Monday, November 21, 2016

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria died, November 21, 1916.

Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, died from pneumonia contracted only shortly before this date.  He was 86 years old and had been serving in that role for the Austro Hungarian Empire since 1848.

Franz Joseph in 1905

His death came, of course in the midst of the great tragedy of World War One, of which his nation was a central participant and the originating belligerent in some ways.   With his death, the throne would pass to his grandnephew Charles I who would carry forward until the death of the Empire in 1918.  

It's hard, in some ways, not to view the long reigning monarch's 1916 death as symbolic of the very death of the old order in Europe.

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