Habsburg dynasty. Family that ruled the Duchy (later Archduchy) of Austria from 1278. In 1526 they gained possession of the kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary (including Transcarpathia), and from 1452 to 1806 members of the family were the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire; in the 19th century they took the title of Emperor of Austria (from 1867 the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary). The Habsburgs also acquired the titles of King of Galicia and Lodomeria (Volodymeria) after the annexation of Galicia in 1772, and Prince of Bukovyna in 1849. Maria Theresa (1740–80), Joseph II (1780–90), Leopold II (1790–2), Francis I (1792–1835), Ferdinand I (1835–48), Francis Joseph I (1848–1916), and Charles I (1916–18) were all Habsburgs who ruled over Galicia and Bukovyna. In general, the policy of the Habsburgs was oriented towards maintaining a centralized empire, to which end they followed the maxim of divide et impera. They tolerated national differences in cultural matters, but repressed any separatist movements. In socioeconomic affairs, Austria under the Habsburgs maintained the non-German provinces as internal colonies. The reign of the Habsburgs in Galicia and Bukovyna ended when the Western Ukrainian National Republic was created on 1 November 1918 in Galicia and on 6 November 1918 in Bukovyna.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine