The reign of Charles I (IV) was a period of disintegration in the history of Austria-Hungary. After the death of Franz Joseph I, the situation in the Habsburg Monarchy became ever more complicated and not only in the field of foreign policy. The internal crisis of the empire also deepened. The monarch, whose position in the Kingdom of Hungary was significantly weakening, attempted during his reign, to shape a united elite of the monarchy, a nobility, which would be loyal to the ruling house in future generations. The exclusive right to grant decorations, titles and orders gave the monarch the possibility to support pro-Habsburg oriented circles in the individual crown lands and reward their patriotism. Charles I (IV) continued the policy of Franz Joseph and in the course of the 24 months of his reign, he granted some degree of noble status to more than a 1000 people. A large part of the materials revealing the background to his decisions is deposited in the archive of the former cabinet office in Vienna.
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