“Why should they be forbidden to bake ginger-bread just because Joseph thought it bad for the stomach? Why the Imperial edict demanding the breast-feeding of infants? Why the banning of corsets? From these and a thousand other petty regulations, enforced by a secret police, it looked to the Austrians as though Joseph were trying to reform their characters as well as their institutions. Only a few weeks before Joseph’s death, the director of the Imperial Police reported to him: ‘All classes, and even those who have the greatest respect for the sovereign, are discontented and indignant.'”
From the History of Austria. Joseph II, who ruled from 1780 to 1790…
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