In 1716, as a result of the War of the Spanish Succession, Emperor Charles VI assumed power in the Southern Netherlands. This book is the first to trace the difficult early years of Austrian Rule in these war-torn territories. A new government apparatus had to be established, a modus vivendi reached with the highly combative estates, and the public finances reconstructed. On top of which, the new prince had to win the hearts and minds of his subjects in order to legitimize his rule. The absence of Governor-General Eugene of Savoy and the hesitant attitude of his representative, the Marquis of Priť, did not aid in overcoming these challenges, which were further complicated by Dutch and English interference and the distance between Brussels and the court in Vienna. This volume carefully analyzes the intricate interplay of all these factors, thus illustrating the many problems accompanying Early Modern regime changes.