JOSEPH I AND CHARLES VI
 LEOPOLD'S son Joseph had been chosen King of the Romans during his lifetime. Now he quietly succeeded him as Emperor. He
was one of the best of the Hapsburg rulers, and had he come to the throne in times of peace, it might have
been well for Germany. As it was, his whole short reign was spent in war.
He carried on the war of the Spanish Succession which had been begun under Leopold I, and he also had to fight
the Bavarians who rebelled against his rule. He found himself, too, like so many Emperors before him, at war
with the Pope.
But he subdued the Bavarians, forced the Pope to yield to him, and before he died found Louis XIV anxious to
The great victories of Ramillies and Oudenarde had been won by the allies; and Louis XIV at length bowed his
pride to sue for peace. But the allies demanded too much. They demanded not only that Louis should give up all
claim to the throne of Spain, but that he should actually take up arms against his own grandson, and drive him
from the throne. This Louis refused to do.
"If I must fight," he said, "let it be with my enemies, rather than with my own children."
So the war went on, and at Malplaquet the most
 terrible of all the battles of this terrible war was fought. The loss on either side was enormous. France
could bear no more, and once again Louis was ready to make peace. This time he seemed willing to agree to any
terms. But the negotiations were long, and before they were at an end the Emperor Joseph suddenly fell ill of
In those days smallpox was a most terrible and dreaded disease. The doctors did not know how to treat it, and
few people got better. In the fashion of the day the Emperor was wrapped in yards and yards of red cloth, and
shut up in a room with all the windows closed tightly, so that not a breath of fresh air could get in. It is
little wonder that he quickly died. He was only thirty-two, he left no son to succeed him, so his brother the
Archduke Charles was chosen as Emperor.
Now this was the very man whom the British and the other allies had been fighting to place on the throne of
Spain. But now that he had become Emperor they no longer wished him to be King of Spain also. They had no wish
to see Charles VI as powerful as Charles V had been. They thought it was better to let Philip of Anjou keep
the crown of Spain. At this same time, too, Marlborough's party had lost power at home. So he was recalled,
and without consulting the Emperor, the Peace of Utrecht was signed. By this, Philip of Anjou, to drive whom
from the throne so much blood had been shed, was acknowledged King of Spain.
The German peoples had suffered much. By the great treaties signed at Nimeguen and Ryswick they had lost much
land, and they called them Nimweg and Reisweg, which is German for "Take away," and "Tear away." The treaty of
Utrecht pleased them
 as little, and they called it Unrecht, which means "unjust." Charles himself would rather have clung to the
hope of the Spanish crown than accept that of the Empire, and it was weeks after his brother's death before he
could be persuaded to leave Spain and come to Germany to be crowned.
He therefore now refused to sign the Peace. Declaring that the allies had deceived him, he went on with the
war. But the war now went ill with the new Emperor. He lost again and again. At last, weary of fighting, by
the treaties of Rastadt and of Baden, he made peace, first as King of Austria, and then as Emperor.
The Empire, however, was not long at peace. The very next year after the signing of the Treaty of Baden, war
broke out again. This time it was with the Turks. Once again little Prince Eugene led the army. Once again he
led it to victory. The Turks were defeated, and driven out of Belgrade, which was added to Austria.
While the war was going on between Germany and France, our Queen Anne died. And, as had been agreed
beforehand, one of the princes of the Empire, George, Elector of Hanover, became King of Great Britain and
The following year Louis XIV also died, and for a few years after the Turkish war the Empire had rest. But in
1733 a fresh war broke out with France. This was again a war of succession, and this time it was fought over
the throne of Poland. Augustus of Saxony claimed the throne. So also did Stanislaus Lesczinsky. Now Louis XV
of France had married the daughter of Stanislaus, and he took his father-in-law's side. The Emperor took the
side of Augustus of Saxony.
Prince Eugene was now an old man of seventy-one,
 yet once again he took the field. But the great General had lost his old dash and vigour, he had against him a
far larger army than his own, and he could do little against it. He was right glad when, after two years'
fighting, peace was made. Once again the Empire lost. The fair province of Lorraine was given up to Stanislaus
instead of the throne of Poland. At his death it went to France.
France and Germany had been such constant enemies that it was natural that the Emperor should fight with
Louis. But the Emperor had taken sides with Augustus of Saxony for a reason of his own. Like his brother
Joseph, he had no sons, but only a daughter. Now, when Joseph had died, he left all his hereditary estates
like Austria to Charles, but he had made him sign a deed saying that if he too should die leaving no son to
succeed him, Joseph's daughter should come before his in the succession. This was called the Family Compact.
Now Charles was sorry that he had signed the Family Compact. His one desire was that his daughter Maria
Theresa should succeed him as Queen of Austria. So he drew up what is called the Pragmatic Sanction. By this
he tried to make not only all the Electors of the Empire, but all the great rulers of Europe, promise that
they would not oppose his daughter, but allow her quietly to succeed to all his private possessions. And in
order to get these promises, Charles did all he could to please the Electors and the other powerful princes
and rulers in Europe. He fought for one, he bribed another, he begged here, and begged there, he made treaties
and broke them. He neglected everything for the sake of this one pet scheme, and in 1740 he died, fondly
 that he had gained his end, and that Maria Theresa would succeed without trouble.
Charles VI was the last Emperor in the male line of the Hapsburgs. He was Spanish rather than
Austrian—he loved Spain more than the Empire. Barcelona, he said, would be found graven upon his heart
when he died. He surrounded himself with the solemn splendour of the Spanish court, and added to it something
of the pomp and extravagance of the French court. No one dared to speak to him except on bended knee, and the
people were taught to look upon the Emperor with awe and reverence as no common man, but almost half a god.
Thousands of servants waited upon him, and the simplest acts of everyday life were performed with gorgeous
And while the people slaved and starved, appalling waste went on in the royal palaces. For Charles was too
splendid to pay any attention to such a mean matter as money. So it was flung about on all hands by his crowd
of idle servants and hangers-on. Two barrels of fine wine were used, it was said, every day to soften bread
for the parrots of the Empress, and twelve buckets of it were required for her daily bath. And in all
departments of the royal palace, a like waste and extravagance was the order of the day.
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