Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Francis I, Emperor of Austria (Biographical details)

Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Francis I, Emperor of Austria (ruler; royal/imperial; Austrian; Male; 12 Feb 1768 - 2 Mar 1835)

Also known as

Francis II; Francis I; Franz II; Austria


Francis II, the last Holy Roman emperor (1792-1806) and, as Francis I, first emperor of Austria (1804-35). Also reigned as King of Hungary (1792-1830) and King of Bohemia (1792-1836).Involved in the wars of the French Revolution and in the Napoleonic Wars. After the extension of French control over western Germany and the reorganization of the German states by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803, Francis consolidated his power in Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and northern Italy and proclaimed himself emperor of Austria in 1804. Two years later he formally dissolved the old Holy Roman Empire. As emperor of Austria, Francis gave Prince Klemens von Metternich almost complete control of foreign affairs after 1809 and devoted himself to the internal administration of the empire. The marriage of his daughter Marie Louise to Napoleon in 1810 earned three peaceful years in which Francis revived Austrian strength for the campaign that would bring about Napoleon's downfall. By the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Francis recovered most of the territory Austria had lost.
Francis had married four times; firstly, in 1788, to Elisabeth of Württemberg; secondly, in 1790, to Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies; thirdly, in 1808, to Maria Ludovica of Austria-Este; and fourthly, in 1816, to Caroline Charlotte Auguste of Bavaria.