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Augustus Leopold I
General-Prince Leopold Stanislaus, about 20 to 27 years old, standing in an Belgian general uniform, with an sideburns and no moustache.
Leopold Stanislaus standing in an Belgian general uniform.
Emperor of Poland
Grand Duke of Lithuania
Reign 6 March 1862 – 2 September 1900
Coronation 14 October 1862
Predecessor Stanisław III Leopold
Successor Sigismund
Born Leopold James Stanislaus
21 March 1825(1825-03-21)
Royal Castle, Warsaw, Polish–Lithuanian Empire
Died 2 September 1900 (aged 75)
Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium
Burial 4 February 1904
Spouse Princess Marie of Hohenzollern
Issue Prince James Casimir of Poland and Belgium
Henriette, Duchess of Vendôme
Princess Joséphine Marie
Josephine Caroline, Princess of Hohenzollern
Albert I of Belgium
Full name
German: Jakob Leopold Philipp Stanislaus
Polish: Jakub Leopold Filip Stanisław
French: Jacques Léopold Philippe Stanislaus
English: James Leopold Philip Stanislaus
House House of Saxe-Coburg
Father Stanisław III Leopold
Mother Louise of Orléans
Religion Lutheranism (until 1872)
Roman Catholic (since 1872)
Occupation Military officer and Prince
Military career
Nickname(s) Belgian Dragoon
The Polish Hammer of Belgium
Allegiance Polish–Lithuanian Empire Polish–Lithuanian Empire
Belgium Kingdom of Belgium
Polish Army
Belgian Army
Years of service Polish–Lithuanian Empire 1856–1877
Belgium 1857–1895
Rank General Czterogwiazdkowy.svg General (Poland)
Army-BEL-OF-08.svg Lieutenant General (Belgium)
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Order of St. Andrew

Augustus IV James (known as Augustus James; 21 March 1825 – 2 September 1903), born Leopold James Stanislaus, was Polish-Belgian military officer and prince and later Emperor of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1861, who held both Polish title of Duke of Ovruch from 1839 and Belgian title of Count of Flanders from 1840 until his death. Born to youngest son of King Stanisław III Leopold and King of Belgium and his wife, Louise of Orléans.

Leopold served in both Polish Army and Belgian Army in his youth, with the rank of both Belgian Lieutenant General (at nineteen) and General of Poland (at twenty-two) and becoming the youngest General of Polish and Belgian Army, thus earning the nicknames, the "Belgian Dragoon" and "The Polish Hammer of Belgium". He was proclaimed the Duchy of Ovruch in 1839 and was created County of Flanders on 14 December 1840, and on his 18th birthday in 1855 he received the Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold.[1] As his father died, he inherited to the throne as Emperor of the Polish Empire in 1866, aged 28, while his older brother, Leopold become King of Belgium. During his reign, he created close relationship with his brother, Leopold in Belgium.

Early life

Military service

Early years

Crimean War

The Ottoman Empire was declining by the mid-1800s. European countries, which wanted as much land around the world as possible, looked to the Ottoman Empire. The war itself started after the Ottoman Empire said Russia, and not France, had the right to protect the Holy Land near the area of modern-day Israel.[2]

Along with his father, Stanislaus III of Poland, he allied the allies (British Empire, Ottoman Empire, French Empire and Kingdom of Sardinia) commanded a division at the Battle of Alma, where he was twice wounded. He held a dormant commission entitling him to command in case of Saint-Arnaud's death, and he thus succeeded to the chief command of the French army a few days after the battle. His son, Augustus Joseph who was King of Belgium was slightly wounded and had a horse killed under him at Inkerman, when leading a charge of Zouaves. Disagreements with the British commander-in-chief, Lord Raglan, and in general, the disappointments due to the prolongation of the siege of Sevastopol led to his resignation of the command, but he did not return to France, preferring to serve as chief of his old division almost up to the fall of Sevastopol.

After his return to Poland in August 1855 he was sent on diplomatic missions to Denmark and Sweden, and created a Marshal of France and a Senator for Life.

Promotion of General

Emperor of the Polish Empire

Portrait of Emperor Augustus Leopold I by Lievin de Winne.

Accession to the throne

General Leopold Stanislaus was at aged of twenty-six when his father, Leopold Albert of Poland died on 15 January 1866.[3] He was still in his service as General and recovering from his wounds, when the news come that he was the new Emperor. Reports that Leopold was crying and shaking for his father. Leopold Augustus was at the time again recovering his wounds, and slowly to Warsaw and was crowned in the Wawel Cathedral, in Kraków on October of that year.[4][5] He adopted the regnal name, "Augustus Leopold" or Augustus Leopold I

His popularity in Poland was less popular than his predecessor and his brother John Joseph but he gain and was loyal to subjects. From April to June 1869, James Casimir was signed a law in the 1815 constitution with freedom for the polish people.

Although a staunch conservative, James Casimir did not seek to be a despot, and so he toned down the reactionary policies pursued by his father and his brother, easing press censorship and promising to enact a constitution at some point, but he refused to create an elected legislative assembly, preferring to work with the nobility through "united committees" of the provincial estates. Despite being a devout Lutheran, his Romantic leanings led him to settle the Cologne church conflict by releasing the imprisoned Casimir of Lodz, the Archbishop of Cologne. He also patronized further construction of Cologne Cathedral, Cologne having become part of Prussia in 1815. In 1844, he attended the celebrations marking the completion of the cathedral, becoming the first king of Prussia to enter a Roman Catholic building. When he finally called a national assembly in 1847, it was not a representative body, but rather a United Diet comprising all the provincial estates, which had the right to levy taxes and take out loans, but no right to meet at regular intervals.

Annexation of Lithuania

Failed conquering of Liovonia

In 1870, James Casimir tried to re-conqueror the lands of Livonia (now hands of Alexandra II as Governor), but failed.

Franco-Prussian War

Emperor Napoleon III had plans to invaded Prussia. The causes of the Franco-Prussian War are mostly due to France being scared of a Protestant country on their border. France had helped Prussia beat Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866), but would not let the North German Confederation and South German states unify. In 1869, the throne of Spain was offered to a prince of the Catholic branch of the Prussian Hohenzollern royal family.

France found out about the offer, and demanded that Prussia reject it, since France did not want to be surrounded by Hohenzollerns. The prince said no, but the French wanted Prussia to say no also. The Prussian King Wilhelm I sent the Ems telegram assuring the French Emperor, Napoleon III, that the prince would not become king of Spain. Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Prussia, publicly released a version that he edited or doctored to make it seem that his king had insulted the emperor's ambassador. This was part of his plan to unify the German states. The two sides exchanged angry words, France declared war, and on July 19 1870 the war started. Prussia was fully supported by the South German states.

Napoleon III was finally abdicated on 8 November 1870 and was impressed after the Napoleon III comfortable captivity in a castle at Wilhelmshöhe, near Kassel.


On 16 August 1870, the fighting started around Mars-la-Tour. This was a "soldier's battle", where the individual unit commanders and the fighting spirit of the troops on both sides would be the key to victory. Desperate street fighting ensued in the town, with heavy losses for both sides. Prussian infantry tried to overrun the French positions, but the French held them off. The Prussians were outnumbered four to one, but Bazaine never recognized this fact. He failed to send in his full force, while the Prussians committed every man and gun to the fight. With the invaluable advantage of immense self-confidence, the Prussians held on.

Problems with the Warsaw settlement

The capital of the Holy Polish Empire had some problems beginning of his reign, which caused the town of Warsaw and surrounding terror ties around the capital, become the republic called the Free City of Warsaw. But the main cause of is that the capital of Warsaw become their own country, but they elected Stanisław Wodzicki as their president.

Augustus responded with force by 500,000 troops and went to Warsaw, confronting Wodzicki which Wodzicki was forced to resign after a serious convertasary by the King and other Polish citizens. John even starting issues with Warsaw as Wodzicki brought the city of Warsaw back to the monarch. As Warsaw still the capital of the Polish Empire, the people still respecting John IV Joseph as their monarch.

Policies in the Empire

King John IV Joseph in 1848 at the time of the 1848 Revolutions.

John established policies with the Krakow policy of 1848. Throughout his reign, King John found himself confronted by a recurring series of problems: partisanship of the Greeks, financial uncertainty, and ecclesiastical disputes.

Polish-Lithuanian parties in Poland were based on two factors: the political activities of the diplomatic representatives of the Great Powers: Russia, United Kingdom and France and the affiliation of Greek political figures with these diplomats.[citation needed]

The political machinations of the Great Powers were personified in their three legates in Athens: the French Theobald Piscatory, the Russian Gabriel Catacazy, and the English Edmund Lyons. They informed their home governments on the activities of the Greeks, while serving as advisers to their respective allied parties within Greece.

John pursued policies, such as balancing power among all the parties and sharing offices among the parties, ostensibly to reduce the power of the parties while trying to bring a pro-Othon party into being. The parties, however, became the entree into government power and financial stability. The effect of his (and his advisors') policies was to make the Great Powers' parties more powerful, not less. The Great Powers did not support curtailing Otto's increasing absolutism, however, which resulted in a near permanent conflict between Otto's absolute monarchy and the power bases of his Greek subjects.[6]

Augustus IV found himself confronted by a number of intractable ecclesiastical issues. His regents, Armansperg and Rundhart, established a controversial policy of suppressing the monasteries. This was very upsetting to the Church hierarchy. Russia was self-considered as stalwart defender of Orthodoxy but Orthodox believers were found in all three parties. Once he rid himself of his Bavarian advisers, Otto allowed the statutory dissolution of the monasteries to lapse.

Final years

Declining health

Illness and death

Personal life

Religious issues

Marriage and issue


Titles, styles and honours


Royal styles





See also


Further reading

External links

  1. Almanach royal de Belgique: Classé Et Mis En Ordre Par H. Tarlier
  2. Hooker, Richard (1999 [last update]). "The Ottomans: European Imperialism and Crisis". Washington State University. http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/OTTOMAN/EUROPE.HTM. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Czap64-71
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Czaplinski-125
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Czaplinski-138
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Petropulos, John A. 1968