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The Austrian Habsburgs 1648-1740. Ch. 16 State Building and the European State System, 1648-1789. Absolutism in Austria. Not as successful as in France –WHY? Habsburgs don’t have the same amount of control as Louis XIV Holy Roman Empire more independent at Thirty Years’ War

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The austrian habsburgs 1648 1740

The Austrian Habsburgs 1648-1740

Ch. 16 State Building and the European State System, 1648-1789


Absolutism in austria
Absolutism in Austria

  • Not as successful as in France –WHY?

    • Habsburgs don’t have the same amount of control as Louis XIV

      • Holy Roman Empire more independent at Thirty Years’ War

      • Over 10 different nationalities, languages, traditions represented within the Habsburg lands

      • Multiple religions (Christian and non-Christian) represented

      • Double external threat: Louis XIV’s France (west) and the Ottoman Empire (Southeast)



Leopold i 1657 1705
Leopold I, 1657-1705

  • Devout Catholic – to be priest BUT

  • Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Austria at 17

  • Fathered 16 children with 3 wives

  • Built Schőnbrunn outside of Vienna


Defender of vienna
Defender of Vienna

  • 1683 Turkish forces tried to take over Vienna

    • Louis XIV refused to come to Austria’s aid

      • Rest of Europe outraged – Why wouldn’t he help another Christian nation?

  • After 2 months under siege Austrian coalition forces defeat the Turks – Hungary again becomes part of Austrian domain

  • By 1687 Leopold convinces the Hungarian Diet to make crown of Hungary a hereditary right of the Austrian Habsburgs

    • Hungarians also forfeit their traditional right to rebel against an unjust ruler!


Austrian territory growing but
Austrian Territory Growing BUT…

  • Austrian Emperor does not have absolute control

    • Religious issues

      • Catholics; Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish, and even Muslim

    • Ethnic issues

    • Social issues

      • i.e. in Hungary, Austrian Emperor must work together with Hungarian magnates

      • Magnates control the land and have dominion over the serfs


Joseph i and charles vi
Joseph I and Charles VI

  • Joseph I , 1705-1711

    • Dies while fighting in the War of Spanish Succession

  • Charles VI, 1711-1740

    • He could be the next Charles V (combine Spanish and Austrian Habsburg domains under one individual) BUT

    • Other European countries want that as much as they want a Bourbon on the throne in Spain!


Charles vi and his daughter
Charles VI and his Daughter

  • Charles VI concentrates on securing the Austrian throne for his daughter Maria Theresa

  • PROBLEM #1= No woman has inherited the Austrian throne

  • SOLUTION #1 = Pragmatic Sanction – Charles convinces other European rulers and magnates to accept her rule

    • Does this solution hold?

  • PROBLEM #2 = Holy Roman Emperor CANNOT be a woman

  • SOLUTION #2 = Maria Theresa’s husband will be HREmperor and “represent” the Habsburgs


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