Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor

Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor

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Matthias of Austria was Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 from 1612, King of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

 and Croatia
Kingdom of Croatia (Habsburg)
The Kingdom of Croatia was an administrative division that existed between 1527 and 1868 within the Habsburg Monarchy . The Kingdom was a part of the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen, but was subject to direct Imperial Austrian rule for significant periods of time, including its final years...

 from 1608 (as Matthias II) and King of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 from 1611. He was a member of the House of Habsburg.

Biography



Matthias was born in the Austria
Archduchy of Austria
The Archduchy of Austria , one of the most important states within the Holy Roman Empire, was the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy and the predecessor of the Austrian Empire...

n capital of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 to Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

 and Maria of Spain
Maria of Spain
Archduchess Maria of Austria was the spouse of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia and Hungary. She was the daughter of Emperor Charles V and twice served as regent of Spain.-Life:...

.

Matthias married Archduchess Anna of Austria, daughter of his uncle Archduke Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria was ruler of Further Austria including Tirol.-Life account:...

 of Austria, whose successor in Further Austria
Further Austria
Further Austria or Anterior Austria was the collective name for the old possessions of the House of Habsburg in the former Swabian stem duchy of south-western Germany, including territories in the Alsace region west of the Rhine and in Vorarlberg, after the focus of the Habsburgs had moved to the...

 Matthias became in 1595. Their marriage did not produce surviving children.

In 1578, Matthias was invited to the Netherlands
Seventeen Provinces
The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

 by the States-General of the rebellious provinces, who offered him the position of Governor-General. Matthias accepted the appointment, although the position was not recognized by his uncle, Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, the hereditary ruler of the provinces. Matthias nonetheless remained as titular governor for the rebels until they deposed Philip II and declared full independence in 1581, at which point Matthias returned home to Austria.

In 1593 he was appointed governor of Austria by his brother, Emperor Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

. He formed a close association there with the Bishop of Vienna, Melchior Klesl
Melchior Klesl
Melchior Klesl was an Austrian statesman and cardinal of the Roman Catholic church during the time of the Counter-Reformation...

, who later became his chief adviser. In 1605 Matthias forced the ailing emperor to allow him to deal with the Hungarian Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 rebels. The result was the Peace of Vienna
Treaty of Vienna (1606)
The Treaty of Vienna was signed on June 23, 1606 between Stephen Bocskay, a Hungarian noble, and Archduke Matthias. Based on the terms of the treaty, all constitutional and religious rights and privileges were granted to the Hungarians in both Transylvania and Royal Hungary...

 of 1606, which guaranteed religious freedom in Hungary and guaranteed the right of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

ns to elect their own independent princes in the future. In the same year Matthias was recognized as head of the House of Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 and as the future Holy Roman Emperor, as a result of Rudolf's illness. Allying himself with the estates of Hungary, Austria, and Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

, Matthias forced his brother to yield rule of these lands to him in 1608; Rudolf later ceded Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

 in 1611. Matthias's army then held Rudolf prisoner in his castle in Prague, until 1611, when Rudolf was forced to cede the crown of Bohemia to his brother.

After Matthias's accession as Holy Roman Emperor, his policy was dominated by Klesl, who hoped to bring about a compromise between Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Protestant states within the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in order to strengthen it. Matthias had already been forced to grant religious concessions to Protestants in Austria and Moravia, as well as in Hungary, when he had allied with them against Rudolf. Matthias imprisoned Georg Keglević
House of Keglević
The House of Keglević is a Croatian noble family originally from Dalmatia, their members were pointed out in public life, also as soldiers...

 who was the Commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

, General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

, Vice-Ban
Ban (title)
Ban was a title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.-Etymology:The word ban has entered the English language probably as a borrowing from South Slavic ban, meaning "lord, master; ruler". The Slavic word is probably borrowed from...

 of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and since 1602 Baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

 in Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

, but soon left him free again. At that time was the Principality of Transylvania a fully autonomous, but only semi-independent state under the nominal suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, where it was the time of the Sultanate of Women
Sultanate of Women
The Sultanate of Women was the near 130-year period during the 16th and 17th centuries when the women of the Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire exerted extraordinary political influence. Many of the Sultans during this time were minors and it was their mothers, leaders of the Harem, who...

.

Matthias's conciliatory policies were opposed by the more intransigent Catholic Habsburgs, particularly Matthias's brother Archduke Maximilian, who hoped to secure the succession for the inflexible Catholic Archduke Ferdinand (later
Oñate treaty
The Oñate treaty or Onate agreement of 29 July 1617 was a secret treaty between the Austrian and Spanish branches of the House of Habsburg....

 Emperor Ferdinand II
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand II , a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Bohemia , and King of Hungary . His rule coincided with the Thirty Years' War.- Life :...

). The start of the Bohemian Protestant revolt
Defenestrations of Prague
The Defenestrations of Prague were two incidents in the history of Bohemia. The first occurred in 1419 and the second in 1618, although the term "Defenestration of Prague" more commonly refers to the latter incident. Both helped to trigger prolonged conflict within Bohemia and beyond...

 in 1618 provoked Maximilian to imprison Klesl and revise his policies. Matthias, old and ailing, was unable to prevent a takeover by Maximilian's faction. Ferdinand, who had already been crowned King of Bohemia (1617) and of Hungary (1618), succeeded Matthias as Holy Roman Emperor.

Matthias died in Vienna in 1619.

Ancestry





Titles


Matthias, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

, forever August, King in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, of Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Dalmatia, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria, Archduke of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Duke of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Luxemburg, Württemberg, the Upper and Lower Silesia, Prince of Swabia, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Moravia, the Upper and Lower Lusatia, Princely Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia, Landgrave of Alsace, Lord of the Wendish March, Pordenone and Salins, etc. etc.

See also


  • Kings of Germany family tree. He was related to every other king of Germany.