Hofer, Andreas

   The leader of a Tyrolean uprising against Bavarian rule imposed by Napoleon in the treaties of Pressburg (Bratislava) and Schönbrunn (1805, 1809), he was an innkeeper in his native South Tyrol. In 1790, he became a delegate to the Tyrolean estates. Hofer was a militia captain as well, and for a time enjoyed the patronage of Habsburg Archduke Johann (1782–1859), who believed that the French emperor could be brought down through popular resistance. Resentment of the Bavarians ran high; the Enlightenment-inspired government in Munich offended the deeply Catholic population to the south, especially in rural areas. Conscription of Tyroleans into the Bavarian army added to local grievances.
   The uprising began on 9 April 1809, with Hofer designated as the “chosen commander of the house of Austria.” The movement enjoyed some initial successes, but by July, French troops were once again in Innsbruck. Hofer rallied his forces, retook the city, and governed the Tyrol from there until October 1809. His resistance finally collapsed in November. Attempting to flee, he was betrayed and captured. He was executed in Mantua the following year on Napoleon’s orders.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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