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For God and KaiserThe Imperial Austrian Army, 1619-1918$
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Richard Bassett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178586

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178586.001.0001

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‘Our Blood and Life’

‘Our Blood and Life’

The Great Empress

(p.83) Chapter 4 ‘Our Blood and Life’
For God and Kaiser

Richard Bassett

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Charles VI's eldest daughter Maria Theresa, the heir to the House of Austria. Maria Theresa became the most impressive monarch of the eighteenth century. An unashamed innovator and moderniser despite her personal conservatism, she left her mark on every area of her realm. There would be no later Austrian or indeed Central European economic, administrative, public health, legal, educational, or military institution that could not in some way trace its roots to her energetic reforming zeal and retain the imprint of her measures even centuries later. Maria Theresa also redefined the relationship between the Habsburg monarchy and her peoples. She injected a new style of sovereignty into the Imperial house, eliminating the “forbidden zone” that surrounded the person of earlier Habsburg rulers in Vienna. She became truly popular with her subjects. Nearly all vestiges of the Spanish Habsburgs' elaborate and formal mystique were dismantled during her reign.

Keywords:   Maria Theresa, House of Austria, heiress, Charles IV, Habsburg monarchy

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