|Francis II & I|
Francis as Holy Roman Emperor, 1792
| Holy Roman Emperor |
King in Germany
|Reign||5 July 1792 – 6 August 1806|
|Coronation||14 July 1792, Frankfurt|
|Successor||Himself (President of the German Confederation)|
|Emperor of Austria|
|Reign||11 August 1804 – 2 March 1835|
(partly himself as Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor)
|Chancellor||Klemens von Metternich|
|Head of the Präsidialmacht Austria|
|In office||20 June 1815 – 2 March 1835|
| King of Hungary and Croatia |
King of Bohemia
|Reign||1 March 1792 – 2 March 1835|
|King of Lombardy–Venetia|
|Reign||9 June 1815 – 2 March 1835|
|Born||12 February 1768|
|Died||2 March 1835 67) (aged|
|Father||Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Maria Luisa of Spain|
Francis II (German : Franz II.; 12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Holy Roman Empire after the decisive defeat at the hands of the First French Empire led by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the first Doppelkaiser (double emperor) in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the Grace of God elected Roman Emperor, ever Augustus, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia as Francis I. He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.
Francis II continued his leading role as an opponent of Napoleonic France in the Napoleonic Wars, and suffered several more defeats after Austerlitz. The proxy marriage of the state of his daughter Marie Louise of Austria to Napoleon on 10 March 1810 was arguably his severest personal defeat. After the abdication of Napoleon following the War of the Sixth Coalition, Austria participated as a leading member of the Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna, which was largely dominated by Francis's chancellor Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich culminating in a new European map and the restoration of Francis's ancient dominions (except the Holy Roman Empire which was dissolved). Due to the establishment of the Concert of Europe, which largely resisted popular nationalist and liberal tendencies, Francis became viewed as a reactionary later in his reign.
Francis II's grandchildren include Napoleon II (Napoleon's only legitimate son), Franz Joseph I of Austria, Maximillian I of Mexico, Maria II of Portugal and Pedro II of Brazil.
Francis was a son of Emperor Leopold II (1747–1792) and his wife Maria Luisa of Spain (1745–1792), daughter of Charles III of Spain. Francis was born in Florence, the capital of Tuscany, where his father reigned as Grand Duke from 1765 to 1790. Though he had a happy childhood surrounded by his many siblings,his family knew Francis was likely to be a future Emperor (his uncle Joseph had no surviving issue from either of his two marriages), and so in 1784 the young Archduke was sent to the Imperial Court in Vienna to educate and prepare him for his future role.
Emperor Joseph II himself took charge of Francis's development. His disciplinarian regime was a stark contrast to the indulgent Florentine Court of Leopold. The Emperor wrote that Francis was "stunted in growth", "backward in bodily dexterity and deportment", and "neither more nor less than a spoiled mother's child." Joseph concluded that "the manner in which he was treated for upwards of sixteen years could not but have confirmed him in the delusion that the preservation of his own person was the only thing of importance."
Joseph's martinet method of improving the young Francis was "fear and unpleasantness."The young Archduke was isolated, the reasoning being that this would make him more self-sufficient as it was felt by Joseph that Francis "failed to lead himself, to do his own thinking." Nonetheless, Francis greatly admired his uncle, if rather feared him. To complete his training, Francis was sent to join an army regiment in Hungary and he settled easily into the routine of military life.
After the death of Joseph II in 1790, Francis's father became Emperor. He had an early taste of power while acting as Leopold's deputy in Vienna while the incoming Emperor traversed the Empire attempting to win back those alienated by his brother's policies.The strain told on Leopold and by the winter of 1791, he became ill. He gradually worsened throughout early 1792; on the afternoon of 1 March Leopold died, at the relatively young age of 44. Francis, just past his 24th birthday, was now Emperor, much sooner than he had expected.
As the leader of the large multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire, Francis felt threatened by Napoleon's social and political reforms, which were being exported throughout Europe with the expansion of the first French Empire. Francis had a fraught relationship with France. His aunt Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI and Queen consort of France, was guillotined by the revolutionaries in 1793, at the beginning of his reign. Francis, on the whole, was indifferent to her fate (she was not close to his father, Leopold, and although Francis had met her, he had been too young at the time to have any memory of his aunt). Georges Danton attempted to negotiate with the Emperor for Marie Antoinette's release, but Francis was unwilling to make any concessions in return.
Later, he led Austria into the French Revolutionary Wars. He briefly commanded the Allied forces during the Flanders Campaign of 1794 before handing over command to his brother Archduke Charles. He was later defeated by Napoleon. By the Treaty of Campo Formio, he ceded the left bank of the Rhine to France in exchange for Venice and Dalmatia. He again fought against France during the Second and Third Coalition, when after meeting a crushing defeat at Austerlitz, he had to agree to the Treaty of Pressburg, weakening the Austrian Empire and reorganizing Holy Roman Empire (Germany) under a Napoleonic imprint that would be called the Confederation of the Rhine.
At this point, he believed his position as Holy Roman Emperor to be untenable, so on 6 August 1806, he abdicated the throne, declaring the empire to be already dissolved in the same declaration. This was a political move to impair the legitimacy of the Confederation of the Rhine.He had anticipated losing the Holy Roman crown, however. Two years earlier, as a reaction to Napoleon making himself an emperor, he had raised Austria to the status of an empire. Hence, after 1806, he reigned as Francis I, Emperor of Austria.
In 1809, Francis attacked France again, hoping to take advantage of the Peninsular War embroiling Napoleon in Spain. He was again defeated, and this time forced to ally himself with Napoleon, ceding territory to the Empire, joining the Continental System, and wedding his daughter Marie-Louise to the Emperor. The Napoleonic wars drastically weakened Austria, making it entirely landlocked and threatened its preeminence among the states of Germany, a position that it would eventually cede to the Kingdom of Prussia.
In 1813, for the fourth and final time, Austria turned against France and joined Great Britain, Russia, Prussia and Sweden in their war against Napoleon. Austria played a major role in the final defeat of France—in recognition of this, Francis, represented by Clemens von Metternich, presided over the Congress of Vienna, helping to form the Concert of Europe and the Holy Alliance, ushering in an era of conservatism in Europe. The German Confederation, a loose association of Central European states was created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to organize the surviving states of the Holy Roman Empire. The Congress was a personal triumph for Francis, who hosted the assorted dignitaries in comfort,though Francis undermined his allies Tsar Alexander and Frederick William III of Prussia by negotiating a secret treaty with the restored French king Louis XVIII.
The violent events of the French Revolution impressed themselves deeply into the mind of Francis (as well as all other European monarchs), and he came to distrust radicalism in any form. In 1794, a "Jacobin" conspiracy was discovered in the Austrian and Hungarian armies.The leaders were put on trial, but the verdicts only skirted the perimeter of the conspiracy. Francis's brother Alexander Leopold (at that time Palatine of Hungary) wrote to the Emperor admitting "Although we have caught a lot of the culprits, we have not really got to the bottom of this business yet." Nonetheless, two officers heavily implicated in the conspiracy were hanged and gibbeted, while numerous others were sentenced to imprisonment (many of whom died from the conditions).
Francis was from his experiences suspicious and set up an extensive network of police spies and censors to monitor dissent(in this he was following his father's lead, as the Grand Duchy of Tuscany had the most effective secret police in Europe). Even his family did not escape attention. His brothers, the Archdukes Charles and Johann had their meetings and activities spied upon. Censorship was also prevalent. The author Franz Grillparzer, a Habsburg patriot, had one play suppressed solely as a "precautionary" measure. When Grillparzer met the censor responsible, he asked him what was objectionable about the work. The censor replied, "Oh, nothing at all. But I thought to myself, 'One can never tell'."
In military affairs Francis had allowed his brother, the Archduke Charles, extensive control over the army during the Napoleonic wars. Yet, distrustful of allowing any individual too much power, he otherwise maintained the separation of command functions between the Hofkriegsrat and his field commanders.In the later years of his reign he limited military spending, requiring it not exceed forty million florins per year; because of inflation this resulted in inadequate funding, with the army's share of the budget shrinking from half in 1817 to only twenty-three percent in 1830.
Francis presented himself as an open and approachable monarch (he regularly set aside two mornings each week to meet his imperial subjects, regardless of status, by appointment in his office, even speaking to them in their own language),but his will was sovereign. In 1804, he had no compunction about announcing that through his authority as Holy Roman Emperor, he declared he was now Emperor of Austria (at the time a geographical term that had little resonance). Two years later, Francis personally wound up the moribund Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Both actions were of dubious constitutional legality.
To increase patriotic sentiment during the war with France, the anthem "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" was composed in 1797 to be sung as the Kaiserhymne to music by Joseph Haydn.The lyrics were adapted for later Emperors and the music lives on as the Deutschlandlied.
On 2 March 1835, 43 years and a day after his father's death, Francis died in Vienna of a sudden fever aged 67, in the presence of many of his family and with all the religious comforts.His funeral was magnificent, with his Viennese subjects respectfully filing past his coffin in the chapel of Hofburg Palace for three days. Francis was interred in the traditional resting place of Habsburg monarchs, the Kapuziner Imperial Crypt in Vienna's Neue Markt Square. He is buried in tomb number 57, surrounded by his four wives.
Francis passed on a main point in the political testament he left for his son and heir Ferdinand to; "preserve unity in the family and regard it as one of the highest goods." In many portraits (particularly those painted by Peter Fendi) he was portrayed as the patriarch of a loving family, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
After 1806 he used the titles: "We, Francis the First, by the Grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia and Lodomeria; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola; Grand Duke of Cracow; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir, Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia and Gradisca and of the Tirol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria".
|Heraldry of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Ancestors of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor|
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Francis II married four times:
From his first wife Elisabeth of Württemberg, one daughter, and his second wife Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies, eight daughters and four sons: Children of Francis II
|By Elisabeth of Württemberg|
|Archduchess Ludovika Elisabeth||18 February 1790||24 June 1791 (aged 1)||Died in infancy and buried in the Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Austria.|
|By Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies|
|Archduchess Maria Ludovika||12 December 1791||17 December 1847 (aged 56)||Married first Napoleon Bonaparte, had issue, married second Adam, count of Neipperg, had issue, married third to Charles, Count of Bombelles, no issue.|
|Emperor Ferdinand I||19 April 1793||29 June 1875 (aged 82)||Married Maria Anna of Savoy, Princess of Sardinia, no issue.|
|Archduchess Marie Caroline||8 June 1794||16 March 1795 (aged 0)||Died in childhood, no issue.|
|Archduchess Caroline Ludovika||22 December 1795||30 June 1797 (aged 1)||Died in childhood, no issue.|
|Archduchess Caroline Josepha Leopoldine||22 January 1797||11 December 1826 (aged 29)||Renamed Maria Leopoldina upon her marriage; married Pedro I of Brazil (a.k.a. Pedro IV of Portugal); issue included Maria II of Portugal and Pedro II of Brazil.|
|Archduchess Maria Klementina||1 March 1798||3 September 1881 (aged 83)||Married her maternal uncle Leopold, Prince of Salerno, had issue.|
|Archduke Joseph Franz Leopold||9 April 1799||30 June 1807 (aged 8)||Died some weeks after his mother in childhood, no issue.|
|Archduchess Maria Karolina||8 April 1801||22 May 1832 (aged 31)||Married Crown Prince (later King) Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, no issue.|
|Archduke Franz Karl||17 December 1802||8 March 1878 (aged 75)||married Princess Sophie of Bavaria; issue included Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico.|
|Archduchess Marie Anne||8 June 1804||28 December 1858 (aged 54)||Born intellectually disabled (like her eldest brother, Emperor Ferdinand I) and to have suffered from a severe facial deformity. Died unmarried.|
|Archduke Johann Nepomuk||30 August 1805||19 February 1809 (aged 3)||Died in childhood, no issue.|
|Archduchess Amalie Theresa||6 April 1807||9 April 1807 (aged 0)||Died in childhood, no issue.|
The House of Habsburg and also officially called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Galicia, Portugal and Spain with their respective colonies, as well as rulers of several principalities in the Netherlands and Italy. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.
Ferdinand III was Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1790 to 1801 and, after a period of disenfranchisement, again from 1814 to 1824. He was also the Prince-elector and Grand Duke of Salzburg (1803–1805) and Grand Duke of Würzburg (1805–1814).
Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife Maria Theresa effectively executed the real powers of those positions. They were the founders of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. From 1728 until 1737 he was Duke of Lorraine. Francis traded the duchy to the ex-Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as one of the terms ending the War of the Polish Succession in November 1738. The duchy and the ducal title to Lorraine and Bar passed to King Louis XV of France upon Leszczynski's death in 1766, though Francis and his successors retained the right to style themselves as dukes of Lorraine and Bar.
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Charles VI succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II. In 1708, he married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his two children: Maria Theresa, the last Habsburg sovereign, and Maria Anna, Governess of the Austrian Netherlands.
The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it partially overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806.
The Emperor of Austria was the ruler of the Austrian Empire and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A hereditary imperial title and office proclaimed in 1804 by Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until Charles I relinquished power in 1918.
The House of Lorraine originated as a cadet branch of the House of Metz. It inherited the Duchy of Lorraine in 1473 after the death of duke Nicholas I without a male heir. By the marriage of Francis of Lorraine to Maria Theresa in 1736, and with the success in the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, the House of Lorraine was joined to the House of Habsburg, and was now known as Habsburg-Lorraine. Francis, his sons Joseph II and Leopold II, and grandson Francis II were the last four Holy Roman Emperors from 1745 to the dissolution of the empire in 1806. Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Habsburg Empire, ruling the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918.
Johann I Joseph was Prince of Liechtenstein between 1805 and 1806 and again from 1814 until 1836. He was the last Liechtenstein prince to rule under the Holy Roman Empire between 1805 and 1806 and as regent of Liechtenstein from 1806 until 1814. He was the fourth son of Franz Joseph I, Prince of Liechtenstein.
Habsburg Monarchy is an umbrella term used by historians for the territories, duchies, kingdoms, and other dominions of the House of Habsburg, especially for those of the Austrian branch. Although from 1438 until 1806 the head of the House of Habsburg was also Holy Roman Emperor, the empire itself is not considered a part of the Habsburg Monarchy.
Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria-Este was a son of Holy Roman Emperor Franz I and Maria Theresa of Austria. He was the founder of the House of Austria-Este and Governor of the Duchy of Milan between 1765 and 1796. He was also designated as the heir to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, but he never reigned, owing to the Napoleonic Wars.
The House of Habsburg-Este, holders of the title of Archduke of Austria-Este, is a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and also descends from the House of Este. It was created in 1771 with the marriage between Ferdinand of Habsburg-Lorraine and Maria Beatrice d'Este, only daughter of the Duke of Modena, Ercole III d'Este. After the death of Ercole III in 1803, the Modena ruling branch of the Este family's male line ended, and the Habsburg-Estes inherited his possessions in Italy.
Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria was Elector of Cologne, and Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. He was the youngest child of the Habsburg ruler of Austria, Maria Theresa, and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, for whom he was named. His siblings included emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, the Sicilian queen Maria Carolina, and the French queen Marie Antoinette. He was the last fully functioning Elector of Cologne and the second employer and patron of the young Ludwig van Beethoven.
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Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily was the last Holy Roman Empress and the first Empress of Austria by marriage to Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest daughter of Ferdinand IV & III of Naples and Sicily (1751–1825) and Marie Caroline of Austria (1752–1814).
Archduke Ludwig Viktor Joseph Anton of Austria from the House of Habsburg was the youngest son born to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and Princess Sophie of Bavaria and younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Archduke Alexander Leopold of Austria was Palatine of Hungary, appointed during the reign of his father, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, and serving into the reign of his elder brother, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II.
Maximilian, Count von Merveldt, among the most famous of an illustrious old Westphalian family, entered Habsburg military service, rose to the rank of General of Cavalry, served as Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor's ambassador to Russia, and became special envoy extraordinaire to the Court of St. James's. He fought with distinction in the wars between the Habsburg and the Ottoman empires, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars.
The imperial election of 1792 was the final imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Frankfurt on July 5.
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Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor
Cadet branch of the House of LorraineBorn: 12 February 1768 Died: 2 March 1835
| Holy Roman Emperor |
King in Germany
| Duke of Brabant, Limburg and Luxembourg;|
Count of Flanders, Hainaut and Namur
|French Revolutionary Wars|
| Duke of Milan |
| King of Hungary |
King of Bohemia
Archduke of Austria
Ferdinand I & V
|New title|| Emperor of Austria |
| King of Lombardy-Venetia |
|New title|| Head of the Präsidialmacht Austria |
Ferdinand I of Austria