The French Revolution, 1789–1799

14. Jul 1789–1799

The attitude of the Habsburgs to the Revolution was initially ambivalent: Leopold II evinced sympathy with the revolutionaries, recognizing the weakness of absolutism in France. However, he could not interfere in the internal affairs of a foreign country. By 1791 he had realized how radical the Revolution was, concluding a defensive alliance with Prussia against revolutionary France in 1792. Leopold’s conservative son and successor Franz II (I) was wholly opposed to revolutionary ideas.