The current territory of the Czech Republic had been part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526.  Vienna was the capital of this multi-national state. A range of reforms were introduced during the reign of Joseph II (1741–1790; 1764–90 Holy Roman Emperor, 1780–90 Hungarian and Bohemian King) which served to support the Industrial Revolution.

The production of wool and additional kinds of textiles began to develop in Brno starting in the middle of the 18th century which moved into factory production after 1800. Brno became a centre for wool production in Central Europe and began to be known as the Moravian or Austrian Manchester up until the middle of the 19th century.