Home » Law & Government » Government » Habsburg Emperor Joseph II tried to reform Austria into “ideal Enlightened state”. He abolished serfdom, removed restrictions against Jews, gave religious freedom to Protestants and Orthodox and tried to weaken power of Catholic church. But as soon he died all his reforms were abolished

Habsburg Emperor Joseph II tried to reform Austria into “ideal Enlightened state”. He abolished serfdom, removed restrictions against Jews, gave religious freedom to Protestants and Orthodox and tried to weaken power of Catholic church. But as soon he died all his reforms were abolished

Josephinism

“Josephists” redirects here. For the medieval heretics, see Josephines. For other uses, see Josephites.

Joseph II by Anton von Maron, 1775

Josephinism was the collective domestic policies of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1765–1790). During the ten years in which Joseph was the sole ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy (1780–1790), he attempted to legislate a series of drastic reforms to remodel Austria in the form of what liberals saw as an ideal Enlightened state. This provoked severe resistance from powerful forces within and outside his empire, but ensured that he would be remembered as an “enlightened ruler” by historians from then to the present day.

Joseph II as co-regent

Born in 1741, Joseph was the son of Maria Theresa of… Continue Reading (7 minute read)

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