Portrait of Ferdinand II (1578-1637), Archduke of Inner Austria (1590), Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor (1619-1637), King in Germany and King of Hungary (1618), King of Bohemia (1617-1619; 1620-1637), 1605
Ferdinand II (9 July 1578 – 15 February 1637), a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor (1619–1637), King of Bohemia (1617–1619, 1620–1637), and King of Hungary (1618–1637). His acts started the Thirty Years' War. As a zealous Catholic, Ferdinand wanted to restore Catholicism as the only religion in the Empire and to suppress Protestantism. Ferdinand was born at Graz, the son of Charles II, Archduke of Austria, and Maria Anna of Bavaria. He was educated by the Jesuits and later attended the University of Ingolstadt. After completing his studies in 1595, he acceded to his hereditary lands (where his older cousin, Archduke Maximilian III of Austria, had acted as regent between 1593 and 1595). He made a pilgrimage to Loreto and Rome. Shortly afterward, he began the suppression of Protestantism in his territories. With the Oñate treaty, Ferdinand obtained the support of the Spanish Habsburgs in the succession of his childless cousin Matthias, in exchange for concessions in Alsace and Italy. In 1617, he was elected King of Bohemia by the Bohemian diet; in 1618, as King of Hungary by the Hungarian estates; and in 1619, as Holy Roman Emperor.
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