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Albert I

Albert I, c.1250–1308, Holy Roman Emperor (1298–1308), son of Rudolf I. Albert was invested with Austria and Styria in 1282 by his father, who also hoped to secure the succession as king of the Germans for Albert. However, on Rudolf's death (1291) the electors rejected Albert's candidacy in order to check the growing power of the Hapsburgs and to prevent the crown from becoming hereditary within the Hapsburg dynasty. They chose Adolf of Nassau as king. Albert later engineered Adolf's deposition and replaced him. As king, Albert attempted to strengthen Hapsburg claims for a hereditary dynasty by allying (1299) with Philip IV of France, by supporting the Rhine towns against the Rhenish imperial electors, and by unsuccessfully attempting (1300) to add Holland and Zeeland to the Hapsburg domains. These actions provoked a revolt (1300–1302) by the Rhenish electors, backed by Pope Boniface VIII, which Albert suppressed. He later reached an agreement with Boniface, who recognized his title in 1303. Albert attempted to expand his dominion to the east by preventing Wenceslaus II of Bohemia from acquiring Hungary, but his campaign was unsuccessful until Wenceslaus's death (1305). Albert's son Rudolf succeeded Wenceslaus III (1306). Albert was assassinated by a band of conspirators that included his nephew. Henry of Luxemburg (Henry VII) was elected to succeed him.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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