Franz II. I#
Franz II (I), b. Florence (Italy), Feb. 12, 1768, d. Vienna, March 2, 1835, last emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (Franz II, 1792-1806), first emperor of Austria (Franz I, 1804-1835); son of Emperor Leopold II. The first two decades of his reign were characterized by the constant fight against revolutionary France and Napoleon. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars he rejected plans to re-establish the old Empire. In line with his legitimistic approach to ruling, he supported a social conservative and finally reactionary system after the Congress of Vienna, held 1814-1815, as had been put forward by Metternich and laid down by the Holy Alliance. He adhered to the principles established by the Emperor Joseph II, known as Josephinism, believed in the power of the police and of censorship and opposed all types of democratic orientation ( Vormaerz). It was during his reign that the style known as Biedermeier became widespread in all spheres of Austrian life and culture. Monuments commemorating him are situated in the Vienna Hofburg and in Graz.
Literature#C. Wolfsgruber, F., Kaiser von Oesterreich, 2 vols., 1899; V. Bibl, Kaiser F., der letzte roem.-dt. Kaiser, 1918; M. Rauchensteiner, F. und Erzherzog Carl, 1972; B. Hamann, Die Habsburger, 41993.OeBL.