13.01.

Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust – the only imperial chancellor of Francis Joseph

Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust – the only imperial chancellor of Francis Joseph

When the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was created in 1867, Beust became the country’s first foreign minister.

Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust, a Saxon and Austrian politician, was born on 13 January 1809. He was born in Dresden, the royal capital of Saxony, as the son of a court clerk there. About five years before Beust’s birth, Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor of the French, and Saxony witnessed a number of battles dating back to the Napoleonic wars during Beust’s earliest years of life. Beust was a Protestant Christian by religion and studied at prominent universities in Leipzig and G√∂ttingen.

In 1849 he became Saxon Foreign Minister, and in 1858 came to the position of Minister-President (Prime Minister) of the Kingdom of Saxony. He held the leading position in the Saxon government until 1866, when Emperor Francis Joseph summoned him to the imperial court in Vienna. In the Austrian Empire, Beust assumed the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs (as early as 1866), and soon became the Head of Government, ie chairman of the Ministerial Conference (1867). Since the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was created in 1867, Beust has become the country’s first foreign minister. He was also considered the lead minister of the entire Joint Austro-Hungarian Ministerial Council. At the same time, he was also the Minister-President (Prime Minister) of the Austrian half of the monarchy. In all, he accumulated a large number of top statesmanial functions and was awarded the title of Imperial Chancellor (German Reichskanzler), as the only person in Austria between the service of Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in 1848 and Karl Renner in 1918 (Renner was came to office only after the dissolution of Austro-Hungary).

Beust also received the hereditary title of Count from Emperor Francis Joseph, and after descending from the highest state functions he went to high diplomatic positions, first as ambassador to Austro-Hungarian in London and then to Paris. He died in 1886 at the Altenberg Castle near Vienna at the age of 78.

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