The disorder in Germany after the fall of the Hohenstaufen afforded an opportunity for Rudolph to increase his possessions.
Was succeeded in 1298 by his son Rudolph I., who in 1314 gave his vote to Frederick, duke of Austria, in the disputed election for the German throne between that prince and Louis of Bavaria, afterwards the emperor Louis IV.; and when the latter ignored his claims on the margraviate of Brandenburg Rudolph shared in the attempt to depose him, and to elect Charles of Luxemburg, afterwards the emperor Charles IV., as German king.
By the treaty of Pavia in this year, Louis granted the Palatinate of the Rhine and the upper Palatinate of Bavaria to his brother's sons, Rudolph II.
He won considerable fame as a mercenary in many of the feuds of the time, and on the 5th of May 1292 was chosen German king, in succession to Rudolph I., an election due rather to the political conditions of the time than to his personal qualities.
The emperor then visited southern Italy, where by mingling justice with severity he secured respect for the imperial authority; and returned to Germany to find Ernest of Swabia, the younger Conrad, and their associates again in arms. One cause of this rising was the claim put forward by Ernest to the Burgundian succession, as King Rudolph was his great-uncle.
Gregory was on his way to Rome to crown Rudolph and send him out on a great crusade in company with the kings of England, France, Aragon and Sicily, when he died at Arezzo on the 10th of January 1276.
Matthias, the eldest of his brothers, came to Prague and pointed out to Rudolph the necessity of appointing a coadjutor, should he be incapacitated from fulfilling his royal duties, and also of making arrangements concerning the succession to the throne.
He married Adelaide, possibly a daughter of Rudolph I., king of Upper Burgundy.
Concurrently with the growth of this unrest Rudolph had become increasingly subject to attacks of depression and eccentricity, which were so serious as to amount almost to insanity.
To win the approbation of the pope Rudolph renounced all imperial rights in Rome, the papal territory and Sicily, and promised to lead a new crusade; and Pope Gregory X., in spite of Ottakar's protests, not only recognized Rudolph himself, but persuaded Alphonso X.