English, French and American Revolution were dominating the 18th century and so were dreams of democracy and republic. Mary Theresaof Austria, mother of Mary Antoinette who lost her head to the revolution, was one of the truly enlightened but still absolutist rulers. She reformed almost every aspect of the legislation. The Czech area was the richest part of the Austrian Empire, still it was politically inferior.
Mary Theresa’s reforms protected the home economy, she even imposed compulsory school-attendance. On the other hand, all offices were in Vienna and this centralization provoked a large wave of criticism. Her relatives and power-thirsty rulers doubted her legitimacy as a queen. This resulted into an open war conflict, where Mary Theresa lost Silesia, the north-east part of today’s Czech Republic. Her son, Joseph II, didn’t use reforms to support his power, but was a true idealist. He cancelled bond-service and allowed Protestantism. Sadly, he also declared that all lessons on Charles University be taught in German.