freedom to the Catholic
and the Protestant, and even
printing the Koran for the Mussulmans of her dominions: abroad, she bent neither to France
nor to England
Her policy was thoroughly true to the empire that adopted her, and yet imbued with the philosophy of western Europe
With deserts near at hand to colonize, with the Mediterranean inviting her flag, she formed no wish of conquering Spanish colonies on the Pacific
; and we shall find her conduct towards England
, in its relations with America
, held in balance between the impulse from the liberal systems of thought which she made it her glory to cherish, and the principle of monarchy which flattered her love of praise and was the basis of her power.
Soon after the peace of Hubertsburg, the youthful heir to the Austrian dominions, which, with Prussia
, shaped the politics of eastern and northern Europe
, was elected the successor to the Imperial
crown of Germany
As an Austrian prince, it was the passion of Joseph the Second to rival Frederic of Prussia
His mother, Maria Theresa
, was a devotee in her attachment to the church.
The son, hating the bigotry in which he was nurtured, inclined to skepticism and unbelief.
The mother venerated with an absurd intensity of deference the prerogatives of an unmixed aristocratic descent; the son affected to deride all distinctions of birth, and asserted the right to freedom of mind with such integrity, that he refused to impair it when afterwards it came to be exercised against himself.
But, in the conflict which he provoked with the past, he mixed philanthropy with selfishness, and his hasty zeal to abolish ancient abuses was subordinate to a passion for sequestering political immunities,