Johann I Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein

Johann I Joseph
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign 24 March 1805 – 20 April 1836
Predecessor Aloys I
Successor Aloys II
Born (1760-06-26)26 June 1760
Died 20 April 1836(1836-04-20) (aged 75)
Burial Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Brno
Spouse Landgravine Josepha of Fürstenberg-Weitra
Issue Aloys II, and fourteen other children
Full name
Johann Baptist Josef Adam Johann Nepomuk Aloys Franz de Paula
House Liechtenstein
Father Franz Joseph I
Mother Leopoldine von Sternberg

Johann I Joseph (Johann Baptist Josef Adam Johann Nepomuk Aloys Franz de Paula; 26 June 1760 20 April 1836) was Prince of Liechtenstein between 1805 and 1806 and again from 1814 until 1836. He was the last Liechtenstein prince to rule under the Holy Roman Empire between 1805 and 1806 and as regent of Liechtenstein from 1806 until 1814. He was the fourth son of Franz Joseph I, Prince of Liechtenstein.

Early career

Liechtenstein chose a military career at age 22 and entered the army as a lieutenant in a cuirassier regiment. During the Austro-Turkish War (1787-1791) he earned, in rapid succession, promotion to Major, Oberstleutnant, and Oberst (colonel). He earned renown as a good cavalry officer and was honored with the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa in 1790.

French Revolutionary Wars

During the French Revolutionary Wars, he participated in an "outstandingly effective cavalry action" at Avesnes-le-Sec on 12 September 1793, where 4,663 Republican troops suffered losses of 2,000 killed and wounded with the Allies losing only 69 men. In addition, 2,000 soldiers and 20 artillery pieces were captured.[1] [2]He also participated in many other battles. Soon after being promoted to General-Major in June 1794, he fought at the Battle of Fleurus. He commanded a mixed cavalry-infantry brigade in Anton Sztaray's division at the Battle of Würzburg on 3 September 1796.[3] After this action he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Maria Theresa.

In the War of the Second Coalition, Liechtenstein commanded the Austrian Reserve at the Battle of Trebbia.[4] In August 1799 he received promotion to Feldmarschal-Leutnant. He commanded 8,000 men in the successful siege of Cuneo in November and December.[5] On 3 December 1800, he led a 5,109-man cavalry division in the Battle of Hohenlinden.[6]

Napoleonic Wars

Liechtenstein was prominent in the Napoleonic Wars. At the Battle of Austerlitz, he led the 4,600 cavalry of the 5th Column.[7] His troops fought well but he was unable to save the Austrian-Russian army from a disastrous defeat. Afterward, he carried on the negotiations with Emperor Napoleon I which concluded with the Peace of Pressburg. He earned the rank of General of Cavalry in 1808.

Throughout the War of the Fifth Coalition Liechtenstein commanded the I Reserve Korps in the army of Archduke Charles.[8] He led his cavalry and grenadiers at the Battle of Eckmühl on 22 April 1809, the Battle of Aspern-Essling on 21–22 May, and the Battle of Wagram on 5–6 July. He took command of the main army after Archduke Charles resigned and held this responsibility until the end of the year. Emperor Francis II promoted him Feldmarschall in September. He negotiated and signed the Peace of Schönbrunn. Both of these treaties were very favourable to Napoleon and hard on Austria. Afterward, Liechtenstein was accused of having little diplomatic skill. To escape criticism he resigned from the military in 1810.


As Prince of Liechtenstein, Johann made forward-thinking reforms, but also had an absolutist governing style. In 1818 he granted a constitution, although it was limited in its nature. He expanded agriculture and forestry and radically reorganized his administration, in an attempt to take the requirements of what was then a modern estate into account.

He proved a trendsetter in the area of garden art by planting Biedermeier gardens and park landscapes in an English model.

In 1806 Napoleon incorporated Liechtenstein in the Confederation of the Rhine and made it a sovereign state. At the Vienna Congress the sovereignty of Liechtenstein was approved. Liechtenstein became a member of the German Confederation in 1815. This membership confirmed Liechtenstein’s sovereignty.

He was the 869th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria in 1806.

Marriage and issue

On 12 April 1792 in Vienna, he married Landgravine Josepha of Fürstenberg-Weitra (Vienna, 21 June 1776 – Vienna, 23 February 1848), Dame of the Imperial Court and Dame of the Order of the Starry Cross. They had 14 children:



  1. Smith, p 54-55.
  2. Phipps, Ramsey Weston (1926), The Armies of the First French Republic and the Rise of the Marshals of Napoleon I, London: Oxford University Press. Vol 1 p.243
  3. Smith, p 122
  4. Smith, p 160
  5. Smith, p 174
  6. Arnold, p 276
  7. Chandler, p 420
  8. Bowden & Tarbox, p 71
  9. Princely and Countly House of Esterházy de Galántha
  10. Princely House of Paar


External links

Johann I Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein
Born: 26 June 1760 Died: 20 April 1836
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Aloys I
Prince of Liechtenstein
Succeeded by
Aloys II
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