Author Topic: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family  (Read 224807 times)

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #375 on: February 19, 2015, 11:15:04 PM »
Yes. Although Maria Elisaberth never found one she liked to marry like Mimi did or Amalia tried.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #376 on: February 21, 2015, 04:46:44 AM »
Mimi first wanted to marry a prince of Wurttemberg. Amalia's first choice of a prince - by the way, Karl of Zweibrucken was certainly not a penniless prince as most assumed, Frederick Michael  left a very considerable fortune to his family (it was said that he managed his various revenues very well) - was rejected but then she was rather lucky the second time around in the sense that she did love - and not only out of duty -  her husband (despite their differences). As for  Maria Elisabeth, she seemed to have a crush on Charles-Joseph, Prince de Ligne but he was already married when she was 12 years old and I'm not sure if a Prince de Ligne would rank high enough for the imperial family  even if unmarried (that information on the Prince de Ligne was mentioned earlier in this thread but may have been deleted). Who knows, she may have been lucky the second time around like her two sisters?  Her private life is not very well researched.  

Also, on Maria Elisabeth's last years, she lived in Linz at the Khevenhüller mansion (Freihaus Khevenhüller, Alstadt 30) and it was a building with modern amenities like plumbing and an elevator. She still enjoyed going to the theatre and would often go to the newly-built one in town. She suffered the least among her sisters in those hard, unhappy years (French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars).

In addition to what was discussed re: Maximilian Franz's establishment, Maria Theresa also wanted to transfer Franz's Stephan's estates in Holitsch, Sassin, Göding and Eckartsau to him - provided that Joseph agreed. But I don't know if he did.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 05:10:47 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #377 on: February 21, 2015, 12:15:27 PM »
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re: Maximilian Franz's establishment, Maria Theresa also wanted to transfer Franz's Stephan's estates in Holitsch, Sassin, Göding and Eckartsau to him - provided that Joseph agreed. But I don't know if he did.

Under Maria Theresa's will, Max Franz was allowed the use and the income of Franz Stephan's 4 estates in addition to his generous income as Coadjutor and later grand master of the Teutonic Order, until he received the revenues of the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster (he did not take up these positions until 1784).  However, Joseph made him renounce his claim to these estates and sent him off to the headquarters of the Teutonic Order apparently in order to have funds to meet other provisions of Maria Theresa's will and to recoup some of the 1 million florins spent on the elections for Cologne and Münster.  Later however, it appears Max Franz sometimes joined him at the much reduced court in Vienna which was now very masculine and mean, even more than that of Prussia apparently.  Max Franz does not appear to have borne Joseph any ill-will for this behaviour - he certainly didn't hurt for money - but Joseph's other actions relating to the terms of the will annoyed other beneficiaries, particularly Leopold and Maria Christina.  In fairness to Joseph, he appeared to feel that he and Maria Theresa had jointly arranged the disposition of the imperial private fortune in 1765 on the death of Franz Stefan, and Maria Theresa's own will was a variation of a contract to which he had not agreed.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #378 on: February 22, 2015, 11:37:00 PM »
Indeed. Maria Elisabeth's life was not well researched.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #379 on: February 23, 2015, 04:59:48 AM »
Under Maria Theresa's will, Max Franz was allowed the use and the income of Franz Stephan's 4 estates in addition to his generous income as Coadjutor and later grand master of the Teutonic Order, until he received the revenues of the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster (he did not take up these positions until 1784).  However, Joseph made him renounce his claim to these estates and sent him off to the headquarters of the Teutonic Order apparently in order to have funds to meet other provisions of Maria Theresa's will and to recoup some of the 1 million florins spent on the elections for Cologne and Münster.  Later however, it appears Max Franz sometimes joined him at the much reduced court in Vienna which was now very masculine and mean, even more than that of Prussia apparently.  Max Franz does not appear to have borne Joseph any ill-will for this behaviour - he certainly didn't hurt for money - but Joseph's other actions relating to the terms of the will annoyed other beneficiaries, particularly Leopold and Maria Christina.  In fairness to Joseph, he appeared to feel that he and Maria Theresa had jointly arranged the disposition of the imperial private fortune in 1765 on the death of Franz Stefan, and Maria Theresa's own will was a variation of a contract to which he had not agreed.

CountessKate, again, thank you very much for the detailed information. Been curious on the empress' last will for some time. Why the annoyance of Mimi and Leopold and do you know who else in the family got money, estates and personal possessions from Maria Theresa? Maria Anna got their mother's rosary and I imagine many ancestral/family portraits, which she brought to Klangenfurt. It was mentioned either here or at another thread that Louis XVIII later on asked about any inheritance due to Marie Antoinette from her mother and/or father but it appeared there was none?

I agree that Joseph acted correctly on this matter and Maximilian also behaved very well (he did not have a reason to complain despite the fact that he had to renounce the estates). I  read that he was the favourite nephew of his uncle Charles of Lorraine so he likely also inherited from him (Charles of Lorraine left a fortune to an illegitimate son).Speaking of favourite nephews and nieces, I read that Maria Anna was the favourite of her aunt and namesake.

Indeed. Maria Elisabeth's life was not well researched.
Maria Elisabeth does not even seem to have a biography of her own, only a  book that also featured her sisters.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 05:15:19 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #380 on: February 24, 2015, 04:25:49 AM »
Which book is that ? In German ?

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #381 on: February 24, 2015, 06:04:22 AM »
Which book is that ? In German ?

Yes, in German like  Die Tochter Maria Theresias. It has been translated into Spanish, I think.  I am sure there is at least 1 more book but  I can't  recall the title right now.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 06:09:24 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #382 on: February 24, 2015, 08:21:22 AM »
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I read that he was the favourite nephew of his uncle Charles of Lorraine so he likely also inherited from him (Charles of Lorraine left a fortune to an illegitimate son).

Since Charles of Lorraine died in debt (he does not seem to have had the financial acumen of his brother Franz Stefan), Joseph decided that he would not be bound by the detailed provisions of the will since all members of the imperial family had to obtain his consent as head of the family before making their wills, and Charles had not done so.  Joseph decided to sell off Charles' property to pay his debts.  I don't know what may have happened to his illegitimate family; they may have been provided for already, since as I understand it, Charles kept them very much under wraps in order not to offend Maria Theresa, and a public naming in a will would have done just that.  Max Franz would have been provided for by Charles' death anyway because he would succeed to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order (and the income) in Charles' place.  Leopold was infuriated by Joseph's decision which he considered "unjust, despotic, absurd and outrageous'.  I don't know if that was due to any bequest he or others in whom he was interested would have been deprived of, or whether - as usual - he was infuriated by Joseph's lack of consultation with his heir.

Quote
Why the annoyance of Mimi and Leopold and do you know who else in the family got money, estates and personal possessions from Maria Theresa?.....It was mentioned either here or at another thread that Louis XVIII later on asked about any inheritance due to Marie Antoinette from her mother and/or father but it appeared there was none?

I don't know about personal possessions - I assume all members of the family received mementos and there does not appear to be any contention about this. 
Following Franz Stefan's death in 1765, Joseph and Maria Theresa set up a fund of 8 million florins to provide for Joseph's brothers and sisters.  Although this fund was not in itself in Maria Theresa's will it's provisions are essential to explain her intentions in relation to her family after her death.  Half of the fund was allocated in 1766 to Albert of Saxony as the husband of Marie Christine, in order for the couple to maintain a court in Pressburg.  Marianne's appointment as Abbess in Prague, agreed before Franz Stefan's death I believe, was endowed with an annual income of 80,000 florins, a very handsome settlement.  Each of the others were to receive 50,000 florins per annum until they were 'established'.  In the case of the girls, by the time of Maria Theresa's death Maria Amalia was Duchess of Parma, Maria Caroline Queen of Naples, and Marie Antoinette Queen of France, so were due no further sums (it was not, strictly speaking, an inheritance and Louis XVIII's enquiry was ignorant, greedy and impertinent though of course a measure of his desperation at the time).  Leopold was Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand was due to succeed as Duke of Modena, and Max Franz as Elector of Cologne.  Ferdinand would continue to receive 50,000 florins until his father-in-law died.  Although Max Franz would not become Archbishop of Cologne and Bishop of Münster until 1784, he was already Grand Master of the Teutonic Order by the time of Maria Theresa's death although her will might not have taken that into account since Charles died in July 1780 and Maria Theresa only 4 months later, hence possibly her bequest of the four estates mentioned earlier; although presumably, like Ferdinand, Max Franz would have been entitled to the 50,000 florins anyway until he entered into his establishment.  Maria Theresa's will provided for Marianne to exchange her Prague convent for that of Klagenfurt as this was less expensive than Prague and more salubrious; her 50,000 florins would therefore go further.  The will also provided for Maria Elisabeth to go to Innsbruck with 50,000 florins.  Maria Theresa did not wish either Marianne or Maria Elisabeth to be forced to go to their convents but the money certainly helped Joseph to 'persuade' them to leave Vienna.  The only parts of Maria Theresa's will relating to the imperial family which Joseph altered were the provision for Max Franz and as I indicated before, these did not seem to create any ill-will in themselves.
However, Maria Theresa had made very ample provision for the continuation of court pensions and other provisions for aristocratic imperial supporters which annoyed Joseph who was looking to recoup funds expended on Bavarian War and in general to reduce funds for the nobility.  It seems it was chiefly in the ways he chose to take forward his court reforms which reduced or disregarded Maria Theresa's bequests which alienated Leopold, who was not consulted and who felt again Joseph was being high-handed and tactless. 
Marie Christine was aggrieved at not receiving more under Maria Theresa's will - although she had already received half of the fund established for all the imperial brothers and sisters - and Joseph took the opportunity to challenge some property arrangements Maria Theresa had made before her death in Marie Christine's favour, forcing Marie Christine to borrow some funds from Leopold to recompense Joseph.  Leopold felt he had to lend Marie Christine the money, as she had made his son Charles her heir.  However, it probably added to Leopold's irritation with Joseph.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #383 on: February 25, 2015, 03:41:33 AM »

Since Charles of Lorraine died in debt (he does not seem to have had the financial acumen of his brother Franz Stefan), Joseph decided that he would not be bound by the detailed provisions of the will since all members of the imperial family had to obtain his consent as head of the family before making their wills, and Charles had not done so.  Joseph decided to sell off Charles' property to pay his debts.  I don't know what may have happened to his illegitimate family; they may have been provided for already, since as I understand it, Charles kept them very much under wraps in order not to offend Maria Theresa, and a public naming in a will would have done just that.  Max Franz would have been provided for by Charles' death anyway because he would succeed to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order (and the income) in Charles' place.  Leopold was infuriated by Joseph's decision which he considered "unjust, despotic, absurd and outrageous'.  I don't know if that was due to any bequest he or others in whom he was interested would have been deprived of, or whether - as usual - he was infuriated by Joseph's lack of consultation with his heir.

Thank you for the explanation. That he died in debt is quite surprising. Charles Alexander was paid very handsomely by Maria Theresa and there were a lot of money given to him on other occasions. Yes, I read that he had to keep his affairs and illegitimate children - or was it even a second family? - a secret but I didn't know that he had to obtain consent from Joseph for his will. However, I did read that he could ignore directives from Vienna and MT wasn't inclined to force/argue with him so ignoring the rules on wills was not a big surprise.

I don't know about personal possessions - I assume all members of the family received mementos and there does not appear to be any contention about this.  

Thank you again for the detailed explanation on all this.  I hope all daughters - and even some of the granddaughters - got personal items of Maria Theresa. As mentioned earlier, Maria Anna took with her a large number of ancestral/family portraits - as well as some of the nobility -  so those were likely from her mother.

The will also provided for Maria Elisabeth to go to Innsbruck with 50,000 florins.  Maria Theresa did not wish either Marianne or Maria Elisabeth to be forced to go to their convents but the money certainly helped Joseph to 'persuade' them to leave Vienna.  

Happy to hear that Maria Elisabeth, in this instance, got the same treatment as other family members. Judging from how lively she was again in Innsbruck, it doesn't sound like it was a death sentence to her. Or she may have just made the best of the situation and regained her composure/high spirits, etc.

However, Maria Theresa had made very ample provision for the continuation of court pensions and other provisions for aristocratic imperial supporters which annoyed Joseph who was looking to recoup funds expended on Bavarian War and in general to reduce funds for the nobility.  It seems it was chiefly in the ways he chose to take forward his court reforms which reduced or disregarded Maria Theresa's bequests which alienated Leopold, who was not consulted and who felt again Joseph was being high-handed and tactless.  
Marie Christine was aggrieved at not receiving more under Maria Theresa's will - although she had already received half of the fund established for all the imperial brothers and sisters - and Joseph took the opportunity to challenge some property arrangements Maria Theresa had made before her death in Marie Christine's favour, forcing Marie Christine to borrow some funds from Leopold to recompense Joseph.  Leopold felt he had to lend Marie Christine the money, as she had made his son Charles her heir.  However, it probably added to Leopold's irritation with Joseph.

Leopold was right to be annoyed but I can't say Joseph was wrong in reducing them either.  MT was very extravagant - in the past, it was Franz Stephan who 'tempered' that tendency - but it would fall into Joseph to meet all obligations. Austria's finances were not very good - I remember it rarely registered a surplus ( only of 3 years in all of MT's reign?). Of course, it was his fault that Austria got into further financial obligations because of his ambition in acquiring Bavaria. Also the nobles and other beneficiaries would hardly be pleased with the reductions or disregard of the will.

Sorry to hear that Maria Christina wanted more -  she already got an 'obscene' dowry as well as a duchy. MT also continued to be very generous to her and her husband. I remember reading that Mimi didn't even have the funds to move to Brussels and it was Leopold who lent her the money (200,000 florins, if I recall it right). Unconceiveable - no money with her dowry, revenues from Teschen, her compensation as Governor of Hungary and other gifts from her mother? Joseph did the right thing in trying to balance this matter.  I see more clearly now - aside from not having the "autonomy" in the Austrian Netherlands -  why she  harshly criticised Joseph to Leopold (whereas earlier, she even spied for him).

  
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 04:12:02 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #384 on: February 25, 2015, 06:26:25 AM »
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Sorry to hear that Maria Christina wanted more -  she already got an 'obscene' dowry as well as a duchy. MT also continued to be very generous to her and her husband. I remember reading that Mimi didn't even have the funds to move to Brussels and it was Leopold who lent her the money (200,000 florins, if I recall it right). Unconceiveable - no money with her dowry, revenues from Teschen, her compensation as Governor of Hungary and other gifts from her mother? Joseph did the right thing in trying to balance this matter.  I see more clearly now - aside from not having the "autonomy" in the Austrian Netherlands -  why she  harshly criticised Joseph to Leopold (whereas earlier, she even spied for him).

I agree that Maria Christina showed herself to be very grasping over Maria Theresa's will.  I'm not saying it in mitigation, but she and Albert ran their court in Hungary along generous lines and wanted to do the same in the Austrian Netherlands and this cost serious money (it wasn't a matter of just moving to Brussels, it was a matter of making a splash as incoming governors, something which had clear political targets).  Joseph wished to reduce all court expenditure over which he had control as a matter of principle, and while in certain respects it was a good idea and better for the general welfare of his subjects to reduce what was effectively subsidies to the nobility, he went too far the other way and by cutting himself off from court life he also cut himself off from advice on the ground within the empire.  Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.  While Maria Christina appeared greedy over Maria Theresa's will, there was something vindictive about Joseph's behaviour as well - he did appear to be revelling in trampling over his family which he'd not been able to do when his mother was alive.  Maria Christina may have needed a bit of a knock back, but in indulging in his well-known dislike of his sisters (with the exception of Marie Antoinette and Maria Josepha - and to some extent, though not much, Maria Carolina), he basically   knocked down an effective political operator who could have introduced his desired reforms in a much more tactful way.  It was this which brought Maria Christina and Leopold together, although Leopold had not liked Maria Christina's hold on Maria Theresa, in working behind Joseph's back to try and find ways to hold on to the Austrian Netherlands which was - as Derek Beales pointed out in his biography of Joseph - effectively treason towards the emperor, though not to the dynasty.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #385 on: February 26, 2015, 05:07:59 AM »

I'm not saying it in mitigation, but she and Albert ran their court in Hungary along generous lines and wanted to do the same in the Austrian Netherlands and this cost serious money (it wasn't a matter of just moving to Brussels, it was a matter of making a splash as incoming governors, something which had clear political targets).  Joseph wished to reduce all court expenditure over which he had control as a matter of principle, and while in certain respects it was a good idea and better for the general welfare of his subjects to reduce what was effectively subsidies to the nobility, he went too far the other way and by cutting himself off from court life he also cut himself off from advice on the ground within the empire.  Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.

The cost of the 'move' is clearer now. Was wondering how on earth it can cost that much. But Mimi also should have known Joseph's preferences and tendencies. She was unrealistic in wanting the same in Brussels. Especially since she was suspected to have worked behind the scenes against Joseph in the Bavaria issue. And it seems compromise was not in their natures.

Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.  While Maria Christina appeared greedy over Maria Theresa's will, there was something vindictive about Joseph's behaviour as well - he did appear to be revelling in trampling over his family which he'd not been able to do when his mother was alive.  Maria Christina may have needed a bit of a knock back, but in indulging in his well-known dislike of his sisters (with the exception of Marie Antoinette and Maria Josepha - and to some extent, though not much, Maria Carolina), he basically   knocked down an effective political operator who could have introduced his desired reforms in a much more tactful way.  It was this which brought Maria Christina and Leopold together, although Leopold had not liked Maria Christina's hold on Maria Theresa, in working behind Joseph's back to try and find ways to hold on to the Austrian Netherlands which was - as Derek Beales pointed out in his biography of Joseph - effectively treason towards the emperor, though not to the dynasty.

I never read any significant or numerous achievements of Mimi in Hungary or the Austrian Netherlands so this is interesting. For one touted to be so talented and intelligent, there doesn't seem much to show- been wondering on that matter. Thank you for mentioning this characteristic. And I very much agree that they - all rulers in fact - needed feedback from the ground (although it also appears that Joseph didn't like or trust her; can't say I fully understand why he agreed to be extremely  generous to her in 1766). Joseph, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette all failed in that.  Joseph (like Mimi) was unpleasant and I agree that he appeared to be revelling in trampling over his family (Maximilian and Maria Amalia didn't hold any grudges though and that's one trait I really like about them).  Earlier Habsburgs rebelled against  their Emperor (Matthias and Rudolf) so treason within  is not new in their dynasty.

Didn't Leopold also dislike Mimi's personal characteristics? Guess he had to overcome his dislike because of his son among other considerations. If I recall it right, Archduke Ferdinand also joined in the anti-Joseph circle... what were his issues? He already shown his displeasure even when Maria Theresa was alive. Speaking of Ferdinand,  Leopold wrote scathingly of him at least once.



« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 05:40:01 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #386 on: February 26, 2015, 05:43:08 AM »
I meant both advice and feedback from the ground...

Anyone knows why Leopold seemed to distrust and even perhaps dislike Ferdinand (it seemed mutual, like in the case of letters being opened)? Aside from the favouritism showed by their mother?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 05:55:26 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #387 on: February 27, 2015, 06:06:36 AM »
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If I recall it right, Archduke Ferdinand also joined in the anti-Joseph circle... what were his issues? He already shown his displeasure even when Maria Theresa was alive. Speaking of Ferdinand,  Leopold wrote scathingly of him at least once.

During Maria Theresa's lifetime, Leopold disliked and distrusted Marie Christine and Ferdinand because of the favoritism the Empress showed to both.  All three bonded however in anger over their treatment by Joseph, who in the 1780s made it absolutely clear to Marie Christine and Ferdinand that they were to have no say in the decision-making as governors of Belgium and Lombardy respectively and that their roles would be purely representational.  They were not opposed to the reforms he wished to institute, but wanted to discuss them and have their say, as Belgium in particular was proving troublesome.  Leopold was not in the same situation, but was similarly dismayed at the pace and inflexibility of Joseph's approach and his lack of consultation with Leopold who would have to pick up the pieces when he himself came to rule.  While Leopold may not have particularly liked his sister and brother, they were all united in wishing to ensure the smooth continuation of the dynasty's rule and did not have confidence (which was entirely justified) in Joseph's proceedings.

Quote
I never read any significant or numerous achievements of Mimi in Hungary or the Austrian Netherlands so this is interesting. For one touted to be so talented and intelligent, there doesn't seem much to show- been wondering on that matter.


Marie Christine and Albert as governors pursued a steady course of improving Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian army, setting aside their art patronage which was considerable.  It was not brilliant, but one has to question how effective the far more radical pace of change Joseph instituted in Hungary was in supporting the Habsburg rule - which was, after all, what all Maria Theresa's children were seeking to do.  In Belgium Marie Christine had no political say until the damage was done, so much was catch-up.  If Joseph had taken advice from his siblings with experience, he might have tempered his reforms to produce a more stable result for his dynasty.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #388 on: February 28, 2015, 02:53:58 AM »
During Maria Theresa's lifetime, Leopold disliked and distrusted Marie Christine and Ferdinand because of the favoritism the Empress showed to both.  

Thank you. I find it interesting that while Ferdinand was one of their mother's favorites, he also didn't like Mimi.  Ferdinand wasn't as disliked as Mimi by their siblings so I think he behaved better to them. That Mimi was the "ultimate" favorite of their mother was not her fault (that was from the cradle although Isabella of Parma's advice to Mimi regarding Maria Theresa seemingly strengthened that favoritism). I think their dislike or distrust (in some, both) was mainly because of how Mimi behaved towards them and they saw how she manipulated - and even badly treated - their mother.

As for Leopold disliking Ferdinand, I don't remember the exact words right now but in essence, he thought his younger brother had no talents/brains nor a particularly good man (because of vices?). I don't think he was that bad though. If he was totally without redeeming qualities, then he would not have been rather popular in Milan/Lombardy.  

All three bonded however in anger over their treatment by Joseph, who in the 1780s made it absolutely clear to Marie Christine and Ferdinand that they were to have no say in the decision-making as governors of Belgium and Lombardy respectively and that their roles would be purely representational.  They were not opposed to the reforms he wished to institute, but wanted to discuss them and have their say, as Belgium in particular was proving troublesome.  Leopold was not in the same situation, but was similarly dismayed at the pace and inflexibility of Joseph's approach and his lack of consultation with Leopold who would have to pick up the pieces when he himself came to rule.  While Leopold may not have particularly liked his sister and brother, they were all united in wishing to ensure the smooth continuation of the dynasty's rule and did not have confidence (which was entirely justified) in Joseph's proceedings.

I have not read much about the relationship of the four siblings during this stage (except for Leopold & Joseph).  That they set aside their personal dislike/ differences for the smooth continuation of the dynasty is very commendable and nice.  I remember reading that all three tried to undermine Joseph's directives but their joint efforts were not enough (which is another interesting thing).    

What about the others? I see Maria Amalia and Maximilian as "neutral", Marie Antoinette was most likely on Joseph's side (although she obviously still liked her brother Ferdinand) and Maria Carolina with Leopold (and it most likely didn't help that Joseph opposed her ambition to match her daughters with Leopold's two heirs) but she didn't go against him...?  Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth?

Marie Christine and Albert as governors pursued a steady course of improving Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian army, setting aside their art patronage which was considerable.  It was not brilliant, but one has to question how effective the far more radical pace of change Joseph instituted in Hungary was in supporting the Habsburg rule - which was, after all, what all Maria Theresa's children were seeking to do.  In Belgium Marie Christine had no political say until the damage was done, so much was catch-up.  If Joseph had taken advice from his siblings with experience, he might have tempered his reforms to produce a more stable result for his dynasty.

I see now that at least progress was made in agriculture and in the army.  So she certainly did not do badly like her two sisters (Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina) and while driven away from the Austrian Netherlands - twice, I think - that was more Joseph's doing.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 03:21:57 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #389 on: February 28, 2015, 06:56:21 AM »
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What about the others? I see Maria Amalia and Maximilian as "neutral", Marie Antoinette was most likely on Joseph's side (although she obviously still liked her brother Ferdinand) and Maria Carolina with Leopold (and it most likely didn't help that Joseph opposed her ambition to match her daughters with Leopold's two heirs) but she didn't go against him...?  Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth?

It's hard to tell how these particular siblings felt about one another, in the absence of personal correspondence or other evidence.  In Leopold's memorandum on his family which was written in 1778-79, he felt that Maria Theresa treated his "sisters Maria Anna and Elizabeth....very badly", which does imply a certain sympathy, but in writing of why the empress did this, Leopold also suggested he agreed with the reasons: "Maria Anna because she always intrigues in everything and...Elizabeth because she gossips and passes everything on as soon as she hears it.....[the empress] repeats that she cannot trust either daughter and is quite unhappy with them." In other words, he did not agree with the apparent harshness with which the empress treated these sisters, but he didn't appear to deny he thought Maria Anna intrigued and Maria Elisabeth gossiped and was indiscreet. 
In the same memorandum, Leopold wrote of Max Franz that the "empress loves Maximilian very much, but she believes he is completely on the emperor's side and is thus totally lost and ruined by the fickleness of life-none of which is true.....She values him not at all."  He therefore distinguished Max Franz from his two sisters by defending him, suggesting he himself put a value on this brother if his mother did not.  Leopold and Max Franz corresponded on affairs of the empire at the end of Joseph's life, when Leopold was essentially intriguing with his brothers and sisters to ensure he was in a strong position to establish himself as emperor and to recoup what Joseph had lost.  He was also in correspondence with Maria Carolina at that stage for the same reasons.  Of course this doesn't add much in personal terms, though it does establish the real worry the siblings had about the fate of the empire and their determination to provide support for the next emperor.