Governed by the Hapsburgs from 1282, Austria served thereafter as the centre of their expanding power and empire, an empire which lasted until 1918. At their greatest extent under Charles V (1519–55), the Hapsburg dominions included part of Hungary (wholly conquered from the Turks in 1688), Belgium, Italian territories, Spain and its vast empire. It remained the major power in Central Europe till defeated in 1866 by Prussia and her Grerman allies, a position confirmed by the unification of Germany in 1870–71 under Prussian leadership. Empire politics turned increasingly on national rivalries and aspirations. Tension was particularly high among the Serbs of Bosnia (annexed 1908) who looked to the independent state of Serbia. It was at Sarajevo in Bosnia on 28 June 1914 that the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated by Serbian nationalists, an event that triggered the First World War. In 1918 the Empire disintegrated into its national units.
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