Educational Reforms in the Austrian Empire Under Maria Theresa: Background information when reading In the Shadow of the Empress

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In the Shadow of the Empress

The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters

by Nancy Goldstone

In the Shadow of the Empress by Nancy  Goldstone X
In the Shadow of the Empress by Nancy  Goldstone
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2021, 640 pages

    Paperback:
    Sep 2022, 624 pages

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Educational Reforms in the Austrian Empire Under Maria Theresa

This article relates to In the Shadow of the Empress

Painting of Maria Theresa, Empress of the Holy Roman EmpireBy the mid-1700s, Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, had suffered a significant military defeat at the hands of Prussia's King Frederick II. In the aftermath, she sought to modernize and improve her army to match that of her rival, and that included upgrading military education to focus on geography, tactics and history. This began Maria Theresa's commitment to improving education throughout her realm, which continued for another 20 years.

Although she was a fervently devout Catholic, Maria Theresa understood that control of education by the Church, and particularly the Jesuit Order, had resulted in outdated curricula that was of little practical use to her subjects. She responded by changing the management of the University of Vienna and Prague University, and offering generous salaries to bring in talented faculty members from all over Europe. She also extended her reform program to public education for young children throughout ...

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