Maria Theresa gave birth to her son Joseph II in Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna, a sort of Austrian Versailles. As a ruler, in some ways Joseph II proved significantly different from his mother.
On this day in 1741 empress Maria Theresa gave birth to her first son, who would later inherit her throne and become emperor. Her son was the future Joseph II, whom Maria Theresa allegedly named after St. Joseph. Namely, she allegedly prayed to that saint, hoping to get a male child, since she had previously given birth to three daughters. After Joseph II, Maria Theresa gave birth to another 12 children (16 in total).
Maria Theresa gave birth to her son Joseph II in Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna, a sort of Austrian Versailles. The very same year, Pierre Choderlos, author of Dangerous Liaisons (French: Les Liaisons Dangereuses), was born in France. The famous Marquis de Sade was born one year later.
While Maria Theresa was still carrying Joseph II in her womb, Prussian king Frederick II the Great occupied one of her richest lands – Silesia. A war broke out between Maria Theresa and Frederick the Great. Both were young for rulers – she was 23, while he was 29. Maria Theresa managed to defend her right to the throne, but lost Silesia.
As a ruler, in some ways Joseph II proved significantly different from his mother. He inherited a large collection of lands, including Hungary, Austria, Bohemia, Croatia, and even today’s Belgium. In 1772, the First Partition of Poland took place, through which the Austrian rulers also acquired the area called Galicia and Vladimir.