Ferdinand II, 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). 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.
Ferdinand died in 1637, leaving to his son Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, an empire still engulfed in a war and whose fortunes seemed to be increasingly chaotic. Ferdinand II was buried in his Mausoleum in Graz. His heart was interred in the Herzgruft (heart crypt) of the Augustinian Church, Vienna.
The royal titles Ferdinand used were:
|Country||Holy Roman Empire|
|From||28 August 1619|
|To||15 February 1637|
|Personal Information||Archduke Ferdinand II (III of Austria), Holy Roman Emperor|