Joseph II Beliefs

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Joseph II – His belief of tolerance represented the enlightenment ideals A careful student of his people’s problems, Joseph II opposed his own mother - the Empress of Austria- in order to set his enlightenment reforms into action. Influenced by the work of philosophes his strong belief for tolerance characterized the ideals of what enlightenment thinkers had fought for. The ambitious despot emblematized the enlightenment ideals as he enforced laws against capital punishment and inequality, carried out religious tolerance and promoted welfare for his people. After inheriting his family’s throne Joseph represented political reform made for the people as he compelled the government in following his belief of tolerance based on philosophy…show more content…
“Joseph II used funds from dissolution (including 1.6 million gulden in Lower Austria and l million gulden from Bohemia) and vacated buildings to found orphanages, maternity hospitals, institutions for unwed mothers, and places to make the blind, deaf, and crippled self-sufficient” (Blanning 71). He provided these services using the wealth of the Church which the state had seized when he was weakening the church’s power. In order to ensure the right to education for all, as enlightenment thinkers Thomas Jefferson and Mary Wollstonecraft had so strongly fought for, Joseph underwrote a system where each state had primary education and properly paid teachers. He created pension funds for the retired monks, including some of their students, and replaced them with educated, enlightened professionals as he believed requiring such professionals to run the government would help the empire become stronger, hence resembling Thomas Hobbes’ judgment for separation of religion and politics. Promoting welfare for the people is also an enlightenment ideal because the government is doing something for the people. Therefore Joseph’s monarch government is an enlightenment ideal because his absolute power over the people of the empire allowed him to establish welfare for the
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