Francis Joseph of the Habsburg Empire

Topics: Austrian Empire, Hungary, Austria Pages: 1 (290 words) Published: August 14, 2006
1.Francis Joseph became emperor in 1848 over the Habsburg domains and ruled until 1916. However, his reforms in his administration and government proved to be a weakness in the empire. The basic weakness of the empire was created in 1860, when Francis Joseph issued the October Diploma, creating a federation among the states and the provinces of the empire. This dictated the abolition of local diets dominated by the landed classes and a single parliament. In 1861, he issued the February Patent, creating an entirely different government, a bicameral imperial parliament or Reichstrat, with an upper chamber appointed by the emperor and an indirectly appointed lower chamber. This secular organization caused major tensions with the Magyars of the Austrian Empire because they felt their privileges as nobility were not protected. Thus, in response, Magyars refused to send any delegates to the legislature. The Reichstrat, however, did not guarantee civil liberties and the ministers were directly responsible to the emperor. Negotiations continued between the emperor and the Magyars, culminating in the Compromise of 1867, which transformed the empire into the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary. This, in turn created major unrest of nationalists in the two kingdoms with the major issue of the Hungarian nationalism versus the Habsburg monarch. The unrest of the Czechs, the Ruthenians, the Romanians, and the Croatians also ended in cries for a position in the dual monarchy, which was ignored by the Magyar nobility. Constitutionalism also failed in the Reichstrat because the introduction of male suffrage in 1907 only created further chaos. The unrest of the various nationalists within the Habsburg Empire not only caused internal political difficulties, it also became a major source of political instability for all of central and Eastern Europe.
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