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“Leave the waging of wars to others! But you, happy Austria, marry.” So wrote Maximilian I (r. 1486–1519), who arranged dynastic marriages that resulted in Habsburgs controlling Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary. Though the Spanish Habsburgs would fade into oblivion by the mid-17th century, Habsburg Austria remained one of the great powers of Europe for almost 400 years. Though rarely militarily innovative or decisively powerful, the Austrian army fought in most European wars of the early modern and modern eras, which drove the growth and development of the Habsburg state. The army also served as the most important tool of social cohesion in Habsburg Austria. Although the army was important in the creation of the Habsburg state, Austria today has one of the ...

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