Ferdinand II., * 1578
Coronation of the Virgin Mary with the Emperor Ferdinand II and Pope Urban VIII, painting (Neu-klosterkirche in Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria)
Ferdinand II, b. Graz (Styria), July 9, 1578, d. Vienna, Feb. 15, 1637 Vienna, emperor, son of Archduke Karl II of Styria, grandson of Emperor Ferdinand I; educated in Graz and Ingolstadt. was still a minor at his father's death in 1590; from 1595 regent of Inner Austria (Styria, Carinthia and Krain), where he rigorously enforced the Counter-Reformation; 1617 King of Bohemia, 1618 King of Hungary, 1619 Emperor after the death of his cousin Matthias, who was childless. Came into conflict with the estates of Lower Austria and of Upper Austria ("Sturmpetition", June 5, 1619: petition presented by members of the nobility, produced no results). After his victory in the Battle of the White Mountain (1620) he enforced absolutism in Bohemia ("Vernewerte Landesordnung" 1627) and in Austria. In 1629, at the zenith of his power, he enacted the Restitutionsedikt (Edict of Restitution), but soon suffered setbacks in the (Thirty Years' War). In 1630 he dismissed Wallenstein and ordered his assassination in 1634. He was deeply religious and led an exemplary family life. His mausoleum in Graz is a magnificent work of art.
Literature: H. Sturmberger, F. und das Problem des Absolutismus, 1957; J. F. Franzl, F., Kaiser im Zwiespalt der Zeit, 21988; M. Frisch, Das Restitutionsedikt Ks. F. vom 6. 3. 1629, 1993.
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