Pragmatic sanction

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Certificate from Emperor Karl VI. around 1713
Mocking medal on Pragmatic Sanction from 1742
four princes in front of a map

The Pragmatic Sanction is one issued on April 19, 1713 by Emperor Charles VI. published document ( house law ), which stipulated the indivisibility and inseparability of all Habsburg hereditary kingdoms and countries and for this purpose provided for a uniform order of succession. This later enabled his daughter Maria Theresa to succeed the throne in the Habsburg lands.

Legal content

The pragmatic sanction is a departure from the Salian right of succession to the throne . The principles of ruler primogenitur and subsidiary female inheritance were followed:

Accordingly, the eldest son should begin first, then the line he established (beginning with his eldest son, etc.), then all other lines of the male line according to the same principle and finally - after the house has completely died out in the male line - also the female descendants with the eldest daughter of the last owner of the throne and her descendants, to be entitled to the throne.

This last case came soon, namely after the death of Charles VI. 1740, when his first-born daughter, Maria Theresa , succeeded him in the Habsburg lands, citing the pragmatic sanction. The common claim, however, that Charles VI. would have issued the Pragmatic Sanction in favor of his daughter cannot be correct because Maria Theresa was only born after it was issued, namely in 1717. In addition, Charles VI. with Leopold Johann also a male descendant, who however died as an infant in 1716. In the further development it became clear that the inheritance claims of the daughters of Joseph I were annulled by the pragmatic sanction.

Pactum mutuae successionis

The pragmatic sanction went back directly to the Habsburg house contracts of September 12, 1703, namely the Pactum mutuae successionis ( Latin ), which was concluded in the course of the War of the Spanish Succession , which essentially had the same content as the pragmatic sanction, but also in Tradition of the Rudolfinische Hausordnung from 1364, a reciprocal right of inheritance of the descendants of the then imperial princes Joseph and Karl , of the Josephinischen and Carolinischen lines, provided and - contrary to the solemnly proclaimed Pragmatic Sanction - had been kept secret. The importance of the pragmatic sanction lay not least in the publication of the in-house regulations that had been in place for ten years. The court and state chancellor Johann Friedrich von Seilern is considered to be the author of the text .

Legal status of the Pragmatic Sanction

Above all, however, the Pragmatic Sanction, in contrast to the Pactum mutuae successionis, was not just a house law, but was formally put into effect in each of these countries in accordance with the constitutional law of the individual Habsburg hereditary kingdoms and countries. The Hungarian state parliament was the last to approve the pragmatic sanction through Articles I, II and III from 1723, albeit with a few deviations that should have practically no meaning.

In view of possible claims of the daughters of his brother Joseph and their husbands, the electors of Bavaria and Saxony , Charles VI tried. the recognition of the regulation by the other European powers. In the years 1725 to 1730, with the support of his closest advisor, Baron von Bartenstein , he achieved the recognition of most foreign powers, such as Brandenburg-Prussia (1726/28) and Great Britain . However, this was only a partial success, because after the death of the emperor on October 20, 1740, a different situation emerged:

Karl Albrecht , Elector of Bavaria and Friedrich August , Elector of Saxony , disputed the validity of the pragmatic sanction and thus Maria Theresa's right of inheritance and raised claims to the Habsburg hereditary lands on behalf of their wives, the daughters of Joseph I.

Frederick II of Brandenburg-Prussia , whose father had recognized the pragmatic sanction and thus both the succession regulation and the indivisibility of the Habsburg territories in 1728, invoked a claim (abandoned under dubious circumstances in 1686) to parts of Silesia and subsequently demanded the assignment Silesia to Prussia.

The result was the War of the Austrian Succession . In the Peace of Aachen in 1748, however, the pragmatic sanction was generally recognized and remained in force until the fall of the monarchy in 1918.

Legal historical significance

In Austrian historiography (especially before 1918), the pragmatic sanction and its recognition by the states was considered the actual founding act of the Habsburg monarchy, because the states had thereby expressed their will to build a common state. In fact, until the Pragmatic Sanction there was no constitutional document stating that the crown lands belonged to a common state. It was the first constitutional law that was equally valid for all kingdoms and countries. The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 also explicitly referred to the Pragmatic Sanction as the basis for the connection between the countries of the Hungarian Crown ( Transleithania ) and the other kingdoms and countries of His Majesty ( Cisleithania ) . In this respect, the pragmatic sanction was of great constitutional and symbolic importance for the existence of the Danube monarchy and its ruling dynasty until 1918 .

See also


Newer works

  • Wilhelm Brauneder : The pragmatic sanction as the basic law of the Monarchia Austriaca from 1713 to 1918. In: Ders .: Studies I: Development of Public Law. Frankfurt 1994, p. 85 ff.
  • Hans Lentze : The Pragmatic Sanction and the Becoming of the Austrian State. In: The Danube Region. Vol. 9 (1964), p. 3 ff.

Older works, still from the monarchy

  • Hermann Ignaz Bidermann : Origin and meaning of the pragmatic sanction. In: Journal for contemporary private and public law. Vol. 2 (1875), pp. 123-160 and 217-253.
  • August Fournier : On the genesis of the Pragmatic Sanction of Emperor Charles VI. In: Historical magazine . 38: 16-47 (1877).
  • Gustav Turba (ed.): The pragmatic sanction. Authentic texts including explanations and translations. Gorischek, Vienna 1913 (source texts).
  • Gustav Turba: History of the right to succession to the throne in all Habsburg countries up to the pragmatic sanction of Emperor Charles VI. 1156 to 1732. Fromme, Vienna / Leipzig 1903.
  • Gustav Turba: The Basics of Pragmatic Sanction. 2 vol .: I. Hungary , II. The house laws (= Viennese political studies. Vol. 10.2 and 11.1). Deuticke, Leipzig / Vienna 1911/12.
  • Arnold Winkler : The basis of the Habsburg monarchy. Studies on the overall state idea, pragmatic sanction and the question of nationality in the Majorat Austria. Schmid, Leipzig / Vienna 1915.

Web links