Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Francis I was Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany, though his wife Maria Theresa executed the real powers of those positions. They were the founders of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. From 1728 until 1737 he was Duke of Lorraine. Francis traded the duchy to the ex-Polish king Stanisław Leszczyński in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as one of the terms ending the War of the Polish Succession in November 1738; the duchy and the ducal title to Lorraine and Bar passed to King Louis XV of France upon Leszczynski's death in 1766, though Francis and his successors retained the right to style themselves as dukes of Lorraine and Bar. Francis was born in Nancy, the oldest surviving son of Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, his wife Princess Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, he was connected with the Habsburgs through his grandmother Eleonore, daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III. He was close to his brother Charles and sister Anne Charlotte. Emperor Charles VI favoured the family, besides being his cousins, had served the house of Austria with distinction.
He had designed to marry his daughter Maria Theresa to Francis' older brother Leopold Clement. On Leopold Clement's death, Charles adopted the younger brother as his future son-in-law. Francis was brought up in Vienna with Maria Theresa with the understanding that they were to be married, a real affection arose between them. At the age of 15, when he was brought to Vienna, he was established in the Silesian Duchy of Teschen, mediatised and granted to his father by the emperor in 1722. Francis succeeded his father as Duke of Lorraine in 1729. In 1731 he was initiated into freemasonry by John Theophilus Desaguliers at a specially convened lodge in The Hague at the house of the British Ambassador, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. During a subsequent visit to England, Francis was made a Master Mason at another specially convened lodge at Houghton Hall, the Norfolk estate of British Prime Minister Robert Walpole. Maria Theresa arranged for Francis to become "Lord Lieutenant" of Hungary in 1732.
He was not excited about this position. In June 1732 he agreed to go to Pressburg; when the War of the Polish Succession broke out in 1733, France used it as an opportunity to seize Lorraine, since France's prime minister, Cardinal Fleury, was concerned that, as a Habsburg possession, it would bring Austrian power too close to France. A preliminary peace was concluded in October 1735 and ratified in the Treaty of Vienna in November 1738. Under its terms, Stanisław I, the father-in-law of King Louis XV and the losing claimant to the Polish throne, received Lorraine, while Francis, in compensation for his loss, was made heir to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, which he would inherit in 1737. Although fighting stopped after the preliminary peace, the final peace settlement had to wait until the death of the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737, to allow the territorial exchanges provided for by the peace settlement to go into effect. In March 1736 the Emperor persuaded Francis, his future son-in-law, to secretly exchange Lorraine for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
France had demanded that Maria Theresa's fiancé surrender his ancestral Duchy of Lorraine to accommodate the deposed King of Poland. The Emperor considered other possibilities before announcing the engagement of the couple. If something were to go wrong, Francis would become governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Elisabeth of Parma had wanted the Grand Duchy of Tuscany for her son Charles III of Spain; as a result, Elisabeth's sons could claim by right of being a descendant of Margherita. On 31 January 1736 Francis agreed to marry Maria Theresa, he hesitated three times. His mother Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans and his brother Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine were against the loss of Lorraine. On 1 February, Maria Theresa sent Francis a letter: she would withdraw from her future reign, when a male successor for her father appeared, they married on 12 February in the Augustinian Vienna. The wedding was held on 14 February 1736; the treaty between the Emperor and Francis was signed on 4 May 1736.
In January 1737, the Spanish troops withdrew from Tuscany, were replaced by 6,000 Austrians. On 24 January 1737 Francis received Tuscany from his father-in-law; until Maria Theresa was Duchess of Lorraine. Gian Gastone de' Medici, who died on 9 July 1737, was the second cousin of Francis, who had Medici blood through his maternal great-great-grandmother Marie de' Medici, Queen consort of France and Navarre. In June 1737 Francis went to Hungary again to fight against the Turks. In October 1738 he was back in Vienna. On 17 December 1738 the couple travelled south, accompanied by his brother Charles to visit Florence for three months, they arrived on 20 January 1739. In 1744 Francis' brother Charles married a younger sister of Maria Theresa, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria. In 1744 Charles became governor of the Austrian Netherlands, a post he held until his death in 1780. Maria Theresa secured in the Treaty of Füssen his election to the Empire on 13 September 1745, in succession to Charles VII, she made him co-regent of her hereditary dominions.
Francis was well content to leave the wielding of power to his able wife. He had a natural fund of good sense and brilliant business c
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".
Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este
Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este was the third son of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and of his wife Princess Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, last member and heiress of the House of Este. For much of the Napoleonic Wars he was in command of the Austrian army. Ferdinand was born at Milan, he attended the military academy in Wiener Neustadt before embarking on a military career. In 1805 in the war of the Third Coalition against France, Ferdinand was commander-in-chief of the Austrian forces with General Karl Freiherr Mack von Leiberich as his quartermaster general. In October his army was surrounded at Ulm. General Mack surrendered. There he raised the local militia. With a total of 9,000 men he set out for Iglau to distract attention from the Coalition's movements, he succeeded in holding the Bavarian division of Prince Karl Philipp von Wrede in Iglau thereby and preventing it from joining the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1809 in the war of the Fifth Coalition against France, Ferdinand commanded an Austrian army of 36,000 men.
In April he invaded the Duchy of Warsaw hoping to encourage a local uprising against Napoleon. But the Poles rallied to Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski. Ferdinand managed to occupy Warsaw. In June, Ferdinand was compelled to withdraw from Warsaw, to give up Kraków and Galicia as well. In 1815 in the war of the Seventh Coalition against France, Ferdinand commanded two divisions of the Austrian Reserve; the following year he was appointed military commander in Hungary. In 1830 Ferdinand was appointed civil governor of Galicia, taking up residence in Lviv. After the Revolution of 1848 he resided in Italy. Ferdinand never married. In 1850 he died at Schloss Ebenzweier in Altmünster near Gmunden, Austria
Maria Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Massa
Maria Beatrice d’Este was heiress of Modena and Reggio as well as the sovereign of Massa and Carrara from 1790 until 1796 and from 1815 until her death in 1829. Maria Beatrice was born in Modena, the eldest child of two monarchs, Ercole III d'Este, Duke of Modena and Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina, reigning duchess of Massa and princess of Carrara, her parents' marriage was unhappy and they lived separated from each other. The death of Rinaldo aged four months old led to Maria being acknowledged as an heiress, her paternal ancestors included Louis XIII of France, the French regent Philippe d'Orléans, Mary, Queen of Scots. Her maternal ancestors were members of the House of Cybo-Malaspina; as heiress to four states, she was a attractive wedding partner. Empress Maria Theresa sought to arrange a marriage between Maria Beatrice and Archduke Leopold but this never materialised. Instead she married Leopold's brother, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, in a union through which the Austrians aimed to expand their influence in Italy.
The couple was engaged from 1754. As the children were so young, the marriage was not celebrated till 1771 when a ceremony in Milan on 15 October united them. Festivities arranged for this occasion included the operas Ascanio in Alba by Mozart and Il Ruggiero by Johann Adolph Hasse; the couple moved between Milan, where they lived in the Royal palace. As the Duchy of Modena did not allow female succession, Maria Beatrice's rights to the throne of Modena and Reggio passed to her son when her father died; when her mother died in 1790, she succeeded her as Duchess of Massa and Carrara. After the French conquest of Northern Italy, she spent her life in Austria and left the rule to administrators. By her marriage, the House of Austria-Este was created, a cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, which ruled Modena between 1814 and 1859. After Maria Beatrice d'Este's death at Vienna in 1829, Massa and Carrara were added to the Duchy of Modena. Media related to Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este at Wikimedia Commons
Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Este
Archduke Maximilian Joseph of Austria-Este, the fourth son of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este and younger brother of Francis IV, Duke of Modena. He was grand master of the Teutonic Knights from 1835 to 1863. Born in Milan, Maximilian was the son of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, he spent his youth in Monza, where his family had fled after the French invasion of the Duchy of Modena. After staying in Verona, Padua and Ljubljana, his family moved to Wiener Neustadt. In 1801 he joined the Teutonic Order, obtaining the Austrian Cross in 1804. After studying in the Collegium Teresianum of Wiener Neustadt, he was named Major General in the Austrian Army. In 1809 he fought in Germany against the French. In 1819 he was elected a Royal Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1830 Maximilian established himself in the Ebenzweier Castle, near Altmünster am Traunsee, while from 1831 to 1839 he lived in Linz. In 1835 he was named Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. Maximilian erected several fortifications in the Austrian possessions in Italy, such as the Torri Massimiliane of Verona and the Torre Massimiliana of Venice.
He died in 1863 in the Ebenzweier castle. He is buried in Altmünster. Media related to Archduke Maximilian of Austria–Este at Wikimedia Commons
The Austrian Empire was a Central European multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of the realms of the Habsburgs. During its existence, it was the third most populous empire after the Russian Empire and the United Kingdom in Europe. Along with Prussia, it was one of the two major powers of the German Confederation. Geographically, it was the third largest empire in Europe after the Russian Empire and the First French Empire. Proclaimed in response to the First French Empire, it overlapped with the Holy Roman Empire until the latter's dissolution in 1806; the Kingdom of Hungary – as Regnum Independens – was administered by its own institutions separately from the rest of the empire. After Austria was defeated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 was adopted, joining together the Kingdom of Hungary and the Empire of Austria to form Austria-Hungary; the power of nationalism to create new states was irresistible in the 19th century, the process could lead to collapse in the absence of a strong nationalism.
The Austrian Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities and languages that served as the bases for separatist nationalism, it had a large army with good forts. Its naval resources were so minimal, it typified by Metternich. They employed a grand strategy for survival that balanced out different forces, set up buffer zones, kept the Habsburg empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War; the Empire overnight disintegrated into multiple states based on nationalism. Changes shaping the nature of the Holy Roman Empire took place during conferences in Rastatt and Regensburg. On 24 March 1803, the Imperial Recess was declared, which reduced the number of ecclesiastical states from 81 to only 3 and the free imperial cities from 51 to 6; this measure was aimed at replacing the old constitution of the Holy Roman Empire, but the actual consequence of the Imperial Recess was the end of the empire.
Taking this significant change into consideration, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II created the title Emperor of Austria, for himself and his successors. In 1804, the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, ruler of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, founded the Empire of Austria, in which all his lands were included. In doing so he created a formal overarching structure for the Habsburg Monarchy, which had functioned as a composite monarchy for about three hundred years, he did so because he foresaw either the end of the Holy Roman Empire, or the eventual accession as Holy Roman Emperor of Napoleon, who had earlier that year adopted the title of an Emperor of the French. To safeguard his dynasty's imperial status he adopted the additional hereditary title of Emperor of Austria. Apart from now being included in a new "Kaiserthum", the workings of the overarching structure and the status of its component lands at first stayed much the same as they had been under the composite monarchy that existed before 1804.
This was demonstrated by the status of the Kingdom of Hungary, a country that had never been a part of the Holy Roman Empire and which had always been considered a separate realm—a status, affirmed by Article X, added to Hungary's constitution in 1790 during the phase of the composite monarchy and described the state as a Regnum Independens. Hungary's affairs remained administered by its own institutions, thus no Imperial institutions were involved in its government. The fall and dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire was accelerated by French intervention in the Empire in September 1805. On 20 October 1805, an Austrian army led by General Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated by French armies near the town of Ulm; the French victory resulted in the capture of many cannons. Napoleon's army won another victory at Austerlitz on 2 December 1805. Francis was forced into negotiations with the French from 4 to 6 December 1805, which concluded with an armistice on 6 December 1805; the French victories encouraged rulers of certain imperial territories to ally themselves with the French and assert their formal independence from the Empire.
On 10 December 1805, Maximilian IV Joseph, the prince-elector and Duke of Bavaria, proclaimed himself King, followed by the Duke of Württemberg Frederick III on 11 December. Charles Frederick, Margrave of Baden, was given the title of Grand Duke on 12 December; each of these new states became French allies. The Treaty of Pressburg between France and Austria, signed in Pressburg on 26 December, enlarged the territory of Napoleon's German allies at the expense of defeated Austria. Francis II agreed to the humiliating Treaty of Pressburg, which in practice meant the dissolution of the long-lived Holy Roman Empire and a reorganization under a Napoleonic imprint of the German territories lost in the process into a precursor state of what became modern Germany, those possessions nominally having been part of the Holy Roman Empire within the present boundaries of Germany, as well as other measures weakening Austria and the Habsburgs in other ways. Certain Austrian holdings in
House of Este
The House of Este is a European princely dynasty. The elder, German branch of the House of Este, known as the Younger House of Welf, included dukes of Bavaria and Brunswick-Lüneburg and produced Britain's Hanoverian monarchs, as well as one Emperor of Russia and one Holy Roman Emperor; the younger, Italian branch of the House of Este included rulers of Ferrara, of Modena and Reggio. According to Edward Gibbon, the family originated from the Roman Attii family, which migrated from Rome to Este to defend Italy against the Ostrogoths. However, there is little evidence to support this hypothesis; the names of the early members of the family indicate. The first known member of the house was Margrave Adalbert of Mainz, known only as the father of Oberto I, Count palatine of Italy, who died around 975. Oberto's grandson, Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan built a castle at Este, near Padua, named himself after the location, he had three sons from two marriages, two of whom became the ancestors of the two branches of the family: Welf IV, the eldest, was the son of Kunigunde, the last of the Elder Welfs.
He inherited the property of his maternal uncle, Duke of Carinthia, became duke of Bavaria in 1070, is the ancestor of the elder branch, the House of Welf. Hugh, issue of Azzo's second marriage to Garsend of Maine, inherited the French County of Maine, a legacy of his mother's dowry, but sold it one year and died without heirs. Fulco I, Margrave of Milan, the third son, is the ancestor of the younger Italian line of Este; the two surviving branches, with Duke Henry the Lion of Saxony and Bavaria on the German side, concluded an agreement in 1154 which allocated the family's Italian possessions to the younger line, the Fulc-Este, who in the course of time acquired Ferrara and Reggio. Este itself was taken over in 1275 by Padua, in 1405 by Venice; the elder branch of the House of Este, the House of Welf rendered as "Guelf" or "Guelph" in English, produced dukes of Bavaria, dukes of Saxony, a German King, the dukes of Brunswick and Lüneburg when the two branches of the family recombined in 1705.
The senior branch of the House of Welf continued to be ruled by the princes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, as undisputed until the death of the ruling duke of Brunswick Prince William VIII, in 1884. Prior to his death, his brother Karl II from Geneva Switzerland, as exiled de jure ruler of the house, had declared the Prussian annexation of the crown and the earlier Hanoverian usurpation illegal acts of usurpation inside of the German House. At his death, his grandson continued internationally recognized appeals. Hanover formed the Guelph Party to continue political appeals against the Prussian and German annexations of the crown. After the peace ending the Napoleonic wars reshaped Europe, ushering in the Modern era, the Electorate of Hanover was dissolved by treaty, its lands were enlarged and the state was promoted to a kingdom. The new kingdom existed from 1815 to 1866, but upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837, it passed to her uncle, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover, thus ceased to be in personal union with the British Crown.
The House of Este gave Great Britain and the United Kingdom the "Hanoverian monarchs". All generations of the Italian branch are descendants of Fulco d'Este. From 1171 on, his descendants were titled Margraves of Este. Obizzo I, the first margrave, battled against Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, his nephew Azzo d'Este VI became podestà of Verona. As the dowry of his niece the Marchesella, Ferrara passed to Azzo VI d'Este In 1146, with the last of the Adelardi. In 1242 Azzo VII Novello was nominated podestà for his lifetime; the lordship of Ferrara was made hereditary by Obizzo II, proclaimed Lord of Ferrara in 1264, Lord of Modena in 1288, Lord of Reggio in 1289. Ferrara was a papal fief and the Este family were given the position of hereditary papal vicars in 1332. Ferrara became a significant center of culture under Niccolò d'Este III, who received several popes with great magnificence Eugene IV, he held a Council in Ferrara in 1438 known as the Council of Florence. His successors were his illegitimate sons Leonello and Borso, elevated to Duke of Modena and Reggio by Emperor Frederick III in 1452, receiving these duchies as imperial fiefs.
In 1471, he received the duchy of Ferrara as papal fief from Pope Paul II, for which occasion splendid frescoes were executed at Palazzo Schifanoia. Borso was succeeded by a half-brother, one of the most significant patrons of the arts in late 15th and early 16th century Italy. Ferrara grew into a cultural center renowned for music. Ercole's daughter Beatrice married Ludovico Duke of Milan. Ercole I's successor was his son Alfonso I, third husband of Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, sister to Cesare Borgia. Alfonso I was a patron of Ariosto; the son of Alfonso and Lucrezia Borgia, Ercole d'Este II, married Renée of France, daughte