Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor

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Francis II (German: Franz II, Erwählter Römischer Kaiser) (12 February 1768 – 2 March 1835) was the last Holy Roman Emperor, ruling from 1792 until 6 August 1806, when he dissolved the Empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz. In 1804, he had founded the Austrian Empire and became Francis I of Austria (Franz I.), the first Emperor of Austria (Kaiser von Österreich), ruling from 1804 to 1835, so later he was named the one and only Doppelkaiser (double emperor) in history. For the two years between 1804 and 1806, Francis used the title and style by the grace of God elected Roman Emperor, always August, hereditary Emperor of Austria and he was called the Emperor of both Germany and Austria. He was also Apostolic King of Hungary as I. Ferenc, King of Croatia-Slavonia as Franjo I., and King of Bohemia as Francis I ("František I."). He also served as the first president of the German Confederation following its establishment in 1815.

Francis I continued his leading role as an opponent of Napoleonic France in the Napoleonic Wars, and suffered several more defeats after Austerlitz. The proxy marriage of state of his daughter Marie Louise of Austria to Napoleon I on 10 March 1810 was assuredly his most severe defeat. After the abdication of Napoleon following the War of the Sixth Coalition, Austria participated as a leading member of the Holy Alliance at the Congress of Vienna, which was largely dominated by Francis' chancellor Klemens Wenzel, Prince von Metternich. Due to the establishment of the Concert of Europe, which largely resisted popular nationalist and liberal tendencies, Francis became viewed as a reactionary later in his reign.


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