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Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the ruler of the
Habsburg dominions
Habsburg dominions
from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position. She was the sovereign of
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...
,
Transylvania Transylvania is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western R ...
,
Mantua Mantua ( ; it, Mantova ; Lombard language, Lombard and la, Mantua) is a city and ''comune'' in Lombardy, Italy, and capital of the Province of Mantua, province of the same name. In 2016, Mantua was designated as the Italian Capital of Culture ...
,
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...
, Lodomeria and Galicia, the
Austrian Netherlands The Austrian Netherlands nl, Oostenrijkse Nederlanden; french: Pays-Bas Autrichiens; german: Österreichische Niederlande; la, Belgium Austriacum. was the larger part of the Southern Netherlands between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the ...
, and
Parma Parma (; egl, Pärma, ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. Londo ...
. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine,
Grand Duchess of Tuscany The Grand Duchy of Tuscany was founded in 1569. It succeeded the Duchy of Florence. The grand duchy was initially ruled by the House of Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to ...
and
Holy Roman Empress The Holy Roman Empress or Empress of the Holy Roman Empire (''Kaiserin des Heiligen Römischen Reiches'') was the wife or widow of the Holy Roman Emperor. The elective dignity of Holy Roman emperor was restricted to males only, but some empresse ...
. Maria Theresa started her 40-year reign when her father,
Emperor Charles VI , house = Habsburg , spouse = , issue = , issue-link = #Children , issue-pipe = , father = Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor , mother = Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg , birth_date ...

Emperor Charles VI
, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the
Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 The Pragmatic Sanction ( la, Sanctio Pragmatica) was an edict issued by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, on 19 April 1713 to ensure that the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg hereditary possessions, which included the Archduchy of Austria, the Kingdom ...
and spent his entire reign securing it. He neglected the advice of
Prince Eugene of Savoy Prince Eugene Francis of Savoy–Carignano, (18 October 1663 – 21 April 1736) better known as Prince Eugene, was a Generalfeldmarschall, field marshal in the army of the Holy Roman Empire and of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty during the 17th an ...

Prince Eugene of Savoy
, who believed that a strong military and a rich treasury were more important than mere signatures. Eventually, Charles VI left behind a weakened and impoverished state, particularly due to the
War of the Polish Succession The War of the Polish Succession ( pl, Wojna o sukcesję polską; 1733–35) was a major European conflict sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II of Poland, which the other European powers widened in pursuit of their ...
and the
Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739) The Russo-Turkish War of 1735–1739 between Russian Empire, Russia and the Ottoman Empire was caused by the Ottoman Empire's Ottoman–Persian War (1730–35), war with Afsharid Dynasty, Persia and continuing raids by the Crimean Tatars. The war ...
. Moreover, upon his death,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...
,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
,
Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is a Landlocked country, landlocked Federated state, state (''States of Germany ...
, and
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime.
Frederick II of Prussia Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Silesian wa ...

Frederick II of Prussia
(who became Maria Theresa's greatest rival for most of her reign) promptly invaded and took the affluent Habsburg province of
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
in the seven-year conflict known as the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the House of Bourbon, Bourbon-Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Kingdom of Prussia, Prus ...
. In defiance of the grave situation, she managed to secure the vital support of the Hungarians for the war effort. During the course of the war, Maria Theresa successfully defended her rule over most of the Habsburg Monarchy, apart from the loss of Silesia and a few minor territories in Italy. Maria Theresa later unsuccessfully tried to recover Silesia during the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
. Though she was expected to cede power to her husband,
Emperor Francis I Francis I (Francis Stephen; french: François Étienne; german: Franz Stefan; 8 December 1708 – 18 August 1765) was the Duke of Lorraine and Duchy of Bar, Bar (1729–1737), and later Grand Duke of Tuscany (1737–1765), who married Maria Ther ...
, and her eldest son,
Emperor Joseph II Joseph II (German: ''Josef Benedikt Anton Michel Adam''; English: ''Joseph Benedict Anthony Michael Adam''; 13 March 1741 – 20 February 1790) was Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Roman ...

Emperor Joseph II
, who were officially her co-rulers in Austria and Bohemia, Maria Theresa was the absolute sovereign who ruled with the counsel of her advisers. Maria Theresa promulgated institutional, financial, medical and educational reforms, with the assistance of Wenzel Anton of Kaunitz-Rietberg,
Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz
Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz
and
Gerard van Swieten Gerard van Swieten (7 May 1700 – 18 June 1772) was a Dutch physician who from 1745 was the personal physician of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 Novem ...
. She also promoted
commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale. Etymology The English-language word ''commerce'' has been derived from the Latin word ''commercium'', from ''com'' ("together") and ''merx'' ("merchandise"). History ...

commerce
and the development of agriculture, and reorganised Austria's ramshackle military, all of which strengthened Austria's international standing. However, she despised the
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...
and the
Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants originating in the Ref ...
, and on certain occasions she ordered their expulsion to remote parts of the realm. She also advocated for the state church and refused to allow
religious pluralism Religious pluralism is an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus ov ...
. Consequently, her regime was criticized as intolerant by some contemporaries.


Birth and early life

The second and eldest surviving child of
Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI , house = House of Habsburg, Habsburg , spouse = , issue = , issue-link = #Children , issue-pipe = , father = Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor , mother = Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg , ...
and
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (28 August 1691 – 21 December 1750) was Princess Princess is a regal rank and the feminine equivalent of prince (from Latin ''princeps'', meaning wiktionary:principal, principal citizen). ...

Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
, Archduchess Maria Theresa was born on 13 May 1717 in
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
, a year after the death of her elder brother, Archduke Leopold, and was baptised on that same evening. The
dowager A dowager is a widow A widow is a woman whose spouse has Death, died; a widower is a man whose spouse has died. The treatment of widows and widowers around the world varies. Terminology The state of having lost one's spouse to death is termed ' ...
empresses, her aunt
Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg
and grandmother Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg, were her godmothers. Most descriptions of her baptism stress that the infant was carried ahead of her cousins,
Maria Josepha Maria Josepha of Austria (Maria Josepha Benedikta Antonia Theresia Xaveria Philippine, pl, Maria Józefa; 8 December 1699 – 17 November 1757) was the List of Polish consorts, Queen of Poland by marriage to Augustus III of Poland, Augustus III. ...
and Maria Amalia, the daughters of Charles VI's elder brother and predecessor,
Joseph IJoseph I may refer to: *Joseph I of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch in 1266–1275 and 1282–1283 *Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (1678–1711) *Joseph I (Chaldean Patriarch) (reigned 1681–1696) *Joseph I of Portugal (1750–1777) *Joseph Bona ...

Joseph I
, before the eyes of their mother, Wilhelmine Amalia. It was clear that Maria Theresa would outrank them, even though their grandfather, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, had his sons sign the Mutual Pact of Succession, which gave precedence to the daughters of the elder brother. Her father was the only surviving male member of the House of Habsburg and hoped for a son who would prevent the extinction of his dynasty and succeed him. Thus, the birth of Maria Theresa was a great disappointment to him and the people of Vienna; Charles never managed to overcome this feeling. Maria Theresa replaced Maria Josepha as
heir presumptive An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in questio ...
to the Habsburg realms the moment she was born; Charles VI had issued the
Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 The Pragmatic Sanction ( la, Sanctio Pragmatica) was an edict issued by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, on 19 April 1713 to ensure that the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg hereditary possessions, which included the Archduchy of Austria, the Kingdom ...
which had placed his nieces behind his own daughters in the line of succession. Charles sought the other European powers' approval for disinheriting his nieces. They exacted harsh terms: in the
Treaty of Vienna (1731) The 1731 Treaty of Vienna was signed on 16 March 1731 between Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as wate ...
, Great Britain demanded that Austria abolish the
Ostend Company The Ostend Company ( nl, Oostendse Compagnie, french: Compagnie d'Ostende), officially the General Company Established in the Austrian Netherlands for Commerce and Navigation in the Indies (''Compagnie générale établie dans les Pays-Bas Autrichie ...
in return for its recognition of the Pragmatic Sanction. In total,
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...
, United Provinces,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...
,
Sardinia Sardinia ( ; it, Sardegna ; sc, Sardigna or ) is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , ...
,
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...
and the
Diet of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and ...
recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged. Little more than a year after her birth, Maria Theresa was joined by a sister,
Maria Anna Maria Anna may refer to: * Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (1738–1789), the second but eldest surviving daughter of Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. * Maria Anna Adamberger (1752–1804), Vienn ...
, and another one, named Maria Amalia, was born in 1724. The portraits of the imperial family show that Maria Theresa resembled Elisabeth Christine and Maria Anna. The Prussian ambassador noted that she had large blue eyes, fair hair with a slight tinge of red, a wide mouth and a notably strong body. Unlike many other members of the House of Habsburg, neither Maria Theresa's parents nor her grandparents were closely related to each other. Maria Theresa was a serious and reserved child who enjoyed singing and archery. She was barred from horse riding by her father, but she would later learn the basics for the sake of her Hungarian coronation ceremony. The imperial family staged opera productions, often conducted by Charles VI, in which she relished participating. Her education was overseen by
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six co ...
. Contemporaries thought her
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
to be quite good, but in all else, the Jesuits did not educate her well. Her spelling and punctuation were unconventional and she lacked the formal manner and speech which had characterised her Habsburg predecessors. Maria Theresa developed a close relationship with Countess Marie Karoline von Fuchs-Mollard, who taught her etiquette. She was educated in drawing, painting, music and dancing – the disciplines which would have prepared her for the role of
queen consort A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *I ...
. Her father allowed her to attend meetings of the council from the age of 14 but never discussed the affairs of state with her. Even though he had spent the last decades of his life securing Maria Theresa's inheritance, Charles never prepared his daughter for her future role as sovereign.


Marriage

The question of Maria Theresa's marriage was raised early in her childhood. Leopold Clement of Lorraine was first considered to be the appropriate suitor, and he was supposed to visit Vienna and meet the Archduchess in 1723. These plans were forestalled by his death from
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
. Leopold Clement's younger brother, Francis Stephen, was invited to Vienna. Even though Francis Stephen was his favourite candidate for Maria Theresa's hand, the Emperor considered other possibilities. Religious differences prevented him from arranging his daughter's marriage to the Protestant prince
Frederick of Prussia
Frederick of Prussia
. In 1725, he betrothed her to
Charles of Spain
Charles of Spain
and her sister, Maria Anna, to Philip of Spain. Other European powers compelled him to renounce the pact he had made with the Queen of Spain,
Elisabeth Farnese Elisabeth Farnese (Italian language, Italian: ''Elisabetta Farnese'', Spanish language, Spanish: ''Isabel Farnesio''; 25 October 169211 July 1766) was Queen consort of Spain, Queen of Spain by marriage to Philip V of Spain, King Philip V. She exer ...
. Maria Theresa, who had become close to Francis Stephen, was relieved. Francis Stephen remained at the imperial court until 1729, when he ascended the throne of Lorraine, but was not formally promised Maria Theresa's hand until 31 January 1736, during the
War of the Polish Succession The War of the Polish Succession ( pl, Wojna o sukcesję polską; 1733–35) was a major European conflict sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II of Poland, which the other European powers widened in pursuit of their ...
.
Louis XV of France Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France ruled from the establishment of the West Francia, Kingdom of the West Franks in 843 ...

Louis XV of France
demanded that Maria Theresa's fiancé surrender his ancestral
Duchy of Lorraine The Duchy of Lorraine (french: Lorraine ; german: Lothringen ), originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy A duchy, also called a dukedom, is a , territory, , or domain ruled by a or , a high-ranking nobleman hierarchically second to the or i ...

Duchy of Lorraine
to accommodate his father-in-law,
Stanislaus I Stanislav is a Slavic given name with many spelling variations(Stanislaus, Stanislas, Stanisław, etc.). These names may also refer to: Places * Stanislaus County, California , other_name = , image_skyline ...
, who had been deposed as King of Poland. Francis Stephen was to receive the
Grand Duchy of Tuscany The Grand Duchy of Tuscany ( it, Granducato di Toscana; la, Magnus Ducatus Etruriae) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of th ...
upon the death of childless Grand Duke Gian Gastone de' Medici. The couple were married on 12 February 1736. The Duchess of Lorraine's love for her husband was strong and possessive. The letters she sent to him shortly before their marriage expressed her eagerness to see him; his letters, on the other hand, were stereotyped and formal. She was very jealous of her husband and his infidelity was the greatest problem of their marriage, with Maria Wilhelmina, Princess of Auersperg, as his best-known mistress. Upon Gian Gastone's death on 9 July 1737, Francis Stephen ceded Lorraine and became Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1738, Charles VI sent the young couple to make their formal entry into Tuscany. A triumphal arch was erected at the Porta Galla in celebration, where it remains today. Their stay in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
was brief. Charles VI soon recalled them, as he feared he might die while his heiress was miles away in Tuscany. In the summer of 1738, Austria suffered defeats during the ongoing
Russo-Turkish War The Russo-Turkish wars (or Ottoman–Russian wars) were a series of twelve wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 20th centuries. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in History of Europe ...
. The Turks reversed Austrian gains in
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
,
Wallachia Wallachia or Walachia (; ro, Țara Românească, lit=The Romanian Land' or 'The Romanian Country, ; archaic Archaic is a period of time preceding a designated classical period, or something from an older period of time that is also not found ...
and
Bosnia Bosnia ( bs, Bosna / , ) is the north North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar r ...
. The Viennese rioted at the cost of the war. Francis Stephen was popularly despised, as he was thought to be a cowardly French spy. The war was concluded the next year with the
Treaty of Belgrade The Treaty of Belgrade, known as the Belgrade peace was the peace treaty signed on September 18, 1739 in Belgrade, Kingdom of Serbia (1718-1739), Habsburg Kingdom of Serbia (today Serbia), by the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Habsburg Monarchy ...
.


Ascension

Charles VI died on 20 October 1740, probably of mushroom poisoning. He had ignored the advice of
Prince Eugene of Savoy Prince Eugene Francis of Savoy–Carignano, (18 October 1663 – 21 April 1736) better known as Prince Eugene, was a Generalfeldmarschall, field marshal in the army of the Holy Roman Empire and of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty during the 17th an ...

Prince Eugene of Savoy
who had urged him to concentrate on filling the treasury and equipping the army rather than on acquiring signatures of fellow monarchs. The Emperor, who spent his entire reign securing the Pragmatic Sanction, left Austria in an impoverished state, bankrupted by the recent Turkish war and the
War of the Polish Succession The War of the Polish Succession ( pl, Wojna o sukcesję polską; 1733–35) was a major European conflict sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II of Poland, which the other European powers widened in pursuit of their ...
; the treasury contained only 100,000
gulden is the historical German and Dutch term for gold coin (from Middle High German "golden penny" and Middle Dutch "golden Florin (disambiguation), florin"), equivalent to the English term guilder. Gulden, Gülden, Guldens or Gulden's may also refer ...
, which were claimed by his widow. The army had also been weakened due to these wars; instead of the full number of 160,000, the army had been reduced to about 108,000, and they were scattered in small areas from the Austrian Netherlands to Transylvania, and from Silesia to Tuscany. They were also poorly trained and discipline was lacking. Later Maria Theresa even made a remark: "as for the state in which I found the army, I cannot begin to describe it." Maria Theresa found herself in a difficult situation. She did not know enough about matters of state and she was unaware of the weakness of her father's ministers. She decided to rely on her father's advice to retain his counselors and to defer to her husband, whom she considered to be more experienced, on other matters. Both decisions later gave cause for regret. Ten years later, Maria Theresa recalled in her ''Political Testament'' the circumstances under which she had ascended: "I found myself without money, without credit, without army, without experience and knowledge of my own and finally, also without any counsel because each one of them at first wanted to wait and see how things would develop." She dismissed the possibility that other countries might try to seize her territories and immediately started ensuring the imperial dignity for herself; since a woman could not be elected
Holy Roman Empress The Holy Roman Empress or Empress of the Holy Roman Empire (''Kaiserin des Heiligen Römischen Reiches'') was the wife or widow of the Holy Roman Emperor. The elective dignity of Holy Roman emperor was restricted to males only, but some empresse ...
, Maria Theresa wanted to secure the imperial office for her husband, but Francis Stephen did not possess enough land or rank within the Holy Roman Empire. In order to make him eligible for the imperial throne and to enable him to vote in the
imperial election The election of a Holy Roman Emperor The Holy Roman Emperor, originally and officially the Emperor of the Romans ( la, Imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to ...
s as
elector of Bohemia The Duchy of Bohemia was established in 870 and raised to the Kingdom of Bohemia in Golden Bull of Sicily, 1198. Several Bohemian monarchs ruled as non-hereditary kings beforehand, first gaining the title in 1085. From 1004 to 1806, Bohemia was pa ...
(which she could not do because of her sex), Maria Theresa made Francis Stephen co-ruler of the Austrian and Bohemian lands on 21 November 1740. It took more than a year for the Diet of Hungary to accept Francis Stephen as co-ruler, since they asserted that the sovereignty of Hungary could not be shared. Despite her love for him and his position as co-ruler, Maria Theresa never allowed her husband to decide matters of state and often dismissed him from council meetings when they disagreed. The first display of the new queen's authority was the formal act of homage of the Lower Austrian Estates to her on 22 November 1740. It was an elaborate public event which served as a formal recognition and legitimation of her accession. The
oath of fealty An oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour ( ...
to Maria Theresa was taken on the same day in the Ritterstube of the Hofburg.


War of the Austrian Succession

Immediately after her accession, a number of European sovereigns who had recognised Maria Theresa as heir broke their promises. Queen Elisabeth of Spain and Elector
Charles Albert of Bavaria Charles VII (6 August 1697 – 20 January 1745) was the prince-elector Choosing the king. Above: the three ecclesiastical princes choosing the king, pointing at him. Middle: the Count Palatine of the Rhine hands over a golden bowl, acting as a ...
, married to Maria Theresa's deprived cousin Maria Amalia and supported by Empress Wilhelmine Amalia, coveted portions of her inheritance. Maria Theresa did secure recognition from King
Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia Charles Emmanuel III (27 April 1701 – 20 February 1773) was the Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia The following is a list of rulers of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia, in particular, of the monarchs of the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica ...
, who had not accepted the Pragmatic Sanction during her father's lifetime, in November 1740. In December,
Frederick II of Prussia Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Silesian wa ...

Frederick II of Prussia
invaded the
Duchy of Silesia The Duchy of Silesia ( pl, Księstwo śląskie, german: Herzogtum Schlesien) with its capital at Wrocław was a medieval duchy located in the historic Silesian region of Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Poland. Soon after it was formed under the P ...
and requested that Maria Theresa cede it, threatening to join her enemies if she refused. Maria Theresa decided to fight for the mineral-rich province. Frederick even offered a compromise: he would defend Maria Theresa's rights if she agreed to cede to him at least a part of Silesia. Francis Stephen was inclined to consider such an arrangement, but the Queen and her advisers were not, fearing that any violation of the Pragmatic Sanction would invalidate the entire document. Maria Theresa's firmness soon assured Francis Stephen that they should fight for Silesia, and she was confident that she would retain "the jewel of the House of Austria". The resulting war with Prussia is known as the
First Silesian War The First Silesian War (german: Erster Schlesischer Krieg, links=no) was a war between Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia and Archduchy of Austria, Austria that lasted from 1740 to 1742 and resulted in Prussia's seizing most of the region of Silesia (no ...
. The invasion of Silesia by Frederick was the start of a lifelong enmity; she referred to him as "that evil man". As Austria was short of experienced military commanders, Maria Theresa released Marshall Neipperg, who had been imprisoned by her father for his poor performance in the Turkish War. Neipperg took command of the Austrian troops in March. The Austrians suffered a crushing defeat at the
Battle of Mollwitz The Battle of Mollwitz was fought by Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Prussia, a duchy centered on the Prussia (region), region ...

Battle of Mollwitz
in April 1741. France drew up a plan to partition Austria between Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Spain: Bohemia and
Upper Austria Upper Austria (german: Oberösterreich ; bar, Obaöstareich) is one of the nine states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The Stat ...
would be ceded to Bavaria, and the Elector would become emperor, whereas
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
and
Upper Silesia Upper Silesia ( pl, Górny Śląsk; szl, Gōrny Ślōnsk; cs, Horní Slezsko; german: Oberschlesien; Silesian German: ; la, Silesia Superior) is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, ...
would be granted to the
Electorate of Saxony The Electorate of Saxony (german: Kurfürstentum Sachsen, also ') was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (news ...
,
Lower Silesia Lower Silesia ( pl, Dolny Śląsk; cz, Dolní Slezsko; german: Niederschlesien; hsb, Delnja Šleska; dsb, Dolna Šlazyńska; la, Silesia Inferior; Silesian German: ''Niederschläsing''; szl, Dolny Ślůnsk) is the northwestern part of the hi ...
and
Glatz
Glatz
to Prussia, and the entire Austrian
Lombardy (man), (woman) lmo, lombard, links=no (man), (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = ...
to Spain.
Marshall Belle-Isle
Marshall Belle-Isle
joined Frederick at Olmütz. Vienna was in a panic, as none of Maria Theresa's advisors had expected France to betray them. Francis Stephen urged Maria Theresa to reach a
rapprochement In international relations, a rapprochement, which comes from the French language, French word ''rapprocher'' ("to bring together"), is a re-establishment of cordial relations between two countries. This may be done due to a mutual enemy, as was the ...
with Prussia, as did Great Britain. Maria Theresa reluctantly agreed to negotiations. Contrary to all expectations, the young Queen gained significant support from Hungary. Her coronation as Queen of Hungary ''
suo jure ''Suo jure'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
'' took place in St. Martin's Cathedral,
Pressburg
Pressburg
(today's
Bratislava Bratislava (, also ; ; formerly ; hu, Pozsony) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Slovakia. Officially, the population of the city is about 430,000; however, it is estimated to be more than 660,000 - approximately 150% of the off ...

Bratislava
), on 25 June 1741. She had spent months honing the equestrian skills necessary for the ceremony and negotiating with the
Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for #Health, health or #Weight management, weight-mana ...
. To appease those who considered her gender to be a serious obstacle, Maria Theresa assumed masculine titles. Thus, in nomenclature, Maria Theresa was archduke and king; normally, however, she was styled as queen. By July, attempts at conciliation had completely collapsed. Maria Theresa's ally, the Elector of Saxony, now became her enemy, and George II declared the
Electorate of Hanover The Electorate of Hanover (german: Kurfürstentum Hannover or simply ''Kurhannover'') was an Prince-elector, Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany and taking its name from the capital city of Hanover. It was fo ...
to be neutral. Therefore, she needed troops from Hungary in order to support the war effort. Although she had already won the admiration of the Hungarians, the number of volunteers was only in the hundreds. Since she required them in thousands or even tens of thousands, she decided to appear before the Hungarian Diet on 11 September 1741 while wearing the crown of St Stephen. She began addressing the Diet in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
, and she asserted that "the very existence of the Kingdom of Hungary, of our own person and children, and our crown, are at stake. Forsaken by all, we place our sole reliance in the fidelity and long-tried valor of the Hungarians." The response was rather boorish, with the queen being questioned and even heckled by members of the Diet; someone cried that she "better apply to Satan than the Hungarians for help." However, she managed to show her gift for theatrical displays by holding her son and heir,
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...

Joseph
, while weeping, and she dramatically consigned the future king to the defense of the "brave Hungarians". This act managed to win the sympathy of the members, and they declared that they would die for Maria Theresa. In 1741, the Austrian authorities informed Maria Theresa that the Bohemian populace would prefer Charles Albert, Elector of Bavaria to her as sovereign. Maria Theresa, desperate and burdened by pregnancy, wrote plaintively to her sister: "I don't know if a town will remain to me for my delivery." She bitterly vowed to spare nothing and no one to defend her kingdom when she wrote to the Bohemian chancellor, Count Philip Kinsky: "My mind is made up. We must put everything at stake to save Bohemia." On 26 October, the Elector of Bavaria captured
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and largest city A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people ...

Prague
and declared himself
King of Bohemia of the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population choo ...
. Maria Theresa, then in Hungary, wept on learning of the loss of Bohemia. Charles Albert was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor on 24 January 1742, which made him the only non-Habsburg to be in that position since 1440. The Queen, who regarded the election as a catastrophe, caught her enemies unprepared by insisting on a winter campaign; the same day he was elected emperor, Austrian troops under Ludwig Andreas von Khevenhüller captured Munich, Charles Albert's capital. The Treaty of Breslau of June 1742 ended hostilities between Austria and Prussia. With the First Silesian War at an end, the Queen soon made the recovery of Bohemia her priority. French troops fled Bohemia in the winter of the same year. On 12 May 1743, Maria Theresa was crowned Queen of Bohemia in St. Vitus Cathedral ''
suo jure ''Suo jure'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
''. Prussia became anxious at Austrian advances on the Rhine frontier, and Frederick again invaded Bohemia, beginning a Second Silesian War; Prussian troops sacked Prague in August 1744. The French plans fell apart when Charles Albert died in January 1745. The French overran the
Austrian Netherlands The Austrian Netherlands nl, Oostenrijkse Nederlanden; french: Pays-Bas Autrichiens; german: Österreichische Niederlande; la, Belgium Austriacum. was the larger part of the Southern Netherlands between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the ...
in May. Francis Stephen was elected Holy Roman Emperor on 13 September 1745. Prussia recognised Francis as emperor, and Maria Theresa once again recognised the loss of Silesia by the Treaty of Dresden in December 1745, ending the Second Silesian War. The wider war dragged on for another three years, with fighting in northern Italy and the Austrian Netherlands; however, the core Habsburg domains of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia remained in Maria Theresa's possession. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), Treaty of Aachen, which concluded the eight-year conflict, recognised Prussia's possession of Silesia, and Maria Theresa ceded the Duchy of Parma to Philip of Spain. France had successfully conquered the Austrian Netherlands, but Louis XV, wishing to prevent potential future wars with Austria, returned them to Maria Theresa.


Seven Years' War

Frederick of Prussia's invasion of Saxony in August 1756 began a Third Silesian War and sparked the wider
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
. Maria Theresa and Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Kaunitz wished to exit the war with possession of Silesia. Before the war started, Kaunitz had been sent as an ambassador to Versailles from 1750–1753 to win over the French. Meanwhile, the British rebuffed requests from Maria Theresa to aid her in reclaiming Silesia, and Frederick II himself managed to secure the Treaty of Westminster (1756) with them. Subsequently, Maria Theresa sent Georg Adam, Prince of Starhemberg to negotiate an agreement with France, and the result was the Treaty of Versailles (1756), First Treaty of Versailles of 1 May 1756. Thus, the efforts of Kaunitz and Starhemberg managed to pave a way for a Diplomatic Revolution; previously, France was one of Austria's archenemies together with Russia and the Ottoman Empire, but after the agreement, they were united by a common cause against Prussia. However, historians have blamed this treaty for France in the Seven Years' War, France's devastating defeats in the war, since Louis XV was required to deploy troops in Germany and to provide subsidies of 25–30 million pounds a year to Maria Theresa that were vital for the Austrian war effort in Bohemia and Silesia. On 1 May 1757, the Treaty of Versailles (1757), Second Treaty of Versailles was signed, whereby Louis XV promised to provide Austria with 130,000 men in addition to 12 million gulden yearly. They would also continue the war in Continental Europe until Prussia could be compelled to abandon Silesia and Glatz. In return, Austria would cede several towns in the Austrian Netherlands to the son-in-law of Louis XV, Philip, Duke of Parma, Philip of Parma, who in turn would grant his Italian duchies to Maria Theresa. Maximilian Ulysses Browne, Maximilian von Browne commanded the Austrian troops. Following the indecisive Battle of Lobositz in 1756, he was replaced by Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, Maria Theresa's brother-in-law. However, he was appointed only because of his familial relations; he turned out to be an incompetent military leader, and he was replaced by Leopold Joseph von Daun, Franz Moritz von Lacy and Ernst Gideon von Laudon. Frederick himself was startled by Lobositz; he eventually re-grouped for another attack in June 1757. The Battle of Kolin that followed was a decisive victory for Austria. Frederick lost one third of his troops, and before the battle was over, he had left the scene. Subsequently, Prussia was defeated at Battle of Hochkirch, Hochkirch in Saxony on 14 October 1758, at Battle of Kunersdorf, Kunersdorf in Brandenburg on 12 August 1759, and at Battle of Landeshut (1760), Landeshut near Glatz in June 1760. Hungarian and Croat light hussars led by András Hadik, Count Hadik 1757 raid on Berlin, raided Berlin in 1757. Austrian and Russian troops even occupied Berlin for several days in August 1760. However, these victories did not enable the Habsburgs to win the war, as the French and Habsburg armies were destroyed by Frederick at Battle of Rossbach, Rossbach in 1757. After the defeat in Battle of Torgau, Torgau on 3 November 1760, Maria Theresa realised that she could no longer reclaim Silesia without Russian support, which vanished after the death of Tsaritsa Elizabeth in early 1762. In the meantime, France was losing badly in America and India, and thus they had reduced their subsidies by 50%. Since 1761, Kaunitz had tried to organise a diplomatic congress to take advantage of the accession of George III of the United Kingdom, as he did not really care about Germany. Finally, the war was concluded by the Treaty of Hubertusburg and Treaty of Paris (1763), Paris in 1763. Austria had to leave the Prussian territories that were occupied. Although Silesia remained under the control of Prussia, a new balance of power was created in Europe, and Austrian position was strengthened by it thanks to its alliance with the Bourbons in Madrid, Parma and Naples. Maria Theresa herself decided to focus on domestic reforms and refrain from undertaking any further military operations.


Family life


Childbearing

Over the course of twenty years, Maria Theresa gave birth to sixteen children, thirteen of whom survived infancy. The first child, Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (born 1737), Maria Elisabeth (1737–1740), was born a little less than a year after the wedding. The child's sex caused great disappointment and so would the births of Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (born 1738), Maria Anna, the eldest surviving child, and Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria (born 1740), Maria Carolina (1740–1741). While fighting to preserve her inheritance, Maria Theresa gave birth to a son,
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...

Joseph
, named after Saint Joseph, to whom she had repeatedly prayed for a male child during the pregnancy. Maria Theresa's favourite child, Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen, Maria Christina, was born on her 25th birthday, four days before the defeat of the Austrian army in Battle of Chotusitz, Chotusitz. Five more children were born during the war: (the second) Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (born 1743), Maria Elisabeth, Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria (born 1745), Charles, Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma, Maria Amalia, Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold and (the second) Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria (stillborn 1748), Maria Carolina (b. & d. 1748). During this period, there was no rest for Maria Theresa during pregnancies or around the births; the war and child-bearing were carried on simultaneously. Five children were born during the peace between the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the House of Bourbon, Bourbon-Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Kingdom of Prussia, Prus ...
and the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
: Archduchess Maria Johanna Gabriela of Austria, Maria Johanna, Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria, Maria Josepha, (the third) Maria Carolina of Austria, Maria Carolina, Ferdinand Karl, Archduke of Austria-Este, Ferdinand and Marie Antoinette, Maria Antonia. She delivered her last child, Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, Maximilian Francis, during the Seven Years' War, aged 39. Maria Theresa asserted that, had she not been almost always pregnant, she would have gone into battle herself.


Illnesses and deaths

Four of Maria Theresa's children died before reaching adolescence. Her eldest daughter Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (born 1737), Maria Elisabeth died from stomach cramps at the age of three. Her third child, the first of three daughters named Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria (born 1740), Maria Carolina, died shortly after her first birthday. The second Maria Carolina was born feet first in 1748. As it became evident that she would not survive, preparations were hastily made to baptize her while still living; according to traditional Catholic belief, unbaptized infants would be condemned to eternity in limbo. Maria Theresa's physician
Gerard van Swieten Gerard van Swieten (7 May 1700 – 18 June 1772) was a Dutch physician who from 1745 was the personal physician of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 Novem ...
assured her that the infant was still living when baptized, but many at court doubted this. Maria Theresa's mother, Empress Elisabeth Christine, died in 1750. Four years later, Maria Theresa's governess, Marie Karoline von Fuchs-Mollard, died. She showed her gratitude to Countess Fuchs by having her buried in the Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Imperial Crypt along with the members of the imperial family. Smallpox was a constant threat to members of the royal family. In July 1749, Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen, Maria Christina survived a bout of the disease, followed in January 1757 by Maria Theresa's eldest son
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...

Joseph
. In January 1761, the disease killed her second son Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria (born 1745), Charles at the age of fifteen. In December 1762, her twelve-year-old daughter Archduchess Maria Johanna Gabriela of Austria, Johanna likewise died in agony from the disease. In November 1763, Joseph's first wife Princess Isabella of Parma, Isabella died from the disease. Joseph's second wife Empress Maria Josepha of Bavaria, Maria Josepha likewise caught the disease in May 1767 and died a week later. Maria Theresa ignored the risk of infection and embraced her daughter-in-law before the sick chamber was sealed to outsiders. Maria Theresa in fact contracted smallpox from her daughter-in-law. Throughout the city prayers were made for her recovery, and the sacrament was displayed in all churches. Joseph slept in one of his mother's antechambers and hardly left her bedside. On 1 June, Maria Theresa was given the Anointing of the Sick (Catholic Church), last rites. When the news came in early June that she had survived the crisis, there was huge rejoicing at the court and amongst the populace of Vienna. In October 1767, Maria Theresa's fifteen-year-old daughter Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria, Josepha also showed signs of the disease. It was assumed that she had caught the infection when she went with her mother to pray in the Imperial Crypt next to the unsealed tomb of Empress Maria Josepha (Joseph's wife). Archduchess Josepha started showing smallpox rash two days after visiting the crypt and soon died. Maria Carolina was to replace her as the pre-determined bride of King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand IV of Naples. Maria Theresa blamed herself for her daughter's death for the rest of her life because, at the time, the concept of an extended incubation period was largely unknown and it was believed that Josepha had caught smallpox from the body of the late empress. The last in the family to be infected with the illness was the twenty-four year old Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (1743–1808), Elisabeth. Although she recovered, she was badly scarred with pock marks from the illness. Maria Theresa's losses to smallpox, especially in the epidemic of 1767, were decisive in her sponsoring trials to prevent the illness through Variolation, inoculation, and subsequently insisting on members of the royal family receiving inoculation.


Dynastic marriage policy

Shortly after giving birth to the younger children, Maria Theresa was confronted with the task of marrying off the elder ones. She led the marriage negotiations along with the campaigns of her wars and the duties of state. She used them as pawns in dynastic games and sacrificed their happiness for the benefit of the state. A devoted but self-conscious mother, she wrote to all of her children at least once a week and believed herself entitled to exercise authority over her children regardless of their age and rank. In April 1770, Maria Theresa's youngest daughter, Maria Antonia, married Louis XVI of France, Louis, Dauphin of France, by proxy marriage, proxy in Vienna. Maria Antonia's education was neglected, and when the French showed an interest in her, her mother went about educating her as best she could about the Palace of Versailles, court of Versailles and the French. Maria Theresa kept up a fortnightly correspondence with Maria Antonia, now called Marie Antoinette, in which she often reproached her for laziness and frivolity and scolded her for failing to conceive a child. Maria Theresa was not just critical of Marie Antoinette. She disliked Leopold's reserve and often blamed him for being cold. She criticized Maria Carolina for her political activities, Ferdinand for his lack of organization, and Maria Amalia for her poor French language, French and haughtiness. The only child she did not constantly scold was Maria Christina, who enjoyed her mother's complete confidence, though she failed to please her mother in one aspect – she did not produce any surviving children. One of Maria Theresa's greatest wishes was to have as many grandchildren as possible, but she had only about two dozen at the time of her death, of which all the eldest surviving daughters were named after her, with the exception of Princess Carolina of Parma, her eldest granddaughter by Maria Amalia.


Religious views and policies

Like all members of the House of Habsburg, Maria Theresa was a Roman Catholic, and a devout one. She believed that religious unity was necessary for a peaceful public life and explicitly rejected the idea of religious toleration. She even advocated for a state church and contemporary adversary travelers criticized her regime as bigoted, intolerant and superstitious. However, she never allowed the Church to interfere with what she considered to be prerogatives of a monarch and kept Rome at arm's length. She controlled the selection of archbishops, bishops and abbots. Overall, the ecclesiastical policies of Maria Theresa were enacted to ensure the primacy of State control in Church-State relations. She was also influenced by Jansenism, Jansenist ideas. One of the most important aspects of Jansenism was the advocation of maximum freedom of national churches from Rome. Although Austria had always stressed the rights of the state in relation to the church, Jansenism provided new theoretical justification for this. Maria Theresa promoted the Greek Catholic Church, Greek Catholics and emphasized their equal status with Latin Church Catholics. Although Maria Theresa was a very pious person, she also enacted policies that suppressed exaggerated display of piety, such as the prohibition of public flagellantism. Furthermore, she significantly reduced the number of religious holidays and monastic orders.


Jesuits

Her relationship with the
Jesuits The Society of Jesus ( la, Societas Iesu; abbreviated SJ), also known as the Jesuits (; la, Iesuitæ), is a religious order (Catholic), religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six co ...
was complex. Members of this order educated her, served as her confessors, and supervised the religious education of her eldest son. The Jesuits were powerful and influential in the early years of Maria Theresa's reign. However, the queen's ministers convinced her that the order posed a danger to her monarchical authority. Not without much hesitation and regret, she issued a decree that removed them from all the institutions of the monarchy, and carried it out thoroughly. She forbade the publication of Pope Clement XIII's bull, which was in favour of the Jesuits, and promptly confiscated their property when Pope Clement XIV suppressed the order.


Jews

Maria Theresa regarded both the Jews and Protestants as dangerous to the state and actively tried to suppress them. She was probably the most anti-Jewish monarch of her time, having inherited the traditional prejudices of her ancestors and acquired new ones. This was a product of deep religious devotion and was not kept secret in her time. In 1777, she wrote of the Jews: "I know of no greater plague than this race, which on account of its deceit, usury and avarice is driving my subjects into beggary. Therefore as far as possible, the Jews are to be kept away and avoided." Her hatred was so deep that she was willing to tolerate Protestant businessmen and financiers in Vienna, such as the Swiss-born Johann Fries, since she wanted to break free from the Jewish financiers. In December 1744, she proposed to her ministers the expulsion of Jews from Austria and Bohemia. Her first intention was to deport all Jews by 1 January, but having accepted the advice of her ministers, who were concerned by the number of future deportees that could reach 50,000, had the deadline postponed to June. The expulsion orders were only retracted in 1748 due to pressures from other countries, including Great Britain. She also ordered the deportation of around 20,000 Jews from Prague amid accusations that they were disloyal at the time of the Bavarian-French occupation during the War of the Austrian Succession. The order was then expanded to all Jews of Bohemia and major cities of Moravia, although the order was later retracted except for Prague Jews that had already been expelled. In the third decade of her reign, influenced by her Jewish courtier Abraham Mendel Theben, Maria Theresa issued edicts that offered some state protection to her Jewish subjects. Her actions during the late stages of her reign contrast her early opinions. She forbade the forcible conversion of Jewish children to Christianity in 1762, and in 1763 she forbade Catholic clergy from extracting surplice fees from her Jewish subjects. In 1764, she ordered the release of those Jews who had been jailed for a blood libel in the village of Orkuta. Notwithstanding her strong dislike of Jews, Maria Theresa supported Jewish commercial and industrial activity in Austria. There were also parts of the realm where the Jews were treated better, such as Trieste, Gorizia and Vorarlberg.


Protestants

In contrast to Maria Theresa's efforts to expel the Jews, she aimed to convert the Protestants (whom she regarded as heretics) to Roman Catholicism. Commissions were formed to seek out secret Protestants and intern them in workhouses, where they would be given the chance to subscribe to approved statements of Catholic faith. If they accepted, they were to be allowed to return to their homes. However, any sign of a return to Protestant practice was treated harshly, often by exile. Maria Theresa exiled Protestants from Austria to Transylvania, including 2,600 from
Upper Austria Upper Austria (german: Oberösterreich ; bar, Obaöstareich) is one of the nine states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The Stat ...
in the 1750s. Her son and co-ruler Joseph regarded his mother's religious policies as "unjust, impious, impossible, harmful and ridiculous". Despite her policies, practical, demographic and economic considerations prevented her from expelling the Protestants ''en masse''. In 1777, she abandoned the idea of expelling Moravian Church, Moravian protestants after Joseph, who was opposed to her intentions, threatened to abdicate as emperor and co-ruler. In February 1780, after a number of Moravians publicly declared their faith, Joseph demanded a general freedom to worship. However, Maria Theresa refused to grant this up until the time of her death. In May 1780, a group of Moravians who had assembled for a worship service on the occasion of her birthday were arrested and deported to Hungary. Freedom of religion was granted only in the Declaration of Tolerance issued by Joseph immediately after Maria Theresa's death.


Eastern Orthodox Christians

The policies of Maria Theresa's government toward their Eastern Orthodox subjects were marked by special interests, relating not only to complex religious situations in various southern and eastern regions of the Habsburg Monarchy, inhabited by Eastern Orthodox Christians, mainly Serbs and Romanians, but also regarding the political aspirations of the Habsburg court toward several neighbouring lands and regions in Southeastern Europe still held by the declining Ottoman Empire and inhabited by an Eastern Orthodox population. Maria Theresa's government confirmed (1743) and continued to uphold old privileges granted to their Eastern Orthodox subjects by previous Habsburg monarchs (emperors Leopold I, Joseph I and Charles VI), but at the same time, new reforms were enforced, establishing much firmer state control over the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Karlovci. Those reforms were initiated by royal patents, known as ''Regulamentum privilegiorum'' (1770) and ''Regulamentum Illyricae Nationis'' (1777), and finalized in 1779 by the Declaratory Rescript of the Illyrian Nation, a comprehensive document that regulated all major issues relating to the religious life of their Eastern Orthodox subjects and the administration of the Serbian Metropolitanate of Karlovci. Maria Theresa's Rescript of 1779 was kept in force until 1868.


Reforms


Institutional

Maria Theresa was as conservative in matters of state as in those of religion, but she implemented significant reforms to strengthen Austria's military and bureaucratic efficiency. She employed
Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz
Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz
, who modernised the empire by creating a standing army of 108,000 men, paid for with 14 million
gulden is the historical German and Dutch term for gold coin (from Middle High German "golden penny" and Middle Dutch "golden Florin (disambiguation), florin"), equivalent to the English term guilder. Gulden, Gülden, Guldens or Gulden's may also refer ...
extracted from crown lands. The central government was responsible for funding the army, although Haugwitz instituted taxation of the nobility, who had never before had to pay taxes. Moreover, after Haugwitz was appointed the head of the new central administrative agency, dubbed the Directory, (''Directorium in publicis et cameralibus'') in 1749, he initiated a radical centralization of state institutions down to the level of the District Office (''Kreisamt''). Thanks to this effort, by 1760 there was a class of government officials numbering around 10,000. However, Lombardy, the Austrian Netherlands and Hungary were almost completely untouched by this reform. In the case of Hungary, Maria Theresa was particularly mindful of her promise that she would respect the privileges in the kingdom, including the immunity of nobles from taxation. In light of the failure to reclaim Silesia during the Seven Years' War, the governing system was once again reformed to strengthen the state. The Directory was transformed into the United Austrian and Bohemian Chancellery in 1761, which was equipped with a separate, independent judiciary and separate financial bodies. She also refounded the ''Hofkammer'' in 1762, which was a ministry of finances that controlled all revenues from the monarchy. In addition to this, the ''Hofrechenskammer'', or exchequer, was tasked with the handling of all financial accounts. Meanwhile, in 1760, Maria Theresa created the Council of State (''Staatsrat''), composed of the state chancellor, three members of the high nobility and three knights, which served as a committee of experienced people who advised her. The council of state lacked executive or legislative authority; nevertheless, it showed the difference between the form of government employed by Maria Theresa and that of Frederick II of Prussia. Unlike the latter, Maria Theresa was not an autocrat who acted as her own minister. Prussia would adopt this form of government only after 1807. Maria Theresa doubled the state revenue from 20 to 40 million gulden between 1754 and 1764, though her attempt to tax clergy and nobility was only partially successful. These financial reforms greatly improved the economy. After Kaunitz became the head of the new ''Staatsrat'', he pursued a policy of "aristocratic enlightenment" that relied on persuasion to interact with the estates, and he was also willing to retract some of Haugwitz's centralization to curry favour with them. Nonetheless, the governing system remained centralised, and a strong institution made it possible for Kaunitz to increase state revenues substantially. In 1775, the Habsburg Monarchy achieved its first balanced budget, and by 1780, the Habsburg state revenue had reached 50 million gulden.


Medicine

After Maria Theresa recruited
Gerard van Swieten Gerard van Swieten (7 May 1700 – 18 June 1772) was a Dutch physician who from 1745 was the personal physician of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 Novem ...
from the Netherlands, he also employed a fellow Dutchman named Anton de Haen, who founded the Viennese Medicine School (''Wiener Medizinische Schule''). Maria Theresa also banned the creation of new burial grounds without prior government permission, thus countering wasteful and unhygienic burial customs. After the
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
epidemic of 1767, she promoted variolation, inoculation, which she had learned of through her correspondence with Duchess Maria Antonia of Bavaria, Maria Antonia, the Electress of Saxony (who in turn probably knew of it through her own correspondence with Frederick the Great, the Prussian king Frederick II). After unsuccessfully inviting the Sutton brothers from England to introduce their technique in Austria, Maria Theresa obtained information on current practices of smallpox inoculation in England. She overrode the objections of Gerard van Swieten (who doubted the effectiveness of the technique), and ordered that it be tried on thirty-four newborn orphans and sixty-seven orphans between the ages of five and fourteen years. The trial was successful, establishing that inoculation was effective in protecting against smallpox, and safe (in the case of the test subjects). The empress therefore ordered the construction of an inoculation centre, and had herself and two of her children inoculated. She promoted inoculation in Austria by hosting a dinner for the first sixty-five inoculated children in Schönbrunn Palace, waiting on the children herself. Maria Theresa was responsible for changing Austrian physicians' negative view of inoculation. In 1770, she enacted a strict regulation of the sale of poisons, and apothecaries were obliged to keep a poison register recording the quantity and circumstances of every sale. If someone unknown tried to purchase a poison, that person had to provide two character witnesses before a sale could be effectuated. Three years later, she prohibited the use of lead in any eating or drinking vessels; the only permitted material for this purpose was pure tin.


Law

The centralization of the Habsburg government necessitated the creation of a unified legal system. Previously, various lands in the Habsburg realm had their own laws. These laws were compiled and the resulting ''Codex Theresianus'' could be used as a basis for legal unification. In 1769, the ''Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana'' was published, and this was a codification of the traditional criminal justice system since the Middle Ages. This criminal code allowed the possibility of establishing the truth through torture, and it also criminalised witchcraft and various religious offenses. Although this law came into force in Austria and Bohemia, it was not valid in Hungary. Maria Theresa is credited however in ending the with hunts in Zagreb, opposing the methods used against Magda Logomer (also called Herrucina), who was the last prosecuted witch in Zagreb following her intervention. She was particularly concerned with the sexual morality of her subjects. Thus, she established a Chastity Commission (''Keuschheitskommission'') in 1752 to clamp down on prostitution, homosexuality, adultery and even sex between members of different religions. This Commission cooperated closely with the police, and the Commission even employed secret agents to investigate private lives of men and women with bad reputation. They were authorised to raid banquets, clubs, and private gatherings, and to arrest those suspected of violating social norms. The punishments included whipping, deportation, or even the death penalty. In 1776, Austria outlawed torture, particularly at the behest of Joseph II. Much unlike Joseph, but with the support of religious authorities, Maria Theresa was opposed to the abolition of torture. Born and raised between Baroque and Rococo eras, she found it difficult to fit into the intellectual sphere of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, which is why she only slowly followed humanitarian reforms on the continent. From an institutional perspective, in 1749, she founded the Supreme Judiciary as a court of final appeal for all hereditary lands.


Education

Throughout her reign, Maria Theresa made the promotion of education a priority. Initially this was focused on the wealthier classes. She permitted non-Catholics to attend university and allowed the introduction of secular subjects (such as law), which influenced the decline of theology as the main foundation of university education. Furthermore, educational institutions were created to prepare officials for work in the state bureaucracy: the Theresianum was established in Vienna in 1746 to educate nobles' sons, a military school named the Theresian Military Academy was founded in Wiener Neustadt in 1751, and an Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Oriental Academy for future diplomats was created in 1754. In the 1770s, reform of the schooling system for all levels of society became a major policy. Stollberg-Rilinger notes that the reform of the primary schools in particular was the most long-lasting success of Maria Theresa's later reign, and one of the few policy agendas in which she was not in open conflict with her son and nominal co-ruler Joseph II. The need for the reform became evident after the census of 1770–71, which revealed the widespread illiteracy of the populace. Maria Theresa thereupon wrote to her rival Frederick II of Prussia to request him to allow the Silesian school reformer Johann Ignaz von Felbiger to move to Austria. Felbiger's first proposals were made law by December 1774. Austrian historian Karl Vocelka observed that the educational reforms enacted by Maria Theresa were "really founded on Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment ideas," although the ulterior motive was still to "meet the needs of an absolutist state, as an increasingly sophisticated and complicated society and economy required new administrators, officers, diplomats and specialists in virtually every area." Maria Theresa's reform established secular primary schools, which children of both genders from the ages of six to twelve were required to attend. The curriculum focused on social responsibility, social discipline, work ethic and the use of reason rather than mere rote learning. Education was to be multilingual; children were to be instructed first in their mother tongue and then in later years in German. Prizes were given to the most able students to encourage ability. Attention was also given to raising the status and pay of teachers, who were forbidden to take on outside employment. Teacher training colleges were established to train teachers in the latest techniques. The education reform was met with considerable opposition. Predictably, some of this came from peasants who wanted the children to work in the fields instead. Maria Theresa crushed the dissent by ordering the arrest of all those opposed. However, much of the opposition came from the royal court, particularly amongst aristocrats who saw their power threatened by the reformers or those who feared that that greater literacy would expose the population to Protestant or Enlightenment ideas. Felbiger's reforms were nevertheless pushed through, as a result of the consistent support of Maria Theresa and her minister Franz Sales Greiner. The reform of the primary schools largely met Maria Theresa's aim of raising literacy standards, as evidenced by the higher proportions of children who attended school; this was particularly the case in the Archdiocese of Vienna, where school attendance increased from 40% in 1780 to a sensational 94% by 1807. Nevertheless, high rates of illiteracy persisted in some parts of Austria, half of the population was illiterate well into the 19th century, The teacher training colleges (in particular the Vienna Normal School) produced hundreds of new teachers who spread the new system over the following decades. However, the number of secondary schools decreased, since the quantity of new schools founded failed to make up for the numbers of Jesuit schools abolished. As a result, secondary schooling became more exclusive.


Censorship

Her regime was also known for institutionalising censorship of publications and learning. English author Sir Nathaniel Wraxall once wrote from Vienna: "[T]he injudicious bigotry of the Empress may chiefly be attributed the deficiency [in learning]. It is hardly credible how many books and productions of every species, and in every language, are proscribed by her. Not only Voltaire and Rousseau are included in the list, from the immoral tendency or licentious nature of their writings; but many authors whom we consider as unexceptionable or harmless, experience a similar treatment." The censorship particularly affected works that were deemed to be against the Catholic religion. Ironically, for this purpose, she was aided by Gerard van Swieten who was considered to be an "enlightened" man.


Economy

Maria Theresa endeavoured to increase the living standards of the people, since she could see a causal link between peasant living standards, productivity and state revenue. The Habsburg government under her rule also tried to strengthen its industry through government interventions. After the loss of Silesia, they implemented subsidies and trade barriers to encourage the move of Silesian textile industry to northern Bohemia. In addition, they cut back guild privileges, and internal duties on trade were either reformed or removed (such as the case for the Austrian-Bohemian lands in 1775). In the late part of her reign, Maria Theresa undertook reform of the system of serfdom, which was the basis for agriculture in eastern parts of her lands (particularly Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary and Galicia). Although Maria Theresa had initially been reluctant to meddle in such affairs, government interventions were made possible by the perceived need for economic power and the emergence of a functioning bureaucracy. The census of 1770–71 gave the peasants opportunity to express their grievances direct to the royal commissioners and made evident to Maria Theresa the extent to which their poverty was the result of the extreme demands for forced labour (called "''robota''" in Czech) by the landlords. On some estates, the landlords demanded that the peasants work up to seven days per week in tilling the nobles' land, so that the only time available for the peasants to till their own land was at night. An additional prompt to reform was the famine which afflicted the empire in the early 1770s. Bohemia was particularly hard hit. Maria Theresa was increasingly influenced by the reformers Franz Anton von Blanc and Tobias Philipp von Gebler, who called for radical changes to the serf system to allow the peasants to make a living. In 1771–1778, Maria Theresa issued a series of "Robot Patents" (i.e. regulations regarding forced labour), which regulated and restricted peasant labour only in the German and Bohemian parts of the realm. The goal was to ensure that peasants not only could support themselves and their family members, but also help cover the national expenditure in peace or war. By late 1772, Maria Theresa had decided on more radical reform. In 1773, she entrusted her minister Franz Anton von Raab with a model project on the crown lands in Bohemia: he was tasked to divide up the large estates into small farms, convert the forced labour contracts into leases, and enable the farmers to pass the leaseholds onto their children. Raab pushed the project through so successfully that his name was identified with the program, which became known as ''Raabisation''. After the success of the program on the crown lands, Maria Theresa had it also implemented on the former Jesuit lands, as well as crown lands in other parts of her empire. However, Maria Theresa's attempts to extend the Raab system to the great estates belonging to the Bohemian nobles were fiercely resisted by the nobles. They claimed that the crown had no right to interfere with the serf system, since the nobles were the original owners of the land and had allowed the peasants to work it on stipulated conditions. The nobles also claimed that the system of forced labour had no connection with the peasants' poverty, which was a result of the peasants' own wastefulness and the increased royal taxes. Somewhat surprisingly, the nobles were supported by Maria Theresa's son and co-ruler Joseph II, who had earlier called for the abolition of serfdom. In a letter to his brother Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold, of 1775, Joseph complained that his mother intended to "abolish serfdom entirely and arbitrarily destroy the centuries-old property relations." He complained that "no consideration was being taken for the landlords, who were threatened with the loss of more than half their income. For many of them, who are carrying debts, this would mean financial ruin." By 1776, the court was polarized: on one side was a small reform party (including Maria Theresa, Raab, Blanc, Gebler and Greiner); on the conservative side were Joseph and the rest of the court. Joseph argued that it was difficult to find a middle way between the interests of the peasants and nobles; he suggested instead that the peasants negotiate with their landlords to reach an outcome. Joseph's biographer Derek Beales calls this change of course "puzzling". In the ensuing struggle, Joseph forced Blanc to leave the court. Because of the opposition, Maria Theresa was unable to carry out the planned reform and had to settle on a compromise. The system of serfdom was only abolished after Maria Theresa's death, in the Serfdom Patent (1781) issued (in another change of course) by Joseph II as sole emperor.


Late reign

Emperor Francis died on 18 August 1765, while he and the court were in Innsbruck celebrating the wedding of his second surviving son, Leopold. Maria Theresa was devastated. Their eldest son, Joseph, became Holy Roman Emperor. Maria Theresa abandoned all ornamentation, had her hair cut short, painted her rooms black and dressed in mourning for the rest of her life. She completely withdrew from court life, public events, and theater. Throughout her widowhood, she spent the whole of August and the eighteenth of each month alone in her chamber, which negatively affected her mental health. She described her state of mind shortly after Francis's death: "I hardly know myself now, for I have become like an animal with no true life or reasoning power." Upon his accession to the imperial throne, Joseph ruled less land than his father had in 1740, since he had given up his rights over Tuscany to Leopold, and thus he only controlled Falkenstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, Falkenstein and Duchy of Teschen, Teschen. Believing that the emperor must possess enough land to maintain his standing as emperor, Maria Theresa, who was used to being assisted in the administration of her vast realms, declared Joseph to be her new co-ruler on 17 September 1765. From then on, mother and son had frequent ideological disagreements. The 22 million gulden that Joseph inherited from his father was injected into the treasury. Maria Theresa had another loss in February 1766 when Haugwitz died. She gave her son absolute control over the military following the death of Leopold Joseph von Daun. According to Austrian historian Robert A. Kann, Maria Theresa was a monarch of above-average qualifications but intellectually inferior to Joseph and Leopold. Kann asserts that she nevertheless possessed qualities appreciated in a monarch: warm heart, practical mind, firm determination and sound perception. Most importantly, she was ready to recognise the mental superiority of some of her advisers and to give way to a superior mind while enjoying support of her ministers even if their ideas differed from her own. Joseph, however, was never able to establish rapport with the same advisers, even though their philosophy of government was closer to Joseph's than to Maria Theresa's. The relationship between Maria Theresa and Joseph was not without warmth but was complicated and their personalities clashed. Despite his intellect, Maria Theresa's force of personality often made Joseph cower. Sometimes, she openly admired his talents and achievements, but she was also not hesitant to rebuke him. She even wrote: "We never see each other except at dinner ... His temper gets worse every day ... Please burn this letter ... I just try to avoid public scandal." In another letter, also addressed to Joseph's companion, she complained: "He avoids me ... I am the only person in his way and so I am an obstruction and a burden ... Abdication alone can remedy matters." After much contemplation, she chose not to abdicate. Joseph himself often threatened to resign as co-regent and emperor, but he, too, was induced not to do so. Her threats of abdication were rarely taken seriously; Maria Theresa believed that her recovery from smallpox in 1767 was a sign that God wished her to reign until death. It was in Joseph's interest that she remained sovereign, for he often blamed her for his failures and thus avoided taking on the responsibilities of a monarch. Joseph and Prince Kaunitz arranged the Partitions of Poland, First Partition of Poland despite Maria Theresa's protestations. Her sense of justice pushed her to reject the idea of partition, which would hurt the Polish people. She even once argued, "What right have we to rob an innocent nation that it has hitherto been our boast to protect and support?" The duo argued that it was too late to abort now. Besides, Maria Theresa herself agreed with the partition when she realised that
Frederick II of Prussia Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the Silesian wa ...

Frederick II of Prussia
and Catherine II of Russia would do it with or without Austrian participation. Maria Theresa claimed and eventually took Galicia and Lodomeria; in the words of Frederick, "the more she cried, the more she took". A few years after the partition, Russia defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). Following the signing of the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in 1774 that concluded the war, Austria entered into negotiations with the Sublime Porte. Thus, in 1775, the Ottoman Empire ceded the northwestern part of Moldavia (subsequently known as Duchy of Bukovina, Bukovina) to Austria. Subsequently, on 30 December 1777, Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria died without leaving any children. As a result, his territories were coveted by ambitious men, including Joseph, who tried to swap Bavaria for the Austrian Netherlands. This alarmed Frederick II of Prussia, and thus the War of Bavarian Succession erupted in 1778. Maria Theresa very unwillingly consented to the occupation of Bavaria, and a year later she made peace proposals to Frederick II despite Joseph's objections. Although Austria managed to gain the Innviertel area, this "Potato War" caused a setback to the financial improvement that the Habsburg had made. The 500,000 gulden in annual revenue from 100,000 inhabitants of Innviertel were not comparable to the 100,000,000 gulden that were spent during the war. It is unlikely that Maria Theresa ever completely recovered from the
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host (biology), host tissues to the infectious ...

smallpox
attack in 1767, as 18th-century writers asserted. She suffered from shortness of breath, Fatigue (medical), fatigue, cough, distress, necrophobia and insomnia. She later developed edema. Maria Theresa fell ill on 24 November 1780. Her physician, Dr. Störk, thought her condition serious, although her son Joseph was confident that she would recover in no time. By 26 November, she asked for the Anointing of the Sick (Catholic Church), last rites, and on 28 November, the doctor told her that the time had come. On 29 November, she died surrounded by her remaining children. Her body is buried in the Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Imperial Crypt in Vienna next to her husband in a coffin she had inscribed during her lifetime. Her longtime rival Frederick the Great, on hearing of her death, said that she had honored her throne and her sex, and though he had fought against her in three wars, he never considered her his enemy. With her death, the House of Habsburg died out and was replaced by the House of Lorraine, House of Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph II, already co-sovereign of the Habsburg dominions, succeeded her and introduced sweeping reforms in the empire; Joseph produced nearly 700 edicts per year (or almost two per day), whereas Maria Theresa issued only about 100 edicts annually.


Legacy

Maria Theresa understood the importance of her public ''persona'' and was able to simultaneously evoke both esteem and affection in her subjects; a notable example was how she projected dignity and simplicity to awe the people in Pressburg before she was crowned as Queen of Hungary. Her 40-year reign was considered to be very successful when compared to other Habsburg rulers. Her reforms had transformed the empire into a modern state with a significant international standing. She centralised and modernised its institutions, and her reign was considered as the beginning of the era of "enlightened absolutism" in Austria, with a brand new approach toward governing: the measures undertaken by rulers became more modern and rational, and thoughts were given to the welfare of the state and the people. Many of her policies were not in line with the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment (such as her support of torture), and she was still very much influenced by Catholicism from the previous era. Vocelka even stated that "taken as a whole the reforms of Maria Theresa appear more absolutist and centralist than enlightened, even if one must admit that the influence of enlightened ideas is visible to a certain degree."


Memorials and honours

A number of streets and squares were named after her throughout the empire as well as statues and monuments built. In Vienna a large bronze monument was built in her honour at Maria-Theresien-Platz in 1888. The Maria Theresia Garden Square (Uzhhorod) was constructed in her memory as recently as 2013. A number of her descendants were named in her honour. These include: * Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria (1762–1770), * Maria Theresa of Austria (1767–1827), * Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, * Maria Theresa of Austria-Este, Queen of Sardinia, * Marie Thérèse of France, * Maria Theresa of Austria (1801–1855), * Maria Teresa of Savoy (1803–1879), * Maria Theresa of Austria (1816–1867), * Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (1817–1886), * Maria Theresa of Austria-Este (1849–1919), * Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1867–1909), and * Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria (1862–1933). Her granddaughter Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily became Holy Roman Empress as well in 1792. * The Imperial and Royal Navy ship ''SMS Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia'' was laid down in 1891. * The Military Order of Maria Theresa was founded by her in 1757 and remained in existence until after World War I. * The Theresianum was founded by her in 1746 and is one of Austria's finest schools. * The Maria Theresa thaler was issued during her reign but was continued to be struck afterwards and became legal tender as far as the Persian Gulf region and southeast Asia. The Austrian Mint continues to issue it. * Asteroid 295 Theresia was named in her honour in 1890. * The garrison town of Terezin (''Theresienstadt'') in Bohemia was constructed in 1780 and named after her. * A crystal chandelier with Bohemian crystal glass was named in her honour and is known as the ''Marie Therese'' chandelier. * The Maria Theresa Room (''Maria-Theresien-Zimmer'') in the Leopoldine Wing of the Hofburg palace is named in her honour and a large state portrait of her by van Meyten's school from 1741 depicting her in the Hungarian coronation dress hangs in the centre. All oath of allegiance ceremonies of a newly elected government of Austria are conducted in this room with the signing taking place underneath her portrait. * The Maria Theresa Room is the most elegant room in the Sándor Palace, Budapest, the official residence of the president of Hungary. It has a portrait of the queen dressed for her coronation, alongside a portrait of her husband Emperor Francis I on the other side. The room was especially tailored in memory of the reconciliation between the monarch and the government and is used for official state receptions.


In media

She has appeared as the main figure in a number of films and series such as the 1951 Maria Theresa (film), ''Maria Theresa'' (film) and Maria Theresia (miniseries), ''Maria Theresia'' (miniseries), an Austria-Czech television miniseries from 2017.


Full title

Her title after the death of her husband was:


Ancestry


See also

* Kings of Bohemia family tree * Kings of Hungary family tree * List of people with the most children


References


Footnotes


Citations


Sources

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External links


Maria Theresa
(''Catholic Encyclopaedia'')
Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria


, - {{DEFAULTSORT:Maria Theresa Of Austria Maria Theresa, 1717 births 1780 deaths 18th-century archdukes of Austria Burials at the Imperial Crypt Nobility from Vienna Holy Roman Empresses German queens consort Italian queens consort Queens regnant Queens regnant of Hungary Austrian princesses Austrian Roman Catholics 18th-century women rulers Grand Duchesses of Tuscany Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary Knights of the Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary 18th-century women of the Holy Roman Empire People of the Silesian Wars 18th-century letter writers Dukes of Carniola Daughters of emperors