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Francis Joseph


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Emperor of Austria (1848–1916), King of Hungary (1867–1916). He succeeded to the throne (aged 18) amid the Revolutions of 1848. He suppressed all nationalist hopes until forced to meet Hungarian aspirations in the establishment of Austria-Hungary (1867). His foreign policy lost Habsburg lands to Italy (1859 and 1866) and led to the loss of Austrian influence over German affairs and to the ascendancy of Prussia. Seeking compensation in the Balkans, he aroused Slav opposition which ultimately resulted in World War I. His wife Elizabeth was assassinated by the Italian anarchist Lucheni. Opposed to social reform, Francis Joseph maintained administrative centralization and opposed the federalist aspirations of the Slavs.

Subjects: History

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