Habsburg Rule

Habsburg Rule and the End of Turkish Occupation in Hungary

Contest for the Throne (October-December 1526)

The Habsburgs’ rule in Hungary began amidst a contested election for the throne. Ferdinand of Austria was elected King of Bohemia in Prague on October 22, 1526. However, the Szekesfehervar Diety elected a national king, Janos I Szapolyai, on November 11. Supported by the Turks, Janos saw his kingdom reduced to Transylvania. Finally, on December 17, Ferdinand of Austria was elected King of Hungary at Presburg under the name of Ferdinand I.

Partition of Hungary (1541)

Fifteen years after the defeat at Mohacs, Ferdinand controlled the north and east of Hungary (Royal Hungary), while Suleiman occupied the center, with Buda under Turkish control. Szapolyai remained as Prince of Transylvania.

Ongoing Conflict (1566-1687)

The 16th and 17th centuries were characterized by continuous conflict. Following the death of Suleiman I, the Magnificent, at the siege of Szigetvar in 1566, Transylvania joined the Holy League’s victory over the Turks in 1571. The Habsburgs waged a 15-year war from 1591 to 1606 to expel the Turks from Hungary and Transylvania. By 1685, the Imperial Army occupied Transylvania, and Buda was liberated the following year. In 1687, the Deity declared the crown of Hungary as the rightful inheritance of the House of Austria.

Peace and Reform (1699-1790)

The Peace of Karlowitz in 1699 marked the end of Turkish occupation in Hungary. The following century saw the reigns of Maria Teresa (1740-1780) and Joseph II (1780-1790), introducing reforms and fostering cooperation between the Viennese court and Hungarian nobility.

Rise of Absolutism (1792-1835)

The reign of Francis II as German Emperor and King of Bohemia and Hungary (under the name Francis I) led to the prevalence of absolutism across all domains.