Emperor Franz Joseph I Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1830 - 1916 *** Full Name: Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria *** Occupation: Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia *** Date of Birth: Franz Joseph I of Austria was born on August 18th 1830 *** Place of Birth: Franz Joseph I of Austria was born in Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austrian Empire *** Family background: His father was Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and his mother was Princess Sophie of Bavaria *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his siblings, Maximilian, Karl, Maria and Ludwig. His mother raised him to become the future Emperor with particular attention to responsibility, diligence and devotion *** Education: Franz Joseph I of Austria would have received the best possible education and at thirteen years of age he began his military career in the Austrian Army as a colonel *** Emperor Franz Joseph died on November 21, 1916.
Franz Joseph I Fact 1: Franz Joseph I of Austria was born on August 18th 1330 and during the 19th century period in history when many empires across the globe collapsed, the Spanish, first and second French, Holy Roman, Mughal and Chinese but the British and Russian Empires, the United States and German Empire where on the rise.
Franz Joseph I Fact 2: At the age of thirteen when he began his military career, Franz Joseph adopted the army uniform style of dress that he would continue to wear.
Franz Joseph I Fact 3: During the Revolution of 1848 the Chancellor Prince Metternich resigned and Franz Joseph was appointed Governor of Bohemia on April 6th although he never actually served under that title.
Franz Joseph I Fact 4: Instead he joined Field Marshal Radetzky on the Italian front and was reported to have conducted himself with calm dignity.
Franz Joseph I Fact 5: At home the Imperial Family were making a hasty move from Vienna during its revolution to the Innsbruck in Tyrol where it was markedly calmer.
Franz Joseph I Fact 6: Eventually the family returned to Vienna after the victory at Custoza over the Italians but the peace was short lived and the family moved again to Moravia. At this time is was also deemed prudent to appoint a new ruler as the current ruler was mentally unfit and it was felt, in particular by Alfred I, Prince of Windisch-Gratz that a new hand on the helm would not be as constricted as the previous one had been and so wanted Franz on the throne as soon as possible.
Franz Joseph I Fact 7: In 1848 his uncle Ferdinand abdicated, his father Franz Carl renounced his right to the throne and Franz Joseph I became Emperor, his name having been carefully chosen to bring back happy memories of a Franz’s great granduncle Emperor Joseph II.
Franz Joseph I Fact 8: Early on in his reign Franz Joseph was a cautious ruler, heading advice from his Prime Minister Prince Schwarzenberg.
Franz Joseph I Fact 9: Franz Joseph was faced, however, with renewed fighting from Italy but the advantage was with Franz Joseph and the Italians were soon put down.
Franz Joseph I Fact 10: Emperor Franz Joseph would next be faced with unrest from the Hungarians and seeking a little extra assistance he requested Tsar Nicholas I intervene to help prevent escalation. With Russian troops entering Hungary to support the Austrians any potential trouble was halted and by the late summer of 1849 peace and order had been restored.
Franz Joseph I Fact 11: Emperor Franz Joseph went back on the constitutional concessions and implemented a policy of absolutist centralism was established with guidance from Alexander Bach, the Minister of the Interior.
Franz Joseph I Fact 12: His next hurdle came when the Prussians were scheming to build a new German Federation under Prussian control without Austria but with the death of Schwarzenberg in 1852, Franz Joseph had no one suitable to take his place and so stepped up and took over as prime minister himself.
Franz Joseph I Fact 13: An attempt to kill Franz Joseph took place on February 18th 1853 but thankfully due to his military style of dress and the high stiff collars he wore, the knife attack aimed at his neck was thwarted, although the assassin drew blood, the attack was not fatal and he was beaten back by Franz’s companion, Maximilian Karl Lamoral O’Donnell, one of his officers and a passer by Joseph Ettenreich, a butcher.
Franz Joseph I Fact 14: The assassin, Janos Libenyi, a Hungarian nationalist was tried for regicide, found guilty and sentenced to death.
Franz Joseph I Fact 15: His next big obstacle was the German question. The Habsburgs and held the German crown for several centuries almost without interruption. However two camps were developing in Germany over the future of the country. One was the Greater Germany who headed by the House of Habsburg was content to continue to include Austria in an all-German state as Austria had always been the leading power and it was felt that to exclude the eight million Austrian Germans was unacceptable.Franz Joseph I Fact 16: On the other side, you had the Lesser Germans who were keen to have a smaller but completely German nation and were more than happy to reject the eight million Austro-Germans with an emphasis on Austria having no say in German affairs.
Franz Joseph I Fact 17: Germany at this point was a combination of kingdoms and grand duchies, duchies and principalities and not of one nation.
Franz Joseph I Fact 18: Prussia at this time wanted to unify Germany as a single nation excluding the any Austrian influence. A war that would become known as the Seven Weeks’ War of 1866 was fought between the Austrians and Prussians with Italy allying itself with Prussia. Prussia gained the upper hand during the conflict and gained Germany’s independence from Austria but Austria retained their territories.
Franz Joseph I Fact 19: During 1873 the League of Three Emperors was created by Otto von Bismarck which consisted of Franz Joseph, Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany and Tsar Alexander II of Russia in an attempt to stabilize the that region of Europe.
Franz Joseph I Fact 20: On November 21, 1916 Franz Joseph I of Austria died aged eighty six. His body laid to rest in the Kaisergruft in Vienna.
Franz Joseph Influence and Legacy: Franz Joseph I would be remembered for having one of the longest resigns in European history after Louis XIV of France and Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein. Overall Franz Joseph would also have one of the most stable reigns although there had been a number of conflicts the Austrian people were involved in.
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