|German name: Habsburg a German princely family founded by Albert, count of Hapsburg (1153). From 1440 to 1806, the Hapsburgs wore the imperial crown of the Holy Roman Empire almost uninterruptedly. They also provided rulers for Austria, Spain, Hungary, Bohemia, etc. The line continued as the royal house of Hapsburg-Lorraine, ruling in Austria (1806--48) and Austria-Hungary (1848--1918)|
Austrian-based dynasty that ruled much of central and parts of western Europe from the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries. The family's head long held the title of Holy Roman Emperor (see Holy Roman Empire). By 1914 the Hapsburg-ruled Austro-Hungarian Empire included all or part of territories that later became independent nations, such as Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. The empire collapsed during World War I.
Note: Nationalism threatened to disrupt the Hapsburg Empire in the nineteenth century; the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo in 1914 triggered World War I.