Austria and the Habsburg Monarchy

From the end of the Thirty years war to the mid 1800's

Brief History of the Empire

    The Austrian Habsburg played a significant role in European politics and their hopes of creating a German empire were destroyed by the Thirty Years’ War. It was a difficult transition into the seventeenth century for Austria because they had lost so much due to the war. New Austria consisted of present day Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary. After they defeated the Turks at Vienna in 1683, they took Transylvania, Slovenia, and Croatia. When Charles VI’s life was coming to an end there was worry across Austria, and Europe because the Archduke, Charles VI, didn’t have a male heir to the throne, so Maria Theresa his daughter would have to take over the throne. In 1740 Empress Maria Theresa inherited the throne, her goals were to centralize and strengthen the state. She didn’t accept the philosophers’ call to reform, but she worked to improve the conditions of the serfs’ lives. Maria Theresa’s son, Joseph II, later became the emperor, and believed that they needed to get rid of anything that stood in the way of reason. He said that he made philosophy the lawmaker of his empire, Austria. Joseph’s reforms were extensive. He got rid of serfdom, and the death penalty; he established the principle of equality, between the feudal system. His efforts to change Austria resulted in thousands of laws and decrees, and his reform program failed. He alienated just about everyone, and even the serfs were upset with him because they were confused by all the drastic changes. Joseph II realized his mistakes, and all of his successors undid what he had done. By the end of the eighteenth century the Austrian Habsburg had seized a large amount of land and considered to be a great empire.

    Map of Austria

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    Key Facts/People and Descriptions of Events/Wars

    Prince Eugene of Savoy: a general of the Imperial Army and statesman of the Holy Roman Empire and the Archduchy of Austria and one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history

    Grand Alliance: A European coalition, consisting of Austria, Bavaria, Brandenburg, the Dutch Republic, England, the Holy Roman Empire, Ireland, the Palatinate of the Rhine, Portugal, Savoy, Saxony, Scotland, Spain and Sweden.

    9 Years war: a major war of the late 17th century fought between King Louis XIV of France, and a European-wide coalition, the Grand Alliance

    War of Spanish Succession: a major European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death in 1700 of the last Habsburg King of Spain, Charles II.

    Napoleon: Dissolved the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 along with Franz I

    The War of Austrian Succession: Was one of the most European nation involved wars questioning whether Maria Teresa should have rule over the Habsburg Monarchy.

    The treaty of Aix La Chapelle: The treaty that ended the war of Austrian succession, allowing Austria to have its colonies back and also forcing Maria Theresa to cede the Duchy of Parma.

    Legacy of the Empire

    • Known for its shrewd martial politics that propelled the dynasty from its Austrian origins to rule over a monumental swath of Europe for nearly 650 years.

    • The habsburg armies were known for hating and abusing the ethnical-religious minorities within the country, treating them almost as slaves.

    • Known for being one of the only empires/monarchies to have a empress instead of an emperor. There was also a large war about that as well.

    List of Important Rulers

    Maria Theresa (1740-1780)

    The only Empress of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy. Her goals were to centralize and strengthen the state. She didn't accept the philosophers call to reform, but she worked to improve the condition of the serf's lives. Her rising to the throne also brought attention to the other powerful European nations, questioning whether Maria should be the heir to the throne.
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    Joseph II (1765-1790)

    Joseph II, Maria Theresa’s son, later became the emperor, and believed that they needed to get rid of anything that stood in the way of reason. He said that he made philosophy the lawmaker of his empire, Austria. Joseph’s reforms were extensive. He got rid of serfdom, and the death penalty; he established the principle of equality, between the feudal system. His efforts to change Austria resulted in thousands of laws and decrees, and his reform program failed. He alienated just about everyone, and even the serfs were upset with him because they were confused by all the drastic changes. Joseph II realized his mistakes, and all of his successors undid what he had done.
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    Vocabulary

      • Vienna: Vienna is the capital of Austria
      • The Alps: The Alps are short for the Appalachian Mountains
      • The house of Hapsburg: The Hapsburg dynasty were the family that ruled Austria
      • The 30 years war when the Holy Roman Empire split apart
      • Enlightened Absolutism a system where the Emperor tried to govern by Enlightenment principles while maintaining full royalty

      New Ideas and Accomplishments

      • Enlightened Absolutism

      • Eliminating the death penalty

      • Religious toleration

      • Austria starts to conquer lands in Hungary, Bohemia, Galicia, Tuscany and Croatia
      • Defeated the Turks in Vienna in 1683
      • The treaty of Aix La Chapelle was in 1748 which meant that Austria got all of their land back from Prussia
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      Supporters/Religion of empire or monarchs

      The religion of the monarchs who ruled Austria remained mostly Catholic, but that didn’t mean that the whole empire was Catholic, many Austrians were Catholic, but there were also a lot of other religions that were practiced in Austria. Austria had captured many lands which meant that they had a lot of different religions and cultures, so Austria couldn't confine themselves to one religion. Their allies were Russia, Sweden, Bohemia, France, and Spain.

      What Changed During the Period

      • For the first time Austria had an empress instead of an emperor.

      • They got rid of the Feudal system, and the death penalty.

      • Austria’s monarch’s religion changed between Protestant, and Catholic, but in the end Remained Catholic.

      • Their allies were Russia, Spain, France, Sweden, and Bohemia.

      • They seized a lot of different lands bringing in many new cultures, and religions making it hard to have a highly centralized absolutist state.

      Essential Questions

      Why was the Austrian monarchy unable to create a highly centralized, absolutist state?

      They weren’t able to create a highly centralized absolutist state because they had to many different cultures, and religions within Austria. Austria had seized many lands, and within each land there were different cultures, and different religions were practiced within each culture, therefore Austria was unable to create a highly centralized absolutist state.


      What geographical features might account for Austria’s expansion to the north and east?

      One of the reasons that Austria expanded towards the north and east because of the mountainous lands towards the west. Towards the east countries like Turkey are mainly flat lands. Towards the north countries like Bohemia are also flat lands. These lands were valuable to them because around half of the country's land is very mountainous and they needed land for their people to live

      Citations

      "Austrian Empire." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2015. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.


      Spielvogel, Jackson J. Glencoe World

      History. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill

      Glencoe, 2010. 433. Print.

      Wikimedia Commons. March 4, 2014.


      Editors, Biography.com. "Joseph II Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web.10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/joseph-ii-9358214>.


      Editors, Biography.com. "Maria Theresa Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. <http://www.biography.com/people/maria-theresa-9398965>.