Who exactly was the better Austro-Hungarian Emperor?

Who exactly was the better Austro-Hungarian Emperor?


  • Total voters
    10

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,714
SoCal
#1
As for me, I voted for Karl due to the fact that he wasn't the one who got Austria-Hungary involved in World War I. Plus, he did attempt to reform his empire, albeit extremely belatedly.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

Tsar

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
2,010
Serbia
#3
There's no such thing as an "Austro-Hngarian emperor". They were emperors of Austria and kings of Hungary (plus other titles, but these two mattered the most).
As for the WW1, you can't just ignore all the things he did before, and he did many (the Serbs in Austria-Hungary generally had a positive opinion of him until just before the WW1), just because of that war. One of the most common mistakes historians do is that they automatically presume that people such as Franz Josef knew every thing that the historians do and that they had other choices in any situation - and that was almost never the case. Ask yourself, how many people believed that Russia would intervene in the war against such small, poor and irrelevant country like Serbia?
 
Dec 2011
4,465
Iowa USA
#4
Well, here I have to really part ways with the learned and very self-confident Tsar.

Tsar, would you not agree that Austria-Hungary and Germany had agents in St. Petersburg?

How could these agents in St. Petersburg be unaware of how religiously fanatic the Tsarina had become? On the grounds alone of Nicholas II being an extremely family-oriented monarch and Alexandra being a fanatic convert to Russian Orthodoxy, there was a knowable risk and a considerable risk of Nicholas taking the escalation he took, roughly 101 years ago today.

Nicholas took the risk also for his internal political reasons. The Duma had just begun to exert some of its potential power, when Nicholas changed the election procedures so that the nobility would dominate the Duma and prevent the Constitutional Democratic party (aka "Kadets") from establishing a bridgehead in the state. The war helped Nicholas with his larger project, maintaining an absolute monarchy for his heir.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2011
4,465
Iowa USA
#5
But... Tsar has a very valid point that the Emperor title was to all intents and purposes a courtesy title which the other monarchs agreed to use. Realistically they were Kings of Austria and Hungary. (And to be very legal, perhaps really only King of Hungary... Austria didn't have Kings in the 15th cent., did they?)
 
Last edited:
May 2015
698
Far From Home
#8
Nicholas took the risk also for his internal political reasons. The Duma had just begun to exert some of its potential power, when Nicholas changed the election procedures so that the nobility would dominate the Duma and prevent the Constitutional Democratic party (aka "Kadets") from establishing a bridgehead in the state. The war helped Nicholas with his larger project, maintaining an absolute monarchy for his heir.
Nicolai II by no means was driving Russia to war in 1914. He had learned lessons of Russo Japanese War, big wars were bad for Russia. War mongers in Russia had to drag him screaming and kicking to sign declaration of mobilization.

In fact when Kaiser Wilhelm urged him to keep peace by telegram on July 29th he cancelled his declartion to mobilize which he signed hours earlier. Caused almost his war happy generals to cry.

Only when both generals and government ministers nagged at him for many hours Nicolai was exhausted and again approved mobilization.
 
Dec 2013
266
Prague, Bohemia
#9
Well, I would say that out of those two FJI was the better and more capable statesman; Karl was fairly inexperienced (and also fairly naive when it came to aspirations of the various nationalities) and even his "attempt" at a reform was probably more forced upon him by circumstances (to prevent a revolution as the conditions in A-H deterioated more and more, and to secure separate peace with the Allies) rather than out of reformatory zeal.

By the way, if you want to read a bit on Karl's pre-war political ideas, his relationship with Franz Ferdinand, his actual reign and politics in Cisleithania (though focused mainly on the Czech-German conflict) during WWI I can recommend to you a fairly good PhD thesis by Christopher Brennan: you can download it HERE
 
Last edited:
Dec 2011
4,465
Iowa USA
#10
In this 88 seconds movie you see how K und K Monarchie lacked of a Austro-hungaritan title... He was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, King of Boehm... etc etc etc (About Rudolf, the Erzherzog)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF6ZasLNHX8
"Emperor of Austria" was an invented title in a sense. After losing the War of Third Coalition the dynasty had to surrender the "true" Imperial title.
 

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