Maria Theresa Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1717 - 1780 *** Full Name: Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina *** Occupation: Queen of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, Parma and the Austrian Netherlands as when she married she became Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress *** Date of Birth: Maria Theresa was born on May 13th 1717 *** Place of Birth: Maria Theresa was born in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna *** Family background: Her father was the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and her mother was Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel *** Early life and childhood: She grew up with younger sisters, Maria Anna and Maria Amalia, after her older brother, Archduke Leopold, died shortly before her birth *** Education: Maria Theresa was educated by Jesuits although her education was not extensive, she enjoyed archery and singing, she was taught how to paint and draw, music and dancing were also learned and although barred from learning to ride a horse by her father, she would eventually be taught the basics ***
Maria Theresa Fact 1: Maria Theresa was born on May 13th 1717 and during the 18th century period in history when the French Revolution took place, the Ottoman Empire went in a decline and Great Britain became a main power around the globe.
Maria Theresa Fact 2: From the age of around fourteen years, Maria Theresa's father had her attend council meetings but they never discussed what was said during the meetings.
Maria Theresa Fact 3: Her father had fought for many years to secure the sovereignty for his daughter but he never gave up the hope that he would one day have a son.
Maria Theresa Fact 4: Marriage for Maria Theresa was a very important issue and one that was addressed as early as possible. The first choice for her marriage was made during her childhood and was proposed with Leopold Clement of Lorraine. However this would not be able to go ahead as the young Leopold died of smallpox.
Maria Theresa Fact 5: Although others were considered by her father, the next and most desirable candidate was Leopold’s younger brother, Francis Stephen.
Maria Theresa Fact 6: He father gave serious considerable to other European Royal households and one point did betroth both Maria and her sister to the Spanish Royal heirs, Charles of Spain and Philip of Spain but the shift in power in Europe would become too unbalanced and so he withdrew from the proposal much to Maria Theresa's relief as she had become very fond of Francis Stephen.
Maria Theresa Fact 7: In February of 1736 Maria Theresa and Francis Stephen were married. Maria loved her husband passionately but the same could not be said of him.
Maria Theresa Fact 8: During her early reign, Maria Theresa had no money, no army, no experience and virtually no knowledge of how to carry on and so deferred much to her husband for advice but would not allow him to speak on her behalf.
Maria Theresa Fact 9: Eventually she would come into her own and by 1740 she began to display her own authority.
Maria Theresa Fact 10: Her father had spent much time putting together the Pragmatic Sanction but once Maria was sovereign many tried to go back on their agreements but Maria would not tolerate their withdrawal, in particular King Frederick II of Prussia invaded the Duchy of Silesia and threatened Maria that if she did not cede it to him he would side with her enemies.
Maria Theresa Fact 11: Maria Theresa refused his request, partially fearing that if she gave in once it would not be the last time.
Maria Theresa Fact 12: Over the next few years Maria Theresa fought several battles over her various borders culminating in the Treaty of Breslau and The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle.
Maria Theresa Fact 13: However in 1756 Saxony was invaded by Frederick of Prussia which saw the beginning of the Seven Years’ War.
Maria Theresa Fact 14: This conflict was resolved with the Treaty of Hubertusburg between Austria, Prussia and Saxony.
Maria Theresa Fact 15: During her marriage Maria Theresa and Francis Stephen had sixteen children of which thirteen survived.
Maria Theresa Fact 16: During all the conflicts that took part in the first half of her reign Maria Theresa was pregnant but did not let that deter her from the serious decisions that needed to be made.
Maria Theresa Fact 17: No sooner had she stopped having babies she was required to begin marrying off her older children and although she is sure to have cared deeply for her off spring it did not deter her from making wise choices when it came to partners for her children.
Maria Theresa Fact 18: Shortly after her fiftieth birthday Maria Theresa contracted smallpox from her daughter-in-law Maria Josepha of Bavaria and although she survived, her daughter-in-law did not. She would also come to blame herself for the death of her own daughter, Maria Josepha, to pray at the side of the open coffin with her and she too contracted the deadly illness and died.
Maria Theresa Fact 19: Her husband Francis Stephen died in August of 1765 leaving her totally divested and so overwrought did she become her own health began to suffer physically.
Maria Theresa Fact 20: Already sharing her sovereignty with his son and heir, Maria Theresa died on November 29th 1780 she died surrounded by her family. Her body was laid to rest in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna beside her husband.
Influence and Legacy: With Maria Theresa died the House of Habsburg and would be replaced by the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. She ruled her various countries for over forty years and although she was by no means a perfect sovereign, she was known to be highly ani-Semetic having no time for the Jewish people, she once wrote “I know of no greater plague that this race, which on account of its deceit, usury and avarice is driving my subjects into beggary. Therefore as far as possible, the Jews are to be kept away and avoided.” One of her few savings graces was the introduction of compulsory schooling.
Short Facts about Maria Theresa for Kids
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