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Maximilian II of Austria

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Maximilian II Emperor

Maximilian II (1527 - 1576) was the King of Bohemia (1562 - 1576), King of Hungary (1563 - 1576), Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria (1564 - 1576).

Maximilian was born in Vienna on 31 July 1527 as the eldest son of Emperor Ferdinand I and Anne of Bohemia. Maximilian's cousin Philip was ahead of him in the succession in Germany, but an agreement signed in 1553 between his father and his uncle, the Emperor Charles V, saw Maximilian become the heir of the Imperial throne. On 13 September 1548 Maximilian married Charles' daughter and his cousin, Maria.

Maximilian succeeded his father in Austria, Bohemia, Hungary and to the Imperial throne over the years 1562 until his death in 1564. Maximilian was a sympathiser of the Protestant cause (which almost cost him the succession from his father), and his policies in the empire were directed at religious neutrality and peace. His reign granted both Protestants and Catholics much needed peace in the religious struggles in Germany, but they proved unpopular amongst the Catholic princes and other members of the House of Habsburg. On the other hand, he disappointed the Protestant princes by refusing to invest Protestant administrators in the bishoprics of Protestant lands, although he allowed granted freedom of worship to the nobility. Maximilian also attempted to reform the Catholic church although his attempts failed due to Spanish opposition.

During his reign the Turks continued to be a constant threat to the Empire. After an unsuccessful campaign against them, Maximilian was forced to continue paying tribute to the sultan in exchange for peace in the Habsburg controlled areas of Hungary. In 1570 he attempted to gain personal control over the Imperial army, but the Protestant princes refused to allow it because he might have used powers associated with it to prevent foreign armies supporting them in any future conflict. Maximilian was elected the King of Poland in 1573 although he lacked the means to maintain his claim to the throne. Maximilian died in Regensburg on 12 October 1576 and was succeeded by his eldest son Rudolph.

Children with MariaEdit

  1. Anne (1549 - 1580)
  2. Rudolph (1552 - 1612)
  3. Ernest (1553 - 1595)
  4. Elizabeth (1554 - 1592)
  5. Matthias (1557 - 1619)
  6. Maximilian (1558 - 1618)
  7. Albert (1559 - 1621)



Preceded by:

Maximilian II

Succeeded by:

Ferdinand I Holy Roman Emperor
1564 - 1576
Rudolph
Ferdinand I King of Hungary
1563 - 1576
opposed John II Sigismund
1563 - 1571
Rudolph
Ferdinand I King of Bohemia
1562 - 1576
Rudolph
Ferdinand I King of Germany
1564 - 1576
Rudolph II
Ferdinand I Archduke of Austria
1564 - 1576
Rudolph V

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