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If Habsburg was to succeed Habsburg as emperor continuously from Frederick’s death in 1493 to Charles VI’s accession in 1711, the principal reason was that the hereditary lands of the Habsburgs formed an aggregate large enough and rich enough to enable the dynasty to impose its candidate on the other German electors (the Habsburgs themselves had an electoral vote only in so far as they were kings of Bohemia).

For the greater part of Frederick’s reign it was scarcely foreseeable that his descendants would monopolize the imperial succession so long as they did.

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The imperial title at that time was, for practical purposes, hardly more than a glorification of the title of German king, and the German kingship was, like the Bohemian and the Hungarian, elective.Secondly, Ferdinand’s accession to Hungary meant that the Habsburgs had to bear the brunt of the Lepanto (1571), won by Charles V’s natural son, Juan de Austria, did not end those troubles, which were exploited, against the dynasty, by Hungarian dissidents and, more covertly, by France.The third flaw in the Habsburg edifice was latent in the 16th century.Before explaining what the Habsburgs owed dynastically to Maximilian, mention can be made of a physical peculiarity characteristic of the House of Habsburg from the emperor Frederick III onward: his jaw and his lower lip were prominent, a feature supposed to have been inherited by him from his mother, the Mazovian princess Cymbarka.Later intermarriage reproduced the “Habsburg lip” more and more markedly, especially among the last Habsburg kings of Spain.Even so, after his death the brothers Ladislas Posthumus, was also king of Hungary from 1446 (assuming power in 1452) and of Bohemia from 1453.


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