Josephinism was the collective domestic policies of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765–1790). During the ten years in which Joseph was the sole ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy (1780–1790), he attempted to legislate a series of drastic reforms to remodel Austria in the form of what liberals saw as an ideal "Enlightened" state. This provoked severe resistance from powerful forces within and outside his empire, but ensured that he would be remembered as an "enlightened ruler" by historians from then to the present day.
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from November 1780 until his death. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, and the brother of Marie Antoinette. He was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph was a proponent of enlightened absolutism; however, his commitment to modernizing reforms subsequently engendered significant opposition, which resulted in failure to fully implement his programs. Meanwhile, despite making some territorial gains, his reckless foreign policy badly isolated Austria. He has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism. He was a supporter of the arts, and most importantly, of composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. He died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold II.
Habsburg Monarchy, or Habsburg Empire, is an umbrella term coined by historians to describe the lands and kingdoms ruled by the Austrian House of Habsburg.
Enlightened absolutism refers to the conduct and policies of European absolute monarchs during the 18th and 19th centuries who were influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, espousing them to enhance their power. The concept originated during the Enlightenment period in the 18th and into the early 19th centuries.
Born in 1741, Joseph was the son of Maria Theresa of Austria and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. Given a rigorous education in the Age of Enlightenment—with its emphasis on rationality, order, and careful organization in statecraft—it is little wonder that, viewing the often confused and complex morass of Habsburg administration in the crownlands of Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary, Joseph was deeply dissatisfied. He inherited the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in 1765, on the death of his father, but ruled the Habsburg lands only as "joint ruler" with his mother, the matriarch Maria Theresa, until 1780.
Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife Maria Theresa effectively executed the real powers of those positions. They were the founders of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. From 1728 until 1737 he was Duke of Lorraine. Francis traded the duchy to the ex-Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as one of the terms ending the War of the Polish Succession in November 1738. The duchy and the ducal title to Lorraine and Bar passed to King Louis XV of France upon Leszczynski's death in 1766, though Francis and his successors retained the right to style themselves as dukes of Lorraine and Bar.
The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century, the "Century of Philosophy".
It was on the death of his mother in 1780 that Joseph II had the opportunity—free of any dominating hand—to pursue his own agenda. He intended a complete remodeling of Habsburg society in several different arenas. Issuing decrees and Patents, Joseph's reforms were a conscious attempt to reorder the rule of his lands using Enlightened principles. At the heart of this "Josephinism" lay the idea of the unitary state, with a centralized, efficient government, rational and mostly secular society, with greater degrees of equality and freedom, and fewer arbitrary feudal institutions.
For many centuries, the majority of the population of Central Europe had lived as serfs, laboring under feudal obligations to Lords.[ citation needed ] On November 1, 1781, Joseph issued two Patents pertaining to Bohemia, which changed the serf-Lord relationship there by abolishing the use of fines and corporal punishment on serfs, and abolishing Lords' control over serfs' marriage, freedom of movement, and choice of occupation. The patents also allowed peasants to purchase hereditary ownership of the land that they worked. The nobility were hesitant to support Joseph's edicts, however, and they were inconsistently applied.
Throughout his reign, Joseph's ultimate goal was one shared originally with his mother regarding policy toward the serfs. Robin Okey, in The Habsburg Monarchy, describes it as the replacement of the forced serf labor system by the division of landed estates (including the demesne) among rent-paying tenants".In 1783, Joseph's advisor Franz Anton von Raab was instructed to extend this system to all lands owned directly by the Habsburg crown in Bohemia and Moravia.
In February 1781, Joseph issued an edict drastically reducing the power of state censorship over the press. Censorship was limited only to expression that (a) blasphemed against the church, (b) subverted the government, or (c) promoted immorality. Censorship was also taken out of the hands of local authorities and centralized under the Habsburg imperial government.
Joseph was remarkably tolerant of dissenting speech—his censors banned only about 900 tracts published each year (down from 4,000 a year banned before his reign). One tract that even criticized him specifically, titled "The 42 Year-Old Ape", was not banned.
While himself a Catholic—and certainly no advocate of unlimited religious freedom—Joseph was willing to tolerate a level of religious diversity in his domain that had been unthinkable not long before.
In May and October 1781, Joseph issued Edicts which removed restrictions against the practice of Protestant and Orthodox Christian religion. In communities with large Protestant or Orthodox minorities, churches were allowed to be built, and social restrictions on vocations, economic activity, and education were removed.
In 1782, Joseph dismantled many of the legal barriers against Jews performing certain professions, and lifted Jewish dress laws, Jewish-only taxes, and some restrictions on the movement of Jews. Nevertheless, he remained of the belief that Jews possessed "repellent characteristics". His decrees regarding that community did not include Galicia, the Habsburg province with the largest Jewish minority.
Regarding the Catholic Church, Joseph was virulently opposed to what he called "contemplative" religious institutions—reclusive institutions that were seen as doing nothing positive for the community.
By Joseph's decree, Austrian bishops could not communicate directly with the Curia anymore. More than 500 of 1,188 monasteries in Austro-Slav lands (and a hundred more in Hungary) were dissolved, and 60 million florins taken by the state. This wealth was used to create 1,700 new parishes and welfare institutions.
The education of priests was taken from the Church as well. Joseph established six state-run "General Seminaries". In 1783, a Marriage Patent treated marriage as a civil contract rather than a religious institution.
When the pope visited Austria in 1782, Joseph refused to rescind the majority of his decisions.
In 1783, the cathedral chapter of Passau opposed the nomination of a Josephinist bishop and sent, first, an appeal to the emperor himself, which naturally was rejected, then an appeal to the Imperial Diet at Regensburg, from which body, however, help could scarcely be expected. Assistance offered by Prussia was refused by Cardinal Firmian's successor, Bishop Joseph Franz Auersperg, an adherent of Josephinism. The bishop of Passau and the majority of his cathedral chapter finally yielded in order to save the secular property of the diocese.
By an agreement of 4 July 1784, the confiscation of all the properties and rights belonging to the Diocese of Passau in Austria was annulled, and the tithes and revenues were restored to it. In return Passau gave up its diocesan rights and authority in Austria, including the provostship of Ardagger, and bound itself to pay 400,000 gulden ($900,000), afterwards reduced by the emperor to one-half toward the equipment of the new diocese.
There was nothing left for Pope Pius VI to do but to give his consent, even though unwillingly, to the emperor's authoritarian act. The papal sanction of the agreement between Vienna and Passau was issued on 8 November 1784, and on 28 January 1785, appeared the Bull of Erection, "Romanus Pontifex".
As early as 1785 the Viennese ecclesiastical order of services was made obligatory, "in accordance with which all musical litanies, novenas, octaves, the ancient touching devotions, also processions, vespers, and similar ceremonies, were done away with." Numerous churches and chapels were closed and put to secular uses; the greater part of the old religious foundations and monasteries were suppressed as early as 1784.
Nevertheless there could be no durable peace with the bureaucratic civil authorities, and Bishop Ernest Johann Nepomuk von Herberstein was repeatedly obliged to complain to the emperor of the tutelage in which the Church was kept, but the complaints bore little fruit.
Catholic historians claimed that there was an alliance between Joseph and anti-clerical Freemasons.
The pace of reform in Joseph's empire was uneven, especially in the crownlands of Hungary. Joseph was reluctant to include Hungary in most of his reforms early in his reign.
In 1784, Joseph brought the Hungarian Crown of St. Stephen from Pressburg, capital of Royal Hungary, to Vienna. Similarly, he brought the Bohemian Crown of Saint Wenceslas to Vienna. These were symbolic acts, meant to emphasize a new unity between the Habsburg crownlands, wherein they were to be seen as a singular entity. German replaced Latin as the official language of administration in Hungary. In 1785, Joseph extended his abolition of serfdom to Hungary, and a census of the Crown land was ordered, in order to prepare it for an Austrian-style military draft.
In 1787, the "administrative streamlining" that had been applied to the rest of the Empire was nominally applied to Austrian possessions in the Netherlands, but this was fiercely opposed by Belgian nobles, and would be a major contribution to the Brabant Revolution.
Josephinism made many enemies inside the empire—from disaffected ecclesiastical authorities to noblemen. By the later years of his reign, disaffection with his sometimes radical policies was at a high, especially in the Austrian Netherlands and Hungary. Popular revolts and protests—led by nobles, seminary students, writers, and agents of Prussian King Frederick William—stirred throughout the Empire, prompting Joseph to tighten censorship of the press.
Before his death in 1790, Joseph was forced to rescind many of his administrative reforms. He returned the crown of St. Stephen to Buda in Hungary and promised to abide by the Hungarian constitution. Before he could actually be officially crowned "King of Hungary", he died at the age of 49.
Joseph's brother and successor, Leopold II, reversed the course of the Empire by rescinding some Josephine reforms, but managed to preserve the unity of the Habsburg lands by showing a respect and sensitivity for local demands that Joseph lacked.
The history of Austria covers the history of Austria and its predecessor states, from the early Stone Age to the present state. The name Ostarrîchi (Austria) has been in use since 996 AD when it was a margravate of the Duchy of Bavaria and from 1156 an independent duchy of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.
Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, and monarch of many other states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 2 December 1848 to his death. From 1 May 1850 to 24 August 1866 he was also President of the German Confederation. He was the longest-reigning Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, as well as the third-longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history, after Louis XIV of France and Johann II of Liechtenstein.
The Pragmatic Sanction was an edict issued by Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, on 19 April 1713 to ensure that the Habsburg hereditary possessions, which included the Archduchy of Austria, the Kingdom of Hungary, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Naples, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Austrian Netherlands, could be inherited by a daughter.
The Czech lands, then also known as Lands of the Bohemian Crown, were largely subject to the Habsburgs from the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648 until the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. There were invasions by the Turks early in the period, and by the Prussians in the next century. The Habsburgs consolidated their rule and under Maria Theresa (1740–1780) adopted enlightened absolutism, with distinct institutions of the Bohemian Kingdom absorbed into centralized structures. After the Napoleonic Wars and the establishment of the Austrian Empire, a Czech National Revival began as a scholarly trend among educated Czechs, led by figures such as František Palacký. Czech nationalism took a more politically active form during the 1848 revolution, and began to come into conflict not only with the Habsburgs but with emerging German nationalism.
The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.
The Imperial Council was the legislature of the Austrian Empire from 1861, and from 1867 the legislature of Cisleithania within Austria-Hungary. It was a bicameral body: the upper house was the House of Lords, and the lower house was the House of Deputies. To become law, bills had to be passed by both houses, signed by the government minister responsible, and then granted royal assent by the Emperor. After having been passed, laws were published in the Reichsgesetzblatt. In addition to the Imperial Council, the fifteen individual crown lands of Cisleithania had their own diets.
The Kingdom of Hungary between 1526 and 1867, while outside the Holy Roman Empire, was part of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy that became the Empire of Austria in 1804. After the Battle of Mohács of 1526, the country was ruled by two crowned kings. Initially the exact territory under Habsburg rule was disputed because both rulers claimed the whole kingdom. This unsettled period lasted until 1570 when John Sigismund Zápolya abdicated as King of Hungary in Emperor Maximilian II's favor.
The October Diploma was a constitution of the Austrian Empire adopted by Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph on 20 October 1860. The Diploma was written by the Minister of Interior, Agenor Gołuchowski. It attempted to increase the power of the conservative nobles by giving them more power over their own lands through a program of aristocratic federalism. This policy was a failure almost from the start, and Franz Joseph was forced to make further concessions in the February Patent of 1861. Even so, historians have argued that the October Diploma began the "constitutional" period of the empire.
The February Patent was a constitution of the Austrian Empire promulgated in the form of letters patent on 26 February 1861.
The Patent of Toleration was an edict of toleration issued on 13 October 1781 by the Habsburg emperor Joseph II. Part of the Josephinist reforms, the Patent extended religious freedom to non-Catholic Christians living in the crown lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, including Lutherans, Calvinists, and the Eastern Orthodox. Specifically, these members of minority faiths were now legally permitted to hold "private religious exercises" in clandestine churches.
Ernest Karl Franz Joseph Thomas Friedrich von Koerber was an Austrian liberal statesman who served as Prime Minister of the Austrian portion of Austro-Hungary in 1900-1904 and 1916.
The 1782 Edict of Tolerance was a religious reform of Emperor Joseph II during the time he was emperor of the Habsburg Monarchy as part of his policy of Josephinism, a series of drastic reforms to remodel Austria in the form of the ideal Enlightened state. Joseph II's enlightened despotism included the Patent of Toleration, enacted in 1781, and the Edict of Tolerance in 1782. The Patent of Toleration granted religious freedom to the Lutherans, Calvinists, and Serbian Orthodox, but it was not until the 1782 Edict of Tolerance that Joseph II extended religious freedom to the Jewish population.
The Serfdom Patent of 1 November 1781 aimed to abolish aspects of the traditional serfdom system of the Habsburg Monarchy through the establishment of basic civil liberties for the serfs.
Austro-Turkish War, was fought in 1788–91 between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire, concurrently with the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). It is sometimes referred to as the Habsburg–Ottoman War or the Austro-Ottoman War.
The Principality of Transylvania, from 1765 Grand Principality of Transylvania, was a realm of the Hungarian Crown and since 1804 an Austrian crownland ruled by the Habsburg and Habsburg-Lorraine monarchs of the Habsburg Monarchy. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian government proclaimed union with Transylvania in the April Laws of 1848. After the failure of the revolution, the March Constitution of Austria decreed that the Principality of Transylvania be a separate crown land entirely independent of Hungary. In 1867, as a result of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, the principality was reunited with Hungary proper.
The Pragmatic Sanction of 1723 was a bilateral treaty between the Diet of Hungary and the Hungarian king Charles III by which the Diet recognized the king's daughters as possible heirs to the throne in return for considerable privileges. It was a protracted affair but had lasting consequences, especially in relation to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867.
The Erblande of the House of Habsburg formed the Alpine heartland of the Habsburg Monarchy. They were the hereditary possessions of the Habsburgs within the Holy Roman Empire from before 1526. The Erblande were not all unified under the head of the dynasty prior to the 17th century. They were divided into several groupings: the Archduchy of Austria, Inner Austria, the County of Tyrol and Further Austria.