Francis Joseph I


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Francis Joseph I

 

Born Mar. 18, 1830, in Vienna; died there, Nov. 21, 1916. Emperor of Austria (from 1848) and king of Hungary. Member of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine.

Francis Joseph’s government crushed the Revolution of 1848–49 in Austria and, with the aid of tsarist Russia, in Hungary. Absolutism was restored. In 1867, as a concession to the Hungarian aristocracy, he transformed the Austrian Empire into the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. With the support of the landowners, the clergy, the wealthy bourgeoisie, the military establishment, and the bureaucracy, his government suppressed the workers’ and national liberation movements.

In 1879, Francis Joseph formed an alliance with Germany, which became the basis of the Triple Alliance of 1882. Francis Joseph’s expansionist policies in the Balkans conflicted with the interests of tsarist Russia and thus contributed to the outbreak of World War I.