Emperor Franz Joseph I, oil painting, c. 1910

Franz Joseph I

Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary (ruled 1848–1916)

Born 18 August 1830 Vienna (Schönbrunn Palace)
Died 21 November 1916 Vienna (Schönbrunn Palace)

Motto: ‘Viribus Unitis – With united forces’

Franz Joseph ascended the throne of the Austrian Empire in 1848. His concept of rulership was informed by a great sense of duty and mission. After the upheavals of the 1848 revolution he endeavoured to re-establish the legitimacy of monarchical rule and to hold together the multinational state that was threatening to break apart. He was forced to make far-reaching concessions, notably in the creation of the dual monarchy through the Compromise with Hungary in 1867 and in consenting to a constitution.

Emperor Franz Joseph I, oil painting, c. 1910