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Francis I

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


(1768–1835), Emperor of Austria (1804–35); also, as Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor (1792–1806). The unexpected death of his father, Leopold II, brought Francis to the throne. He was almost immediately plunged into a series of wars with France (see french revolutionary wars ; napoleonic wars ) which would dominate the first two decades of his reign and in which Austria would be France's most persistent continental opponent. His jurisdiction over the holy roman empire and the austrian netherlands involved Francis in direct territorial confrontation with the French. But he was also deeply shocked by the execution of his fellow-monarch, louis xvi , and of his aunt, marie-antoinette . The discovery of supposedly jacobin conspiracies in Budapest alerted him to the dangers of revolution at home. The wars did not go well for Austria. Faced with the imminent collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, Francis declared himself emperor of Austria in 1804 to shore up his position in the lands of the habsburg empire . He was obliged by the princes of the French-dominated confederation of the rhine to abdicate as Holy Roman Emperor on August 6, 1806. In 1808 he was forced into joining the continental system , and he married his daughter, Marie-Louise, to napoleon i after the French occupation of Vienna in 1809. Austria was subsequently obliged to contribute troops towards Napoleon's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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