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The great Austrian reform period of the 18th century, which lasted around five decades, fell into the reigns of Maria Theresa (1740 - 1780) and her two sons and successors Joseph II (1780 - 1790) and Leopold II (1790 - 1792). Through the state reform, which was mainly due to her energy and drive, Maria Theresa became the founder of the modern, centralized, absolutist legal and administrative state, which now replaced the old"monarchical union"of only the person of the ruler and his closest associates »medieval corporative states«. Whatever area of life one deals with in the recent history of Austria, with the history of administration, financial and economic policy, the school system, the army, the administration of justice and the health system, one always comes to the conclusion that the decisive reforms and institutions go back to the reign of the great ruler.