Albert I

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Albert I

, Holy Roman Emperor
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.

Albert I

, king of the Belgians
Albert I, 1875–1934, king of the Belgians (1909–34), nephew and successor of Leopold II. He married (1900) Elizabeth, a Bavarian princess. In World War I his heroic resistance (1914) to the German invasion of Belgium greatly helped the Allied cause. Albert spent the entire war at the head of his army, and in 1918 he led the Allied offensive that recovered the Belgian coast. The king and queen did much to improve social conditions in Belgium and in the Belgian Congo. Albert's democratic and affable ways won him great regard at home and abroad. He died in a rock-climbing accident and was succeeded by his son, Leopold III. His daughter, Marie José, married the crown prince (later King Humbert II) of Italy.

Bibliography

See biography by E. Cammaerts (1935).

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Albert I

1. c. 1255--1308, king of Germany (1298--1308)
2. 1875--1934, king of the Belgians (1909--34)
3. called Albert the Bear. c. 1100--70. German military leader: first margrave of Brandenburg
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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