The title of Emperor of Austria was proclaimed in 1804 by the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II, who feared for the future of the old Reich in the face of Napoleon's aggressions, and wished to maintain his imperial title in the event that the Holy Roman Empire should be dissolved, as it indeed was in 1806. Francis thus became Emperor Francis I of Austria.
The title lasted until 1918, but it was never clear what territory constituted the "Empire of Austria". Austria itself had been an Archduchy since the 15th century, and most of the other territories of the Empire had their own institutions and territorial history, although there were some attempts at centralization, especially between 1848 and 1859. When Hungary was given self-government in 1867, the non-Hungarian portions, although usually called Austria, were officially known only as the "Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council (Reichsrat)". The title, and the Empire (if there was such), were abolished at the end of the First World War in 1918, when German Austria became a republic, and the other kingdoms and lands represented in the Imperial Council established their independence or adhesion to other states.
The Austrian Emperors had an extensive list of titles and claims:
Emperor of Austria,
Apostolic King of Hungary,
King of Bohemia, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, of Slavonia, of Galicia, of Lodomeria, and of Illyria,
King of Jerusalem, and so forth,
Archduke of Austria,
Grand Duke of Tuscany and of Krakau,
Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, of Styria, of Carinthia, of Carniola and of the Bukovina,
Grand Duke of Transylvania,
Margrave of Moravia,
Duke of Upper Silesia, of Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz and Zator, of Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa and Zara,
Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Goritz and Grandisca ,
Prince of Trient and Brixen,
Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria,
Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg , and so forth,
Lord of Triest, of Cattaro and of the Wendish Mark,
Grand Voyvode of the Voyvodie of Serbia, and so forth,
Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Emperors of Austria, 1804-1918
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46