emperor of Austria, son of emperor Ferdinand I, and of Anna of Hungary, was born at Vienna Aug. 1, 1527. He was educated in Spain by Charles V; took part in the war of Smalcald (1544-48) against the French; became viceroy of Spain in 1549; on his return to Germany, about 1551, he made the treaty of Passau, and in 1552 became governor of Hungary. In September, 1562, he was crowned king of Bohemia; elected king of Rome at Frankfort in November of the same year; king of Hungary at Presburg in 1563; and finally succeeded his father as emperor of Germany in July, 1564. He made war against the Turks, in Hungary, until 1567, but afterwards reigned in peace. During his youth his preceptor, Wolfgang Stiefel, had made him acquainted with the Protestant tenets, and he showed himself favorable to the Reformation, living on very friendly terms with the Protestant princes (Fisher, Hist. of the Reformation [N.Y. 1873, 8vo], p.
423). Yet he did not allow their doctrines free scope throughout his empire, as the majority in the states was opposed to it, and the Protestants themselves, divided into Lutherans and Calvinists, were engaged in strife with each other. From the manner in which he sought the friendship and alliance of Romish princes, it must appear that Maximilian II never allowed his private convictions to rule him as a monarch, but that all was made subservient to the interests of the empire. Some will even have it. as Vehse (see below), that he was at one time a convert to the Protestant religion (comp. Baker, Eccles. Hist. 2:211). He, however, granted the Protestants in 1568 liberty to worship God according to their conscience throughout Austria, and commissioned D. Chytraeus to draw up a Protestant liturgy for Austria. Although he was opposed to the Jesuits, and subjected them to many restrictions, he yet, by his toleration, permitted them access and great influence in his own family. He died Oct. 12, 1576. See J. F. Miller, Epistolae Ferdinandi I et M. II (Pesth, 1808); Koch, Quellen z. Gesch. M. II (Leipz. 1857-61); Ranke, Historischpolitischer Zeitschr. (1832, p. 278 sq.); and the same reprinted in Deutsche Gesch. (1868), vol. 6; Bernard Raupach, Evang. Oesterreich. vol. 1 and 2; Lebret, Magazin z. Gebrauch d. Staaten und Kirchengesch. (Ulm, 1785), vol. 9; Maurenbrecher, in Sybel's Histor. Zeitscshrift, 1862, p. 351 sq.; E. Reimann, in the same journal, 1866, p. 1 sq.; Coxe, Hist. of the House of Austria, 2:4 sq.; Vehse, Memoirs of the House of Austria, 1:217 sq.; Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, 11:29; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 9:204.