Maria Theresa and the 18th century
In three sections the visitors will gain insight into the reign of Emperor Karl VI., Maria Theresa and Joseph II. The “mortar of Belgrade” had a part in the siege of the city in 1717. In 1757 Maria Theresa endowed the most aspired military honour, the Military Maria Theresan Service Medal.
After her father's death, Maria Theresa, married to Francis Stephan of Lothringen (1708-1765), had to defend her lands against almost all neighbours in the so-called War of the Austrian of Succession (1740-1748). Her adversaries were led by King Frederick II. of Prussia, to whom she finally had to cede Silesia.
The aim of the reform later introduced by Maria Theresa was not only to effect a shift towards modernisation, but also, if possible, to regain the lost lands. Hereby the army was of special concern. The monarch was lucky enough not only to have able commanders, like Khevenhüller, Daun, and Laudon at her disposal, but also talents of organisation like Lacy, all of whom eventually succeeded, during the Seven Years’ War, in consolidating the Habsburg Monarchy. They failed, however, to re-conquer Silesia.