Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
|Archduke Franz Ferdinand|
|Spouse||Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg|
|Princess Sophie of Hohenberg
Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg
Prince Ernst of Hohenberg
|House||House of Habsburg-Lorraine|
|Father||Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria|
|Mother||Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies|
18 December 1863|
Graz, Austrian Empire
|Died||28 June 1914
|Monarchical styles of
Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este
|Reference style||His Imperial and Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial and Royal Highness|
Franz Ferdinand (18 December 1863 – 28 June 1914) was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne.
His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. This caused the Central Powers (including Germany and Austria-Hungary) and the Allies of World War I (countries allied with Serbia or Serbia's allies) to declare war on each other, starting World War I.
Early life 
He was born in Graz, Austria, the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria (younger brother of Franz Joseph and Maximilian) and of his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. When he was only twelve years old, his cousin Duke Francis V of Modena died, naming Franz Ferdinand his heir on condition that he add the name Este to his own. Franz Ferdinand thus became one of the wealthiest men in Austria.
Heir presumptive 
In 1889, Franz Ferdinand's life changed dramatically. His cousin Crown Prince Rudolf committed suicide at his hunting lodge in Mayerling. This left Franz Ferdinand's father, Karl Ludwig, as first in line to the throne. Karl Ludwig renounced the throne in favor of Franz Ferdinand almost immediately, and died of typhoid fever in 1896. Henceforth, Franz Ferdinand was groomed to succeed to the throne. Despite this burden, he did manage to find time for travel and personal pursuits, such as the time he spent hunting kangaroos and emus in Australia in 1893, and the return trip to Austria sailing across the Pacific on the RMS Empress of China from Yokohama to Vancouver.
Military career 
Franz Ferdinand, like most males in the ruling Habsburg line, entered the Austro-Hungarian Army at a young age. He was frequently and rapidly promoted, given the rank of lieutenant at age fourteen, captain at twenty-two, colonel at twenty-seven, and major general at thirty-one. While never receiving formal staff training, he was considered eligible for command and at one point briefly led the primarily Hungarian 9th Hussar Regiment. In 1898 he was given a commission "at the special disposition of His Majesty" to make inquiries into all aspects of the military services and military agencies were commanded to share their papers with him.
He exerted influence on the armed forces even when he did not hold a specific command through a military chancery that produced and received documents and papers on military affairs. This was headed by Alexander Brosch von Aarenau and eventually employed a staff of sixteen..
Franz in 1913, as heir-presumptive to the elderly emperor, had been appointed inspector general of all the armed forces of Austria-Hungary (Generalinspektor der gesamten bewaffneten Macht), a position superior to that previously held by Archduke Albrecht and including presumed command in wartime.
Marriage and family 
In 1894 Franz Ferdinand met Countess Sophie Chotek at a ball in Prague. To be eligible to marry a member of the Imperial House of Habsburg, one had to be a member of one of the reigning or formerly reigning dynasties of Europe. The Choteks were not one of these families, although they did include among their ancestors, in the female line, princes of Baden, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, and Liechtenstein. One of Sophie's direct ancestors was Albert IV, Count of Habsburg; she was descended from Elisabeth of Habsburg, a sister of King Rudolph I of Germany. Franz Ferdinand was a descendant of King Rudolph I. Sophie was a lady-in-waiting to Archduchess Isabella, wife of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen. Franz Ferdinand began to visit Archduke Friedrich's villa in Pressburg (now Bratislava). Sophie wrote to Franz Ferdinand during his convalescence from tuberculosis on the island of Lošinj in the Adriatic. They kept their relationship a secret for more than two years.
Deeply in love, Franz Ferdinand refused to consider marrying anyone else. Pope Leo XIII, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and the German Emperor Wilhelm II all made representations on his behalf to Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, arguing that the disagreement between Franz Joseph and Franz Ferdinand was undermining the stability of the monarchy.
Finally, in 1899, Emperor Franz Joseph agreed to permit Franz Ferdinand to marry Sophie, on condition that the marriage would be morganatic and that their descendants would not have succession rights to the throne. Sophie would not share her husband's rank, title, precedence, or privileges; as such, she would not normally appear in public beside him. She would not be allowed to ride in the royal carriage or sit in the royal box in theaters.
The wedding took place on 1 July 1900, at Reichstadt (now Zákupy) in Bohemia; Franz Joseph did not attend the affair, nor did any archduke including Franz Ferdinand's brothers. The only members of the imperial family who were present were Franz Ferdinand's stepmother, Princess Maria Theresa of Braganza, and her two daughters. Upon the marriage, Sophie was given the title "Princess of Hohenberg" (Fürstin von Hohenberg) with the style "Her Serene Highness" (Ihre Durchlaucht). In 1909, she was given the more senior title "Duchess of Hohenberg" (Herzogin von Hohenberg) with the style "Her Highness" (Ihre Hoheit). This raised her status considerably, but she still yielded precedence at court to all the archduchesses. Whenever a function required the couple to assemble with the other members of the imperial family, Sophie was forced to stand far down the line, separated from her husband.
Franz Ferdinand's children were:
- Princess Sophie of Hohenberg (1901–1990), married Count Friedrich von Nostitz-Rieneck (1891–1973)
- Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg (1902–1962), married Countess Elisabeth von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee (1904–1993)
- Prince Ernst of Hohenberg (1904–1954), married Marie-Therese Wood (1910–1985)
- Stillborn son (1908), buried in Artstetten Castle, near his parents
The German historian Michael Freund described Franz Ferdinand as "a man of uninspired energy, dark in appearance and emotion, who radiated an aura of strangeness and cast a shadow of violence and recklessness ... a true personality amidst the amiable inanity that characterized Austrian society at this time." As his sometime admirer Karl Kraus put it, "he was not one who would greet you ... he felt no compulsion to reach out for the unexplored region which the Viennese call their heart." His relations with Emperor Franz Joseph were tense; the emperor's personal servant recalled in his memoirs that "thunder and lightning always raged when they had their discussions." The commentaries and orders which the heir to the throne wrote as margin notes to the documents of the Imperial central commission for architectural conservation (where he was Protector) reveal what can be described as "choleric conservativism."
Franz Ferdinand had a fondness for trophy hunting that was excessive even by the standards of European nobility of this time. In his diaries he kept track of an estimated 300,000 game kills, 5,000 of which were deer. Approximately 100,000 trophies were on exhibit at his Bohemian castle at Konopiště which he also stuffed with various antiquities, his other great passion.
Political views 
Historians have disagreed on how to characterize the political philosophies of Franz Ferdinand, some attributing generally liberal views on the empire's nationalities while others have emphasized his dynastic centralism, Catholic conservatism, and tendency to clash with other leaders. He advocated granting greater autonomy to ethnic groups within the Empire and addressing their grievances, especially the Czechs in Bohemia and the south Slavic peoples in Croatia and Bosnia, who had been left out of the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867. Yet his feelings towards the Hungarians were less generous; he regarded Hungarian nationalism as a revolutionary threat to the Habsburg dynasty and reportedly became angry when officers of the 9th Hussars Regiment (which he commanded) spoke Hungarian in his presence - despite the fact that it was the official regimental language. He further regarded the Hungarian branch of the Dual Monarchy’s army, the Honvédség, as an unreliable and potentially threatening force within the empire, complaining at the Hungarians' failure to provide funds for the joint army and opposing the formation of artillery units within the Hungarian forces.
He also advocated a careful approach towards Serbia - repeatedly locking horns with Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf, Vienna's hard-line Chief of the General Staff, warning that harsh treatment of Serbia would bring Austria-Hungary into open conflict with Russia, to the ruin of both Empires.
He was disappointed when Austria-Hungary failed to act as a Great Power, such as during the Boxer Rebellion, in 1900. Other nations, including, in his description, "dwarf states like Belgium and Portugal", had soldiers stationed in China, but Austria-Hungary did not. However, Austria-Hungary did participate in the Eight-Nation Alliance to suppress the Boxers, and sent soldiers as part of the "international relief force".
Franz Ferdinand was a prominent and influential supporter of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in a time when sea power was not a priority in Austrian foreign policy and the Navy was relatively little known and supported by the public. After his assassination in 1914, the Navy honoured Franz Ferdinand and his wife with a lying in state aboard SMS Viribus Unitis.
On Sunday, 28 June 1914, at approximately 10:45 am, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were killed in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, 19 at the time, a member of Young Bosnia and one of a group of assassins organized by the Black Hand. The event led to a chain of events that eventually triggered World War I.
The couple had previously been attacked when a grenade was thrown at their car. Ferdinand deflected the grenade and it detonated far behind them. He is known to have shouted in anger to local officials, "So you welcome your guests with bombs?!"
The royal couple insisted on seeing all those injured at the hospital. After travelling there, Franz and Sophie decided to go to the palace, but their driver took a wrong turn onto a side street, where Princip spotted them. As the car was backing up, Princip approached and shot Sophie in the abdomen and Franz Ferdinand in the jugular vein. He was still alive when witnesses arrived to render aid. His dying words to Sophie were, 'Don't die darling, live for our children.' Princip had used the Browning .32 ACP cartridge, a relatively low-power round, and a pocket-sized FN model 1910 pistol. The archduke's aides attempted to undo his coat but realized they needed scissors to cut it open. It was too late; he died within minutes. Sophie also died en route to the hospital.
A detailed account of the shooting can be found in Sarajevo by Joachim Remak:
One bullet pierced Franz Ferdinand's neck while the other pierced Sophie's abdomen. ... As the car was reversing (to go back to the Governor's residence because the entourage thought the Imperial couple were unhurt) a thin streak of blood shot from the Archduke's mouth onto Count Harrach's right cheek (he was standing on the car's running board). Harrach drew out a handkerchief to still the gushing blood. The Duchess, seeing this, called: "For Heaven's sake! What happened to you?" and sank from her seat, her face falling between her husband's knees.
Harrach and Potoriek ... thought she had fainted ... only her husband seemed to have an instinct for what was happening. Turning to his wife despite the bullet in his neck, Franz Ferdinand pleaded: "Sopherl! Sopherl! Sterbe nicht! Bleibe am Leben für unsere Kinder! - Sophie dear! Don't die! Stay alive for our children!" Having said this, he seemed to sag down himself. His plumed hat ... fell off; many of its green feathers were found all over the car floor. Count Harrach seized the Archduke by the uniform collar to hold him up. He asked "Leiden Eure Kaiserliche Hoheit sehr? - Is Your Imperial Highness suffering very badly?" "Es ist nichts - It is nothing" said the Archduke in a weak but audible voice. He seemed to be losing consciousness during his last few minutes, but, his voice growing steadily weaker, he repeated the phrase perhaps six or seven times more.
A rattle began to issue from his throat, which subsided as the car drew in front of the Konak bersibin (Town Hall). Despite several doctors' efforts, the Archduke died shortly after being carried into the building while his beloved wife was almost certainly dead from internal bleeding before the motorcade reached the Konak.
The assassinations, along with the arms race, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, and the alliance system all contributed to the origins of World War I, which began a month after Franz Ferdinand's death, with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia. The assassination of Ferdinand is considered the most immediate cause of World War I.
Franz Ferdinand is interred with his wife Sophie in Artstetten Castle, Austria.
Present-day commemorations 
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Castle of Artstetten were selected as a main motif for the Austrian 10 euro The Castle of Artstetten commemorative coin, minted on 13 October 2004. The reverse shows the entrance to the crypt of the Hohenberg family. There are two portraits below, showing Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.
See also 
- Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (1987). Royal Sunset: The European Dynasties and the Great War. Doubleday. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-385-19849-3.
- Marshall, S.L.A. (2001). World War I. Mariner Books. p. 1. ISBN 0-618-05686-6.
- Keegan, John (2000). The First World War. Vintage. p. 48. ISBN 0-375-70045-5.
- Johnson, Lonnie (1989). Introducing Austria: A Short History (Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture, and Thought). Ariadne Press. pp. 52–54. ISBN 0-929497-03-1.
- Brook-Shepherd, Gordon (1997). The Austrians: A Thousand-Years Odyssey. Carroll & Graf. pp. 107, 125–126. ISBN 0-7867-0520-5.
- "The Crown Prince’s Successor". The New York Times. 2 February 1889. Accessed 22 May 2009.
- "The Archduke Franz Ferdinand". The Argus (Australia). 23 May 1895. Accessed 28 June 2010.
- Katalog Land in Sicht!: Österreich auf weiter Fahrt (Catalogue Land Ahoy!: Austria on the Seven Seas). (in PDF and in German language) p. 8. Exhibition by the Austrian Mint, 17 August - 3 February 2006. Münze Österreich (Austrian Mint). Accessed 22 May 2009.
- Rothenburg, G. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1976. p 141.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 120.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 141.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 170.
- Schwarz, Otto. Hinter den Fassaden der Ringstrasse: Geschichte, Menschen, Geheimnisse. Amalthea, Vienna, 2007, ISBN 9783850025898, p. 26 (German)
- The Family Crypt, Artstetten Castle.
- Freund, Michael: Deutsche Geschichte. Die Große Bertelsmann Lexikon-Bibliothek, Bd. 7. C. Bertelsmann Verlag, 1961. p.901
- Die Fackel. Issue July 10, 1914
- Ketterl, Eugen. Der alte Kaiser wie nur einer ihn sah. Cissy Klastersky (ed.), Gerold & Co., Vienna 1929
- Brückler, Theodor: Franz Ferdinand als Denkmalpfleger. Die "Kunstakten" der Militärkanzlei im Österreichischen Staatsarchiv. Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2009. ISBN 978-3-205-78306-0
- Wladimir Aichelburg, Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este und Artstetten, Vienna: Lehner, 2000, ISBN 978-3-901749-18-6, p. 31 (German): "Tatsächlich war Franz Ferdinand ein außergewöhnlich leidenschaftlicher Jäger" - "It is a fact that Franz Ferdinand was an unusually passionate hunter."
- Michael Hainisch, ed. Friedrich Weissensteiner, 75 Jahre aus bewegter Zeit: Lebenserinnerungen eines österreichischen Staatsmannes, Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für neuere Geschichte Österreichs 64, Vienna: Böhlau, 1978, ISBN 978-3-205-08565-2, p. 367 (German): "Konopischt ... das einst dem Erzherzoge Franz Ferdinand gehört hatte. Das Schloß ist voller Jagdtrophäen" - "Konopiště ... which once belonged to Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The castle is full of hunting trophies."
- Neil Wilson and Mark Baker, Prague: City Guide, Lonely Planet City Guide, 9th ed. Footscray, Victoria / Oakland, California / London: Lonely Planet, 2010, ISBN 978-1-74179-668-1, p. 237.
- Thomas Veszelits, Prag, HB-Bildatlas 248, Ostfildern: HB, 2003, ISBN 978-3-616-06152-8, p. 106. (German): "Jagdtrophäen, Waffen aus drei Jahrhunderten und Kunstschätze füllten die Räume" - "Hunting trophies, weapons dating to three centuries, and art treasures filled the rooms."
- Morton, Frederick (1989). Thunder at Twilight: Vienna 1913/1914. Scribner. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-684-19143-0.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 147.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 133.
- Rothenburg 1976, p. 136.
- Beyer, Rick, The Greatest Stories Never Told, A&E Television Networks / The History Channel, ISBN 0-06-001401-6. p. 146-147
- Johnson, Melvin Maynard; Charles Tower Haven (1941). Automatic arms: their history, development and use. W. Marrow and co. p. 46.
- Weir, William R (2005). Turning points in military history. Citadel. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-8065-2627-0. "The spark was supplied by a .32 caliber pistol"
- Miller, David (2006). The History of Browning Firearms: Fortifications Around the World. The Lyons Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-59228-910-3.
- Belfield, Richard. The Assassination Business: A History of State-Sponsored Murder. Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0-7867-1343-1.
- MacDonogh, Giles (2003). The Last Kaiser: The Life of Wilhelm II. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 351. ISBN 978-0-312-30557-4.
- Remak, Joachim (1959). Sarajevo: The Story of a Political Murder. Criterion. pp. 137–142. ASIN B001L4NB5U.(ASIN B001L4NB5U)
- Johnson. p. 56
- John McCannon, PhD. - AP World History - Copyright 2010, 2008, Barron's Educational Series, Inc. - page 9.
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- Archduke Franz Ferdinand d'Este (in Czech language)
- Franz Ferdinand at Findagrave.com
- Video: Franz Ferdinand's Funeral
- Alfred Francis Pribram (1922). "Francis Ferdinand". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Cadet branch of the House of LorraineBorn: 18 December 1863 Died: 28 June 1914
|Archduke of Austria-Este
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
Duke of Modena