By Jyden, Ethan, Hannah

History of the Austrian Empire

Austrian Habsburg played an important role in European politics because, before the 30 year's war, were a part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Austrian Empire wanted to create an empire in Germany, but these plans were ruined by the end of the 30 year's war. In 1683, the Austrians defeated the turks in Vienna which also lead to the Austrian siege of Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, and Slovenia. By the beginning of the 1700s, the Austrians had formed into an empire of considerably large size. The Austrian Empire never had rulers who were "highly centralized" (textbook) and "absolutist state" (textbook) because it was made up of so many different national groups. He was not only the archduke of Austria, but also the King of Bohemia and Hungary. Since the empire was made up of so many different regions, there weren't a specific set of laws that bound them together. In fact, the only similarity that the regions had with each other was their service to the Habsburg.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. "The New Austrian Empire." Glencoe World History. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. 467-68. Print.

Rulers and Dates

Karl V: 1519-1521

Ferdinand I: 1521-1564

Maximilian II: 1564-1576

Rudolf II: 1576-1612

Matthias: 1612-1619

Ferdinand II: 1619-1637

Ferdinand III: 1637-1657

Leopold I: 1658-1705

Maria Theresia. N.d. Pinterest. Web. 4 Dec. 2015. <>.

AUSTRIAN MONARCHY: RULERS OF THE ALPS." TourMy N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.


One major accomplishment Austria had were when they defeated the Turks at Vienna in 1683 they took control if all of Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, and Slavonia. This made the empire get really big by the beginning of the 18th century.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. "Age of Absolutism." Glencoe World History. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. 468. Print.

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Map Citation

"World Tour – Have a Good Trip." World Tour Have a Good Trip. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.

Enlightened Absolutism

Enlightened Absolutism was a new form of a monarchy that emerged in the late 1700s. The idea of enlightened absolutism was that the king or queen could rule while sustaining their royal power, which was the absolutism part, and also while following the enlightened principales, which was the enlightened part.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. "Enlightened Absolutism." Introduction. Glencoe World History. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. 554-55. Print.

The Austrian Empire's New Ideas

The Austrian empire didn’t have any new ideas that affected other countries because of their political and locational disadvantages. Since Austria was so spread out, nationally and lingually, so they didn’t have much control over the land. After the 30 years war, the Holy Roman Empire fell apart and that made it so that the Austrian empire was in need of a leader. The new emperor of Austria was also the king of Bohemia and Hungary. This was an inconvenience because since he had to also take care of Bohemia and Hungary, he left other people, most likely nobles and lords, in charge are certain regions of the empire.

Key People - Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa was a ruler of the Austrian Empire during the age of absolutism. She was married at the age of 18 and was the only female ruler of the Habsburg Dynasty. She was married for 29 years and during her marriage, had 16 kids. One of her main goals as a mother was to teach her many children the practical lessons of the world. She particularly focused her life lessons on her youngest daughter, Marie Antoinette, who would become the queen of France and become a victim to the anti-royalty hysteria of the French Revolution.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. "Maria Theresa." Glencoe World History. New York, NY: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2005. 556-57. Print.

Key People - Joseph II

Joseph II was a ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. For the first 15 years of his rule, he co-ruled with his mother. Then, for the next 10 years he ruled on his own, until he died in 1790. When he ruled with his mother, he was in charge of the foreign affairs. During his rule, he eliminated the death penalty and abolished serfdom. He and his mother had many similarities and differences. For example, he and his mother both agreed on the expansion of elementary education. On the other hand, Joseph wanted to institute reforms and desperately wished for religious tolerance, while his mother refused allow these rules.

"Joseph II Biography." Ed. Editors. A&E Television Network, n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Important Events - Battle of Vienna

In the battle of Vienna, the Ottoman Turks tried to take over Vienna, which is the present day capital of the country of Austria. The Austrians defeated the Turks and this was their biggest and really only accomplishment as an empire. They were also able to take over Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Leitsch, Walter. "1683: The Siege of Vienna." 1683: The Siege of Vienna. History Today, 7 July 1983. Web. 03 Dec. 2015. <>.

Important Events - 30 Year's War

The 30 Year's War started out between Catholics and Protestants. By the end of this war, the Austrian Empire had lost all hope of ever establishing an empire in Germany. Since the Holy Roman Empire was so powerful, they wanted all the power that they could possibly get, even though they already had lots. If there was going to be more land for the Holy Roman Empire to take, they would do everything that they could to make sure that they got it and Austria didn't. The Austrian Empire didn't stand a chance against the Holy Roman Empire, so they knew that Germany would never be a part of the Austrian Empire.

Suporters and Religion

In Austria, the main religion was Christianity. The supporters of Austria were the nobles and the other high ranking people in the country who helped the emperor rule the different regions of the empire because they were so spread out. The goal of the supporters was the expand the empire, but that was not a likely goal for Austria.

Essential Questions

1. Why was the Austrian Monarchy unable to create a highly centralized, absolutist state?

The Austrian monarchy was unable to create a highly centralized, absolutist state because the emperor of the Austrian Empire was also the king of Bohemia and Hungary. Since he was unable to focus on his Austrian Empire, he left different noble-like figures in charge of certain national regions. Because of this division, the regions of the empire had nothing in common except for their loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty.

2. What form of government did Maria Theresa support?

Since Maria Theresa was a leader during the age of absolutism, she was an absolutist leader. She, like all other absolutist leaders during this time in Europe, believed that god had meant for her and only her to be the ruler of Austrian Habsburg.

Key Terms

The House Habsburg was one of the most important royal houses. The German family, the Habsburgs occupied the house from 1438 to 1740
The 30 Years War setup Austria’s downfall

What changed during this time?

The 30 Years War changed the Austrian Empire’s plan for expansion. Before the war happened, the plan was to set up an empire in Germany. The Holy Roman Empire, even though it was incredibly strong, wanted to take all the power they could get, so Austria had no chance to take over Germany against the strongest empire in Europe. Therefore, the Austrian Empire’s wish to establish an empire in Germany was not longer an option.

"Thirty Years' War". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015



The House of Habsburg was the biggest dynasty in Austria during the age of absolutism. After the fall of the Habsburg dynasty, the Austrian Empire left the biggest mark on the world that it would during its existence as an empire. The House of Habsburg is still is one of the only major talking points people discuss when it comes to the Austrian Empire today. It was one of the most powerful houses in all of Europe. Today, the Habsburg dynasty is what people think of when the Austrian Empire is brought into a conversation.

"House of Habsburg". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2015. Web. 08 Dec. 2015


Video Citation

Joseph II of Austria. Dir. Micayla Cannon. Perf. Micayla Cannon. Joseph II of Austria. Micayla Cannon, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2015. <>.

joseph II of austria