Adolf of Nassau

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Adolf of Nassau

(nä`sou), d. 1298, duke of Luxembourg, German king (1292–98). He owed his election to the ecclesiastical electorselectors,
in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the princes who had the right to elect the German kings or, more exactly, the kings of the Romans (Holy Roman emperors).
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, who, fearing the growing power and ambition of the HapsburgsHapsburg
or Habsburg
, ruling house of Austria (1282–1918). Rise to Power

The family, which can be traced to the 10th cent., originally held lands in Alsace and in NW Switzerland. Otto (d.
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, chose him rather than Albert of Austria (later King Albert IAlbert 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.
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), son of Rudolf I of Hapsburg. Seeking to strengthen his rule by establishing a territorial power of his own, Adolf seized Meissen and Thuringia. He entered into an alliance with Edward I of England against Philip IV of France in an effort to halt French encroachment of German territory; the alliance produced no results, however, and led to Adolf's deposition (1298) and the election of Albert. Soon afterward he was defeated and killed by an army commanded by Albert.