Skip to main content

The Strength of Maria Theresa’s Fighting Spirit


Maria Theresa’s reign as ruler of the Hapsburg dominions started out as a tumultuous one. October of 1740 saw a bitter winter. By December, Frederick II of Prussia, who took the crown of Prussia that year, marched to the mineral-rich Austrian province of Silesia to occupy it. The following year, Charles Albert of Bavaria occupied Bohemia and proclaimed himself its King. Worst, he was elected Holy Roman Emperor, a title held by the Hapsburgs since the 1500s. For a lady without experience  and left to inherit an empire nearly bankrupted, the darkest days of her life has arrived.

Born on March 12, 1717, her father, Charles VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, already had in mind that he might not have a son. As early as 1713, he busied himself getting every European sovereign to agree with his Pragmatic Sanction, the edict that would ensure that the Habsburg hereditary possessions could be inherited by a daughter. In 1736, Maria Theresa married Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine. In 1740, Charles died, leaving Austria in an impoverished state. The emperor ignored the advice of Prince Eugene of Savoy to focus on enriching his empire instead of spending his days securing Europe’s approval of Pragmatic Sanction. A decade after coming to her possessions, Maria Theresa recalled : "I found myself without money, without credit, without army, without experience and knowledge of my own and finally, also without any counsel because each one of them at first wanted to wait and see how things would develop. “

With Silesia lost to the hands of the Prussians and Bohemia occupied by her enemies, Maria Theresa found her strongest support in Hungary, who rallied behind her as she attempted to recover her possessions. As Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony and Spain are now planning to partition her empire, she appeared in Pressburg in September 1741, hoping to persuade the Diet to call a mass conscription and recognize Francis Stephen as co-ruler. She then showed her gift for theatrics by triumphantly holding her son and heir, Joseph, before the Diet, thereby gaining sympathy of the noblemen. She immediately retaliated  and caught her enemies unprepared by insisting on a winter campaign; the same day he was elected emperor, Austrian troops captured Munich, Charles Albert's capital.

In May 1743, Maria Theresa had herself crowned Queen of Bohemia in St. Vitus Cathedral. But her struggle would continue. By August 1744, the Prussians sacked Prague but in January 1745, Charles Albert’s death secured the crown of Holy Roman Empire for Francis Stephen, who was elected on September 13. Prussia recognized Francis’ election and in return Maria Theresa ceded Silesia to Prussia in the Treaty of Breslau in December 1745.

Maria Theresa’s battle continued for three more years but she never wavered.  The core Hapsburg domains of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia remained in Maria Theresa's possession. The war ended with the Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle, recognizing Prussia's possession of Silesia. Austria also ceded the Duchy of Parma to Philip of Spain, while France conquered the Austrian Netherlands. However, Louis XV, not wanting to enter a future conflict with Austria returned them to Maria Theresa. 

Comments

  1. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Idea to Help Dieters LOSE 20 Pounds in Only 21 Days!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Quantum Binary Signals

    Professional trading signals sent to your cell phone daily.

    Follow our signals right now and gain up to 270% a day.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there was no “Princess Qajar,” only the Qajar dynasty  that ruled over Persia for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, ruled Persia from 1…

Why Prince Harry is a Commoner?

Prince Harry is a commoner according to common law, explains royal expert Marlene Eilers Koenig in her blog.
“In the United Kingdom, the law is based on English COMMON law -- from where we get the word Commoner,” she explained. That puts Prince Harry under the rule of the normal law.
Only the sovereign (e.g. The Queen) and the peers of the realm are not commoners, she explained. The peerage of the United Kingdom is composed of, in order of precedence, Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons.
“That leaves everyone else, including princes and princesses, who have not been created peers of the realm,” Eilers continued to explain. Thus, even if Harry is a Prince of the United Kingdom, he is, by law, a commoner. In precedence, as the queen’s grandson, he ranks higher than the Duke of Norfolk, who is the premier duke in the peerage of England, but according to the law, the Duke of Norfolk is not a commoner, while Harry is is.
However, once he gets married, Her Majesty is highly …

Queen Mary and the Delhi Durbar Tiara

In 1911, King George V and Queen Mary were to be proclaimed Emperor and Empress of India. That was the first and only time that a British sovereign attended the durbar, which was hailed as the largest gathering of princes, noblemen and landed gentry in India to pay homage to their sovereigns. The King and Queen should never be outdone by the petty rulers. They were sure these local princes would come garbed with all the gold and diamonds from their treasure chest. It was decided that they should showcase the crown jewels with them. But British law prohibits anyone from taking these treasures outside Great Britain. A new set of coronation regalia  had to be made! Thus, the India Office commissioned Garrard and Co. to make the Imperial Crown of India for King George V. It has eight arches, with 6170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered with sapphires, emeralds and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap all weighing 34.05 ounces (965 g).

However, Queen Mary was without the empress' …