Born: 18 August 1830 in Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna.
Died: 21 November 1916 in Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna.
Emperor of Austria Apostolic King of Hungary King of Bohemia King of Croatia King of Galicia and Lodomeria Grand Duke of Cracow from 2 December 1848 to 21 November 1916
Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria, was the eldest son of the archduke Francis and a grandson of the emperor Francis I. Franz Joseph I was born at Vienna, 18 August 1830, was educated carefully but narrowly, as with all the Hapsburgs and owed much to the strong character of his mother, sophia, daughter of Maximillian I of Bavaria.
In 1848 the shaking throne was occupied by Ferdinand, a childless imbecile. The hopes of the Hapsburgs, therefore, centred on Franz Joseph, his nephew and it was decided that he should be placed upon the throne. Franz Joseph reigned from December 2nd 1848 until November 21st, 1916, one of the longest reigns in the world's history.
Franz Joseph I saw Austria lose her possessions in Italy, 1859, and defeated by Prussia, 1866, driven from the German confederation. He saw the results of a hated role in continuous discontent in Hungary and Bohemia. The acquisition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1908, hardly compensated for endless difficulties with the Balkan states.
Franz Joseph I private life was even more tragic. His wife Elizabeth, daughter of Maximilian Joseph, Duke of Bavaria, was assassinated at Geneva in 1897 his only son, Rudolph, committed suicide or was killed in 1889 his nephew and heir, the archduke Franz Ferdinand, was murdered at Sarajevo, 28 June 1914, with the most momentous consequences.
The emperor took a real part in ruling his empire with its warring races and inherited difficulties and but for him it is probable that it would have fallen to pieces before it did.
Franz Joseph I was diligent and up to a point capable but his outlook was narrow.
Franz Joseph I died 21 November 1916, and was succeeded by his grandnephew, the archduke Charles, was abdicated in November 1918.
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