Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Day in History October 20, 1740

We step back into the annals of time to the 1700's for this history fact.  I have heard of Maria Theresa before, but I knew nothing about her until now.  It was on this date in 1740 that she became empress of Austria.  Her life was fraught with much trouble, and I will only touch on some of the main points.

She was the eldest daughter of Charles VI.  Because he only had a daughter and no son to take over the throne after his death, he passed a law in 1713 that guaranteed his daughter's right to rule.  And indeed she took over on the throne on the day of her father's death.

Over the course of her reign, she was challenged many times.  She also bore 16 children (10 survived to adulthood).  She was the only woman in 650 years of the Hasburg dynasty, and she is also considered one of the most successful rulers in that dynasty.

She surrounded herself with intelligent advisers.  Foreign affairs were not always the best, but she led impressive military campaigns.  She put up with a co regency situation with her son, Joseph, for the last 15 years of her life.  It was not easy, as you can imagine, but she made it work.

I think the thing that really interests me about her is that she is considered a great ruler, and she is a woman.  I would love to study more about her life--I think she would be fascinating.  I am one of those women who used to think that women's history was something that did not need to be emphasized.  It was a few years ago when I changed my mind.  I was challenged to present a women's history segment during Women's History Month (March), and as I studied, I realized that women's history was valid.  My problem is when people try to rewrite it.  There is a lot of information out there, but you have to dig for it.

If you are interested, check out the following sites for a vast amount of information.


  1. I concur. Women's history is due more respect.
    In many Native American Indian tribes women were leaders and chiefs. That changed as White influence spread. In 'Black Purse', a strong women's empowerment novel, the Cherokee Women's dance is brought to light as sisters recall their mother's struggles and their father's dominance.
    Maria Theresa is a great example of what America needs right now.

  2. I love learning about powerful women ;) Thanks for this! I'm your newest follower and would love for you to follow back:

  3. Hi! New follower via the Tablet Time Giveaway! Love for you to visit and follow @

  4. Hello I am now your newest GFC follower (My 2 Cents) I hope you will visit and follow me back at My 2 Cents
    Thank you. Love the history today.<3


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