The Austrian Empire of the Hapsburg

One of the greatest European States in the early 1700s!!

Austria was accompanied by two major leaders during this time, Empress Maria Theresa, and Joseph II. The first was Empress Maria Theresa, she sought to reform her empire, she was however followed by Joseph II who's reform was more extreme and reached more people, as he preached Enlightenment ideals the most.

Power Structure

An empire that was run by a monarchy. Of the two leaders during this time, Joseph II was more successful in accomplishing the tasks tat he intended to, he was by far the most extreme in getting Enlightenment ideas out and spreading it throughout Europe. !


Under Theresa:

  • enlargement and modernization of the army

Under Joseph: reform program

  • abolished serfdom, tried to give peasants more rights to their stuff
  • eliminated trading barriers
  • got rid of the death penalty
  • equality of all before law
  • religious toleration


Under Joseph II's rule he instituted a reform program that had crippling effects for both the empire's nobility and peasantry. Under Empress Theresa nobility were taxed on property and given less representation in the government. Although Joseph II freed the serfs, they weren't able to make good use of the land. Also, Joseph imposed the German language as the official bureaucratic language further alienating non-German groups.