• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
  • PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
  • RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
  • INVASION OF RUSSIA
  • HITLERS PLANS FOR EUROPE
  • TURNING OF THE TIDE,
  • THE HOME FRONT
  • THE RESISTANCE
  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
  • DENAZIFICATION
  • POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE
  • LOCAL STATE FORMATION
  • PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL AND THE
  • ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
  • T
  • ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM
  • BUNDESTAG ELECTION AND
  • REGAINING SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRATION
  • RECONSTRUCTION AND THE ECONOMIC
  • TRANSITIONAL YEARS AND
  • THE GRAND COALITION AND YOUTH
  • THE SOCIAL-LIBERAL COALITION
  • OSTPOLITIK (FOREIGN POLICY
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • SCHMIDT ERA: SOCIAL UNREST,
  • PRINTING AND MEDICINE
  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
  • UPRISING OF JUNE 17, 1953
  • ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  • SOCIETY, EDUCATION, AND
  • RELATIONS WITH THE FEDERAL
  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
  • UNIFICATION POLITICS AND ITS
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
  • Abwehr
  • Adenauer, Konrad
  • Afrika Korps
  • Agadir Incident
  • Agrarian League
  • NEED FOR CHURCH REFORM
  • Agricola, Rudolf
  • Air Force
  • Albert (Albrecht) of
  • Albert V
  • Algeciras, Conference of
  • Allied Control Council
  • Alsace-Lorraine
  • Altdorfer, Albrecht
  • Amiens, Battle of
  • Anabaptists
  • P
  • Anglo-German Naval Treaty
  • Anschluss
  • Anti-Comintern Pact
  • anti-Semitism/Jew hatred
  • anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Socialist Law
  • Ardennes, Battle of the
  • Arendt, Hannah
  • Armed Forces (Wehrmacht)
  • Armed Forces (Bundeswehr):
  • LUTHER AND MELANCHTHON
  • Army (Prussian to 1860)
  • Army (Second Empire,
  • Asylum Law
  • Atlantic, Battle of the
  • Auerstadt, Battle of
  • Augsburg, Diet of
  • Augsburg, Religious Peace of
  • Augsburg, War of the League
  • Augsburg Confession
  • Augspurg, Anita
  • LUTHER AND ZWINGLI
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Austerlitz, Battle of
  • Austria
  • Austrian Succession, War of
  • autarchy
  • autobahns
  • Axis, The
  • B
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Ballin, Albert
  • CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE
  • KNIGHTS REVOLT AND GREAT
  • Barbie, Klaus
  • Barmen Declaration
  • Barth, Karl
  • Basic Treaty
  • Bauernschutz
  • Bauhaus
  • Baumer, Gertrud
  • Bavaria
  • Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)
  • Bavarian Succession, War of
  • REFORMATION AND THE TOWNS
  • Bayer AG
  • Bayreuth
  • Bebel, August
  • Beck, Ludwig August Theodor
  • Beckmann, Max
  • Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Benjamin, Walter
  • Benn, Gottfried
  • Bennigsen, Rudolf von
  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
  • Benz, Carl Friedrich
  • Bergen-Belsen
  • Berghof
  • Berlin
  • Berlin, Battle for (Fall of)
  • Berlin, Congress of
  • Berlin-Baghdad Railway
  • Berlin Blockade
  • Berlin Conference
  • Berlin Wall
  • CALVINISM IN GERMANY
  • Bernstein, Eduard
  • Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald
  • Biedermeier
  • Biermann, Wolf
  • Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold
  • blank check
  • Bleichröder, Gerson von
  • Blenheim, Battle of
  • Blomberg, Werner von
  • Blücher, Gebhard
  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
  • Böll, Heinrich
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
  • Bonn
  • Bormann, Martin
  • Born, Max
  • Borsig, August
  • Bosch, Robert
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brahms, Johannes
  • Brandenburg
  • C
  • Brauchitsch, Walther von
  • Braun, Eva
  • Braun, Karl Ferdinand
  • Braun, Otto
  • Braun, Wernher von
  • Brecht, Bertolt
  • Bremen/Bremerhaven
  • Brentano, Elizabeth Bettina
  • Breslau
  • The Bridge
  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
  • Britain, Battle of
  • Brüning, Heinrich
  • Buchenwald
  • Bülow, Bernhard von
  • Bundesrat
  • Bundestag
  • Burschenschaft
  • C
  • Canisius, Peter
  • canton system
  • A
  • Carlsbad Decrees
  • Celtis, Conrad
  • Center Party
  • Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
  • Charles V
  • Charles VI
  • Charles VII
  • Charlottenburg, Palace of
  • Christian Democratic Union
  • Christian Social Union
  • LITERATURE
  • Civil Code, German (Revised
  • Clausewitz, Carl von
  • Concordat of 1933
  • Condor Legion
  • The Confederation of the Rhine was a
  • Confessing Church
  • Congress of Vienna
  • conservatism
  • constitutional traditions
  • Counter-Reformation
  • MUSIC
  • Cranach, Lucas, the Elder
  • cultured elites
  • D
  • Daimler, Gottlieb
  • Danish War
  • Danzig
  • Dawes Plan
  • D-Banks
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  • Degenerate Art
  • SAXON AND SALIAN DYNASTIES,
  • SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
  • denazification
  • Denck, Hans
  • Depression, The Great
  • Depressions
  • détente
  • Diesel, Rudolf
  • Dietrich, Josef Sepp
  • Diplomatic Revolution of 1756
  • Dix, Otto
  • Döblin, Alfred
  • GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ
  • Dönitz, Karl
  • Dresden
  • Droste-Hülshoff, Annette
  • Dual Alliance
  • Dürer, Albrecht
  • Düsseldorf
  • E
  • Edict of Toleration
  • Ehrlich, Paul
  • Eichendorff, Joseph von
  • PIETISM
  • Eichmann, Adolf
  • Eicke, Theodor
  • Einsatzgruppen
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Eisner, Kurt
  • El Alamein, Battles of
  • Elbe River
  • Ems Telegram
  • Enabling Act
  • Engels, Friedrich
  • ROCOCO
  • ENIGMA/ULTRA
  • Enlightenment
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  • Erfurt Program
  • Erhard, Ludwig
  • Ernst, Max
  • Erzberger, Matthias
  • Eugene, prince of Savoy
  • European Coal and Steel
  • European Defense Community
  • A
  • European Economic Community
  • European Union
  • euthanasia
  • expressionism
  • Falkenhayn, Erich von
  • F
  • Fatherland Party
  • Federal Constitutional Court
  • Federal Republic of Germany
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  • TURKISH WARS
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  • feminism, 18151945
  • feminism, 19452005
  • Ferdinand II
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas
  • Fichte, Johann Gottlieb
  • Final Solution
  • Fischer, Josef Joschka
  • Fischer von Erlach, John
  • Fontane, Theodor
  • WARS OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION
  • Four Year Plan
  • Francis II
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  • Frank, Hans
  • Frankfurt am Main
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  • Frederick I
  • Frederick II, The Great
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  • STATE REFORMS
  • Frederick William
  • Frederick William I
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  • Frederick William IV
  • Free Corps
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  • FOREIGN POLICY AND KAUNITZ
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  • Führerprinzip
  • G
  • Galen, Clemens August von
  • Gellert, Christian
  • General Directory
  • Genscher, Hans-Dietrich
  • Gentz, Friedrich
  • JOSEPH II AND REFORM
  • German Christians
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  • German Confederation
  • German Conservative Party
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  • German Labor Front
  • German National Peoples
  • German Peoples Party
  • German Progressive Party
  • HOHENSTAUFEN DYNASTY,
  • VIENNA AND ARCHITECTURE
  • German Reich (Imperial) Party
  • German Womens Bureau
  • German Workers Party
  • Germany Treaty
  • R
  • FREDERICK III
  • FREDERICK WILLIAM I, THE
  • FREDERICK THE GREAT
  • SEVEN YEARS WAR
  • S
  • ECONOMY
  • POLITICAL DECENTRALIZATION
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • HABSBURG DYNASTY
  • CULTURE
  • THE ENLIGHTENMENT
  • LITERATURE AND DRAMA
  • PHILOSOPHY
  • SECRET SOCIETIES
  • T
  • R
  • THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
  • NATIONALISM AND LIBERALISM
  • EARLY INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  • CITIES AND CRAFT GUILDS
  • REVOLUTIONS OF 1848
  • ARMY REFORM AND PARLIAMENTARY
  • O
  • THE DANISH WAR, 1864
  • AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR, 1866
  • THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR,
  • COLLAPSE OF THE SECOND FRENCH
  • I
  • N
  • ART AND ARCHITECTURE
  • ORIGINS OF CAPITALISM
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND WOMEN
  • EDUCATION
  • T
  • POLITICAL PARTIES
  • THE KULTURKAMPF, SOCIALISM,
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND ALLIANCE
  • BISMARCKS DISMISSAL
  • WILHELMINE GERMANY
  • T
  • THE QUESTION OF
  • LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURE
  • CONDUCT OF THE WAR
  • PEACE RESOLUTION, REFORM, AND
  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
  • N
  • POLITICAL PARTIES UNPREPARED
  • A REVOLUTIONARY PATTERN
  • WORKERS AND SOLDIERS
  • KURT EISNER AND REVOLUTION IN
  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • JOSEPH II AND REFORM

    At the death of her husband, Francis I, in 1765, her son Joseph was appointed

    coregent, which lasted until 1780. He already had been crowned Holy Roman

    Emperor in 1764. Joseph was unlike his father and insisted on sharing in the

    governance of the Empire. The empress was opposed to giving her son this

    responsibility, but after many arguments she relented, allowing him to be in

    charge of army reform and sharing with Kaunitz the conduct of foreign policy.

    He was lacking in talent for either of these two areas. The struggle between

    mother and son lasted for 15 years.

    Of her 16 children it was her son Joseph, her beloved Phoenix, who succeeded

    her as Joseph II in 1780, although he had already become emperor in

    1765. Of the kings of the 18th century Joseph was the most revolutionary

    reformer. He lacked the warmth of Maria Theresa, and because of his puritanical

    personality the atmosphere of his court was bleak and lacked the elegance

    of his mothers. Not only did he pursue further centralization, but he also tried

    46 Germany

    to level class differences and secularize government. Unlike his mother, Joseph

    enthusiastically admired the French philosophes and their reforms for government

    and society based on reason. He dreamed of the Austrian Empire being

    transformed by the muse of philosophy. His program, however, was too radical

    and, like those of other visionaries, soon overturned. What did he try to

    change? First, he abolished the personal servitude of peasants. Serfdom no

    longer existed in Austria, but the peasant could not leave the land, and his lord

    still controlled his right to marriage. The peasant was freed from subjection to

    his landlord according to the edict of November 1, 1781, and now was a subject

    of the state. Furthermore, Joseph gave the peasants hereditary rights to

    land. The nobility saw these measures as revolutionary acts that alienated them.

    Neither the nobility nor the peasants could comprehend the drastic changes

    that he decreed. Most of the agrarian reforms were not retained after Joseph

    IIs death, and the social and economic emancipation of the peasants in Austria

    was not achieved until the revolution of 184849. He ended the restrictions of

    the guilds and tariff barriers. Equality before the law, elimination of the death

    penalty, and religious toleration were also decreed.

    Josephs attacks on the institution of the Catholic Church and its monasteries

    aroused alarm in Rome and certainly were unwise. First, he desired to

    become the only sovereign over the church. Traditional ties with the archbishoprics

    of Salzburg and Passau were cut as were the connections with the

    papacy. Monastic orders were placed under the control of local bishops, and

    those monasteries not operating educational institutions or providing nursing

    care were dissolved, closing some 800 throughout the Empire. The education

    of priests was to be supervised by the state. Civil marriage was introduced and

    divorce made possible. The Edict of Toleration (1781) ended the identification

    of the state with the Roman Catholic Church, which had begun during the

    Reformation Ferdinandean period. Non-Catholics were given full rights as

    citizens and allowed the private exercise of religion. This may have been the

    beginning of religious toleration, but full religious equality did not occur until

    1861. For the first time the legal position of the Jews was addressed. Their status

    was understandably complex. While the Jews had been expelled from

    Vienna in 1670, it was belatedly discovered that rich Jews were needed to

    administer state finances. Samuel Oppenheimer was one such important Jewish

    financier during the reign of Leopold I. In any event Joseph II decreed that

    the Jewish religion must be tolerated and broadened Jewish social rights as to

    their occupations and place of residence.

    With already too many enemies, Joseph II made even more when he humiliated

    other ethnic nationalities by making German the official language of government.

    In his drive to create a single unified Empire he created a central office

    for Austrian internal administration, the United Court Chancellery, which was

    divided into 13 departments. Indicative of his fanatic reforming zeal were the

    6,000 edicts he issued in 10 years. Because he feared that they would not be executed,

    Joseph even organized an extensive police system throughout the

    provinces, responsible to the chiefs of provincial administration, who sent secret

    reports to the central government. Realizing the failure of his efforts, Joseph,

    writing the epitaph for his grave said, Here lies Joseph II, who was unfortunate

    Absolutism in the Habsburg Austrian Empire 47

    in everything that he undertook. His successors, Leopold II (179092) and

    Francis II (17921835) administered the suppression of his reforms out of the

    need for aristocratic support and fear of the French Revolution.

    Yet the reforms initiated by Joseph II looked forward to the principles of liberalism.

    Joseph had conceived the state to be built on an egalitarian society and

    inspired by secular ideals that informed the French Revolution and the liberalism

    of the 19th century. Joseph remained a hero among the peasantry. His

    initiatives also contributed to the stability of the Habsburg monarchy as it withstood

    the challenges of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. His

    successor, Leopold II (179092), also an enlightened despot, agreed with many

    of Josephs goals but had more respect for constitutional forms. He reintroduced

    the Provincial Estates and the constitutions of Hungary and the Netherlands,

    although by and large government administration was still carried on in a centralistic

    manner. Josephs concentration on the Habsburg Empire and preoccupation

    with Austrian problems came at the expense of his involvement in

    German affairs. Ironically, he was more interested in Germany than was Frederick

    the Great, but the king of Prussia had continually frustrated Josephs German

    policies. In short, Austrias ties with the rest of Germany were loosened,

    and the creation of an imperial crown for Austria in 1804 would have been

    impossible without the unifying policies of Maria Theresa and Joseph II. The

    Holy Roman Empire was dissolved by Napoleon in 1806.

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