Franz Joseph von Habsburg - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries

Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Meyer 1885-1892,

Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Frans (1882)
Franz Joseph I. Karl, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, grandson of the former [i.e. of the person described immediately further up in the same article] and son of Archduke Franz Karl and princess Sophie of Bavaria, born on August 18th 1830. He was raised in a strict Catholic spirit. The development of events which followed the Revolution of 1848 lead him to the throne at an early age. Because after the suppression of the October Rebellion in Vienna (1848) the leading persons at court persuaded his uncle, Emperor Ferdinand I., to abdicate, and because his father resigned his claim, he assumed rule on December 2nd 1848. On March 4th 1849 he issued a representative constitution for the Austrian monarchy as a unified state, but the Hungarian diet, which did not want to give up Hungary's rights as a separate state, on April 14th declared the Habsburg dynasty as deposed. After both Hungary (with Russian aid) and Lombardo-Venice were forced into submission, the Emperor, with the aid of Fürst Schwarzenberg, and, after his death (1852), by Count Buol and Baron Bach, introduced a strictly absolutist and centralist system of administration, abolished the constitution of [the Austrian monarchy as] a unitary state, as well as press freedom and freedom of assembly. In 1855 he concluded a concordat with the pope, which laid great influence in the hands of the priesthood. (This concordat was restricted in 1868 and completely lifted in 1870). In Germany Austria succeeded in foiling a separate union under Prussia and retook its traditional position on the diet of the German Confederation. By the position he took during the Crimean War (1853-1856) he caused Russian indignation, without winning the favour of the western powers. Franz Joseph personally participated in Austria's war with Sardinia and France (1859), and at Solferino he proved great courage. In the Treaty of Villafranca he had to cede Lombardy. As this war uncovered Austria's weakness, the Emperor was caused to change the constitution, as well for the individual crownlands, as for the monarchy as a whole. With Hungary no accord could be found, as long as Franz Joseph rejected the latter's demand for a separate position within the Empire. In 1864 Austria, with Prussia, participated in the war against Denmark. A dispute over the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, conquered by the two German great powers, lead to war, in which even Italy was involved as Austria's enemy, and which ended with Austria's exclusion from Germany and with the cession of Venice. In consequence of the terrible crisis the monarchy went through because of this war, Franz Joseph, at the advice of Count Beust, in 1867 gave in to the Hungarian demands for autonomy, and was crowned King of Hungary in Budapest on June 8th that year. Franz Joseph now became the ruler of a federation, of the Kingdom of Hungary with its sidelands on one side, and the Empire of Austria (the other crownlands) on the other side. The Magyars and the Germans became the ruling peoples, so the Slavs were shortchanged and soon became discontent. The Emperor, in some way, tried to appease their wishes for a more autonomous position within the monarchy, by (for the Austrian part of the monarchy) appointing a federalist ministry under the leadership of Count Hohenwart (February 1871). But because the German element dominated in the Chamber of Deputees, the cabinet resigned already in October that year. succeeded by the German Constitutional Party (cabinet Auersperg). But in 1879 the Slavic element again won influence in the ministry Taaffe. The administration of common affairs of the monarchy and of foreign policy remained the task of Beust until 1871, and were since handled by the Hungarian Andrassy. In 1878, in accordance with the decisions of the Berlin Congress, had Bosnia and Herzegovina occupied by Austro-Hungarian troops; they are still under occupation. Franz Joseph is known for his mildness and moderation, but has rather high views of his power as a ruler. The clerical sympathies he had at the beginning of his rule, in consequence of his education, gradually have disappeared. In February 1853 in Milan Franz Joseph was exposed to an assassination attempt by the Hungarian Libenyi.
On April 24th 1854, Franz Joseph was married to Princess Elisabeth, daughter of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria.

source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article Franz (10)
Franz Joseph I. Karl, Emperor of Austria, born on August 18th 1830, oldest son of the former [listed under number (9) in this article] and of Princess Sophie of Bavaria, was raised under the supervision of his mother and of the Ultramontane-minded Count Heinrich Bombelles. This education from early on demanded Franz Joseph to completely submit to the interests of the Roman-Catholic Church in the Jesuit sense. The not few talents were developed by excellent teachers (Lichtenfels, Hauslab, Rauscher and others), namely his talent for learning languages, but the independence of his character and judgment, for too great an extent, was left to the experience, and the storms, of life, as a costly school. In the October of 1847, he appeared for the first time as a represenative of Emperor Ferdinand, in Pressburg [Bratislava] at the installation of Archduke Stephan as Palatine, and his entire appearance exceptionally pleased the Hungarians. In April 1848 he was to be appointed governor of Bohemia, but this did not happen and he participated in the war in Italy. The turn of political events unexpectedly raised him onto the throne. In order to avoid being tied to earlier promises to the Magyars by Emperor Ferdinand, who was not up to the difficult conditions, the young Archduke on December 1st in the army camp at Olmütz [Olomouc] was declared of age; on December 2nd Emperor Ferdinand abdicated, his brother, Archduke Franz Karl, renounced his right of succession, which now fell on his son, as Emperor and as King of Hungary and Bohemia. In the first years in government a number of successes were achieved. In May 1849 Franz Joseph in person went to Hungary, where he participated in the storming of Raab [Györ]. After the territorial integrity of the Austrian state was secured again was secured by victories over the Hungarians and over Sardinia, the Bundestag [diet of the German Confederation] was restored, and by executions [of policies] in Hessen and Holstein the disastrous influence of Austrian policy in Germany newly founded, after Franz Joseph in October 1850 had held a meeting with the Kings of Bavaria and Württemberg in Bregenz, on the occasion of which a decidedly anti-Prussian policy was agreed upon. In the Olmütz Punctation (November 1850) Austria gained a complete victory over a disoriented and weak Prussian policy. Internally, the centralisation of the monarchy was pursued as the main goal; the old territorial constitutions were abolished, the Imperial constitution abolished on August 20th 1851, and in January 1852 absolute monarchy formally was restored. Franz Joseph's independent actions only began after the death of Prince Felix Schwarzenberg (April 1852). Instead of Schwarzenberg the unimportant Count Buol was appointed, while Bach gained the greatest influence in internal affairs. In order to better understand the conditions of the Empire, in the following years Franz Joseph undertook travels into the various provinces of the Empire. Very ominous for Austria were the concordat concluded with the pope in 1855, and the position Austria took during the Crimean War, which laid the foundation for an animosity with old ally Russia, which was to last for many years. On the occasion of a visit to the Italian provinces (1857) a general amnesty for political crimes was issued. This seemingly successful system of government, which in reality was extremely short-sighted, and which did not fit the demands of the era, collapsed in the year 1859, in which Austria became militarily and politically bankrupt. While the Italian war was turning unfavorable for Austria, Franz Joseph personally went to Italy to lead military operations, but in vain tried to induce unity and energy into the leadership, and therefore decided, in order not to leave the leadership in German affairs to Prussia, to conclude the Treaty of Villafranca, which cost him Lombardy. In the interior, reforms were to bring about a rebirth of Austria. Buol, Bach and Grünne were dismissed, Schmerling called. Only as Franz Joseph, despite the beginning conviction of the intenability of the old system, still did not fully want to break with it, and as he had no true sympathies for Liberalism, at first a flexible, disoriented policy of experimenting followed. The "October Diploma" of October 20th 1860, which introduced diets for the individual crownlands, did neither achieve the goal, nor did the centralist constitution Schmerling introduced on February 26th 1861. Also the Frankfurt Diet of Princes (August 1863), held to strengthen Austrian influence in Germany, where Franz Joseph personally presided over the deliberations, ended without a result for the reform of the constitution of the German Confederation. Consequentially Schmerling was dismissed and Belcredi called, and again policy was dominated by a reaction tending in federal direction, which internally paralysed material and spiritual development, externally which pushed toward a conflict over the German question. So the Schleswig-Holstein entangelments, in which Franz Joseph initially cooperated with Prussia, finally, in connection with the question of the reform of the German Confederation, lead to the war of 1866, by which Austria lost its position of power in Germany, as well as Venice. On the other side, internally peace was restored tolerably by the Ausgleich [Compromise] with Hungary achieved by chancellor Beust, at the expense of the unity of the Empire. In consequence of this Ausgleich, on June 8th 1867 Franz Joseph was ceremoniously crowned King of Hungary in Ofen [Buda]. The meetings of Franz Joseph and of Napoleon III. in Salzburg on August 18th 1867 and in Paris during the world exhibition in October of that year had no factual consequences. But after the war, in the years 1867-1870, internally a lot was achieved in the spirit of liberal progress, in the material and intellectual sphere. The tendency of the Emperor to grant far-reaching concessions to individual nationalities, especially to the Czechs, was much curbed by the consequences bought about by the policy of cabinet Hohenwart inj 1871; also Francis Joseph more and more saw himself prompted to set a limit to excesses of the clergy and the feudal party; the former was done by lifting the concordat and by the church laws of April 1874, the latter by calling the ministry Auersperg (November 1871), which ruled in accordance with the constitution. In regard to foreign policy, the anti-Prussian policy which had been pursued by Beust gave way to the pro-German position under the guidance of Count Andrassy, and the meeting of Emperor Franz Joseph with the Emperors of Germany and Russia in Berlin 1872 sealed this new turn of Austrian policy. Supported by Germany, Franz Joseph in 1877 avoided an interference in the Russo-Turkish War, and in 1878 occupied Bosnia. In 1879 a formal alliance was concluded with Germany. At the same time internally Franz Joseph pursued a policy of reconciliation, which was applauded by the Slavs, but which hurt the Germans. Franz Joseph, during his rule, full of changes and of the most difficult crises, has proven to endevour to rule his country with the utmost consideration of the various interests of his countries. His anniversary in government in 1873 has been celebrated by the population by universal expressions of joy. Since Hungary plays such an important role in the Empire, he resides in Ofen and in Gödöllö Palace for part of the year, otherwise regularly in the Hofburg in Vienna and in Schönbrunn and Laxenburg Palaces near Vienna. Since April 24th 1854 Franz Joseph is married to Princess Elisabeth, the daughter of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria. Children of this marriage are : Gisela, born on July 12th 1856 (since April 20th 1873 married to Prince Leopold of Bavaria, the son of Prince Luitpold); Crown Prince Rudolf (see there), born on August 22nd 1858; Valerie, born on Aoril 22nd 1868.
See : Emmer, Kaiser Franz Joseph(Teschen 1880).

source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek

DOCUMENTS Article Franz (I), from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1902-1905, in German, posted by Zeno, scroll down for Österreich [Austria]
Article Francis Joseph I., from EB 1911

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First posted on June 6th 2009

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