Archduke John of Austria

Archduke John of Austria (German: Erzherzog Johann Baptist Joseph Fabian Sebastian von Österreich; 20 January 1782 – 11 May 1859), a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, was an Austrian field marshal and imperial regent (Reichsverweser) of the short-lived German Empire during the Revolutions of 1848.

Archduke John
Leopold Kupelwieser - Erzherzog Johann
Portrait by Leopold Kupelwieser, 1828
Imperial regent of German Empire (1848-49)
In office12 July 1848 – 20 December 1849
PredecessorFerdinand I of Austria (President of the German Confederation)
SuccessorFrancis Joseph I of Austria (President of the German Confederation)
Born20 January 1782
Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Died11 May 1859 (aged 77)
Graz, Styria, Austrian Empire
Schenna Castle, Tyrol
SpouseAnna Maria Josephine Plochl
IssueFranz, Count of Meran
HouseHouse of Habsburg-Lorraine
FatherLeopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Luisa of Spain
ReligionRoman Catholic


John was born in Florence, the thirteenth child of the Habsburg grand duke Leopold of Tuscany and Maria Louisa of Spain. He was baptized with the name of John Baptist Joseph Fabian Sebastian,[1] after the patron saint of the Tuscan capital. In 1790, Leopold succeeded his brother Joseph II as Holy Roman Emperor and his family moved from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to the Imperial court in Vienna. Only two years later, John's elder brother Francis II ascended the Imperial throne.

Arciduca Giovanni d'Austria
Archduke John of Austria, c. 1799

John's native language was Italian, he learned to speak French and German fluently. Educated by the Swiss historian Johannes von Müller, he developed wide-ranging skills and interests, especially in the history and geography of the Alpine countries.

Military service

During the Napoleonic Wars, John was given command of the Austrian army in September 1800, despite his personal reluctance to assume the position. He showed personal bravery in the War of the Second Coalition, but his troops were crushed at the Battle of Hohenlinden on 3 December. Demoralized by defeat, the army nearly disintegrated in the subsequent retreat, which was only stopped by an armistice arranged on 22 December. After the Peace of Lunéville in 1801, Archduke John was made General Director of the Engineering and Fortification Service, and later commander of the Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt.

In the War of the Third Coalition, John again fought the French and Bavarian forces. From 1805 he directed an able defence of several Tyrolean passes against the French and was awarded the Commander Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. However, according to the Peace of Pressburg, Austria had to cede Tyrol and Vorarlberg to Bavaria. John remained obliged to Tyrol and maintained friendly contact with Baron Joseph Hormayr who forged a resistance movement against the Bavarian occupation. In 1808, John pressed for the creation of Tyrolean Landwehr forces based on the success of the Prussian Landwehr, which played a vital role in the Tyrolean Rebellion led by Andreas Hofer.

At the commencement of the War of the Fifth Coalition in 1809 he became commander of the Army of Inner Austria, fighting against the French forces of Eugène de Beauharnais in Italy. Under his command were the VIII Armeekorps led by Albert Gyulai and the IX Armeekorps headed by Albert's brother Ignaz Gyulai. After winning a significant victory at the Battle of Sacile on 16 April 1809, his army advanced almost to Verona. Having detached forces to besiege Venice and other fortresses, John's army was soon outnumbered by Eugène's heavily reinforced host. Worse, news of the Austrian defeat at the Battle of Eckmühl reached him and compelled him to order a retreat. Before withdrawing, he fought off Franco-Italian attacks at the Battle of Caldiero between 27 and 30 April. Attempting to blunt the Franco-Italian pursuit, he stood to fight on 8 May and was beaten at the Battle of Piave River. Trying to defend the entire border, he sent Ignaz Gyulai to defend Ljubljana (Laibach) in Carniola, while holding Villach in Carinthia with his own forces. Eugène's pursuit overran the frontier defenses at the Battle of Tarvis and wrecked a column of hoped-for reinforcements at the Battle of Sankt Michael. Forced to flee northeast into Hungary, John offered battle again but was defeated at Raab on 14 June 1809. Ordered to join his brother Archduke Charles at the Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July, John's small army arrived too late to avert an Austrian defeat. His brother criticized him for tardiness.

After the conclusion of the campaign, John again evolved plans for a widespread rebellion. However, upon the Treaty of Schönbrunn Austrian policies under Minister Klemens von Metternich sought a rapprochement to France. John's friend Baron Hormayr and other conspirators were arrested, the archduke himself effectively was sidelined and retired to his estates in Thernberg.

Post military

John's proclamation to the German people of July 15, 1848 after provisionally taking central control
Archduke John of Austria 1848 Frankfurt Br.- Medal, obverse
Election of Erzherzog Johann von Österreich 1848 as Imperial Regent (Reichsverweser) by the Frankfurt Parliament. Medal by Karl Radnitzky, obverse.
Archduke John of Austria 1848 Frankfurt Br.- Medal, reverse
Election of Erzherzog Johann von Österreich 1848 as Imperial Regent (Reichsverweser) by the Frankfurt Parliament. Medal by Karl Radnitzky, reverse, showing the German double-headed Imperial Eagle.

John, tired of warfare, turned away from the military and developed a great interest for nature, technology and agriculture. He collected minerals and was active as an alpinist and hunter in the Duchy of Styria. In his early days Archduke Johann and his brother Louis had the habit of travelling to France, where the latter married Madame de Gueroust. In 1815, on his visit to the United Kingdom, John received a Doctor honoris causa degree from the University of Edinburgh.[1]

In the history of Styria, he is remembered as a great modernizer and became an important figure of identification for Styrians. His proximity to the people is given evidence to by his many contacts with the common man, by wearing the local Tracht, the Steireranzug, and by collecting and promoting the material and spiritual culture of the country.

In 1811, he founded the Joanneum Museum in Graz and the predecessor of Graz University of Technology. Some other foundations were initiated by him, such as the Styrian State Archive 1817, the Steiermärkisch-Ständische Montanlehranstalt, which was founded in 1840 in Vordernberg and later became the University of Leoben, the Styrian Society for Agriculture 1819, the Mutual Fire Insurance, the Styrian Building Society, the Landesoberrealschule in 1845 and the Society for Styrian History in 1850. His routing of the Austrian Southern Railway from Vienna to Triest over the Semmering Pass and through the Mura and Mürz valleys to Graz is particularly notable. The inheritance of his maternal uncle Duke Albert Casimir of Teschen enabled him to acquire a tin factory in Krems near Voitsberg and coal mines near Köflach, thereby he also became an industrialist. In 1840, he bought the Stainz dominion. He was already the lord of the Brandhof manor in Mariazell.

In 1829, he married Anna Plochl (1804-1885), the daughter of Jakob Plochl, postmaster of Aussee, and his wife Maria Anna Pilz, during a nocturnal ceremony in Brandhof. By this morganatic marriage, John was excluded from succession to the throne. Emperor Francis elevated Anna to a "Baroness of Brandhofen" in 1834 and in 1839 she gave birth to a son, Franz, the only child from the marriage. His descendants were styled "Counts of Meran" and "Barons of Brandhofen", Proprietors of Stainz and Brandhofen.

John was also a passionate mountaineer in the Eastern Alps and attempted to be the first to climb the Großvenediger. For that reason, the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte (Adlersruhe) at the Grossglockner, and the Archduke John's Vanilla Orchid (Nigritella rubra subsp. archiducis-joannis), an orchid growing on mountain meadows, are named after him.

The Events of 1848

Even though Johann did not consider himself a liberal, he promoted some liberal ideas. He was often in conflict with the rigid Habsburg court, especially because of his morganatic marriage, though he would never espouse rebellion. He had earned great recognition in the Styrian lands and, moreover, he gained general acceptance by his jovial manners and his marriage with a middle-class woman. Certain remarks he had made in favor of German unification, including a toast at a banquet in the 1830s, added to circulating rumors that the Archduke was a man of political liberalism, even though he was kept very far from politics by the Court.[2]

Head of the Austrian Government

Rioting in the streets of Vienna caused the Imperial household to flee to Innsbruck on 17 May 1848. Based on his reputation among the masses as a liberal and his personal character as a loyal prince of the reigning House, Archduke John was appointed on 16 June to be an effective viceroy in the absence of the Emperor. He was to both open the Constituent Diet and conduct the normal business of the government.[3] By a proclamation dated 25 June and written entirely by himself, the Archduke assumed his responsibilities and set the date to open the Diet for 22 July 1848.

After he accepted the office of Regent of Germany on 5 July 1848 (see below), John maintained that he could not undertake his responsibilities in Frankfurt until he had fulfilled his responsibilities in Vienna. Therefore, he set out for Frankfurt on 8 July, the same day that the Austrian Ministry led by Count Pillersdorf fell. After being appointed Regent in Frankfurt, he returned to Vienna on 17 July, and solemnly opened the Diet on 22 July as the Emperor's representative. Shortly thereafter, the Archduke resigned his official duties and departed for Frankfurt. This caused the Diet to petition for the Emperor's return to Vienna, and he did so on 12 August.

Regent of Germany

Upon the March Revolution of 1848, the Frankfurt Parliament discussed the appointment of an all-German government replacing the Federal Convention. On a proposal by the liberal politician Heinrich von Gagern, the assembly on 28 June 1848 voted for the establishment of a central authority (Provisorische Zentralgewalt) and on the next day a broad majority elected Archduke John regent of the realm (Reichsverweser).

Archduke John accepted the nomination as head of the short-lived German Empire on 5 July 1848, and on 12 July the delegates of the Federal Convention, in response to public pressure, ceded their powers to him. On July 15, the day he left for Vienna, the Regent appointed the ministers Anton von Schmerling, Johann Gustav Heckscher and Eduard von Peucker to office, completed by Prince Carl of Leiningen as minister president and head of government. Nevertheless, his political office did not offer many opportunities, though all laws had to be signed by him.

On 16 July 1848, War Minister von Peucker issued an order to all German Federal Army soldiers that, on 6 August 1848, they were to parade in honor of the Regent as the supreme commander of the Army in Germany. Upon his arrival in Vienna, the Archduke was greeted by Austrian War Minister Latour, who was quite upset with the interference of the provisional government in Austrian Army affairs. The whole Austrian Ministerial Council demanded action, and, as a result, the Archduke was forced to dispatch a formal complaint as Viceroy of Austria to himself as Regent of Germany.[4]

First attempts by the government to obtain supreme command of the German Federal Army faced entrenched resistance from the member states. To strengthen support, the left-wing politician Robert von Mohl joined the Leiningen Cabinet on 9 August. Leiningen himself resigned on 6 September, after the Frankfurt assembly rejected to ratify the armistice of Malmö, signed by Prussia during the First Schleswig War. Minister Anton von Schmerling acted as head of government, until from November 1848 the cabinet gradually lost the support of the centrist Casino faction and finally its majority in parliament. Schmerling was forced to resign and on 17 December, Archduke John had to appoint Heinrich von Gagern new minister president, though he opposed his 'Lesser German' ideas.

Archduke John did not take part in the draft of the Frankfurt Constitution, which was adopted on 28 March 1849 after lengthy negotiations led by Gagern, and he pronounced against the strong position of Prussia. Determined to resign, he was once more turned over by appeals from National Assembly President Eduard Simpson. When, in April 1849, King Frederick William IV of Prussia disappointed Gagern's hopes and openly rejected the Constitution, Archduke John remained passive because the terms of his service as Regent forbade him to interfere in the Constitutional process. Prime Minister Gagern handed in his resignation on 10 May. Prussia exerted pressure on the Regent to vacate the office that he had resigned, but the Archduke insisted that he would remain out of a sense of obligation, and had powerful backing from Austria's Prime Minister, Prince Schwarzenberg, who was eager to stifle Prussian ambitions in Germany. Nevertheless, he departed for a prolonged stay at the health resort of Bad Gastein. At this point, the National Assembly was reduced to a rump parliament led by radicals and in opposition to the Regent. The Regency existed in name only, though the Archduke continued formal correspondence with Vienna and Berlin as such. He finally was allowed to resign from his office on 20 December 1849. When Archduke Johann came back to Frankfurt on a visit in 1858, he openly regretted the failure of the German unification.

IMG 0390 - Graz - Hauptplatz and Rathaus
Archduke John memorial in Graz

Mayor of Stainz

After nearly two years absence, the Archduke returned to Stainz, where he was elected the town's first mayor on 23 July 1850. This was the first and only case in Austria where a member of the Imperial family was elected mayor of a small market town. He exercised this office until 1858, represented in his occasional absence by market judge Georg Ensbrunner.[5]


Archduke John died in 1859 in Graz, where a fountain erected in his honor dominates the central square. He is buried in Schenna near Meran. He was the great-grandfather of noted conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929–2016).



  1. ^ a b Schlossar 1878, p. 319.
  2. ^ Heinrich von Sybel, The Founding of the German Empire by William I., 1896. Volume I, page 163.
  3. ^ William Cox, History of the House of Austria, 1905. Page 253.
  4. ^ Heinrich von Sybel, The Founding of the German Empire by William I., 1891. Volume I, page 228.
  5. ^ Hans Wilfinger, Erzherzog Johann und Stainz. Verlag der Marktgemeinde Stainz, Stainz 1959 (2nd ed. 2001), pages 13 and 50.
  6. ^ Le livre d'or de l'ordre de Léopold et de la croix de fer, Volume 1 /Ferdinand Veldekens
  7. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 109.


  • Schlossar, Anton (1878), Erzherzog Johann von Österreich und sein Einfluß auf das Culturleben der Steiermark (in German), Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller

External links

Anna Plöchl

Anna Maria Josephine Plöchl (6/9 January 1804 – 4 August 1885) was the morganatic wife of Archduke John of Austria. She was given the title Baroness von Brandhofen and then Countess von Meran. She and her husband were the parents of Franz, Count von Meran.

Archduke John (film)

Archduke John (German: Erzherzog Johann) is a 1929 Austrian silent historical drama film directed by Max Neufeld and starring Igo Sym, Xenia Desni and Paul Biensfeldt. It portrays the life of Archduke John of Austria, a nineteenth century member of the Habsburg Dynasty.

It was shot at the Schönbrunn Studios in Vienna and on location in Styria. The film's sets were designed by the art director Hans Ledersteger.

Arnold Duckwitz

Arnold Duckwitz (January 27, 1802 in Bremen Germany – March 19, 1881 in Bremen) was a German statesman and merchant who served as Minister of Trade and of the Navy in the provisional government of the Frankfurt Assembly of 1848–49, and as mayor of Bremen.

From early to mid-1848, he participated as an expert in the economic committee of the Frankfurt National Assembly. As Commissioner of Bremen he advised on German trade relations. Subsequently, he was in July 1848 appointed Reich Minister for Trade (Reichsminister für Handel) of the all-Germany 'Provisional Central Power' (Provisorische Zentralgewalt), headed by Archduke John of Austria as regent (Reichsverweser). He later became also Minister for Navy Affairs (Minister für Marineangelegenheiten). He managed to create in a short time a small navy (Reichsseewehr or Reichsflotte) for limited use in the Second Schleswig War (1849) against the superior Danish fleet.

He was also a city senator (Bremer Senats) from 1841 and mayor of the Hanseatic city of Bremen 1857–1863, and 1866–1869. He was then a city senator until he retired in 1875.

Battle of Ampfing (1800)

At the Battle of Ampfing on 1 December 1800, Paul Grenier's two divisions of the First French Republic opposed against the Austrian army southwest of the town of Ampfing during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Austrians, under the leadership of Archduke John of Austria, forced their enemies to retreat, though they sustained greater losses than the French. Ampfing is located 63 kilometers (39 miles) east of Munich and 8 km (5.0 mi) west of Mühldorf am Inn.

In Spring 1800, while Moreau wrecked Austrian defenses in Germany, Generals Massena and Desaix ran into stiff Austrian offensives in Northern Italy. In June, Napoleon brought in the reserve corps and defeated the Austrians at Marengo. On the Danube, the decisive Battle of Höchstädt, followed by success at Battle of Neuburg a few days later, allowed the French to take Munich and to control the Danube and its tributaries as far as Ingolstadt. With the French pressing on Austria from the north and through Italy, a truce ended hostilities for the rest of the summer. Despite these significant losses—both of them decisive—the Austrians were reluctant to accept disadvantageous peace terms. After the expiration of the summer truce in November 1800, both the Austrian and French armies rushed to come to grips with each other in the terrain east of Munich. The newly appointed commander of Austrian forces, Archduke John, managed to bring the bulk of his army against Grenier's left wing of Jean Moreau's French army near Ampfing. Outnumbered, two French divisions fought a stubborn rear guard action for six hours before retreating in good order.

Instead of being sobered by their 3,000 casualties, Archduke John and his staff became convinced that the enemy was on the run. The Austrian general ordered a pursuit of the French through forested terrain. But, instead of fleeing, Moreau and his troops were waiting for the Austrians. The two armies met in the decisive Battle of Hohenlinden two days later.

Battle of Caldiero

The Battle of Caldiero may refer to:

Battle of Caldiero (1796), a defeat of the French First Republic forces under Napoleon Bonaparte by a Habsburg corps

Battle of Caldiero (1805), a battle between André Masséna's French and Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen's Austrians

Battle of Caldiero (1809), a clash between the Austrian forces of Archduke John of Austria and Eugène de Beauharnais' French army

Battle of Caldiero (1813), a battle between Johann von Hiller's Austrian army and Eugène de Beauharnais's French army

Battle of Caldiero (1809)

In the Battle of Caldiero or Battle of Soave or Battle of Castelcerino from 27 to 30 April 1809, an Austrian army led by Archduke John of Austria defended against a Franco-Italian army headed by Eugène de Beauharnais, the Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy. The outnumbered Austrians successfully fended off the attacks of their enemies in actions at San Bonifacio, Soave, and Castelcerino before retreating to the east. The clash occurred during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

In the opening engagements of the war, Archduke John defeated the Franco-Italian army and drove it back to the Adige River at Verona. Forced to detach substantial forces to watch Venice and other enemy-held fortresses, John found himself facing a strongly reinforced Franco-Italian army near Verona. So embarrassed by his setbacks that he tried to minimize them in communications to his step-father Emperor Napoleon, Eugène determined to use his superior forces to drive the Austrian invaders from the Kingdom of Italy.

Eugène probed at San Bonifacio on the 27th. On 29 April, he ordered part of his troops to make a holding attack against Soave while he sent an Italian force to seize the high ground on the Austrian right flank. On the 30th, the Austrians recaptured Castelcerino, which was lost the previous day. While this action was being fought, John's army began its retreat to the Brenta River at Bassano. Caldiero is located 15 kilometres (9 mi) east of Verona. The towns of Soave and San Bonifacio lie along the Autostrada A4 about 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of Verona. Castelcerino is a small village in the hills about 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) north of Soave.

Battle of Hohenlinden

The Battle of Hohenlinden was fought on 3 December 1800, during the French Revolutionary Wars. A French army under Jean Victor Marie Moreau won a decisive victory over the Austrians and Bavarians led by Archduke John of Austria. After being forced into a disastrous retreat, the allies were compelled to request an armistice that effectively ended the War of the Second Coalition. Hohenlinden is 33 km east of Munich in modern Germany.

General of Division (MG) Moreau's 56,000 strong army engaged some 64,000 Austrians and Bavarians. The Austrians, believing they were pursuing a beaten enemy, moved through heavily wooded terrain in four disconnected columns. Instead, Moreau ambushed the Austrians as they emerged from the Ebersberg forest while launching MG Antoine Richepanse's division in a surprise envelopment of the Austrian left flank. Displaying superb individual initiative, Moreau's generals managed to encircle and smash the largest Austrian column.

This crushing victory, coupled with First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte's victory at the Battle of Marengo on 14 June 1800, ended the War of the Second Coalition. In February 1801, the Austrians signed the Treaty of Lunéville, accepting French control up to the Rhine and the French puppet republics in Italy and the Netherlands. The subsequent Treaty of Amiens between France and Britain began the longest break in the wars of the Napoleonic period.

Battle of Piave River (1809)

The Battle of Piave River was fought on 8 May 1809 between the Franco-Italian army under the command of Eugène de Beauharnais and an Austrian army led by Archduke John of Austria. The Austrian commander made a stand behind the Piave River but he suffered a defeat at the hands of his numerically superior foes. The combat took place near Nervesa della Battaglia, Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

The initial Austrian invasion of Venetia succeeded in driving the Franco-Italian defenders back to Verona. At the beginning of May, news of Austrian defeats in Bavaria and inferiority in numbers caused Archduke John to begin retreating to the northeast. When he heard that his enemies were crossing the Piave, the Austrian commander turned back to give battle, intending to slow Eugène's pursuit of his army.

Eugène ordered his vanguard across the river early in the morning. It soon ran into vigorous Austrian resistance, but the arrival of French cavalry stabilized the situation by mid-morning. Rapidly rising waters hampered the buildup of French infantry reinforcements and prevented a significant portion of Eugène's army from crossing at all. In the late afternoon, Eugène launched his main attack which turned John's left flank and finally overran his main line of defense. Damaged but not destroyed, the Austrians continued their withdrawal into Carinthia (in modern-day Austria) and Carniola (in modern-day Slovenia).

Battle of Raab

The Battle of Raab or Battle of Győr (Hungarian: Győri csata) was fought on 14 June 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars, between Franco-Italian forces and Habsburg forces. The battle was fought near Győr (Raab), Kingdom of Hungary, and ended in a Franco-Italian victory. The victory prevented Archduke John of Austria from bringing any significant force to the Battle of Wagram, while Prince Eugène de Beauharnais's force was able to link up with Emperor Napoleon at Vienna in time to fight at Wagram. Napoleon referred to the battle as "a granddaughter of Marengo and Friedland", as it fell on the anniversary of those two battles.

Battle of Sacile

The Battle of Sacile (also known as the Battle of Fontana Fredda) on 16 April 1809 and its companion Clash at Pordenone on 15 April saw an Austrian army commanded by Archduke John of Austria defeat a Franco-Italian army led by Eugène de Beauharnais and force it to retreat. Sacile proved to be the most notable victory of John's career. The action took place east of the Livenza River near Sacile in modern-day Italy during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars.

In April 1809, Archduke John quickly invaded Venetia in northeastern Italy. On 15 April at Pordenone, the Austrian advance guard routed the French rear guard, inflicting heavy losses. Undeterred by this setback and believing he enjoyed a numerical superiority over his opponents, Eugène attacked the Austrians east of Sacile the following day. Though the two sides were equal in numbers of foot soldiers, the Austrians possessed a two-to-one advantage in cavalry, and this turned out to be a key factor in their victory.

Eugène withdrew his army 130 kilometres (81 mi) to a defensible position at Verona on the Adige river, where he reorganized his army and received reinforcements. At Verona, the Franco-Italian army was secure from Archduke John's army advancing from the east and a second Austrian column threatening it from the Tyrol in the north. By the end of April, news of French victories in the Danube valley caused John to fall back to the east, with Eugène in pursuit.

Dalmatian Campaign (1809)

The Dalmatian Campaign saw several battles fought between 30 April and 21 May 1809 by Auguste Marmont's First French Empire soldiers and Andreas von Stoichevich's Austrian Empire troops. The Austrians drove the French from their positions on the Zrmanja River at the end of April. But in mid-May, the French counterattack forced back the Austrians. The defenders offered stout resistance, but ultimately Marmont broke out of Dalmatia and joined Emperor Napoleon's army near Vienna with over 10,000 men. The campaign was fought during the War of the Fifth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Dalmatia is part of the modern-day nation of Croatia.

At the beginning of the conflict, the Austrians thrust across the Zrmanja and forced the French back to the fortified cities. After the Austrian defeat and subsequent retreat from Italy of the army of Archduke John of Austria, Marmont launched his own offensive. The French beat the Austrians at Pribudić, capturing Stoichevich, and moved north. Two more actions were fought at Gračac on 17 May and Gospić on 21 May before Marmont reached Ljubljana (Laibach) in Carniola. Continuing north, the French general fought in the Battle of Graz on 25 and 26 June and in the decisive Battle of Wagram on 5 and 6 July.

Federal Convention (German Confederation)

The Federal Convention (or Confederate Diet German: Bundesversammlung or Bundestag) was the only central institution of the German Confederation from 1815 until 1848, and from 1850 until 1866. The Federal Assembly had its seat in the Palais Thurn und Taxis in Frankfurt. It was organized as a permanent congress of envoys.

The German Confederation and its Federal Assembly came into existence as a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the defeat of Napoleon. The original task was to create a new constitutional structure for Germany after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire eight years before. The princes of the German states wanted to keep their sovereignty, therefore the German Confederation was created as a loose confederation of independent monarchist states, but included four free cities as well. The founding act was the German Federal Act of June 8, 1815 (German: Deutsche Bundesakte), which was part of the treaty of the Congress of Vienna.

The Federal Assembly was created as a permanent congress of envoys of all member states, which replaced the former imperial central power of the Holy Roman Empire. The Federal Assembly took its seat at the Palais Thurn und Taxis in Frankfurt, where it met once a week after November 5, 1816.

The Federal Assembly was presided over by the Austrian delegate and consisted of two executive bodies: the inner council and the plenary session. Its members were not elected, neither by popular vote nor by state parliaments (which even didn't exist in some member states), but had been appointed by the state governments or by the state's prince.

The inner council consisted of 17 envoys (one seat each for the 11 larger states, 5 seats for the 23 smaller states and one seat for the four free cities). The inner council determined the legislative agenda and decided which issues should be discussed by the plenary session. Decisions of the inner circle initially required an absolute majority, but in 1822 unanimous consent was required for all decisions to have force.The plenary session had 69 seats, according roughly to the state's sizes. The plenary session was involved especially in decisions regarding constitutional changes, which initially required a majority of 2/3 of the plenary session but was also changed to unanimous consent.

The decisions of the Federal Assembly had been mandatory for the member states, but the execution of those decisions remained under the control of each member state. As well, the member states remained fully sovereign regarding customs, police, and military.

Until the March Revolution of 1848 and again since 1851 the Federal Assembly of the German Confederation was the main instrument of the reactionary forces of Germany to suppress democracy, liberalism and nationalism. For example, during 1835/36, the Federal Assembly decreed rules for censorship, which banned the works of Heinrich Heine and other authors in all states of the German Confederation.

After the March Revolution of 1848, the Federal Assembly of the German Confederation was challenged by the newly formed National Assembly, which began its sittings in Frankfurt on 18 May 1848. On 28 June, the National Assembly decided to created a provisional government for all of Germany prior to the creation of a Constitution. On 29 June, they elected Archduke John of Austria to be the Regent of the Provisional Central Power.

At noon on 12 July 1848, the Federal Assembly handed over its responsibilities to the Regent and formally dissolved itself. The act lent legitimacy and, at least in theory, legally binding authority to the new office. However, the Regent refused to employ his powers and remained passive during this period. The National Assembly lost prestige and was closed on 19 June 1849. The Regent resigned his office on 20 December 1849, though not before transferring all responsibilities of the provisional government to Austria and Prussia on 30 September.

Prussia spent the next year challenging Austria's claims to supremacy in Germany, but on 30 November 1850 the Punctuation of Olmütz forced Prussia to abandon its proposal to alter Germany's political composition in its favor. By that time, all of the states in Germany had suppressed their Constitutions, popularly elected parliaments, and democratic clubs, thus erasing all work of the revolution. On 30 May 1851, the old Confederate Diet was reopened in the Thurn and Taxis Palace.The Federal Assembly was dissolved after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the terms being dictated by the Peace of Prague on 23 August 1866. Although the North German Confederation was legally not the successor of the German Confederation, the new Federal Council (Bundesrat) could be seen as a kind of replacement for the Federal Assembly.

Graz University of Technology

Graz University of Technology (German: Technische Universität Graz, short TU Graz) is one of five universities in Styria, Austria. It was founded in 1811 by Archduke John of Austria and currently comprises seven faculties. The university is a public university. It offers 18 bachelors and 33 masters study programmes (of which 16 are in English) across all technology and natural science disciplines. Doctoral training is organised in 14 English-speaking doctoral schools. The university has more than 13,000 students, and approximately 2,000 students graduate every year. Science study programmes are offered in the framework of NAWI Graz together with the University of Graz.

The university has a staff of 3,324. Research areas are combined in five fields of expertise.

TU Graz, the University of Leoben and TU Wien form the network Austrian Universities of Technology (TU Austria) with approximately 47,000 students and 9,000 staff.

Großer Priel

The Großer Priel (German pronunciation: [ˈɡʀoːsɐ pʀiːl]) is, at 2,515 metres above the Adriatic (8,251 ft), the highest mountain of the Totes Gebirge range, located in the Traunviertel region of Upper Austria. It ranks among the ultra prominent peaks of the Alps. Part of the Northern Limestone Alps, its steep Dachstein cliffs form the northeastern rim of a large karst plateau and are visible from afar across the Alpine Foreland.

First mentioned as Pruell in a 1584 deed, it was denoted as mons altissimus totius provintzia in the 1667 map of Upper Austria by geographer Georg Matthäus Vischer. The prominent peak was also mentioned in the travelogues of Archduke John of Austria in 1810; a first touristic ascent is documented in 1817, followed by the climb of Archduke Louis of Austria in 1819. A summit cross was erected in 1870, at the time when the Totes Gebirge range was gradually opened to mountaineers by the Austrian Tourist Club.

Today, the most common routes of ascent are from Hinterstoder via the Prielschutzhaus, an alpine hut managed by the Austrian Alpine Club, on the south side of the mountain, and from the Alm valley via Welser Hütte on the north side. There are also a number of paths leading from the Großer Priel summit to the rest of the Totes Gebirge plateau.

Johannisberg (High Tauern)

The Johannisberg (formerly also called Keeserkopf and Herzoghut) is a 3,453 metres (11,329 ft) high mountain in the Glockner Group of the High Tauern, a mountain range of the Central Eastern Alps in Austria.

The peak is located in the central section of the main Tauern crest, right on the border between the Austrian states of Salzburg and Carinthia, near the tripoint with East Tyrol. It was given its present name in honour of Archduke John of Austria by the Regensburg botanist David Heinrich Hoppe in 1832, on the occasion of a failed attempt to advance into the area beyond the Riffltor (3,094 m). The Johannisberg has, seen from the east, a firn-capped dome shape, its western side consists of a mighty, 450 metre high and 50° inclined West Face. Long, prominent, knife-edge ridges radiate away from it to the northwest and southwest. The mountain is a popular destination for walkers and climbers due to its easy accessibility.

Piave River 1809 order of battle

The Piave River 1809 Order of Battle shows the units and organization for the Franco-Italian and Austrian Empire armies that fought in the Battle of Piave River on 8 May 1809. Eugène de Beauharnais, the viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy defeated Archduke John of Austria. Eugène's Advance Guard crossed the river first and was assailed by Austrian cavalry and artillery. The French cavalry routed the opposing cavalry and captured 14 enemy guns. A lull followed as John arranged his infantry in a formidable defensive position. Meanwhile, Eugène struggled to pour reinforcements into the bridgehead as the Piave rose dangerously. In the afternoon, the viceroy sent Paul Grenier to drive back the Austrian left while Jacques MacDonald mounted an assault on the center. The attack succeeded in breaking the Austrian line and compelling John to order a retreat.


Styria (German: Steiermark, German pronunciation: [ˈʃtaɪ̯ɐˌmaːk] (listen), Croatian and Slovene: Štajerska, Hungarian: Stájerország, Czech: Štýrsko; Slovak: Štajersko) is a state, or Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria. In area it is the second largest (after Lower Austria) of the nine Austrian federated states, covering 16,401 km2 (6,332 sq mi). It borders Slovenia (Carinthia Statistical Region, Drava Statistical Region and Mura Statistical Region) and the Austrian states of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Burgenland, and Carinthia. The capital city is Graz which had 276,526 inhabitants at the beginning of 2015.


Weißkugel (German pronunciation: [ˈvaɪ̯sˌkuːɡl̩] (listen); Italian: Palla Bianca) or Weißkogel is the second highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps and the fourth highest mountain in Austria. Featuring many glaciers, it lies on the border between Austria and Italy. The easiest way to climb it is over its southern side.

The ascent by Joseph Anton Specht from Vienna, guided by Leander and Nicodem Klotz from Vent in 1861, was and is usually considered the first. However, personal notes of Archduke John of Austria about his excursion over the Niederjoch from Vent to Schnals in the summer of 1846, made public in 1903, suggest that his guides, Johann Gurschler and Josef Weitthalm from Schnals, had climbed the mountain the previous summer.According to the second ascensionist, Douglas Freshfield, it has one of the best views in the Tyrol. Though not easily picked out among the mountains, its peak can be seen from Venice.

Ancestors of Archduke John of Austria[7]
16. Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
8. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
17. Eleonora Maria Josefa of Austria
Queen Dowager of Poland-Lithuania
4. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
18. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
9. Princess Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans
19. Countess Palatine Elizabeth Charlotte of Simmern
2. Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
20. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
10. Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
21. Eleonore-Magdalena of Neuburg
5. Maria Theresa of Austria
Queen of Hungary & Bohemia
22. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
11. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
23. Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
1. Archduke Johann of Austria
24. Louis, Dauphin of France
12. Philip V of Spain
25. Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria
6. Charles III of Spain
26. Edward II Farnese, Duke of Parma
13. Elisabeth of Parma
27. Countess Palatine Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
3. Maria Louisa of Spain
28. Augustus II of Poland
Elector of Saxony
14. Augustus III of Poland
Elector of Saxony
29. Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
7. Maria Amalia of Saxony
30. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
15. Maria Josepha of Austria
31. Wilhelmina Amalia of Brunswick-Calenberg
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