Marie-Thérèse et les Pays-Bas autrichiens :
la souveraineté à distance

Remote government: formalize the takeover of the power

In the perspective of his succession, Emperor Charles VI managed to have the Pragmatic Sanction endorsed by the European Powers, ensuring his eldest daughter, Archduchess Maria Theresa, access to the throne of the Habsburgs. Theoretically this agreement should have granted for a smooth transition, but it soon lead to a major conflict, the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), endangering Maria Theresa's authority. Nonetheless, the sovereign succeeded in asserting the legitimacy of her power, throughout all Habsburg possessions, in accordance with each and every ritual specific to the different parts of the empire.

In the Netherlands, the new ruler was traditionally empowered during the ceremonies of the so-called “Joyous Entry”, sealing the union between the Prince and the different provincial States. Charles of Lorraine, the Empress’ Governor General represented the absent Maria Theresa at these ceremonies in 1744, at least in Brussels and Ghent. In the other provinces, prominent members of the nobility were responsible for representing the central authority during these ceremonies.

Remote government: formalize the takeover of the power