This foot note contained in document PJA12d045
3. On 12 Nov., at Joseph II’s direction, the governors general of the Austrian Netherlands, Joseph’s sister Marie Christine, and her husband Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, issued a circular letter granting religious toleration to Protestants. This “Edict of Toleration,” which had been promulgated in other parts of the empire a month earlier, immediately aroused opposition from the Catholic authorities. The controversy was relatively brief, however, largely because the edict was of minor importance when compared to Joseph II’s later efforts at religious reform. For Joseph II’s motivation in granting religious freedom to Protestants, which had an economic dimension, and the unrest created by his reforms, see Walter W. Davis, Joseph II: An Imperial Reformer for the Austrian Netherlands, The Hague, 1974, p. 189–219.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2007.