‘The ordinary people were not happy. They loathed the Emperor’s interference in every detail of their daily lives.’


“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…

The article continues at Althouse.

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