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2: Charles V to Leopold II

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AT the time of the death of the emperor Maximilian in 1519 the Habsburg dominions in eastern Germany included the duchies of Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and the county of Tirol. Maximilian was succeeded as archduke of Austria as well as emperor by his grandson Charles of Spain, known in history as the emperor Charles V. To his brother Ferdinand Charles resigned all his Austrian lands, including his claims on Bohemia and Hungary. Austria and Spain were thus divided, and, in spite of the efforts of the archduke Charles in the Spanish Succession War, were never again united, for at the battle of Mohács, on the 28th of August 1526, Suleiman the Magnificent defeated and killed Louis, king of Bohemia and of Hungary, whose sister Anne had married Ferdinand. By this victory the Turks conquered and retained, till the peace of Karlowitz in 1699, the greater part of Hungary. During most of his life Ferdinand was engaged in combating the Turks and in attempting to secure Hungary. In John Zápolya, who was supported by Suleiman, Ferdinand found an active rival. The Turks besieged Vienna in 1530 and made several invasions of Hungary and Austria. At length Ferdinand agreed to pay Suleiman an annual tribute for the small portion - about 12,228 sq. m[iles] . - of Hungary which he held. During Charles V.'s struggles with the German Protestants, Ferdinand preserved a neutral attitude, which contributed to gain Germany a short period of internal peace. Though Ferdinand himself did not take a leading part in German religious or foreign politics, the period was one of intense interest to Austria. Throughout the years from 1519 to 1648 there are, said Stubbs, two distinct ideas in progress which "may be regarded as giving a unity to the whole period.... The Reformation is one, the claims of the House of Austria is the other." Austria did not benefit from the reign of Charles V. The emperor was too much absorbed in the affairs of the rest of his vast dominions, notably those of the Empire, rent in two by religious differences and the secular ambitions for which those were the excuse, to give any effective attention to its needs. The peace of Augsburg, 1555, which recognized a dualism within the Empire in religion as in politics, marked the failure of his plan of union; and meanwhile he had been able to accomplish nothing to rescue Hungary from the Turkish yoke. It was left for his brother Ferdinand, a ruler of consummate wisdom (1556-1564) "to establish the modern Habsburg-Austrian empire with its exclusive territorial interests, its administrative experiments, its intricacies of religion and of race."

Before his death Ferdinand divided the inheritance of the German Habsburgs between his three sons. Austria proper was left to his eldest son Maximilian, Tirol to the archduke Ferdinand; and Styria with Carinthia and Carniola to the archduke Charles Under the emperor Maximilian II. (1564-1576), who was also king of Bohemia and Hungary, a liberal policy preserved peace, but he was unable to free his government from its humiliating position of a tributary to the Turk, and he could do nothing to found religious liberty within his dominions on a permanent basis. The whole of Austria and nearly the whole of Styria were mainly Lutheran; in Bohemia, Silesia and Moravia, various forms of Christian belief struggled for mastery; and Catholicism was almost confined to the mountains of Tirol. The accession of Rudolph II.š (1576-1612), a fanatical Spanish Catholic, changed the situation entirely. Under him the Jesuits were encouraged to press on the counter-Reformation. In the early part of his reign there was hardly any government at all. In Bohemia a state of semi-

š Rudolph V. as archduke of Austria II. as emperor.

independence existed, while Hungary preferred the Turk to the emperor. In both kingdoms Rudolph had failed to assert his sovereign power except in fitful attempts to extirpate heresy. With anarchy prevalent within the Austrian dominions some action became necessary. Accordingly in 1606 the archdukes made a compact agreeing to acknowledge the archduke Matthias as head of the family. This arrangement proved far from successful Matthias, who was emperor from 1612 to 1619, proved unable to restore order and when he died Bohemia was practically independent. His successor Ferdinand II. (1619-1637) was strong of will, and resolved to win back Germany to the Catholic faith. As archduke of Styria he had crushed out Protestantism in that duchy, and having been elected king of Bohemia in 1618 was resolved to establish there the rule of the Jesuits. His attempt to do so led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. Till 1630 the fortunes of Austria brightened under the active rule of Ferdinand, who was assisted by Maximilian of Bavaria and the Catholic League, and by Wallenstein. The Palatinate was conquered, the Danish king was overthrown, and it seemed that Austria would establish its predominance over the whole of Germany, and that the Baltic would become an Austrian lake. The fortunes of Austria never seemed brighter than in 1628 when Wallenstein began the siege of Stralsund. His failure, followed by the arrival of Gustavus Adolphus in Germany in 1630, proved the death-blow of Austrian hopes. In 1632 Gustavus Adolphus was killed in 1634 Wallenstein was assassinated, and in 1635 France entered into the war. The Thirty Years' War now ceased to be a religious struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism; it resolved itself into a return to the old political strife between France and the Habsburgs. Till 1648 the Bourbon and Habsburg powers continued the war, and at the peace of Westphalia Austria suffered severe losses. Ferdinand III. (1637-1657) was forced to yield Alsace to France, to grant territorial supremacy, including the right of making alliances, to the states of the Empire, and to acknowledge the concurrent jurisdiction of the imperial chamber and the Aulic council. The disintegration of the Holy Roman Empire was now practically accomplished, and though the possession of the imperial dignity continued to give the rulers of Austria prestige, the Habsburgs henceforward devoted themselves to their Austrian interests rather than to those of the Empire.

In 1657 Leopold I., who had already ruled the Austrian dominions for two years, succeeded his father Ferdinand and was crowned emperor in the following year. His long reign of 48 years was of great importance for Austria, as determining both the internal character and the external policy of the monarchy. The long struggle with France to which the ambitions of Louis XIV. gave rise, and which culminated in the War of Spanish Succession, belongs less to the history of Austria proper than to that of Germany and of Europe. Of more importance to Austria itself was the war with Sweden (1657-1660) which resulted in the peace of Oliva, by which the independence of Poland was secured and the frontier of Hungary safeguarded, and the campaigns against the Turks (1662-1664 and 1683-1699), by which the Ottoman power was driven from Hungary, and the Austrian attitude towards Turkey and the Slav peoples of the Balkans determined for a century to come. The first war, due to Ottoman aggression in Transylvania, ended with Montecuculi's victory over the grand vizier at St. Gothard on the Raab on the 1st of August 1664. The general political situation prevented Leopold from taking full advantage of this, and the peace of Vasvar (August 10) left the Turks in possession of Nagyvárad (Grosswardein) and the fortress of Érsekújvár (Neuhäusel), Transylvania being recognized as an independent principality. The next Turkish war was the direct outcome of Leopold's policy in Hungary, where the persecution of the Protestants and the suppression of the constitution in 1658, led to a widespread conspiracy. This was mercilessly suppressed; and though after a period of arbitrary government (1672-1679), the palatinate and the constitution, with certain concessions to the Protestants, were restored, the discontent continued. In 1683, invited by Hungarian malcontents and spurred on by Louis XIV., the Turks burst into Hungary, overran the country and appeared before the walls of Vienna. The victory of the 12th of September, gained over the Turks by John Sobieski, not only saved the Austrian capital, but was the first of a series of successes which drove the Turks permanently beyond the Danube, and established the power of Austria in the East. The victories of Charles of Lorraine at Párkány (1683) and Esztergom (Gran) (1685) were followed by the capture of Budapest (1686) and the defeat of the Ottomans at Mohács (1688). In 1688 the elector took Belgrade, in 1691 Louis William I. of Baden won the battle of Slankamen, and on the 11th of September 1697 Prince Eugene gained the crowning victory of Zenta. This was followed, on the 26th of January 1699, by the peace of Karlowitz, by which Slavonia, Transylvania and all Hungary, except the Bánát of Temesvár, were ceded to the Austrian crown. Leopold had wisely decided to initiate a conciliatory policy in Hungary. At the diet of Pressburg (1687-1688) the Hungarian crown had been made hereditary in the house of Habsburg, and the crown prince Joseph had been crowned hereditary king of Hungary. In 1697 Transylvania was united to the Hungarian monarchy. A further fact of great prospective importance was the immigration, after an abortive rising against the Turks, of some 30,000 Slav and Albanian families into Slavonia and southern Hungary, where they were granted by the emperor Leopold a certain autonomy and the recognition of the Orthodox religion.

By the conquest of Hungary and Transylvania Leopold completed the edifice of the Austrian monarchy, of which the foundations had been laid by Ferdinand I. in 1526. He had also done much for its internal consolidation. By the death of the archduke Sigismund in 1665 he not only gained Tirol, but a considerable sum of money, which he used to buy back the Silesian principalities of Oppeln and Ratibor, pledged by Ferdinand III. to the poles. In the administration of his dominions, too, Leopold succeeded in strengthening the authority of the central government. The old estates, indeed, survived; but the emperor kept the effective power in his own hands, and to his reign are traceable the first beginnings of that system of centralized bureaucracy which was established under Maria Theresa and survived, for better or for worse, till the revolution of 1848. It was under Leopold. also, that the Austrian standing army was established in spite of much opposition; the regiments raised in 1672 were never disbanded. For the intellectual life of the country Leopold did much. In spite of his intolerant attitude towards religious dissent, he proved himself an enlightened patron of learning. He helped in the establishment of the universities of Innsbruck and Olmütz, and under his auspices, after the defeat of the Turks in 1683, Vienna began to develop from a mere frontier fortress into one of the most brilliant capitals of Europe.

Leopold died in 1705 during the War of Spanish Succession (1702-13), which he left as an evil inheritance to his sons Joseph I. (d. 1711) and Charles VI. The result of the war was a further aggrandizement the house of Austria; but not to the extent that had been hoped. Apart from the fact t] at British and Austrian troops had been unable to deprive Philip V. of his throne, it was from the point of view of Europe at large by no means desirable that Charles VI. should succeed in reviving the empire of Charles V. By the treaty of Utrecht, accordingly, Spain was left to the house of bourbon, while that of Austria received the Spanish Netherlands, Sardinia and Naples.

The treaty of Karlowitz, and the settlement of 1713-1714, marked a new starting- point in the history of Austria. The efforts of Turkey to regain her ascendancy in eastern Europe at the expense of the Habsburgs had ended in failure, and henceforward Turkish efforts were confined to resisting the steady development of Austria in the direction of Constantinople. The treaties of Utrecht, Rastadt and Baden had also re-established and strengthened the position of the Austrian monarchy in western Europe. The days of French invasions of Germany had for the time ceased, and revenge for the attacks made by Louis XIV. was found in the establishment of Austrian supremacy in Italy and in the substitution of Austrian for Spanish domination in the Netherlands.

The situation, though apparently favourable, was full of difficulty, and only a statesman of uncommon dexterity could have guided Austria with success through the ensuing years. Composed of a congeries of nationalities which included Czechs, Magyars, Ruthenes, Rumanians, Germans, Italians, Flemings and other races, and with territories separated by many miles, the Habsburg dominions required from their ruler patience, tolerance, administrative skill and a full knowledge of the currents of European diplomacy. Charles VI. possessed none of these qualifies; and when he died in 1740, the weakness of the scattered Habsburg empire rendered it an object of the cupidity of the continental powers. Yet, though the War of Spanish Succession had proved a heavy drain on the resources of the hereditary dominions of the Austrian crown, Charles VI. had done much to compensate for this by the successes of his arms in eastern Europe. In 1716, in alliance with Venice, he declared war on the Turks; Eugene's victory at Peterwardein involved the conquest of the Bánát of Temesvár, and was followed in 1717 by the capture of Belgrade. By the treaty signed at Passarowitz on the 21st of July 1718, the Bánát, which rounded off Hungary and Belgrade, with the northern districts of Servia, were annexed to the Habsburg monarchy.

Important as these gains were, the treaty none the less once more illustrated the perpetual sacrifice of the true interests of the hereditary dominions of the house of Habsburg to its European entanglements. Had the war continued, Austria would undoubtedly have extended her conquests down the Danube. But Charles was anxious about Italy, then in danger from Spain, which under Alberoni's guidance had occupied Sardinia and Sicily. On the 2nd of August 1718, accordingly, Charles joined the Triple Alliance, henceforth the Quadruple Alliance. The coercion of Spain resulted in a peace by which Charles obtained Sicily in exchange for Sardinia. The shifting of the balance of power that followed belongs to the history of Europe; for Austria the only important outcome was that in 1731 Charles found himself isolated. Being without a son, he was now anxious to secure the throne for his daughter Maria Theresa, in accordance with the Pragmatic Sanction of the 19th of April 1713, in which he had pronounced the indivisibility of the monarchy, and had settled the succession on his daughter, in default of a male heir. It now became his object to secure the adhesion of the powers to this instrument. In 1731 Great Britain and Holland agreed to respect it, in return for the cession of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla to Don Carlos; but the hostility of the Bourbon powers continued, resulting in 1733 in the War of Polish Succession, the outcome of which was the acquisition of Lorraine by France, and of Naples, Sicily and the Tuscan ports by Don Carlos, while the power of the Habsburg monarchy in Northern Italy was strengthened by the acquisition of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla. At the same time Spain and Sardinia adhered to the Pragmatic Sanction. Francis, the dispossessed duke of Lorraine, was to be compensated with Tuscany. On the 12th of February 1736 he was married to the archduchess Maria Theresa, and on the 11th of May following he signed the formal act ceding Lorraine to France.

The last years of Charles VI. were embittered by the disastrous outcome of the war with Turkey (1738-1739), on which he had felt compelled to embark in accordance with the terms of a treaty of alliance with Russia signed in 1726. After a campaign of varying fortunes the Turks beat the imperial troops at Krotzka on the 23rd of July 1739 and laid siege to Belgrade, where on the 1st of September a treaty was signed, which, with the exception of the Bánát, surrendered everything that Austria had gained by the treaty of Passarowitz. On the 20th of October 1740 Charles died, leaving his dominions in no condition to resist the attacks of the powers, which, in spite of having adhered to the Pragmatic Sanction, now sought to profit from their weakness. Yet for their internal development Charles had done much. His religious attitude was moderate and tolerant, and he did his best to promote the enlightenment of his subjects. He was zealous, too, for the promotion of trade and industry, and, besides the East India Company which he established at Ostend, he encouraged the development of Trieste and Fiume as sea-ports and centres of trade with the Levant.

The accession of Maria Theresa to the throne of the Habsburgs marks an important epoch in the history of Austria. For a while, indeed, it seemed that the monarchy was on the point of dissolution. To the diplomacy of the 18th century the breach of a solemn compact was but lightly regarded; and Charles VI. had neglected the advice of Prince Eugene to leave an effective army of 200,000 men as a more solid guarantee of the Pragmatic Sanction than the signatures of the powers. As it was, the Austrian forces, disorganized in the long confusion of the Turkish wars, were in no condition to withstand Frederick the Great, when in 1740, at the head of the splendid army bequeathed to him by his father, he invaded Silesia. The Prussian victory at Mollwitz (April 10, 1741) brought into the field against Austria all the powers which were ambitious of expansion at her expense: France, Bavaria, Spain, Saxony and Sardinia. Nor was the peril wholly external. Apart from the perennial discontents of Magyars and Slavs, the confusion and corruption of the administration, and the misery caused by the ruin of the finances had made the Habsburg dynasty unpopular even in its German states, and in Vienna itself a large section of public opinion was loudly in favour of the claims of Charles of Bavaria. Yet the war, if it revealed the weakness of the Austrian monarchy, revealed also unexpected sources of strength. Not the least of these was the character of Maria Theresa herself, who to the fascination of a young and beautiful woman added a very masculine resolution and judgment. In response to her personal appeal, and also to her wise and timely concessions, the Hungarians had rallied to her support, and for the first time in history awoke not only to a feeling of enthusiastic loyalty to a Habsburg monarch, but also to the realization that their true interests were bound up with those of Austria. Although, then, as the result of the war, Silesia was by the treaty of Dresden transferred from Austria to Prussia, while in Italy by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 cessions were made at the expense of the house of Habsburg to the Spanish Don Philip and to Sardinia, the Austrian monarchy as a whole had displayed a vitality that had astonished the world, and was in some respects stronger than at the beginning of the struggle, notably in the great improvement in the army and in the possession of generals schooled by the experience of active service.

The period from 1747 to 1756, the year of the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, was occupied in preparations for carrying into effect the determination of Maria Theresa to recover the lost provinces. To give any chance of success, it was recognized that a twofold change of system was necessary: in internal and in external affairs. To strengthen the state internally a complete revolution of its administration was begun under the auspices of Count F. W. Haugwitz (1700-1765); the motley system which had survived from the middle ages was gradually replaced by an administrative machinery uniformly organized and centralized; and the army especially, hitherto patched together from the quotas raised and maintained by the various diets and provincial estates, was withdrawn from their interference. These reforms were practically confined to the central provinces of the monarchy; for in Hungary, as well as in the outlying territories of Lombardy and the Netherlands, it was recognized that the conservative temper of the peoples made any revolutionary change in the traditional system inadvisable.

Meanwhile, in foreign affairs, it had become clear that for Austria the enemy to be dreaded was no longer France, but Prussia, and Kaunitz prepared the way for a diplomatic revolution, which took effect when on the 1st of May 1756, Austria and France concluded the first treaty of Versailles. The ion rivalry between Bourbons and Habsburgs was thus ended, and France and Austria remained in alliance or at peace until the outbreak of the French Revolution. So far as Austria was concerned, the Seven Years' War in which France and Austria were ranged against Prussia and Great Britain, was an attempt on the part of Maria Theresa to recover Silesia. It failed; and the peace of Hubertsburg, signed on the 15th of February 1763, left Germany divided between Austria and Prussia, whose rivalry for the hegemony was to last until the victory of Koniggratz (1866) definitely decided the issue in favour of the Hohenzollern monarchy.

The loss of Silesia led Austria to look for "compensation" elsewhere. The most obvious direction in which this could be sought was in Bavaria, ruled by the decadent house of Wittelsbach, the secular rival of the house of Habsburg in southern Germany. The question of the annexation of Bavaria by conquest or exchange had occupied the minds of Austrian statesmen throughout the century: it would not only have removed a perpetual menace to the peace of Austria, but would have given to the Habsburg monarchy an overwhelming strength in South Germany. The matter came to an issue in 1777, on the death of the elector Maximilian III. The heir was the elector palatine Charles Theodore, but Joseph II., who had been elected emperor in 1765, in succession to his father, and appointed co-regent with his mother - claimed the inheritance, and prepared to assert his claims by force. The result was the so-called War of Bavarian Succession. As a matter of fact, however, though the armies under Frederick and Joseph were face to face in the field, the affair was settled without actual fighting; Maria Theresa, fearing the chances of another struggle with Prussia, overruled her son at the last moment, and by the treaty of Teschen agreed to be content with the cession of the Quarter of the Inn (Innviertel) and some other districts.

Meanwhile the ambition of Catherine of Russia, and the war with Turkey by which the empire of the tsars was advanced to the Black Sea and threatened to establish itself south of the Danube, were productive of consequences of enormous importance to Austria in the East. Russian control of the Danube was a far more serious menace to Austria than the neighbourhood of the decadent Ottoman power; and for a while the policy of Austria towards the Porte underwent a change that foreshadowed her attitude towards the Eastern Question in the 19th century. In spite of the reluctance of Maria Theresa, Kaunitz, in July 1771, concluded a defensive alliance with the Porte. He would have exchanged this for an active co-operation with Turkey, could Frederick the Great have been persuaded to promise at least neutrality in the event of a Russo-Austrian War. But Frederick was unwilling to break with Russia, with whom he was negotiating the partition of Poland; Austria in these circumstances dared not take the offensive; and Maria Theresa was compelled to purchase the modification of the extreme claims of Russia in Turkey by agreeing to, and sharing in, the spoliation of Poland. Her own share of the spoils were the acquisition, by the first treaty of partition (August 5, 1772), of Galicia and Lodomeria. Turkey was left in the lurch; and Austrian troops even occupied portions of Moldavia, in order to secure the communication between the new Polish provinces and Transylvania. At Constantinople, too, Austria once more supported Russian policy, and was rewarded, in 1777, by the acquisition of Bukovina from Turkey. In Italy the influence of the House of Austria had been strengthened by the marriage of the archduke Ferdinand with the heiress of the d'Estes of Modena, and the establishment of the archduke Leopold in the grand-duchy of Tuscany.

In internal affairs Maria Theresa may be regarded as the practical founder of the unified Austrian state. The new system of centralization has already been referred to. It only remains to add that, in carrying out this system, Maria Theresa was too wise to fall into the errors afterwards made by her son and successor. She was no doctrinaire, and consistently acted on the principle once laid down by Machiavelli, that while changing the substance, . the prince should be careful to preserve the form of old institutions. Alongside the new bureaucracy, the old estates survived in somnolent inactivity, and even in Hungary, though the ancient constitution was left untouched, the diet was only summoned four times during the reign, and reforms were carried out, without protest, by royal ordinance. It was under Maria Theresa, too, that the attempt was first made to make German the official language of the whole monarchy; an attempt which was partly successful even in Hungary, especially so far as the army was concerned, though Latin remained the official tongue of the diet, the county-assemblies and the courts.

The social, religious and educational reforms of Maria Theresa also mark her reign as the true epoch of transition from medieval to modern conditions in Austria. In religious matters the empress, though a devout Catholic and herself devoted to the Holy See, was carried away by the prevailing reaction, in which her ministers shared, against the pretensions of the papacy, The anti-papal tendency, known as Febronianism, had made immense headway, not only among the laity but among the clergy in the Austrian dominions. By a new law, papal bulls could not be published without the consent of the crown, and the direct intercourse of the bishops with Rome was forbidden, the privileges of the religious orders were curtailed, and the education of the clergy was brought under state control. It was, however, only with reluctance that Maria Theresa agreed to carry out the papal bull suppressing the Society of Jesus; and, while declaring herself against persecution, she could never be persuaded to accept the views of Kaunitz and Joseph in favour of toleration. Parallel with the assertion of the rights of the state as against the church was the revolution effected in the educational system of the monarchy. This, too was taken from the control Of the church; the universities were remodelled and modernized by the introduction of new faculties, the study of ecclesiastical law being transferred from that of theology to that of jurisprudence and the elaborate system of elementary and secondary education was established, which survived with slight modification till 1869.

The death of Maria Theresa in 1780 left Joseph II. free to attempt the drastic revolution from above, which had been restrained by the wise statesmanship of his mother. He was himself a strange incarnation at once of doctrinaire liberalism and the old Habsburg autocracy. Of the essential conditions of his empire he was constitutionally unable to form a conception. He was a disciple, not of Machiavelli, but of Rousseau and his scattered dominions, divided by innumerable divergences of racial and class prejudice, and encumbered with traditional institutions to which the people clung with passionate conservatism, he regarded as so much vacant territory on which to build up his ideal state. He was, in fact, a Revolutionist who happened also to be an emperor. "Reason" and "enlightenment" were his watchwords; opposition to his wise measures he regarded as obscurantist and unreasonable, and unreason, if it proved stubborn, as a vice to be corrected with whips. In this spirit he at once set to work to reconstruct the state, on lines that strangely anticipated the principles of the Constituent Assembly of 1789. He refused to be crowned or to take the oath to the local constitutions, and divided the whole monarchy into thirteen departments, to be governed under a uniform system. In ecclesiastical matters his policy was also that of "reform from above," the complete subordination of the clergy to the state, and the severance of all effective ties with Rome. This treatment of the "Fakirs and Ulemas" (as he called them in his letters), who formed the most powerful element in the monarchy, would alone have ensured the failure of his plans, but failure was made certain by the introduction of the conscription, which turned even the peasants, whom he had done much to emancipate, against him. The threatened revolt of Hungary, and the actual revolt of Tirol and of the Netherlands together with the disasters of the war with Turkey, forced him, before he died, to the formal reversal of the whole policy of reform.

In his foreign policy Joseph II. had been scarcely less unhappy. In 1784 he had resumed his plan of acquiring Bavaria for Austria by negotiating with the elector Charles Theodore its exchange for the Netherlands, which were to be erected for his benefit into a "Kingdom of Burgundy." The elector was not unwilling, but the scheme was wrecked by the opposition of the heir to the Bavarian throne, the duke of Zweibrücken, in response to whose appeal Frederick the Great formed, on the 23rd of July 1785, a confederation of German princes (Fürstenbund) for the purpose of opposing the threatened preponderance of Austria. Prussia was thus for the first time formally recognized as the protector of the German states against Austrian ambition, and had at the same time become the centre of an anti-Austrian alliance, which embraced Sweden, Poland and the maritime powers. In these circumstances the war with Turkey, on which Joseph embarked, in alliance with Russia in 1788, would hardly have been justified by the most brilliant success. The first campaign, however, which he conducted in person was a dismal failure, the Turks followed the Austrian army, disorganized by disease, across the Danube, and though the transference of the command to the veteran marshal Loudon somewhat retrieved the initial disasters his successes were more than counterbalanced by the alliance, concluded on the 31st of January 1790, between Prussia and Turkey. Three weeks later, on the 20th of February 1790, Joseph died broken-hearted.

The situation needed all the statesmanship of the new ruler, Leopold II, This was less obvious in his domestic than in his foreign policy, though perhaps equally present. As grand-duke of Tuscany Leopold had won the reputation of an enlightened and liberal ruler; but meanwhile "Josephinism" had not been justified by its results, and the progress of the Revolution in France was beginning to scare even enlightened princes into reaction. Leopold, then, reverted to the traditional Habsburg methods; the old supremacy of the Church, regarded as the one effective bond of empire, was restored; and the Einheitsstaat was once more resolved into its elements, with the old machinery of diets and estates, and the old abuses. It was the beginning of that policy of "stability" associated later with Metternich which was to last till the cataclysm of 1848. For the time, the policy was justified by its results. The spirit of revolutionary France had not yet touched the heart of the Habsburg empire and national rivalries were expressed, not so much in expansive ambitions, as in a somnolent clinging to traditional privileges. Leopold, therefore, who made his debut on the European stage as the executor of the ban of the Empire against the insurgent Liegeois, was free to pose as the champion of order against the Revolution, without needing to fear the resentment of his subjects. He played this role with consummate skill in the negotiations that led up to the treaty of Reichenbach (August 15, 1790), which ended the quarrel with Prussia and paved the way to the armistice of Giurgevo with Turkey (September 10). Leopold was now free to deal with the Low Countries, which were reduced to order before the end of the year. On the 4th of August 1791 was signed at Sistova the definitive peace with Turkey, which practically established the status quo.

On the 6th of October 1790 Leopold had been crowned Roman emperor at Frankfort and it was as emperor, not as Habsburg, that he first found himself in direct antagonism to the France of the Revolution. The fact that Leopold's sister, Marie Antoinette, was the wife of Louis XVI. had done little to cement the Franco-Austrian alliance, which since 1763 had been practically non-existent; nor was it now the mainspring of his attitude towards revolutionary France. But by the decree of the 4th of August, which in the general abolition of feudal rights involved the possessions of many German princes enclavés in Alsace and Lorraine, the Constituent Assembly had made the first move in the war against the established European system. Leopold protested as sovereign of Germany; and the protest was soon enlarged into one made in the name of Europe. The circular letter of Count Kaunitz. dated the 6th of July 1791, calling on the sovereigns to unite against the revolution was at once the beginning of the Concert of Europe, and in a sense the last manifesto of the Holy Roman Empire as "the centre of political unity." But the common policy proclaimed in the famous declaration of Pillnitz (August 27) was soon wrecked upon the particular interests of the powers. Both Austria and Prussia were much occupied with the Polish question, and to have plunged into a crusade against France would have been to have left Poland, where the new constitution had been proclaimed on the 3rd of May, to the mercy of Russia. Towards the further development of events in France, therefore Leopold assumed at first a studiously moderate attitude; but his refusal to respond to the demand of the French government for the dispersal of the corps of émigrés assembled under the protection of the German princes on the frontier of France, and the insistence on the rights of princes dispossessed in Alsace and Lorraine, precipitated the crisis. On the 25th of January 1792 the French Assembly adopted the decree declaring that, in the event of no satisfactory reply having been received from the emperor by the 1st of March, war should be declared. On the 7th of February Austria and Prussia signed at Berlin an offensive and defensive treaty of alliance. Thus was ushered in the series of stupendous events which were to change the face of Europe and profoundly to affect the destinies of Austria. Leopold himself did not live to see the beginning of the struggle, he died on the 1st of March 1792, the day fixed by the Legislative Assembly as that on which the question on peace or war was to be decided.

The events of the period that followed, in which Austria necessarily played a conspicuous part, belong to the general history of Europe. Here it will only be necessary to mention those which form permanent landmarks in the progressive conformation of the Austrian monarchy. Such was the second partition of Poland (January 23, 1793), which eliminated the "buffer state" on which Austrian statesmanship had hitherto laid such importance, and brought the Austrian and Russian frontiers into contact. Such, too, was the treaty of Campo Formio (October 17, 1797) which ended the first revolutionary war. By this treaty the loss of the Belgian provinces was confirmed, and though Austria gained Venice, the establishment of French preponderance in the rest of Italy made a breach in the tradition of Habsburg supremacy in the peninsula, which was to have its full effect only in the struggles of the next century. The rise of Napoleon, and his masterful interference in Germany, produced a complete and permanent revolution in the relations of Austria to the German states. The campaigns which issued in the treaty of Lunéville (February 9, 1801) practically sealed the fate of the old Empire. Even were the venerable name to survive, it was felt that it would pass, by the election of the princes now tributary to France, from the house of Habsburg to that of Bonaparte. Francis II. determined to forestall the possible indignity of the subordination of his family to an upstart dynasty On the 14th of May 1804 Napoleon was proclaimed emperor of the French; on the 11th of August Francis II. assumed the style of Francis I., hereditary emperor of Austria. Two years later, when the defeat of Austerlitz had led to the treaty of Pressburg (January 1 1806), by which Austria lost Venice and Tirol, and Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine had broken the unity of Germany, Francis formally abdicated the title and functions of Holy Roman emperor (August 6, 1806).


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