Nine Years' War
The Nine Years' War —often called the War of the Grand Alliance or the War of the League of Augsburg—was a conflict between Louis XIV of France and a European coalition of the Holy Roman Empire, the Dutch Republic, Spain and Savoy. It was fought in India, it is sometimes considered the first global war. The conflict encompassed the Williamite war in Ireland and Jacobite risings in Scotland, where William III and James II struggled for control of England and Ireland, a campaign in colonial North America between French and English settlers and their respective Indigenous allies, today called King William's War by Americans. Louis XIV of France had emerged from the Franco-Dutch War in 1678 as the most powerful monarch in Europe, an absolute ruler who had won numerous military victories. Using a combination of aggression and quasi-legal means, Louis XIV set about extending his gains to stabilize and strengthen France's frontiers, culminating in the brief War of the Reunions; the Truce of Ratisbon guaranteed France's new borders for twenty years, but Louis XIV's subsequent actions—notably his Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685— led to the deterioration of his military and political dominance.
Louis XIV's decision to cross the Rhine in September 1688 was designed to extend his influence and pressure the Holy Roman Empire into accepting his territorial and dynastic claims. Leopold I and the German princes resolved to resist, when the States General and William III brought the Dutch and the English into the war against France, the French king faced a powerful coalition aimed at curtailing his ambitions; the main fighting took place around France's borders in the Spanish Netherlands, the Rhineland, the Duchy of Savoy and Catalonia. The fighting favoured Louis XIV's armies, but by 1696 his country was in the grip of an economic crisis; the Maritime Powers were financially exhausted, when Savoy defected from the Alliance, all parties were keen to negotiate a settlement. By the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick Louis XIV retained the whole of Alsace but was forced to return Lorraine to its ruler and give up any gains on the right bank of the Rhine. Louis XIV accepted William III as the rightful King of England, while the Dutch acquired a Barrier fortress system in the Spanish Netherlands to help secure their borders.
With the ailing and childless Charles II of Spain approaching his end, a new conflict over the inheritance of the Spanish Empire embroiled Louis XIV and the Grand Alliance in the War of the Spanish Succession. In the years following the Franco-Dutch War Louis XIV of France – now at the height of his powers – sought to impose religious unity in France, to solidify and expand his frontiers. Louis XIV had won his personal glory by conquering new territory, but he was no longer willing to pursue an open-ended militarist policy of the kind he had undertaken in 1672, instead relied upon France's clear military superiority to achieve specific strategic objectives along his borders. Proclaimed the'Sun King', a more mature Louis – conscious he had failed to achieve decisive results against the Dutch – had turned from conquest to security, using threats rather than open war to intimidate his neighbours into submission. Louis XIV, along with his chief advisor Louvois, his foreign minister Colbert de Croissy, his technical expert, developed France's defensive strategy.
Vauban had advocated a system of impregnable fortresses along the frontier that would keep France's enemies out. To construct a proper system, the King needed to acquire more land from his neighbours to form a solid forward line; this rationalisation of the frontier would make it far more defensible while defining it more in a political sense, yet it created the paradox that while Louis's ultimate goals were defensive, he pursued them by hostile means. The King grabbed the necessary territory through what is known as the Réunions: a strategy that combined legalism and aggression; the Treaty of Nijmegen and the earlier Treaty of Westphalia provided Louis XIV with the justification for the Reunions. These treaties had awarded France territorial gains, but because of the vagaries of the language they were notoriously imprecise and self-contradictory, never specified exact boundary lines; this imprecision led to differing interpretations of the text resulting in long-standing disputes over the frontier zones – one gained a town or area and its'dependencies', but it was unclear what these dependencies were.
The machinery needed to determine these territorial ambiguities was in place through the medium of the Parlements at Metz, Besançon, a superior court at Breisach, dealing with Lorraine, Franche-Comté, Alsace. Unsurprisingly, these courts found in Louis XIV's favour. By 1680 the disputed County of Montbéliard had been separated from the Duchy of Württemberg, by August, Louis XIV had secured the whole of Alsace with the exception of Strasbourg; the Chamber of Reunion of Metz soon laid claims to land around the Three Bishoprics of Metz and Verdun, most of the Spanish Duchy of Luxembourg. The fortress of Luxembourg itself was subsequently blockaded with the intention of it becoming part of Louis XIV's defensible frontier. On 30 September 1681, French troops seized Strasbourg and its outpost, Kehl, on the right bank of the Rhine, a bridge which Holy Roman Empire troops had exploited during the latter stages of the Dutch War. B
Succession to the British throne
Succession to the British throne is determined by descent, sex and religion. Under common law, the Crown is inherited by a sovereign's children or by a childless sovereign's nearest collateral line; the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 restrict succession to the throne to the legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are in "communion with the Church of England". Spouses of Roman Catholics were disqualified from 1689 until the law was amended in 2015. Protestant descendants of those excluded for being Roman Catholics are eligible. Queen Elizabeth II is the sovereign, her heir apparent is her eldest son, Prince of Wales. Next in line after him is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales's elder son. Third in line is Prince George, the eldest child of the Duke of Cambridge, followed by his sister, Princess Charlotte and younger brother, Prince Louis. Sixth in line is Prince Duke of Sussex, the younger son of the Prince of Wales. Under the Perth Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, only the first six in line of succession require the sovereign's consent before they marry.
The first four individuals in the line of succession who are over 21, the sovereign's consort, may be appointed Counsellors of State. Counsellors of State perform some of the sovereign's duties in the United Kingdom while he or she is out of the country or temporarily incapacitated. Otherwise, individuals in the line of succession need not have specific official roles; the United Kingdom is one of the 16 Commonwealth realms. Each of those countries has the same order of succession. In 2011, the prime ministers of the realms agreed unanimously to adopt a common approach to amending the rules on the succession to their respective Crowns so that absolute primogeniture would apply for persons born after the date of the agreement, instead of male-preference primogeniture, the ban on marriages to Roman Catholics would be lifted, but the monarch would still need to be in communion with the Church of England. After the necessary legislation had been enacted in accordance with each realm's constitution, the changes took effect on 26 March 2015.
No official, complete version of the line of succession is maintained. The exact number, in remoter collateral lines, of the people who would be eligible is uncertain. In 2001, American genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner compiled a list of 4,973 living descendants of the Electress Sophia in order of succession, but did so disregarding Roman Catholic status; when updated in January 2011, the number was 5,753. The annotated list below covers the first part of this line of succession, being limited to descendants of the sons of George V; the order of the first seventeen numbered in the list is given on the official website of the British Monarchy. People named in italics are unnumbered either because they are deceased or because sources report them to be excluded from the succession. In 1485, Henry Tudor, a female-line descendant of a legitimated branch of the royal house of Lancaster, the House of Beaufort, assumed the English crown as Henry VII, after defeating Richard III, killed at the battle of Bosworth when leading a charge against Henry's standard.
Richard was the last king of the House of York, the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. Henry declared himself king retroactively from 21 August 1485, the day before his victory over Richard at Bosworth Field, caused Richard's Titulus Regius to be repealed and expunged from the Rolls of Parliament. After Henry's coronation in London in October that year, his first parliament, summoned to meet at Westminster in November, enacted that "the inheritance of the crown should be, rest and abide in the most royal person of the sovereign lord, King Henry VII, the heirs of his body lawfully coming."Henry VII was followed by his son, Henry VIII. Though his father descended from the Lancastrians, Henry VIII could claim the throne through the Yorkist line, as his mother Elizabeth was the sister and heiress of Edward V. In 1542 Henry assumed the title King of Ireland. Henry VIII's numerous marriages led to several complications over succession. Henry VIII was first married by whom he had a daughter named Mary.
His second marriage, to Anne Boleyn, resulted in a daughter named Elizabeth. Henry VIII had Edward, by his third wife, Jane Seymour. An Act of Parliament passed in 1533 declared Mary illegitimate. Though the two remained illegitimate, an Act of Parliament passed in 1544 allowed reinserting them, providing further "that the King should and might give, limit, appoint or dispose the said imperial Crown and the other premises … by letters patent or last will in writing." Mary and Elizabeth, under Henry VIII's will, were to be followed by descendants of the King's deceased sister Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk. This will excluded from the succession the descendants of Henry's eldest sister Margaret Tudor, who were the rulers of Scotland; when Henry VIII died in 1547, the young Edward succeeded him, becoming Edward VI. Edward VI was the first Protestant Sovereign to succeed to the rule of England, he attempted to divert the course of succession in his will to prevent his Catholic half-s
Fürst is a German word for a ruler and is a princely title. Fürsten were, since the Middle Ages, members of the highest nobility who ruled over states of the Holy Roman Empire and its former territories, below the ruling Kaiser or König. A Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was the reigning sovereign ruler of an Imperial State that held imperial immediacy in the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire; the territory ruled is referred to in German as a Fürstentum, the family dynasty referred to as a Fürstenhaus, the descendants of a Fürst are titled and referred to in German as Prinz or Prinzessin. The English language uses the term prince for both concepts. Latin-based languages employ a single term, whereas Dutch as well as the Scandinavian and Slavic languages use separate terms similar to those used in German. Since the Middle Ages, the German designation and title of Fürst refers to: the highest members of the nobility who ruled over the Holy Roman Empire, below the ruling Kaiser or König; the title Fürst is used for the heads of princely houses of German origin.
From the Late Middle Ages, it referred to any vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor ruling over an immediate estate. Unless he holds a higher title, such as grand duke or king, he will be known either by the formula "Fürst von + ", or by the formula "Fürst zu + "; these forms can be combined, as in "...von und zu Liechtenstein". The rank of the title-holder is not determined by the title itself, but by his degree of sovereignty, the rank of his suzerain, or the age of the princely family; the Fürst ranked below the Herzog in the Holy Roman Empire's hierarchy, but princes did not rank below dukes in non-German parts of Europe. The style associated with the title of Fürst in post-medieval Europe, was considered inferior to Hoheit in Germany, though not in France; the present-day rulers of the sovereign principality of Liechtenstein bear the title of Fürst, the title is used in German when referring to the ruling princes of Monaco. The hereditary rulers of the one-time principalities of Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania were all referred to in German as Fürsten before they assumed the title of "king".
Fürst is used more in German to refer to any ruler, such as a king, a reigning duke, or a prince in the broad sense. Before the 12th century, counts were included in this group, in accordance with its usage in the Holy Roman Empire, in some historical or ceremonial contexts, the term Fürst can extend to any lord; the descendants of a Fürst, when that title has not been restricted by patent or custom to male primogeniture, is distinguished in title from the head of the family by use of the prefix Prinz. A nobleman whose family is non-dynastic, i.e. has never reigned or been mediatised, may be made a Fürst by a sovereign, in which case the grantee and his heirs are deemed titular or nominal princes, enjoying only honorary princely title without commensurate rank. In families thus elevated to princely title in or after the 18th century, the cadets hold only the title of Graf, such as in the families of the princes of Bismarck and Hardenberg. However, in a few cases, the title of Fürst was shared by all male-line descendants of the original grantee.
Several titles were derived from the term Fürst: Reichsfürst was a ruling Prince whose territory was part of the Holy Roman Empire. He was entitled to a vote, either individually or as a member of a voting unit, in the Imperial Diet. Reichsfürst was used generically for any ruler who cast his vote in either of the Reichstag's two upper chambers, the Electoral College or the College of Princes: Their specific title might be king, grand duke, margrave, count palatine, Imperial prince or Imperial count. Included in this group were the reichsständisch Personalisten, Imperial princes and counts whose small territories did not meet the Fürstenrat's criteria for voting membership as an Imperial estate, but whose family's right to vote therein was recognised by the Emperor. A Prince of the Church who voted in the Electoral or Princely College, along with a handful of titular princes might be referred to as Reichsfürsten. Kirchenfürst was a hierarch who held an ecclesiastic fief and Imperial princely rank, such as prince-bishops, prince-abbots, or Grand Masters of a Christian military order.
Landesfürst is a princely head of state, i.e. not just a titular prince
A prince is a male ruler ranked below a king and above a duke or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is a title of nobility hereditary, in some European states; the feminine equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps, from primus and capio, meaning "the chief, most distinguished, prince"; the Latin word prīnceps, became the usual title of the informal leader of the Roman senate some centuries before the transition to empire, the princeps senatus. Emperor Augustus established the formal position of monarch on the basis of principate, not dominion, he tasked his grandsons as summer rulers of the city when most of the government were on holiday in the country or attending religious rituals, for that task, granted them the title of princeps. The title has generic and substantive meanings: generically, prince refers to a member of a family that ruled by hereditary right, the title referring either to sovereigns or to cadets of a sovereign's family.
The term may be broadly used of persons in various continents or eras. In Europe, it is the title borne by dynastic cadets in monarchies, borne by courtesy by members of reigning dynasties. as a substantive title, a prince was a monarch of the lowest rank in post-Napoleonic Europe, e.g. Princes of Andorra, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Monaco and Pyrmont, etc. substantively, the title was granted by popes and secular monarchs to specific individuals and to the heads of some high-ranking European families who, never exercised dynastic sovereignty and whose cadets are not entitled to share the princely title, viz the Princes de Beauvau-Craon, von Bismarck, von Dohna-Schlobitten, von Eulenburg, de Faucigny-Lucinge, von Lichnowsky, von Pless, Ruffo di Calabria, von Sagan, van Ursel, etc. generically, cadets of some non-sovereign families whose head bears the non-dynastic title of prince were sometimes authorized to use the princely title, e.g. von Carolath-Beuthen, de Broglie, Demidoff di San Donato, Lieven, de Merode, Radziwill, von Wrede, etc. substantively, the heirs apparent in some monarchies use a specific princely title associated with a territory within the monarch's realm, e.g. the Princes of Asturias, Grão Pará, Viana, etc. substantively, it became the fashion from the 17th century for the heirs apparent of the leading ducal families to assume a princely title, associated with a seigneurie in the family's possession.
These titles were borne by courtesy and preserved by tradition, not law, e.g. the princes de Bidache, Tonnay-Charente, Poix, Léon, The original, but now less common use of the word, originated in the application of the Latin word princeps, from late Roman law, the classical system of government that gave way to the European feudal society. In this sense, a prince is a ruler of a territory, sovereign, or quasi-sovereign, i.e. exercising substantial prerogatives associated with monarchs of independent nations, such as the immediate states within the historical boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, there were as many as two hundred such territories in Italy and Gaelic Ireland. In this sense, "prince" is used of all rulers, regardless of actual title or precise rank; this is the Renaissance use of the term found in Il Principe. As a title, by the end of the medieval era, prince was borne by rulers of territories that were either smaller than or exercised fewer of the rights of sovereignty than did emperors and kings.
A lord of a quite small territory might come to be referred to as a prince before the 13th century, either from translations of a native title into the Latin princeps, or when the lord's territory was allodial. The lord of an allodium owned his lands and exercised prerogatives over the subjects in his territory owing no feudal homage or duty as a vassal to a liege lord, nor being subject to any higher jurisdiction. Most small territories designated as principalities during feudal eras were allodial, e.g. the Princedom of Dombes. Lords who exercised lawful authority over territories and people within a feudal hierarchy were sometimes regarded as princes in the general sense if they held the rank of count or higher; this is attested in some surviving styles for e.g. British earls and dukes are still addressed by the Crown on ceremonial occasions as high and noble princes. In parts of the Holy Roman Empire in which primogeniture did not prevail, all legitimate agnates had an equal right to the family's hereditary titles.
While this meant that offices, such as emperor and elector could only be occupied by one dynast at a time, holders of such other titles as duke, landgrave, count palatine, prince could only differentiate themselves by adding the name of their appanage to the family's original title. Not only did this tend to proliferate unwieldy titles, but as agnatic primogeniture became the norm in the Holy Roman Empire by the end of the 18th century, another me
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a state in the southwest German Empire on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918, it came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, which were unified in 1771. It became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden through the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1803–1806 and was a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871, remaining a Grand Duchy until 1918 when it became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden. Baden was bordered to the north by the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt. After World War II, the French military government in 1945 created the state of Baden out of the southern half of the former Baden, with Freiburg as its capital; this portion of the former Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the true successor of the old Baden. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württemberg, becoming part of the American military zone, formed the state of Württemberg-Baden.
Both Baden and Württemberg-Baden became states of West Germany upon its formation in 1949. In 1952 Baden merged with Württemberg-Hohenzollern to form Baden-Württemberg; this is the only merger of states that has taken place in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The unofficial anthem of Baden is called "Badnerlied" and consists of four or five traditional verses. However, over the years, many more verses have been added – there are collections with up to 591 verses of the anthem. Baden came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into various smaller territories that were unified in 1771. In 1803 Baden was raised to Electoral dignity within the Holy Roman Empire. Upon the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Baden became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden. In 1815 it joined the German Confederation. During the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states, Baden was a centre of revolutionist activities. In 1849, in the course of the Baden Revolution, it was the only German state that became a republic for a short while, under the leadership of Lorenzo Brentano.
The revolution in Baden was suppressed by Prussian troops. The Grand Duchy of Baden remained a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871. After the revolution of 1918, Baden became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden; when the French Revolution threatened to overflow into the rest of Europe in 1792, Baden joined forces against France, its countryside was devastated once more. In 1796, the margrave Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, was compelled to pay an indemnity and cede his territories on the left bank of the Rhine to France. Fortune, soon returned to his side. In 1803 owing to the good offices of Alexander I, emperor of Russia, he received the bishopric of Konstanz, part of the Rhenish Palatinate, other smaller districts, together with the dignity of a prince-elector. Changing sides in 1805, he fought for Napoleon, with the result that, by the peace of Pressburg in that year, he obtained the Breisgau and other territories at the expense of the Habsburgs.
In 1806, he joined the Confederation of the Rhine, declared himself a sovereign prince, became a grand duke, received additional territory. The Baden contingent continued to assist France, by the Peace of Vienna in 1809, the grand duke was rewarded with accessions of territory at the expense of the Kingdom of Württemberg. Having quadrupled the area of Baden, Charles Frederick died in June 1811, was succeeded by his grandson, Grand Duke of Baden, married to Stéphanie de Beauharnais, a cousin of Empress Josephine's first husband, adopted by Napoleon I. Charles fought for his father-in-law until after the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, when he joined the Allies. In 1815 Baden became a member of the German Confederation established by the Act of 8 June, annexed to the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna of 9 June. However, in the haste of winding up the Congress, the question of the succession to the grand duchy did not get settled, a matter that would soon become acute; the treaty of 16 April 1816, by which the territorial disputes between Austria and Bavaria were settled, guaranteed the succession of the Baden Palatinate to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, upon the expected event of the extinction of the line of Zähringen.
As a counter to this, in 1817, the Grand Duke Charles issued a pragmatic sanction declaring the counts of Höchberg, the issue of a morganatic marriage between the grand-duke Charles Frederick and Luise Geyer von Geyersberg, capable of succeeding to the crown. A controversy between Bavaria and Baden ensued, only decided in favour of the Höchberg claims by a treaty signed by Baden and the four great powers at Frankfurt on 10 July 1819. Meanwhile, the dispute had wide-ranging effects. In order to secure popular support for the Höchberg heir, in 1818 Grand Duke Charles granted to the grand duchy, under Article XIII of the Act of Confederation, a liberal constitution, under which two chambers were constituted and their assent declared necessary for legislation and taxation; the outcome was important far beyond the narrow limits of the duchy, as all of Germany watc
Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia
Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia was the eldest daughter of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna. She was born in Coburg when her parents were in exile because their marriage had not been approved by Tsar Nicholas II, she was called "Marie," the French version of her name, or by the Russian nickname "Masha." The family returned to Russia prior to World War I, but was forced to flee following the Russian Revolution of 1917. Maria was raised in Saint-Briac, France, she was born Princess Maria Kirillovna of Russia, but her father granted her the title Grand Duchess of Russia with the style Imperial Highness when he declared himself Guardian of the Throne in 1921. As a child, the dark-haired, dark-eyed Maria took after her maternal grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, in appearance, with a wide, round face and a tendency to be overweight and to look older than her actual age when she was still a teenager, she was described as "shy and easy-going", but had her share of mishaps.
In 1921, when she was fifteen, the "flighty" Maria visited her aunt, Queen Marie of Romania, carried on a flirtation with the son-in-law of a lady-in-waiting at the Romanian court. Her fifteen-year-old cousin, Princess Ileana of Romania, spread rumors about the flirtation when Maria returned home, resulting in strained relations between Marie of Romania and Maria's mother, Victoria; the conflict was smoothed over. The following year, on 24 February 1925, Maria was engaged to Karl, 6th Prince of Leiningen, they were married on 25 November. Victoria was at her daughter's bedside when she gave birth to her first child, Emich Kirill, in 1926, she attended the subsequent births of Maria's children. Maria had seven children in all, one of whom died in infancy during World War II, her husband was forced to join the German army and was taken captive by the Soviets at the end of World War II. He died of starvation in a Russian concentration camp in 1946. Maria, left with little money, struggled to support her surviving six children.
She died five years of a heart attack at age forty-four. Maria had seven children: Prince Emich Kirill Ferdinand Hermann of Leiningen, they are the parents of Andreas, 8th Prince of Leiningen, Karl-Emich and Stephanie. Prince Karl Vladimir Ernst Heinrich of Leiningen, they are the parents of Lavinia and Dimitri. Princess Margarita Ileana Victoria of Leiningen, they are the parents of Karl and Ferdinand. Princess Mechtilde Alexandra of Leiningen, they are the parents of Ulf-Karl and Johann. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Berthold of Leiningen Prince Peter Victor of Leiningen Michael John Sullivan, A Fatal Passion: The Story of the Uncrowned Last Empress of Russia, Random House, 1997, ISBN 0-679-42400-8 Paul Theroff, An Online Gotha, genealogy of the princely family of Leiningen John Van der Kiste, Princess Victoria Melita, Sutton Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0-7509-3469-7 Mariya Kirillovna, a thread with photos and information about Grand Duchess Maria at AlexanderPalace.org
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from November 1780 until his death. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, the brother of Marie Antoinette, he was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph was a proponent of enlightened absolutism, he has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism, he died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold II. Joseph was born in the midst of the early upheavals of the War of the Austrian Succession, his formal education was provided through the writings of Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes, by the example of his contemporary King Frederick II of Prussia. His practical training was conferred by government officials, who were directed to instruct him in the mechanical details of the administration of the numerous states composing the Austrian dominions and the Holy Roman Empire.
Joseph married Princess Isabella of Parma in October 1760, a union fashioned to bolster the 1756 defensive pact between France and Austria. Joseph loved his bride, finding her both stimulating and charming, she sought with special care to cultivate his favor and affection. Isabella found a best friend and confidant in her husband's sister, Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen; the marriage of Joseph and Isabella resulted in the birth of Maria Theresa. Isabella was fearful of pregnancy and early death a result of the early loss of her mother, her own pregnancy proved difficult as she suffered symptoms of pain and melancholy both during and afterward, though Joseph attended to her and tried to comfort her. She remained bedridden for six weeks after their daughter's birth. On the back of their newfound parenthood, the couple endured two consecutive miscarriages—an ordeal hard on Isabella—followed by another pregnancy. Pregnancy was again provoking melancholy and dread in Isabella. In November 1763, while six months pregnant, Isabella fell ill with smallpox and went into premature labor, resulting in the birth of their second child, Archduchess Maria Christina, who died shortly after being born.
Progressively ill with smallpox and strained by sudden childbirth and tragedy, Isabella died the following week. The loss of his beloved wife and their newborn child was devastating for Joseph, after which he felt keenly reluctant to remarry, though he dearly loved his daughter and remained a devoted father to Maria Theresa. For political reasons, under constant pressure, in 1765, he relented and married his second cousin, Princess Maria Josepha of Bavaria, the daughter of Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria; this marriage proved unhappy, albeit brief, as it lasted only two years. Though Maria Josepha loved her husband, she felt inferior in his company. Lacking common interests or pleasures, the relationship offered little for Joseph, who confessed he felt no love for her in return, he adapted by distancing himself from his wife to the point of near total avoidance, seeing her only at meals and upon retiring to bed. Maria Josepha, in turn, suffered considerable misery in finding herself locked in a cold, loveless union.
Four months after the second anniversary of their wedding, Maria Josepha grew ill and died from smallpox. Joseph neither visited her during her illness nor attended her funeral, though he expressed regret for not having shown her more kindness, respect, or warmth. One thing the union did provide him was the improved possibility of laying claim to a portion of Bavaria, though this would lead to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Joseph never remarried. In 1770, Joseph's only surviving child, the seven-year-old Maria Theresa, became ill with pleurisy and died; the loss of his daughter was traumatic for him and left him grief-stricken and scarred. Lacking children, Joseph II was succeeded by his younger brother, who became Leopold II. Joseph was made a member of the constituted council of state and began to draw up minutes for his mother to read; these papers contain the germs of his policy, of all the disasters that overtook him. He was a friend to religious toleration, anxious to reduce the power of the church, to relieve the peasantry of feudal burdens, to remove restrictions on trade and knowledge.
In these, he did not differ from Frederick, or his own brother and successor Leopold II, all enlightened rulers of the 18th century. He tried to liberate serfs. Where Joseph differed from great contemporary rulers, where he was akin to the Jacobins, was in the intensity of his belief in the power of the state when directed by reason; as an absolutist ruler, however, he was convinced of his right to speak for the state uncontrolled by laws, of the sensibility of his own rule. He had inherited from his mother the belief of the house of Austria in its "august" quality and its claim to acquire whatever it found desirable for its power or profit, he was unable to understand that his philosophical plans for the molding of humani