Maria Theresa
1717 - 1780
Maria Theresia was Holy Roman empress, archduchess of Austria, and also queen of Hungary and Bohemia.

Born in Vienna, the daughter of Emperor Charles VI, she succeeded her father in the hereditary Habsburg lands. Her claim, however, led to the War of the Austrian Succession, during which she lost Silesia to Prussia. Her foreign minister tried to isolate Prussia by diplomatic means. That proved to be unsuccessful, military conflict was renewed in the Seven Years' War, and she was forced to recognize the status quo.

At home, the various peoples of the state resisted the disregard of their national traditions. But Maria Theresia's economic reforms pro-moted the prosperity of her empire and saved it from dissolution.

In her later years she strove to maintain international peace, and accepted the partition of Poland (1772). Her eldest son succeeded her as Joseph II.

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