The rule over Austria
The Hapsburg rule over Austria begins in the 13th century with the acquisition of the Babenberg territories. Since that time the Hapsburgs have held the title of Dukes of Austria. This title of duke marks the step toward the social ascent of the Hapsburgs and to the recognition within the Medieval class system that went with it, from Alsatian counts to dignitaries of the Holy Roman Empire. As "Archdukes of Austria" they are placed in the 14th century on the same level as the electoral princes. These titles are the expression of a deployment of political power up until the 20th century. The historical dimension of the concept Austria ends tragically after the First World War and leads to the establishment of the first Republic of Austria. In this situation, the House of Hapsburg-Austria remembers its old ancestral castle of Aargau and neutral Switzerland and since then bears the name of "Archdukes of Hapsburg."