Salzburg 1716-1803

The Princebishopric of Salzburg belonged to the Bavarian Circle; being the highest representative in the circle, the Prince-Archbishop held the presidency of that circle (a formal honour). Salzburg continuted contingents to the wars of the Empire against the Ottoman Empire 1716-1718 and against Prussia (Seven Years' War, 1756-1763), but remained neutral (until 1744) in the War of Austrian Succession (1741-1748) and the War of Bavarian Succession 1778-1779.
As a military force, Salzburg was of secondary importance. Located between two military superior neighbours, Salzburg's force could only be employed in combination with at least one of them. Learning from the experience of the War of Spanish Succession 1701-1714, the Princebishoprics attempted to keep Salzburg out of wars in which Austria and Bavaria fought each other; still, the War of Austrian Succession, for the most part of which Salzburg pursued a policy of neutrality, proved extraordinarily costly, as her neutrality was violated regularly by transiting troops, which pressed Salzburg to pay contributions and caused damage otherwise.
The elevation of the diocesis of Vienna to an archdiocesis in 1722 and the church policy of Emperor Joseph II. (1780-1790) reduced the influence of the archbishop.
The princearchbishops invested in construction and in occasional opulent festivities; most of them, in other aspects, were rather moderate in their expenses. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began his career at the court of the princearchbishop. The princebishops did not rule absolute; while the estates, in the 18th century, were rather insignificant, the Cathedral Chapter (noble status a requirement for membership) remained influential.
The establishment of the free port of Triest resulted in a reduction of transit trade from Bavaria through Salzburg into Carinthia and Styria. The mining industry in the 18th century declined.
In 1731 to 1733, 21,475 crypto-Lutherans among Salzburg's peasants were expelled (with the help of Austrian troops), many of them migrating to East Prussia. Protestant miners were only permitted to leave the country, after they had been replaced by Catholic miners. The fate of these late refugees of conscience attracted much interest in protestant countries, and significant sums were donated in order to alleviate their plight. In the Zillertal, a community of crypto-Lutherans stayed on.
In 1734 a standing army was introduced. The introduction of mandatory military service in 1794 caused acts of resistance (1794, 1796).
The expulsion of the crypto-Lutherans in 1731-1733 (for which Jesuit priests have pushed Princebishop Leopold Anton von Firmian) harmed the country's economy; several thousand farmsteads remained untilled for years; even after that event, the population continued to decline. In 1784 the princebishopric had a population of c. 200,000, the city of Salzburg c. 18,000. In 1770-1772 the Princebishopric suffered misharvests, which required massive import of grain.
In 1750 the time a person accused to be a witch was executed in Salzburg.
In the 1780es reforms were attempted to improve the economy, such as the promotion of the growth of the potato, the introduction of mulberry cultivation/silk production, leasing of bishop's lands to peasants. In 1774, Princebishop Hieronymus Colloredo ordered the land to be surveyed in order to permit just taxation. The treasury of the Princebishopric, in the late 18th century, was filled; the princebishops invested the money in Vienna - and lost it during the Austrian state bankrupcy of 1811.
The Princearchbishops of Salzburg were actively involved in an attempt to reform the Catholic church within the Holy Roman Empire (Salzburg Congress since 1770; Ems Punctations 1786). The dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773 was of limited significance for Salzburg, for they did not have major institutions in the country. The University of Salzburg (founded 1622) was a Benedictine institution; in 1788 the language of instruction was changed from Latin to German. In a 1782 pastoral letter, Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo introduced a number of ecclesiastic reforms within his diocesis, among them the reduction of church holidays.
Mandatory elementary education was introduced in 1715, this statute was not enforced. Princebishop Hieronymus Colloredo promoted and reformed elementary schooling.
In 1775 the court library was made accessible to the general public. In 1790, a predecessor to the Mining Academy was founded.

In 1800, Princearchbishop Hieronymus Colloredo fled the country when French troops were approaching. The country was administrated by Christoph Siegmund Count Zeil-Trauchburg. In 1803 the princebishopric was secularized; together with the prince-abbey of Berchtesgaden, the princebishopric of Eichstätt and parts of the Princebishopric of Passau it was allocated to the Principality created for Ferdinand, hitherto Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Article Hieronymus Count Colloredo-Mannsfeld, from aeiou; from BBKL, in German
Exulanten, by Felix Gundacker; from aeiou
Catholics Cleanse Salzburg of Protestants, by Frank L. Perry, posted by Historical Text Archive
Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian, from BBKL, in German
Article Salzburg, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS List of Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, from Regnal Chronologies, scroll down; from World Statesmen
Flag of Salzburg, from FOTW
Erzbischof Hieronymus Colloredo, from Salzburg Coins
Map : Bavaria in 1789, posted by Thomas Höckmann
Salzburg 18th century coins, from Coins of Austria 1740-1780
REFERENCE Friederike Zaisberger, Geschichte Salzburgs (History of Salzburg), Wien : Oldenbourg 1998
Mack Walker, The Salzburg transaction : expulsion and redemption in eighteenth-century Germany, Cornell UP 1992, 242 pp.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 21st 2004, last revised on November 12th 2004

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