Maria Theresa

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Maria Theresa (1717-1780)
Holy Roman Empress, archduchess of Austria, queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Maria Theresa inherited much of her power from her father, the emperor Charles VI. After coming to power, she achieved some significant successes including advances in fiscal reform, agriculture, commerce, and industry. Perhaps most important, Maria Theresa was able to decrease taxation and still post increased national revenues. She selected skillful advisors but is credited with making shrewd choices that resulted in Austria's assuming a position as a European power to be reckoned with. Though she pursued war with Prussia's Frederick the Great over the loss of Silesia, when the conflict was over, she prudently joined with Prussia and Russia to partition Poland and also acquire a number of other areas including Galicia and Bukovina. She was survived by 10 children; her sons, Joseph and Leopold succeeded her in that order; her daughter Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI of France.