HomeNationsGermanyGerm 1848 49cJohann, Archduke of Austria
Johann, Archduke of Austria

Johann Baptist Joseph Fabian Sebastian

b. 20 Jan 1782, Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany
d. 10/11 May 1859, Graz, Styria, Austrian Empire

Title: Reichsverweser (Reich Vicar)
Term: 12 Jul 1848 - 20 Dec 1849
Chronology: 29 Jun 1848, elected, session of the Nationalversammlung (National Assembly), Paulskirche, Frankfurt-am-Main [1]
  5 Jul 1848, accepted the election, meeting with the delegation of the National Assembly, Reichskanzlei, Kaiserburg, Vienna [2]
  10 Jul 1848, acceptance of the office is communicated to the National Assembly, session of the National Assembly, Paulskirche, Frankfurt-am-Main [3]
  12 Jul 1848, personal statement of assumption of the office, session of the National Assembly, Paulskirche, Frankfurt-am-Main [4]
  12 Jul 1848, acknowledged as the Reich Vicar and powers formally transferred to him by the expiring Bundesversammlung (Federal Assembly)
  20 Dec 1849, resignation submitted to the representatives of the Bundescommission, Palais des Erzherzog-Reichsverwesers, Frankfurt-am-Main [5]
Names/titles: Erzherzog von Österreich (Archduke of Austria)
Ninth son of Peter Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Maria Ludovica, daughter of Carlos III of Spain; brother of Franz I., Emperor of Austria; privately tutored; moved to Vienna with his family (1790), few months later his father was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and acceded as Leopold II.; after the death of mother and father (1792), lived in the court of Franz I.; developed particular interest in nature, technology and agriculture; attached to a dragoon's regiment (1795); participated in the Napoleonic Wars (from 1800); commander-in-chief of the Austrian troops in South Germany; lost the battle of Hohenlinden (3 Dec 1800); organized the Landwehr reserve army for the popular uprising against Napoléon Ier in Tyrol and in Inner-Austria (1808); supported Tyrol's resistance movement; retired from politics (1815) and devoted himself to science; as landowner, was involved in agricultural pursuits; owner of iron and coal mines and a sheet-metal factory; a founder of the Vordernberger Radmeister-Communität (1835), the first railway using iron rails on the European continent; purchased the domain of Stainz (1841), where he was also elected mayor (1851); appointed Stellvertreter des Kaisers (Deputy to the Emperor) Ferdinand I. (16 Jun 1848) and took office 25 Jun 1848; elected (29 Jun 1848) Reich Vicar for Germany by the Nationalversammlung (National Assembly) in Frankfurt-am-Main; accepted the election (5 Jul 1848) and departed for Frankfurt (8 Jul 1848) to take office; formally assumed the office on 12 Jul 1848; following the election (28 Mar 1849) of the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV. as Kaiser der Deutschen (Emperor of the German), offered his resignation (28 Mar 1849), but was dissuaded by Heinrich Freiherr von Gagern and others to retain the office; resigned from his duties as Reich Vicar (20 Dec 1849).
Biographical sources: "Allgemeine deutsche Biographie", Hrsg. durch die Historische Commission bei der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. (2., unveränderte Aufl.) Neudruck der 1. Aufl. von 1875-1912 (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1967-1971)., Bd. 14, S. 281-305; "Neue deutsche Biographie", Hrsg. von der Historischen Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; Schriftleiter: Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1953-), Bd. 10, S. 505-508.

Candidate Votes (29 Jun 1848)
Johann Erzherzog von Österreich 436
Heinrich Wilhelm August Freiherr von Gagern 52
Johann Adam von Itzstein 32
Stephan Franz Viktor Erzherzog von Österreich 1
abstentions 27
total votes cast/absolute majority 548/275

[1] Verhandlungen der deutschen constituierenden Nationalversammlung, 1:628-638.
[2] Wiener Zeitung, No. 185, 6 Jul 1848, pp. 57-58.
[3] Verhandlungen der deutschen constituierenden Nationalversammlung, 2:810-811.
[4] Verhandlungen der deutschen constituierenden Nationalversammlung, 2:844.
[5] Deutsche Zeitung (Frankfurt), No. 352, Supplement, 21 Dec 1849, p. 1; Wiener Zeitung, No. 310, 29 Dec 1849, p. 3686.
  Image: lithograph by Schertle after a daguerreotype by Hermann Biow, 1848.