Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia, and monarch of other states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 2 December 1848 until his death. From 1 May 1850 to 24 August 1866 he was also President of the German Confederation. He was the longest-reigning ruler of Austria and Hungary, as well as the sixth-longest-reigning monarch of any country in history.
In December 1848, Franz Joseph's uncle Emperor Ferdinand abdicated the throne at Olomouc, as part of Minister President Felix zu Schwarzenberg's plan to end the Revolutions of 1848 in Hungary. Franz Joseph then acceded to the throne. Largely considered to be a reactionary, he spent his early reign resisting constitutionalism in his domains. The Austrian Empire was forced to cede its influence over Tuscany and most of its claim to Lombardy–Venetia to the Kingdom of Sardinia, following the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859 and the Third Italian War of Independence in 1866.