Joseph II (1741--90) -- son and eventual successor of Maria Theresa -- has conventionally been seen in the context of the "Enlightened Despot'' reformers. Today's turmoil in his former territories invites a rather different perspective, however, as Joseph grapples with the familiar and intractable problems of creating a viable unitary state out of his multi-national empire in Central Europe. Professor Blanning's brilliant short study, based on extensive archival research, offers a history of the Habsburg monarchy in the eighteenth century, as well as a revaluation of the emperor's complex personality and his ill-fated reform programme.
Table of Contents
1. Jospeh II and the Habsburg Inheritance
2. Joseph II, Maria Theresa and Josephine
3. Joseph II and the Enlightened State
4. Joseph II and the Priveleged Orders
5. Joseph II and the Great Powers
6. Joseph II and the crisis of the Habsburg Monarchy