The education Maria Theresa provided for her children was based on learning by repetition. While this method is tolorable for some children, for Joseph it was insufferable. He had a rather short attention span which did not help. His mother often tried to please him, praise him and develop his talents. Personality wise, the boy grew up very confident in his own thoughts and ideas, and has been described as an egotist. Maria Theresa found it very difficult to get along with her son who shared her own self-willed and stubbornness.
Pride and haughtiness were descriptions given to the little archduke at the tender age of six! By nine Maria Theresa had the soldier, Count Charles Batthyany, working with her son with the hopes of setting him straight. He back-talked, would ignore those under him and liked to argue.
At nineteen he fell in love, and a marriage was quickly arranged. Maria Theresa had wished for her son to marry a Bourbon to help tie France and Austria together (sound familiar?). The Bourbon in question was Isabella of Parma. Her mother was Louise Elisabeth of France, the beloved daughter of Louis XV. The plan started to deteriorate when Louise Elisabeth passed away at just 32. It could have fallen through completely but Joseph already saw a portrait of the young lady in question and had to have her.
His mother spent plenty of money on the wedding festivities in Vienna, even if the means were not readily available. He adored her and they celebrated the birth of a daughter. While the young wife was pregnant with their second child she fell victim to the smallpox. Sadly neither wife nor child survived. Her father received a tender letter from the devastated Joseph, which read, "I have lost everything. My adored wife, the object of all my tenderness, my only friend is gone...Agonised and beaten down, I hardly know if I am still alive."
He would marry Princess Maria Josepha of Bavaria six years only later to become a widower again in two. His brief marriage to her was his last. In 1780 when his mother passed away he was left in charge as emperor. He had always focused on making reforms which he believed were entirely correct and always 'new'. He was not always praised for his personality or his reforms, and many did not prove as monumental as he had hoped. Anyway we could go on about Joseph but that will be for later!