Philipp von Rottenberg and Carl Rottiers (painter): Wallchart of the monetary system for Archduke Ferdinand, 1769

Financial Affairs

Habsburg Tales of Money


It was not only the threat of state bankruptcy that the Habsburgs had to grapple with; in the eighteenth century they also laid the foundations of their immense wealth.

Maria Theresa seems to have been comparatively generous towards the people immediately around her – that at least is what the records of her ‘income’ and her ‘personal expenditure’ appear to show. The origins of the Habsburgs’ wealth lie with her husband, Franz I Stephan, whose fortune was used after his death both for the requirements of the family and for putting the state finances in order. It was under Maria Theresa that paper money was issued for the first time and that the stock exchange was founded.

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