A Little Bit Holy, Not at All Roman, and Not Yet an Empire

The Court of Maria Theresa, 1740


Almost 500 years after the Habsburgs first became kings and exactly 300 years since a Habsburg became Holy Roman Emperor, the infamous House of Austria is facing one of its greatest challenges yet: a female heir.

After her father Charles VI’s death, 23 year old Maria Theresa is next in line to rule Austria and all its holdings. Traditionally women are not permitted to inherit the throne however Charles wanted to ensure traditional Habsburg land was inherited by a Habsburg. While diplomatic precautions have been taken to ensure that all recognize her right to rule, there is much to be feared. With the power hungry Prussians on their borders, the Hungarians wavering in their support, and a new Holy Roman Emperor to be elected soon, Maria must work fast to solidify power.

Even beyond Austria, Europe is rapidly changing in worrying ways. Many of the old powers have weakened and alliances are constantly in flux. A new intellectual movement is growing that regularly questions the Catholic faith. While the Austrian empire remains broke, other countries are modernizing and growing new industries and fortunes.

It is up to this court to help Maria Theresa, the last of the Habsburgs, navigate these tumultuous times and restore the Holy Roman Empire to its former greatness, the legacy of Europe’s most powerful family depends on it.

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Paris Bezanis


Paris is a second year in the College, majoring in History and Russian Eastern European studies (REES). Born in Washington D.C but raised in Houston, Texas, Paris loves living in the Windy City. He served as an AC on The Life and Times of Lee Kuan Yew: Singapore committee at ChoMUN XX. Besides selling his soul to MUN, Paris’s primary hobbies include sleeping and eating. If you have any questions about the committee he can be reached at pbezanis@uchicago.edu.


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Hannah Buonomo

Crisis Director

Hannah is a second year majoring in Economics(for employment) and History(to differentiate herself from the 10,000 other economics majors at UChicago). Originally from Bloomfield Hills,Michigan, Hannah gave up her dreams of abandoning the midwest forever in order to be surrounded by gothic architecture and horrible weather.

At Chomun XX Hannah was an AC in Camelot: The Court of King Arthur and this year will be a Crisis Director for First Thatcher Cabinet at Uchicago’s high school conference, MUNUC. When she isn’t trying to combine European history and MUN she tutors local elementary school students and spends large amounts of time in the library while accomplishing nothing.
If you have any questions about the committee she can be reached at hgbuonomo@uchicago.edu.

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NIkita Coutinho

Crisis Director

Nikita is a third year in the College, intending to major in Economics and Political Science. Born in Mumbai and raised in the Middle East, she currently calls Chicago home. She has served on two past ChoMUN committees, the Titanic and the Founding of Sierra Leone, as well as being involved in MUNUC, UChicago’s high school conference. A history enthusiast, she is thrilled to be coordinating in the backroom of the court of Maria Theresa. Feel free to contact her at ncoutinho@uchicago.edu with any comments or concerns.

USG: Sabine Nau