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Francis Joseph Charles

Francis Joseph, Charles, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, was born in 1830, and, on the abdication of his uncle, Ferdinand I., in 1848, succeeded him. He took the field in person against the Hungarians, and, with aid from Russia, suspended their constitution and undid the work of the revolutionists. He was present at the battle of Solferino (1859), after which France and Italy compelled Austria to give up Lombardy. In 1864 Austria helped Prussia to deprive the Danes of Schleswig-Holstein, but two years later the allies quarrelled, and the headship of Germany passed from the former to the latter, who also lost Venice. In 1867 the Hungarian question was settled by the establishment of the dual monarchy and his coronation as King of Hungary, the personal popularity of Francis Joseph forming a strong unifying element. The aim of hi3 subsequent policy has been the preservation of peace by the conciliation of Germany and Italy and the formation with them of a Triple Alliance. Russia has been the main cause of anxiety, and, by the Treaty of Berlin, Austria was allowed by the Powers to occupy Bosnia as a counterpoise to Russian influence in the Danubian States. Francis Joseph's only son, the Crown Prince Rudolf, committed suicide in February, 1889, and the Archduke Francis Ferdinand then became heir-presumptive.