Pragmatic Sanction

The Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 was an edict issued by Emperor Charles VI to ensure that the Austrian throne and Habsburg lands could be inherited by a daughter.

Since their marriage in 1708, Charles and his wife Elizabeth Christine had not had a son, and since 1711 Charles had been the sole living male Habsburg.

Because the Salic law tradition precluded female inheritance, Charles VI needed to take extraordinary measures to avoid a disputed succession. These precautions proved wise as Charles VI was ultimately succeeded by his elder daughter Maria Theresa.

Nevertheless, her accession was promptly met with the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession.