Franz Joseph I of Austria
|Franz Joseph I|
|Franz Joseph in 1898|
|Reign||2 December 1848 – 21 November 1916|
|Spouse||Elisabeth of Bavaria|
Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria
Archduchess Marie Valerie
|House||House of Habsburg-Lorraine|
|Father||Archduke Franz Karl of Austria|
|Mother||Princess Sophie of Bavaria|
18 August 1830|
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
|Died||21 November 1916
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I (German: Franz Joseph I., Hungarian: I. Ferenc József, 18 August 1830 – 21 November 1916) was Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, King of Galicia and Lodomeria and Grand Duke of Cracow from 1848 until his death in 1916. From 1 May 1850 until 24 August 1866 he was President of the German Confederation.
In December 1848, Emperor Ferdinand abdicated the throne as part of Ministerpräsident Felix zu Schwarzenberg's plan to end the Revolutions of 1848 in Austria, which allowed Ferdinand's nephew Franz Joseph to ascend to the throne. Largely considered to be a reactionary, Franz Joseph spent his early reign resisting constitutionalism in his domains. The Austrian Empire was forced to cede most of its claim to Lombardy–Venetia to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia following the conclusion of the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, and the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866. Although Franz Joseph ceded no territory to the Kingdom of Prussia after the Austrian defeat in the Austro-Prussian War, the Peace of Prague (23 August 1866) settled the German question in favor of Prussia, which prevented the unification of Germany under the House of Habsburg (Großdeutsche Lösung).
Franz Joseph was troubled by nationalism during his entire reign. He concluded the Ausgleich of 1867, which granted greater autonomy to Hungary, hence transforming the Austrian Empire into the Austro-Hungarian Empire under his dual monarchy. His domains were then ruled peacefully for the next 45 years, although Franz Joseph personally suffered the tragedies of the suicide of his son, Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889, and the assassination of his wife, Empress Elisabeth in 1898.
After the Austro-Prussian War, Austria-Hungary turned its attention to the Balkans, which was a hotspot of international tension due to conflicting interests with the Russian Empire. The Bosnian crisis was a result of Franz Joseph's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, which had been occupied by his troops since the Congress of Berlin (1878). On 28 June 1914, the assassination of the heir-presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, at the hands of Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian nationalist, resulted in Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against the Kingdom of Serbia, which was Russia's ally. This activated a system of alliances which resulted in World War I.
Franz Joseph died on 21 November 1916, after ruling his domains for almost 68 years. He was succeeded by his grandnephew Karl.
Early life 
Franz Joseph was born in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the oldest son of Archduke Franz Karl (the younger son of Holy Roman Emperor Francis II), and his wife Princess Sophie of Bavaria. Because his uncle, from 1835 the Emperor Ferdinand, was weak-minded, and his father unambitious and retiring, the young Archduke "Franzl" was brought up by his mother as a future Emperor with emphasis on devotion, responsibility and diligence. Franzl came to idolise his grandfather, der Gute Kaiser Franz, who had died shortly before the former's fifth birthday, as the ideal monarch. At the age of 13, young Archduke Franz started a career as a colonel in the Austrian army. From that point onward, his fashion was dictated by army style and for the rest of his life he normally wore the uniform of a military officer.
Franz Joseph was soon joined by three younger brothers: Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian (born 1832, the future Emperor Maximilian of Mexico); Archduke Karl Ludwig (born 1833, and the father of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria), and Archduke Ludwig Viktor (born 1842), and a sister, Maria Anna (born 1835), who died at the age of four.
Following the resignation of the Chancellor Prince Metternich during the Revolutions of 1848, the young Archduke, who it was widely expected would soon succeed his uncle on the throne, was appointed Governor of Bohemia on 6 April, but never took up the post. Instead, Franz was sent to the front in Italy, joining Field Marshal Radetzky on campaign on 29 April, receiving his baptism of fire on 5 May at Santa Lucia. By all accounts he handled his first military experience calmly and with dignity. Around the same time, the Imperial Family was fleeing revolutionary Vienna for the calmer setting of Innsbruck, in Tyrol. Soon, the Archduke was called back from Italy, joining the rest of his family at Innsbruck by mid-June. It was at Innsbruck at this time that Franz Joseph first met his cousin Elisabeth, his future bride, then a girl of ten, but apparently the meeting made little impact.
Following victory over the Italians at Custoza in late July, the court felt safe to return to Vienna, and Franz Joseph travelled with them. But within a few months Vienna again appeared unsafe, and in September the court left again, this time for Olmütz in Moravia. By now, Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Grätz, the influential military commander in Bohemia, was determined to see the young Archduke soon put onto the throne. It was thought that a new ruler would not be bound by the oaths to respect constitutional government to which Ferdinand had been forced to agree, and that it was necessary to find a young, energetic emperor to replace the kindly, but mentally unfit Emperor.
It was thus at Olmütz on 2 December that, by the abdication of his uncle Ferdinand and the renunciation of his father, the mild-mannered Franz Karl, Franz Joseph succeeded as Emperor of Austria. It was at this time that he first became known by his second as well as his first Christian name. The name "Franz Joseph" was chosen deliberately to bring back memories of the new Emperor's great-granduncle, Emperor Joseph II, remembered as a modernising reformer.
Domestic policy 
Under the guidance of the new prime minister Prince Schwarzenberg, the new emperor at first pursued a cautious course, granting a constitution in early 1849. At the same time, military campaigns were necessary against the Hungarians, who had rebelled against Habsburg central authority under the name of their ancient liberties. Franz Joseph was also almost immediately faced with a renewal of the fighting in Italy, with King Charles Albert of Sardinia taking advantage of setbacks in Hungary to resume the war in March 1849. Soon, though, the military tide began to turn in favor of Franz Joseph and the Austrian whitecoats. Almost immediately, Charles Albert was decisively beaten by Radetzky at Novara, and forced both to sue for peace and to abdicate his throne. In Hungary, the situation was more grave and Austrian defeat was quite possible. Franz Joseph, sensing a need to secure his right to rule sought help from Russia, requesting the intervention of Tsar Nicholas I, in order "to prevent the Hungarian insurrection developing into a European calamity." Russian troops entered Hungary in support of the Austrians and the revolution was crushed by late summer of 1849. With order now restored throughout the Empire, Franz Joseph felt free to go back on the constitutional concessions he had made, especially as the Austrian parliament, meeting at Kremsier, had behaved, in the young Emperor's view, abominably. The 1849 constitution was suspended, and a policy of absolutist centralism was established, guided by the Minister of the Interior, Alexander Bach.
The next few years saw the seeming recovery of Austria's position on the international scene following the near disasters of 1848–1849. Under Schwarzenberg's guidance, Austria was able to stymie Prussian scheming to create a new German Federation under Prussian leadership, excluding Austria. After Schwarzenberg's premature death in 1852, he could not be replaced by statesmen of equal stature, and the Emperor effectively took over himself as prime minister.
Assassination attempt in 1853 
On 18 February 1853, the Emperor survived an assassination attempt by Hungarian nationalist János Libényi. The emperor was taking a stroll with one of his officers, Maximilian Karl Lamoral O'Donnell, on a city-bastion, when Libényi approached him. He immediately struck the emperor from behind with a knife straight at the neck. Franz Joseph almost always wore a uniform, which had a high collar that almost completely enclosed the neck. The collar of the uniforms at that time was made out of very sturdy material exactly to counter this kind of attack. Even though the Emperor was wounded and bleeding, the collar saved his life. Count O'Donnell (descendant of the Irish noble dynasty O'Donnell of Tyrconnell) struck Libényi down with his sabre. O'Donnell, hitherto only a Count by virtue of his Irish nobility, was thereafter made a Count of the Habsburg Empire, conferred with the Commander's Cross of the Royal Order of Leopold, and his customary O'Donnell arms were augmented by the initials and shield of the ducal House of Austria, with additionally the double-headed eagle of the Empire. These arms are emblazoned on the portico of no. 2 Mirabel Platz in Salzburg, where O'Donnell built his residence thereafter. Another witness who happened to be nearby, the butcher Joseph Ettenreich, quickly overwhelmed Libényi. For his deed he was later elevated to nobility by the Emperor and became Joseph von Ettenreich. Libényi was subsequently put on trial and condemned to death for attempted regicide. He was executed on the Simmeringer Heide. After this unsuccessful attack, the Emperor's brother Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph, later Emperor of Mexico, called upon Europe's royal families for donations to a new church on the site of the attack. The church was to be a votive offering for the survival of the Emperor. It is located on Ringstraße in the district of Alsergrund close to the University of Vienna, and is known as the Votivkirche.
Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 
The 1850s witnessed several failures of Austrian external policy: the Crimean War and break-up with Russia, and defeat in the Second Italian War of Independence. The setbacks continued in the 1860s with defeat in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, which resulted in the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867.
Political difficulties in Austria mounted continuously through the late 1800s and into the 20th century. But Franz Joseph remained immensely respected. His patriarchal authority held the Empire together while the politicians squabbled.
Foreign policy 
The German question 
The main foreign policy goal of Franz Joseph I had been the unification of Germany under the House of Habsburg. This was justified on grounds of precedence; from 1452 to the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, with only one period of interruption under the Wittelsbachs, the Habsburgs had generally held the German crown. However, Franz Joseph's desire to retain the non-German territories of the Habsburg Austrian Empire in the event of German unification proved problematic. There quickly developed two factions, one party of German intellectuals favouring a Greater Germany under the House of Habsburg; the others favouring a Lesser Germany. The Greater Germans favoured the inclusion of Austria in a new all-German state on the grounds that Austria (Österreich) had always been a part of Germanic empires, that it was the leading power of the German Confederation, and that it would be absurd to exclude eight million Austrian Germans from an all-German nation state. The champions of a lesser Germany argued against the inclusion of Austria on the grounds that it was a multination state, not a German one, and that its inclusion would bring millions of non-Germans into the German nation state. If Greater Germany was to prevail, the crown would necessarily have to go to Franz Joseph, who had no desire to cede it in the first place to anyone else. On the other hand, if the idea of a smaller Germany won out, the German crown could of course not possibly go the Emperor of Austria, but would naturally be offered to the head of the largest and most powerful German state outside of Austria–the King of Prussia. The contest between the two ideas thus quickly developed into a contest between Austria and Prussia.
Outbreak of World War I 
After the death of Rudolf, the heir to the throne was his nephew Archduke Franz Ferdinand. When Franz Ferdinand decided to marry a mere countess, Franz Joseph opposed the marriage strenuously, and insisted that it must be morganatic; he did not even attend the wedding. After that, the two men disliked and distrusted each other.
In 1903, Franz Joseph's veto of Cardinal Rampolla's election to the papacy was transmitted to the conclave by Cardinal Jan Puzyna. It was the last use of such a veto, because new Pope Pius X provided penalties for such.
In 1914, Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, leading to World War I. When he heard the news of the assassination, Franz Joseph said that "one has not to defy the Almighty. In this manner a superior power has restored that order which I unfortunately was unable to maintain."
Franz Joseph died in the Schönbrunn Palace in 1916, aged 86, in the middle of the war. He was succeeded by his grand-nephew Karl. But two years later, after defeat in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was dissolved.
It was generally felt in the court that the Emperor should marry and produce heirs as soon as possible. Various potential brides were considered: Princess Elisabeth of Modena, Princess Anna of Prussia and Princess Sidonia of Saxony. Although in public life the Emperor was the unquestioned director of affairs, in his private life his formidable mother still had a crucial influence. She wanted to strengthen the relationship between the Houses of Habsburg and Wittelsbach, and hoped to match Franz Joseph with her sister Ludovika's eldest daughter, Helene ("Nené"), four years the Emperor's junior. However, the Emperor became besotted with Nené's younger sister, Elisabeth ("Sisi"), a girl of sixteen, and insisted on marrying her instead. Sophie acquiesced, despite some misgivings about Sisi's appropriateness as an imperial consort, and the young couple were married on 24 April 1854 in St. Augustine's Church, Vienna.
Their married life was not happy. Sisi never really adapted herself to the court and always had disagreements with the Imperial Family; their first daughter Sophie died as an infant; and their only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, died by suicide in 1889, in the infamous Mayerling Incident.
In 1885 Franz Joseph met Katharina Schratt, a leading actress of the Vienna stage, and she became his mistress. This relationship lasted the rest of his life, and was, to a certain degree, tolerated by Sisi. Franz Joseph built Villa Schratt in Bad Ischl for her, and also provided her with a small palace in Vienna.
The Empress was an inveterate traveller, horsewoman, and fashion maven who was rarely seen in Vienna. She was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist in 1898; Franz Joseph never fully recovered from the loss. According to the future Empress-Consort Zita of Bourbon-Parma he usually told his relatives: "You'll never know how important she was to me" or, according to some sources, "You will never know how much I loved this woman." (although there is no definite proof he actually said this).
|By Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria (24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898; married on 24 April 1854 in St. Augustine's Church, Vienna)|
|Sophie Friederike Dorothea Maria Josepha||5 March 1855||29 May 1857||died in childhood|
|Gisela Louise Marie||15 July 1856||27 July 1932||married, 1873 her second cousin, Prince Leopold of Bavaria; had issue|
|Rudolf Francis Charles Joseph||21 August 1858||30 January 1889||died in the Mayerling Incident
married, 1881, Princess Stephanie of Belgium; had issue
|Marie Valerie Mathilde Amalie||22 April 1868||6 September 1924||married, 1890 her second cousin, Archduke Franz Salvator, Prince of Tuscany; had issue|
Orders, decorations, and honours 
|Monarchical styles of
Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary
|Reference style||His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty|
|Alternative style||My Lord|
Emperor Franz Joseph held the following chivalric orders:
- Order of the Golden Fleece (ex officio as Emperor of Austria)
- Military Order of Maria Theresa (Militär Maria-Theresien-Orden, ex officio as Emperor of Austria)
- Royal Hungarian Order of Saint Stephen (Königlich ungarischer St. Stephan-Orden, ex officio as Emperor of Austria)
- Order of Leopold (Leopold-Orden, ex officio as Emperor of Austria)
- Order of the Iron Crown (Orden der Eisernen Krone, ex officio as Emperor of Austria)
- Order of Milosh the Great, Kingdom of Serbia
- Order of the Garter, Great Britain, awarded 1867 and expelled 1914
- Order of the Black Eagle (Schwarzer-Adler-Orden), Prussia
- Order of the Red Eagle (Roter-Adler-Orden), First Class, Prussia
- Pour le Mérite (Orden Pour le Mérite, the "Blue Max"), Prussia
- Royal House Order of Hohenzollern (Königlich Hausorden von Hohenzollern), Prussia
|Monarchical styles of
Franz Joseph I of Austria
|Reference style||His Imperial Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial Majesty|
|Alternative style||My Lord|
He founded the following orders:
|Monarchical styles of
Franz Joseph I of Hungary
|Reference style||His Apostolic Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Apostolic Majesty|
|Alternative style||My Lord|
He held the following honorary appointments:
- Colonel-in-chief, 1st (The King's) Dragoon Guards, British Army, 25 March 1896 – 1914
- Colonel-in-chief, Kexholm Life Guards Grenadier Regiment, Russian Army, until 26 June 1914
- Colonel-in-chief, 12th Belgorod Lancer Regiment, Russian Army, until 26 June 1914
- Colonel-in-chief, 16th (Schleswig-Holstein) Hussars, German Army
- Colonel-in-chief, 122nd (Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria, King of Hungary (4th Württemberg) Fusiliers
- Field Marshal, British Army, 1 September 1903 – 1914
Franz Joseph founded in 1872 the Franz Joseph University (Hungarian: Ferenc József Tudományegyetem, Romanian: Universitatea Francisc Iosif) in the city of Cluj-Napoca (at that time a part of Austria-Hungary under the name of Kolozsvár). The university was moved to Szeged after Cluj became a part of Romania, becoming the University of Szeged.
In certain areas, celebrations are still being held in remembrance of Franz Joseph's birthday. The Mitteleuropean People's Festival takes place every year around August 18th, and is a "spontaneous, traditional and brotherly meeting among peoples of the Central-European Countries". The event includes ceremonies, meetings, music, songs, dances, wine and food tasting, and traditional costumes and folklore from Mitteleuropa.
Official Grand Title 
His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty,
Franz Joseph I, by the Grace of God Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Bohemia, King of Lombardy and Venice, of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria and Illyria; King of Jerusalem etc., Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and of the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz, Zator and Teschen, Friuli, Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Zara (Zadar); Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent (Trento) and Brixen; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, etc.; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro (Kotor), and over the Windic march..
His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty,
Francis Joseph I, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Illyria; King of Jerusalem, etc.; Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany, Crakow; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of the Upper & Lower Silesia, Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Guastalla, Oswiecin, Zator, Cieszyn, Friuli, Ragusa, Zara; Princely Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Kyburg, Gorizia, Gradisca; Prince of Trent, Brixen; Margrave of the Upper & Lower Lusatia, in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, etc.; Lord of Triest, Kotor, the Wendish March; Grand Voivode of the Voivodship of Serbia etc. etc..
Personal motto 
- "mit vereinten Kräften" (German) = "Viribus Unitis" (Latin) = "With united forces" (as the Emperor of Austria). A homonymous war ship existed.
- "Bizalmam az Ősi Erényben" (Hungarian) = "Virtutis Confido" (Latin) = "My trust in [the ancient] virtue" (as the Apostolic King of Hungary)
In popular culture 
- In the 1974 BBC miniseries Fall of Eagles, he was played by Miles Anderson as a young man and by Laurence Naismith in old age.
See also 
- Family tree of the German monarchs – he was related to every other ruler of Germany.
- List of coupled cousins
- Franc Jozeph Island, island in Albania in honor of the Emperor.
- Francis Joseph, in Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 April 2009
- Gale Encyclopedia of Biography: Francis Joseph.
- Murad 1968, p. 61.
- Murad 1968, p. 101.
- Murad 1968, p. 33.
- Murad 1968, p. 8.
- Murad 1968, p. 6.
- Rothenburg, G. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette, Purdue University Press, 1976. p. 35.
- Murad 1968, p. 41.
- Murad 1968, p. 42.
- O'Domhnaill Abu – O'Donnell Clan Newsletter no. 7, Spring 1987 (ISSN 0790-7389))
- Murad 1968, p. 169.
- William M. Johnston; The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938. University of California Press. 1983. p. 38.
- Murad 1968, p. 149.
- Murad 1968, p. 150.
- Murad 1968, p. 151.
- Murad 1968, p. 120.
- Murad 1968, p. 127.
- ↑ Albert Freiherr von Margutti: Vom alten Kaiser. Leipzig & Wien 1921, S. 147f. Zitiert nach Erika Bestenreiter: Franz Ferdinand und Sophie von Hohenberg. München (Piper), 2004, S. 247
- Norman Davies, Europe: A history p. 687
- Murad 1968, p. 1.
- Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph By Alan Palmer
- Murad 1968, p. 242.
- Murad 1968, p. 114.
- Murad 1968, p. 117.
- Associazione Culturale Mitteleuropa. Retrieved 21 April 2012
- The official title of the ruler of Austrian Empire and later the Austria-Hungary had been changed several times: by a patent from 1 August 1804, by a court office decree from 22 August 1836, by an imperial court ministry decree from 6 January 1867 and finally by a letter from 12 December 1867. Shorter versions were recommended for official documents and international treaties: "Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia etc. and Apostolic King of Hungary", "Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary", "His Majesty Emperor and King" and "His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty". The term Kaiserlich und königlich (K.u.K.) was decreed in a letter from 17 October 1889 for the military, the navy and the institutions shared by both parts of the monarchy.
From the Otto's encyclopedia (published during 1888–1909), subject 'King', online in Czech.
- Anatol Murad (1968). Franz Joseph I of Austria and his Empire. Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0829001723.
Further reading 
- Beller, Steven. Francis Joseph. Profiles in power. London: Longman, 1996.
- Bled, Jean-Paul. Franz Joseph. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.
- Cunliffe-Owen, Marguerite. Keystone of Empire: Francis Joseph of Austria. New York: Harper, 1903.
- Gerö, András. Emperor Francis Joseph: King of the Hungarians. Boulder, Colo.: Social Science Monographs, 2001.
- Palmer, Alan. Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995.
- Redlich, Joseph. Emperor Francis Joseph Of Austria. New York: Macmillan, 1929.
- Van der Kiste, John. Emperor Francis Joseph: Life, Death and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire. Stroud, England: Sutton, 2005.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Emperor Franz Joseph I|
|German Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
Media related to Franz Joseph I of Austria at Wikimedia Commons
- Wien – Attentat – Kaiser Franz Joseph – Lasslo Libényi – Graf O´Donnell – Josef Ettenreich – Geschichte – Votivkirche at www.wien-vienna.at</ref>
- Biography at WorldWar1.com
- Details at Regiments.org
- Mayerling tragedy
- Miklós Horthy reflects on Franz Josef
- Internet museum of Emperor Franz Joseph I, Wilhelm II and First World War
Franz Joseph I of AustriaBorn: 18 August 1830 Died: 21 November 1916
Ferdinand I & V
|Emperor of Austria
King of Hungary
Charles I & IV
Ferdinand I of Austria
the German Confederation
William I of Prussia
(President of the North German Confederation)