Two monumental events happened for the house of Habsburg in the summer of 1867 within months of each other. The first was the ratification of the Compromise with Hungary that established a new constitution and ushered in a period of liberalizing within the empire. The second was the execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico, and the return of his body to the empire. Taken as individual events, the two seem to have little connection. However, in the press of the time, both were important and impacted the image of the emperor Franz Joseph. Drawing from the literature, pamphlets, art, and newspapers that were produced in the Habsburg empire in the wake of Maximilian’s death, this thesis will connect the tragedy to the changing political conditions. It will especially emphasize the way that discussions of Maximilian’s liberal ideals connected to the transition to a constitutional monarchy. This study will also ask the question of how a personal tragedy impacted the image of Franz Joseph by analyzing how his grief was portrayed. As an emperor Franz Joseph was popular in his late reign , but relatively unpopular in his youth. This has been partially attributed to the shift to more liberal policies in his later years, and also to public sympathy for his personal losses. He was so closely associated with his position that his personal losses also created loyalty to the crown. This study provides a case study of one of his many losses, and how it created sympathy in the press.




Downloads Statistics

Download Full History