Leaders; Power Structure; Accomplishments; Failures

Habsburg monarchy; Empress Maria Theresa and after her, Joseph II

Power Structure

  • They had departments of foreign affairs justice, war, commerce, and internal affairs that functioned in both territories (Austria and Hungary) which controlled their respective “assigned” area
  • The Austrian and Bohemian lands were divided into 10 provinces, subdivided into districts and administered all by royal officials rather than representatives of diets which made the empire more centralized and bureaucratic.
  • After that period, Joseph II also posted limitations on the catholic church powers, it also restricted noble’s powers by abolishing serfdom which was what mostly gave them profit.
  • Since the empire was composed of several different cultures, nationalities, languages, etc. It was hard to provide common law ands and centralized administration for its people.


Empress Maria Theresa abolished the Austrian and Bohemian chancelleries, she then replaced them with departments who took care of foreign affairs, justice, war, commerce, and international affairs, she also curtailed the role of provincial assemblies in taxation. Joseph II enhanced Habsburg power


Maria Theresa is forced to accept the Hungarian nobility privileges. Joseph's reform program was too overwhelming for Austria. He freed serfs, and alienated churches with attacks on the monastic establishment.