27 July 08
Pardon me but I lifted the information from the empress' wikipedia page.
Maria Theresa was the reigning Archduchess of Austria, Queen regnant of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and a Roman Empress by marriage.
She brought unity to the Habsburg Monarchy and was considered one of its most capable rulers. Her 16 children also included Marie Antoinette (2006 film), queen consort of France, and Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.
She also contributed a lot to medicine when she made a decree that autopsies would be mandatory for all hospital deaths in city of Graz--Austria's second largest city. Some modern researchers have credited the Graz autopsy records with helping to make breakthroughs in their research.
Civil wise, Empress Maria Theresa innovated the decency police which was to patrol everywhere, especially Vienna, and apprehend anyone suspected of doing something that could be deemed indecent (possibly due to her husband's supposed infidelity). Arrested prostitutes, for example, would be sent into villages in the eastern parts of the realm, leading some contemporary writers to note that these villages had 'exceptionally beautiful women' living there.
Maria Theresa died in Vienna in 1780 at the age of 63, the only female to rule during the 650-year-long Habsburg dynasty.
The monument of Maria Theresa was completed by Kaspar Zumbusch and Karl Hasenauer in the year 1887. Around her there are the four military generals Daun, Laudon, Traun and Khevenhueller.