Joseph II. (HRR)

Joseph II. (* 13. March 1741 in Vienna; † 20. February 1790 in Vienna), ore duke of Austria from the sex having castle Lorraine, became 1764 Roman-German king, was from 1765 to 1790 emperors of the holy Roman realm of German nation, off1780 also king by Hungary and Böhmen.
Emperor Joseph II.

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Joseph Benedikt August Johann Anton Michael Adam of having castle Lorraine saw to 13. March 1741 as a first son and fourth child of Maria Theresia and theirHusband Franz Stephan of Lorraine in Vienna the light of the world.

Joseph II. was twice married: from 1760 to 1763 with Isabella of Parma and with Maria Josepha von Bayern from 1764 to 1767. From none of these marriages a male heir to the throne rose. There alreadyits second marriage more was concluded from Staatsräson than from personal affection, remained unmarried it after the death of its second wife.

emperors without power?

Already as successors to the throne it undertook several Inkognito journeys as a count von Falkenberg (a small linksrheinische rule of the having citizens), alsowhich it wanted to secure itself the sympathies of the population, which contributed however only posthum to its myth.

1764 it still became lifetimes and with agreement of his father, emperor Franz I. Stephan, selected in Frankfurt (Main) to the Roman-German king.

1765 after the death of itsFather became he emperor of the holy Roman realm of German nation and official Mitregent in the erzherzöglichen countries, without being able to govern however much. The position of the German emperor was already at this time” purely decorative”, and his nut/mother Maria Theresia did not remember at all, tooto give its favour the Zügel of power from the hand.

Besides it had a completely contrary opinion in nearly all questions to that his nut/mother Maria Theresia, who lived with all its reforms mentally emotional still in the age of the Gegenreformation, during their sonJoseph already a trailer of aufklärerischer ideas was. To carry out after their death 1780 tried Joseph these ideas, however in an in such a manner überhastete and undiplomatic kind that much of it remained ineffective.

When it died 1790 surprisingly, its younger brother received Leopold II.those the GermanRich.

Joseph, a enlightened absolutist

it is considered as exponent of the enlightened absolutism. For it the Herrschertum was an office, a service at the state as superordinate whole one.

unit state Austria

Joseph II. - Monument in Uničov (Mährisch new city), Tschechien

Joseph II. triedthe influence of the aristocracy and the Klerus in favor of the citizens and farmer back urge. The body characteristic of the farmers about became by the subject patent at the 1. November 1781 waived. The noble condition meetings were back-pushed in favor of of civil servants. This had to do also with its centralization tendencies.

Likewise triedit to create from Austria a unit state with German as unit language and wanted to abolish the traditional special rights of the countries of its rule range.

He did himself even without it, in Prague and press castle to the king of Böhmen and/or. Hungary crown to leave. These efforts solved into that Out and brought Hungary to the Austrian Netherlands unrests to the edge of a rebellion.

This unit state, which it planned, should provide for the whole life of its citizens, from the cradle to the Bahre. It regulated the funeral ceremonies into the smallest details, issued regulations, like much candleswith a fair to ignite are, and forbade even the Lebkuchen, since one can spoil oneself thereby the stomach.

Guide was not thereby it attributed slogan „everything for the people - anything by the people “.

it means

judicial reforms this however also that the legal orderunder it makes meaning progress.1783 was codified parts of the marriage right in the “regulation in marriage things , 1787 were issued a new penal code, and the elaboration of a civil law book, which should finally lead to the ABGB, was begun.

interior and economic policy

under itsGovernment noticing anti-reading tables and physiokratische ideas were carried out. The population was regarded thereby exclusively as worker reservoir.

Measures for the elevation of the total population go thereby hand in hand. Before this background is z. B. to see the abolition of the death penalty 1787 - the Delinquenten became finally for thoseHard labour uses.

Likewise it carried out a taut police state with informer system. Short experiments with the Pressefreiheit were rapidly again given up.

foreign policy

in its foreign policy it was expansive, but mostly does not favour of luck. The participation of Austria in the 1. Division of Poland with thatProduction Galiziens decreased/went back to the initiative of Prussia, which demanded a passage as reconciliation for of Russia increases in the war with Turkey by Poland (when connection between Pommern and East Prussia). A policy of the approximation with Austria preceded that, 1771 a secret contractwith Turkey and thus pressure closed on Russia exercised. After Katharina II. from Russia of this secret contract, Austria had received also an offer was made to participate in the division sovereigns of Poland. The initiative to the partition plans did not proceed thus from Joseph,particularly since the situation of Austria was not clay-indicating under European powers 1771/72, however it was not to have had any scruples contrary to its nut/mother with this trade.

To attach in the Bavarian succession war, with which was planned originally, Bavaria to Austria and but the Wittelsbachern thoseThe Austrian Netherlands to leave, he had to be content in the long run with the Innviertel.

1780 it became as allied Katharinas the II. into a unsuccessful Turk war pulled in.


most famous is however its religion politics, which are mostly alone meant, if one speaks of Josephinismus.

In its tolerance patent the faith monopoly of the catholic church was broken - Protestanten and Jews were allowed to exercise their faith, however only under tolerance; the priority of the catholic church remained upright.

All medals, which were unproductive in the economical sense, thus no nursing for the sick, schools or other socialActivities claimant, were waived, their possession was put under state control. This led to the fact that many kontemplative abbeys with partially long tradition were closed. On the other hand this explains, why different of these abbeys this very day e.g. Schools operate. From proceeds of the abolitions became to in 20. Century existing Religion fund based, which took over paying the priests, who became civil servants in this way.

Also many holidays and church celebrations (Wallfahrten, Prozessionen and. A.) were abolished - mainly by the productivity to increase.


its historical estimate schillert very strongly.Due to the Radikalität and rushing intoness of its measures, which partly intervened in allerkleinlichste way in the life of the particular, it was unpopular during lifetimes up to the hatingness and had to also take back some from them briefly before its death again.

Under the regency of its up toSense of rigid reactionary nephew Franz I. became however gradual it the light shape surrounded with nostalgia.

Since end 19. Century he is seen on the one hand as large progressive, on the other hand one repeatedly to the paternalistischen and the-poetic character of his regiment one refers.

Nontheless it was one the most important AustrianRuler, to whom many constructional beginnings decrease/go back and who brought an important reform and modernization thrust.

overview of the reforms


  • abolition of the body characteristic
  • freedom of religion
  • opening of the Praters and the Augartens for the public
  • restriction of the strict Spanish of yard ceremony
  • Protective duties for the trade
  • real estate tax for the aristocracy
  • attempt: German as state State of


  • building of schools and hospitals (and. A. old AKH of Vienna)
  • establishment of orphan and poorhouses
  • banishing the cemeteries from the cities to preserve around the groundwater
  • mechanism onesteirisches people museum


  • establishment of the Diözesen Linz, pc. And Leoben, change of the Diözesangrenzen reestablishment
  • of Pfarren dissolution
  • of many monasteries decrease
  • of the papal influence prohibition
  • of „superstitious “customs of the church abolishment
  • of coffins for each dead one [
work on] polarized


  1. MariaTheresia, ore duchess of Austria * 20. March 1762 in Vienna, † 23. January 1770 in Vienna
  2. Christine, ore duchess of Austria * 20. November 1763 in Vienna, † 20. November 1763 in Vienna


  • Karl Gutkas: Emperor Joseph II. A biography. Zsolnay, Vienna 1989.ISBN 3-552-04128-1.
  • Francois Fejtö: Joseph II. Haven-guesses/advises a enlightened the poet. Matthes & Seitz, Munich 1987. ISBN 3-88221-512-7.

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and over Joseph II. (HRR) in the catalog of the DDB


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