Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II was Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa, Leopold was a moderate proponent of enlightened absolutism. In 1753, he was engaged to Maria Beatrice dEste, heiress to the Duchy of Modena, the marriage never materialised, Maria Beatrice instead married Leopolds brother, Archduke Ferdinand. On the death of his brother, Charles, in 1761, it was decided that he should succeed to his fathers grand duchy of Tuscany. This settlement was the condition of his marriage on 5 August 1764 with Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, daughter of Charles III of Spain, on the death of his father, Francis I, he succeeded to the grand duchy. Leopold was famous in Florence for his numerous extra-marital affairs, among his lovers was Countess Cowper, wife of the 3rd Earl Cowper, who in compensation for being cuckolded was given honours by Leopolds brother, Joseph II.
For five years, he exercised little more than nominal authority, in 1770, he made a journey to Vienna to secure the removal of this vexatious guardianship and returned to Florence with a free hand. During the twenty years which elapsed between his return to Florence and the death of his eldest brother Joseph II in 1790, he was employed in reforming the administration of his small state. As he had no army to maintain, and as he suppressed the small naval force kept up by the Medici, Leopold was never popular with his Italian subjects. His disposition was cold and retiring, but his steady and intelligent administration, which advanced step by step, brought the grand duchy to a high level of material prosperity. His ecclesiastical policy, which disturbed the deeply rooted convictions of his people and he was unable to secularize the property of the religious houses or to put the clergy entirely under the control of the lay power. However, his abolition of capital punishment was the first permanent abolition in modern times, Leopolds concept of this was based on respect for the political rights of citizens and on a harmony of power between the executive and the legislative.
However, Leopold developed and supported social and economic reforms. Smallpox inoculation was made available, and an early institution for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents was founded. Leopold introduced reforms to the system of neglect and inhumane treatment of those deemed mentally ill. On 23 January 1774, the legge sui pazzi was established, a few years Leopold undertook the project of building a new hospital, the Bonifacio Hospital. He used his skill at choosing collaborators to put a young physician, Vincenzo Chiarugi and he and Joseph II were tenderly attached to one another and met frequently both before and after the death of their mother. The portrait by Pompeo Batoni in which appear together shows that they bore a strong personal resemblance to one another
Archduke Wilhelm Franz of Austria
Archduke Wilhelm Franz Karl of Austria-Teschen was an Archduke of Austria from the House of Habsburg. He was born in Vienna as the son of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen and he was a grandson of Leopold II and nephew of Franz II, the last two Holy Roman Emperors. He held the office of Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights from 1863 until his death in 1894 and he gained the rank of Feldzeugmeister in the service of the Austrian Army in January 1867, after commanding the artillery and being wounded at the Battle of Königgrätz. He was Governor of the Federal Fortress of Mainz, Archduke Wilhelm of Austria died unmarried and without issue on 29 July 1894 in Weikersdorf after falling from a horse. He had been riding in Baden when his horse was frightened by a motor car, the horse bolted, and the Archduke was thrown. One of his feet remained stuck in the stirrup, and he was dragged more than 100 yards and his death was attributed to a concussion on the brain. The archduke was 67 years old, constantin von Wurzbach, Wilhelm Franz Karl.
In, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich, kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Wien 1861, pp.155. Vol.55, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1910, p. 91–93, antonio Schmidt-Brentano, Die k. k. bzw. k. u. k. Generalität 1816–1918, österreichisches Staatsarchiv Johannes Ressel, Kirchen und Kapellen, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte, Heimatkunde und Kunstgeschichte
Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Amalie Theresa was born on 6 April 1807 at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Hofburg and died the next day. Her mother fell ill after giving birth to her and died less than a week afterwards, as a daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, she was born with the title Archduchess of Austria and the style Imperial and Royal Highness
Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
Archduke Rainer Ferdinand of Austria
Born in Milan, the capital of the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, he was a son of Viceroy Archduke Rainer Joseph of Austria and his consort Princess Elisabeth of Savoy. Rainer Ferdinand spent most of his youth at the Royal Villa of Monza and he studied law at the University of Vienna and in 1843 joined the Austrian Imperial Army in the rank of an Oberst. In 1852, he married his cousin Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria, the marriage was a very happy one, with numerous public appearances and charitable activities, the couple was probably the most popular amongst the Habsburg family. The lavish celebration of their wedding in 1912 was rated as one of the last great events of the dissolving Austro-Hungarian Monarchy before World War I. In 1854 Rainer achieved the rank of Generalmajor in the Imperial Army, beside his military career, he was interested in art and science, in particular the emerging Papyrology. In 1899 he donated his extensive Faiyum papyrus collection to the Austrian National Library, already in 1857, Archduke Rainer was appointed president of the Austrian Imperial Council by Emperor Francis Joseph I.
In the course of the implementation of the 1861 February Patent constitution, he took up office as nominal Minister-President chairing the liberal cabinet of State Minster Anton von Schmerling
Caroline of Ansbach
Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, commonly known as Caroline of Ansbach, was Queen of Great Britain as the wife of King George II. Her father, Margrave John Frederick of Brandenburg-Ansbach, belonged to a branch of the House of Hohenzollern and was the ruler of a small German state, the Principality of Ansbach. Caroline was orphaned at an age and moved to the enlightened court of her guardians, King Frederick I. As a young woman, Caroline was much sought-after as a bride and they had eight children, seven of whom grew to adulthood. Caroline moved permanently to Britain in 1714 when her husband became Prince of Wales, as Princess of Wales, she joined her husband in rallying political opposition to his father King George I. In 1717, her husband was expelled from court after a family row, Caroline came to be associated with Robert Walpole, an opposition politician who was a former government minister. Walpole rejoined the government in 1720, and Carolines husband and King George I reconciled publicly, over the next few years, Walpole rose to become the leading minister.
Caroline succeeded as queen and electress consort in 1727, when her husband became King George II and her eldest son, became Prince of Wales. He was a focus for the opposition, like his father before him, as princess and as queen, Caroline was known for her political influence, which she exercised through and for Walpole. Her tenure included four regencies during her husbands stays in Hanover, Caroline was widely mourned following her death in 1737, not only by the public but by the King, who refused to remarry. Caroline was born on 1 March 1683 at Ansbach, the daughter of John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and her father was the ruler of one of the smallest German states, he died of smallpox at the age of 32, when Caroline was three years old. Caroline and her full sibling, her younger brother Margrave William Frederick, left Ansbach with their mother. In 1692, Carolines widowed mother was pushed into a marriage with the Elector of Saxony. Eleonore Erdmuthe was widowed two years later, after her unfaithful husband contracted smallpox from his mistress.
Eleonore remained in Saxony for another two years, until her death in 1696, the orphaned Caroline and William Frederick returned to Ansbach to stay with their elder half-brother, Margrave George Frederick II. Frederick and Sophia Charlotte became king and queen of Prussia in 1701, the queen was the daughter of Dowager Electress Sophia of Hanover, and the sister of George, Elector of Hanover. She was renowned for her intelligence and strong character, and her uncensored and liberal court attracted a great many scholars, Caroline was exposed to a lively intellectual environment quite different from anything she had experienced previously. Before she began her education under Sophia Charlottes care, Caroline had received formal education
Battle of Aspern-Essling
In the Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon attempted a forced crossing of the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were driven back by the Austrians under Archduke Charles. The battle was the first time Napoleon had been defeated in over a decade. However, Archduke Charles failed to secure a victory as Napoleon was able to successfully withdraw most of his forces. The French wanted to cross the Danube, a first crossing attempt on the Schwarze Lackenau on 13 May was repulsed with some 700 French losses. Lobau, one of the islands that divided the river into minor channels, was selected as the next point of crossing. Careful preparations were made, and on the night of 19–20 May the French bridged all the channels on the bank to Lobau. By the evening of the 20th many men had collected there. Massénas corps at once crossed to the bank and dislodged the Austrian outposts. The Archduke did not resist the passage and it was his intention, as soon as a large enough force had crossed, to attack it before the rest of the French army could come to its assistance.
Napoleon had accepted the risk of such an attack, but he sought at the time to minimize it by summoning every available battalion to the scene. His forces on the Marchfeld were drawn up in front of the bridges facing north, with their left in the village of Aspern and their right in Essling. Both places lay close to the Danube and could not therefore be turned, the French had to fill the gap between the villages, and move forward to give room for the supporting units to form up. Prince Johann of Liechtensteins Austrian reserve cavalry was in the center, during the 21st the bridges became more and more unsafe, owing to the violence of the current, but the French crossed without intermission all day and during the night. Kaiserlich-Königliche Hauptarmee, under the command of Charles of Austria, 3rd Column, Vanguard, notitz 3rd Column, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Advance Guard Div. Brady Div. Dedovich 5th Column, Rosenberg/Hohenlohe, Rohan Div,3, Arrighi II Corps, Lannes †, Div. Saint-Hilaire † Div.
of reserve, Demont IV Corps, Masséna, lasalle Cavalry Reserve Corps, Bessières, Div. The French infantry fought with the old stubborn bravery which it had failed to show in the battles of the year. The three Austrian columns were unable to more than half the village
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleons political and cultural legacy has ensured his status as one of the most celebrated and he was born Napoleone di Buonaparte in Corsica to a relatively modest family from the minor nobility. When the Revolution broke out in 1789, Napoleon was serving as an officer in the French army. Seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution, he rose through the ranks of the military. The Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents, in 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power.
He engineered a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic and his ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and in 1804 he became the first Emperor of the French. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805, in 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, marched the Grand Army deep into Eastern Europe, France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high watermark of the French Empire, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, Napoleon invaded Iberia and declared his brother Joseph the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support, the Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, the Russians routinely violated the Continental System and enticed Napoleon into another war. The French launched an invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The resulting campaign witnessed the collapse of the Grand Army, the destruction of Russian cities, in 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in a Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba near Rome and the Bourbons were restored to power, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition, which defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in June, the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51
Capuchin Church, Vienna
The Capuchin Church in Vienna, Austria is a church and monastery run by the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. The official name of the church is Church of Saint Mary of the Angels, about 1599 the Capuchin brothers under Lawrence of Brindisi resided at Vienna on their way to Prague, where they had been sent by Pope Clement VIII in the course of the Counter-Reformation. The church was donated by will of Anna of Tyrol, consort of Holy Roman Emperor Matthias of Habsburg, construction was delayed due to the outbreak of the Thirty Years War and not finished until 1632, under the rule of Matthias successor Ferdinand II. The aisleless church contains the tombs of friar Marco dAviano and architect Donato Felice dAllio as well as a pietà by Peter Strudel. Its subterranean mausoleum is the Imperial Crypt that has been the place of entombment for the Habsburg dynasty, Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. The lying in repose for the last heir to the Austrian and Hungarian throne, Otto von Habsburg, the church is used daily by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter for the celebration of the 1962 extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.
The face of the Capuchin Church building was restored in 2016, removing the line dividing the colors of the church face, the Capuchin Church contains the Imperial Crypt, called the Capuchin Crypt, a burial chamber beneath the church and monastery. Since 1633, the Imperial Crypt has been the place of entombment for members of the House of Habsburg. The bodies of 145 Habsburg royalty, plus urns containing the hearts or cremated remains of four others, are deposited here, the most recent entombment was in 2011. The visible 107 metal sarcophagi and five heart urns range in style from puritan plain to exuberant rococo, some of the dozen resident Capuchin friars continue their customary role as the guardians and caretakers of the crypt, along with their other pastoral work in Vienna
House of Nassau-Weilburg
On July 17,1806, on the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the counties of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg both joined the Confederation of the Rhine. As Frederick August had no heirs he agreed that Frederick William should become sole ruler after his death, however Frederick William died from a fall on the stairs at Weilburg Castle on 9 January 1816 and it was his son William who became duke of a unified Nassau. The sovereigns of this house afterwards governed the Duchy of Nassau until 1866, the House of Nassau-Weilburg became extinct in the male line with the death of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg in 1985. The reigning house of Luxembourg retained Nassau-Weilburg as its official name, since the death of the Grand Duchess, the House of Nassau-Weilburg is a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon-Parma. Grand Dukes of Luxembourg, Guillaume IV and Adolphe, were Protestants, the religion of the House of Nassau, changed after Guillaumes marriage to Marie Anne of Portugal, who was Roman Catholic
Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria
A son of the hero of Aspern he started a military career in Infantry Regiment 57 in Brno. Later he received command of a brigade in Italy and fought against the insurgents in Prague in 1848, in 1859 he was a general in Moravia and Silesia and returned to Brno in 1860. He became a Lieutenant Field Marshal of the Austrian Army and they had six children, Archduke Franz Joseph of Austria Archduke Friedrich of Austria, Duke of Teschen, Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, married King Alfonso XII of Spain Archduke Charles Stephen of Austria, Admiral Archduke Eugen of Austria, Fieldmarshal Archduchess Maria Eleonora of Austria
Duchess of Teschen
Dukes of Teschen, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Miroslav