-grandson of Ferdinand III did take over the line, but it is  commonly known as the House of Lorraine. 


In 1806, the Empire dissolved due to French Empire Napoleon (he recognized Germany as a state).   Francis II then declared himself Emperor of Austria.  Under the title of Austria, Francis included many lands and peoples.  Austria-Hungary became a nation-state in 1867.