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Ferdinand, 1793–1875, emperor of Austria (1835–48), son and successor of Emperor Francis I (who also, as Francis II, had been the last Holy Roman emperor). A well-meaning monarch in his lucid moments, he was subject to fits of insanity. A council of state that included Metternich governed in his name. After revolution broke out in Vienna in 1848 the emperor promulgated (April) a constitution, but it failed to satisfy the revolutionists. He fled from Vienna in May and—after the recapture of Vienna by Windischgrätz—was persuaded by Felix zu Schwarzenberg to abdicate (Dec. 2, 1848) in favor of his nephew, Francis Joseph.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Austria and Hungary, History: Biographies

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