Franz Joseph I of Austria

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Franz Joseph I ruled Hungary and Austria for the longest period of time. He was in charge of the kingdoms from 1848 until his death in 1916. In addition, he had the third-longest reign in the annals of European history, trailing only Louis XIV of France and Johann II of Liechtenstein. From May 1, 1850, to August 24, 1866, he served as the ‘German Federation’s’ president. Throughout his reign, he served as the uncrowned king of Bohemia. Since his father wasn’t overly ambitious and his uncle was mentally ill, Franz was expected from an early age to become a capable king. Thus, on December 2, 1848, Franz Joseph was installed as the new emperor following the abdication of Emperor Ferdinand. He attempted to replace constitutionalism with absolute centralism, or neoabsolutism, from the outset of his rule, and he proceeded to make changes to both his domestic and foreign policy. The First World fight began as a result of a fight against Serbia after his nephew was assassinated. On November 21, 1916, he passed away after 68 long years in power.

Early Childhood & Life

On August 18, 1830, Francis Joseph was born at Vienna’s “Schönbrunn Palace.” Franz had three younger brothers: Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, Archduke Karl Ludwig, and Archduke Ludwig Viktor. He was the eldest child of Archduke Franz Karl and Princess Sophie of Bavaria.

He also had a sister named Maria, who died when she was only 4 years old. Franz had a strong emotional bond with his grandpa, dem Gute Kaiser Franz, who ruled for 38 long years.
Young Franz, who wasn’t in the line of succession, was prepared to succeed him as Austria’s emperor. Both his father and his uncle, Emperor Ferdinand, had poor mental health. As a result, the young duke was brought up to be a trustworthy ruler.

His youth was brief because he began working at the age of 13 and was soon joined by his brothers. After Chancellor Prince Metternich submitted his resignation, he was also named the governor of Bohemia.
Franz never accepted the position of governor. Sardinia’s King Charles Albert soon rose up in opposition to the Austrian army.

He was dispatched to Italy in 1948 to support Field Marshal Radetzky in aiding the Austrian armed forces. While in Italy, he underwent a baptism by fire and handled his job admirably.
Due to the revolution in Vienna at the time, his family relocated to Innsbruck, in Tyol. He returned from Italy and joined his family.

After things returned to normal and the Italians were routed in Custoza, the imperial family relocated back to Vienna. After some time, the family was once more forced to depart Vienna for Olomouc.

After that, Prince Alfred I of Windisch-Grätz proposed installing a youthful, ardent, and ambitious monarch. Franz was installed as the next emperor of Austria on December 2, 1848, in Olomouc.

His name, “Franz Joseph,” was given to him in honor of his great-granduncle, Emperor Joseph II.

Career of Franz Joseph I of Austria

The neoabsolutist era, which lasted during the 1850s, was formed by Franz Joseph with the assistance of his prime minister Schwarzenberg and advisors like Felix, Leo, and Alexander. The establishment of neoabsolutism meant Charles Albert of Sardinia’s defeat after his uprising against Austria in 1849.

But his ongoing conflict with Hungary quickly spiraled out of control. He then appealed to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia for help as a result. Absolute centralism was created after the Hungarians were vanquished.
Finding a guy of Schwarzenberg’s stature after his passing in 1852 became a significant challenge. Franz assumed the position of prime minister as a result.

Franz was stabbed in the throat on February 18, 1853, by János Libény, a nationalist Hungarian. Franz was hurt and bled, but he managed to survive the assassination attempt thanks to the collar of his uniform that covered his neck.
Libény was ultimately found guilty of attempted regicide and executed. On the location of the assault, a church was built; it is today called the “Votivkirche” and is close to the “University of Vienna.”

Due to a financial crisis between 1859 and 1860, the Austrian government had to reduce its army spending. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the state treasure was lost as a result of the conflicts in 1859 with France and the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Additionally, in order to expel Austria from Italy, Sardinian Prime Minister Camillo Benso joined the French men in his army. As the chief commander, Franz personally oversaw his force but was unable to stop Solferino from losing.
He signed the ‘Peace of Villafranca,’ which gave Sardinia the cession of Lombardy. The absence of the King of Prussia from the Congress of Princes in Frankfurt in 1863 indicated that he no longer regarded Austria as the main German power.

Franz attempted to restore relations with Prussia by aiding it in its conflict with Denmark in 1864, but this effort was short-lived. As a result, a conflict with Prussia was imminent.

Numerous hostilities, such as the Crimean War and the Second Italian War of Independence, erupted during this time. The breakup of Austria’s alliance with Russia and the defeat in the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 were just two of the losses the country experienced.

The ‘Austro-Hungarian Compromise’ of 1867 was ratified as a result of the Austro-Prussian War’s loss in 1866. The coronation in Bohemia came next after the adoption of neoabsolutism by the Austrian authorities.

Due to constitutional issues, Franz was never recognized as the king of Bohemia and negotiations for the same fell through. After the ‘Austro-Hungarian Compromise,’ the dual monarchy system was established, leaving the Czech people without the acknowledgement of Bohemian state rights. Budapest hosted the coronation in place of Prague.
People were outraged by this and protested in the streets as a result of their state rights being disregarded. They weren’t even made whole for the pain and losses they endured as a result of the Austro-Prussian War.

Franz Joseph announced the coronation on September 12, 1871. It didn’t happen, though. Despite this, Joseph was always regarded as Bohemia’s uncrowned monarch.

Franz Joseph also intended to address the unification of Germany under the ‘House of Habsburg,’ which had previously held the majority of the German throne. The ‘Habsberg’ Austrian empire’s non-German regions were something he wished to include, nevertheless, and this caused conflict among German intellectuals. As a result, some people supported a “Greater Germany” with Austria, while others supported a “Lesser Germany” without Austria.

Prussia’s victory in the Seven Weeks War, this led to a contest between Austria and Prussia, which Prussia ultimately won. As long as they consented to stay out of German issues, Austria did not lose any territory.
When a conflict between the Turks and the Balkans broke out in the middle of the 1870s, Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Austria-Hungary agreed to get involved. The ‘Budapest Conventions’ of 1877 stated that Russia would annexe Bessarabia and Austria-Hungary would maintain its neutrality.

Russia granted Austria-Hungary permission to annexe Bosnia-Herzegovina. The ‘Treaty of San Stefano’ stipulated that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be shared by Russia and Austria.

Through the “Treaty of Berlin,” Austria regained control of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1878. However, in 1897, the Russian government once more withdrew its backing. Finally, on October 6, 1908, Franz announced the annexation and signed the proclamation.

The ‘Treaty of Berlin’ was revised in 1909 as a result of the Serbs’ and Italians’ demands for restitution for the annexation. This made the issue worse. Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Joseph’s nephew and heir, and his wife Sophie, the duchess of Hohenberg, were murdered on June 29, 1914, by a Yugoslavian man by the name of Gavrilo Princip.
The assassination formed the basis for the declaration of war against Serbia. Serbia was given an ultimatum by Austria containing a list of requirements that must be met, but Serbia disregarded it.

In conjunction with a June 14 note from Berchtold that had stated the “elimination of Serbia” as a state, a letter written on July 5 and delivered to Kaiser Wilhelm II in Berlin urged a war.

A week after the letter’s delivery, on July 28, Austria-Hungary formally declared war on Serbia. World War I was subsequently to be called this.

Personal Legacy & Life

On April 24, 1854, at Vienna’s ‘St. Augustine’s Church,’ Franz wed his cousin Elisabeth. The murder of his wife occurred in 1898.

His only son and successor, Crown Prince Rudolf, committed himself in 1889, while his brother, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, was slain in 1867.

Franz Joseph passed away from pneumonia at the “Schönbrunn Palace” on November 21, 1916. Charles I, his grandnephew, ascended to the throne and held the position until 1918 when the empire came to an end.

Estimated net worth

The estimated net worth of Empress Elisabeth of Austria (m. 1854–1898) is about $1 million.

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