Francis Joseph

Francis Joseph

biographical name


Francis Joseph, 1908.—Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.

(born Aug. 18, 1830, Schloss Schönbrunn, near Vienna—died Nov. 21, 1916, Schloss Schönbrunn) Emperor of Austria (1848–1916) and king of Hungary (1867–1916). He became emperor during the Revolutions of 1848 after the abdication of his uncle, Ferdinand I. With his prime minister, Felix, prince zu Schwarzenberg, he achieved a powerful position for Austria, in particular with the Punctation of Olmütz convention in 1850. His harsh, absolutist rule within Austria produced a strong central government but also led to rioting and an assassination attempt. Following Austria's defeat by Prussia in the Seven Weeks' War (1866), he responded to Hungarian national unrest by accepting the Compromise of 1867. He adhered to the Three Emperors' League and formed an alliance with Prussian-led Germany that led to the Triple Alliance (1882). In 1898 his wife was assassinated, and in 1889 his son Rudolf, his heir apparent, died in a suicide love pact. In 1914 his ultimatum to Serbia following the murder of the next heir presumptive, Francis Ferdinand, led Austria and Germany into World War I.


Francis Joseph German Franz Josef

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