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). Find out some of our favourite facts about Maria Theresa below…. She believed that religious unity was necessary for a peaceful public life and explicitly rejected the idea of religious toleration. They would also continue the war in Continental Europe until Prussia could be compelled to abandon Silesia and Glatz. Maria Mitchell is best known for being the first professional female astronomer in the United States.  France had successfully conquered the Austrian Netherlands, but Louis XV, wishing to prevent potential future wars with Austria, returned them to Maria Theresa. She was educated in drawing, painting, music and dancing – the disciplines which would have prepared her for the role of queen consort. She was known for reforming the economy and educational system of her empire. Finally, she was forced to grant them some toleration by allowing them to worship privately. Thus, the birth of Maria Theresa was a great disappointment to him and the people of Vienna; Charles never managed to overcome this feeling.. What was the origin of women’s "unfitness" to rule? , Joseph and Prince Kaunitz arranged the First Partition of Poland despite Maria Theresa's protestations. 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 religious life of Eastern Orthodox subjects and administration of the Metropolitanate of Karlovci. They also clashed on a number of issues, including religious tolerance. When she was 18, she married Francis Stephen of Lorraine. Of all the powerful women of the eighteenth century, why did you choose Maria Theresa? Erwin Schrödinger was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist whose groundbreaking wave equation changed the face of quantum theory. Love Me Do. , In the 1750s she established the Theresian Institution of Noble Ladies at Prague Castle, which served as a religious lay order and educational institution for unmarried Austrian and Hungarian noblewomen. Charles Albert continued to wage war against Maria but his resistance came to an end when he died in early 1745. The day after the entrance of Prussia into Silesia, Francis Stephen exclaimed to the Prussian envoy, She explained her resolution to the Count furthermore: "I shall have all my armies, all my Hungarians killed off before I cede so much as an inch of ground.". Maria Theresa was devastated. In 1775, Maria implemented mandatory elementary education throughout her empire. Religious differences prevented him from arranging his daughter's marriage to the Protestant prince Frederick of Prussia. , On 1 May 1757, the Second Treaty of Versailles was signed, whereby Louis XV promised to provide Austria with 130,000 men in addition to 12 million gulden yearly. She turned the age-old weakness of women into her personal brand and a strength. By defining herself as the "benevolent mother of her people", she chose a policy of closeness to the people, which represented a break from traditional power.  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. Shutterstock. " 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. Initially, Maria's forces were badly routed but by early 1741 they had successfully repelled the Prussian invasion. When she signed the new alliance with France, against her husband’s wishes, the monarch conflicted with the wife and she put politics ahead of her personal feelings. 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.  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. Maria Theresa’s father was the Holy Roman emperor Charles VI, and her mother was Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. This criminal code allowed the possibility of establishing the truth through torture, and it also criminalised witchcraft and various religious offenses. , In light of the failure to reclaim Silesia during the Seven Years' War, the governing system was once again reformed to strengthen the state. She used her own keen sense of justice and also surrounded herself with trusted advisors to make judgment calls and became one of the empire’s most successful rulers. By December of that year, Frederick II’s army invaded Silesia, an Austrian province, and claimed it for his kingdom. , According to Austrian historian Robert A. Kann, Maria Theresa was a monarch of above-average qualifications but intellectually inferior to Joseph and Leopold. The war ended in 1748, after which she reformed her government and military. After a series of disastrous wars destroyed half of Europe, Maria found that her empire had emerged relatively unscathed.  Maria Theresa also banned the creation of new burial grounds without prior government permission, thus countering wasteful and unhygienic burial customs. Maria Theresa claimed and eventually took Galicia and Lodomeria; in the words of Frederick, "the more she cried, the more she took". When her prospective groom, Leopold Clement, died from an illness, she eventually married his younger brother. Four years later, Maria Theresa's governess, Marie Karoline von Fuchs-Mollard, died. When Maria Theresa’s daughter-in-law Maria Josepha of Bavaria fell ill with smallpox, the empress (who was then in her fifties at the time) wound up catching the illness as well. , Leopold Clement's younger brother, Francis Stephen, was invited to Vienna. Eventually, Charles VI left behind a weakened and impoverished state, particularly due to the War of the Polish Succession and the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739). Maria Theresa later unsuccessfully tried to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years' War. The war ended in 1748 when Austria was forced to let Prussia keep Silesia and to accept the loss of three of its Italian territories to France. Maria Theresa was not brought up to rule, but received the education of a princess, instructed in the arts, languages, theology and ancient history.  In 1725, he betrothed her to Charles of Spain and her sister, Maria Anna, to Philip of Spain. And it is vital to secure the rights we have already gained because, as Simone de Beauvoir and Benoîte Groult said, women’s rights can always be called into question for one reason or another. The Battle of Kolin that followed was a decisive victory for Austria. Hillary Clinton and Theresa May are elegant, but no more than that. ", Maria Theresa found herself in a difficult situation. Austria had to leave the Prussian territories that were occupied.  Overall, the ecclesiastical policies of Maria Theresa were enacted to ensure the primacy of State control in Church-State relations. Maria Theresa’s efforts to restore Austria to former glory succeeded and continued to impact Europe after her death. , 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. ", 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, 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. Using her intellect and education, Maria initiated a renaissance in her empire and implemented several important educational and judicial reforms. Moreover, upon his death, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime. , From an institutional perspective, in 1749, she founded the Supreme Judiciary as a court of final appeal for all hereditary lands. She criticised Maria Carolina for her political activities, Ferdinand for his lack of organisation, and Maria Amalia for her poor French and haughtiness. However, she despised the Jews and the Protestants, and on certain occasions she ordered their expulsion to remote parts of the realm. Contemporaries thought her Latin to be quite good, but in all else, the Jesuits did not educate her well. You devote a sub-chapter to "women’s diplomacy". Subjects of her crown lands — the Austrian duchies and Netherlands, and Bohemia and Hungary — were quick to accept Maria Theresa as their empress. Haugwitz’s reform effort focused mainly on the centralization of the empire’s power. Marking the tercentenary of the birth of the Empress, the Maria Theresa: Strategist – Mother – Reformer exhibition explores the life and influence of this famous monarch. After Maria's father died, several neighboring kings took the opportunity to invade her lands. Hungarian and Croat light hussars led by Count Hadik raided Berlin in 1757.  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. However, only 13 of her children survived infancy. Although Charles VI wanted his eldest daughter to reign, he did not prepare her for the role. Upon the death of Charles Albert (1745), she secured for her husband, Francis, the imperial crown, which the law denied to women. But even in France, slogans such as "abortion is child murder", which we hadn’t heard since the Veil Act (which legalised abortion in 1975), are coming back. Maria Theresa also allowed Haugwitz to do away with yearly resource negotiations with the empire’s estates in favor of meeting to negotiate only once a decade. Maria Theresa was extremely jealous of her beloved husband Francis, and unfortunately, she had good reason to be insecure. She also to struggled to find capable men to align themselves with the Habsburg Empire, with the exception of a few administrators she had managed to appoint.
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