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Johann II
JohannesII.jpg
1908 painting of Johann II of Liechtenstein
Prince of Liechtenstein
Reign 12 November 1858 – 11 February 1929
Predecessor Aloys II
Successor Franz I
Born (1840-10-05)5 October 1840
Eisgrub, Margraviate of Moravia, Austrian Empire
Died 11 February 1929(1929-02-11) (aged 88)
Valtice, First Czechoslovak Republic
Burial Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Vranov
Full name
Johann Maria Franz Placidus
House Liechtenstein
Father Aloys II, Prince of Liechtenstein
Mother Countess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau

Johann II (German: Johann Maria Franz Placidus; 5 October 1840 – 11 February 1929), also known as Johann II the Good (Johann II der Gute), was the Prince of Liechtenstein between 1858 and 1929. His reign of 70 years and 91 days is the second-longest of any monarch in European history, after that of Louis XIV of France, and third-longest overall after Louis XIV and Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) of Thailand.

Early life

Johann II was the elder son of Aloys II, Prince of Liechtenstein and Countess Franziska Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. He ascended to the throne shortly after his 18th birthday, and his reign is the longest precisely documented tenure of any European monarch since antiquity in which a regent (that is, a regent of a minority regency) was never employed; although his mother acted as his regent from 10 February 1859 to November 1860, she was not the head of a minor regency, but was appointed by her son to fulfill his duties because he wished to finish his education before beginning his rule.

Rama IX of Thailand exceeded this reign by just 35 days.

Law and reform

In 1862, Johann II issued Liechtenstein's first constitution. Later, after Liechtenstein left the German confederation in 1866 and after World War I, Johann II granted a new constitution in 1921. It granted considerable political rights to common Liechtensteiners, the latter making the principality a constitutional monarchy. This constitution survives today but with revisions, most notably in 2003.

Liechtenstein left the German Confederation in 1866. Not long after, the army of Liechtenstein was abolished as it was regarded as an unnecessary expense.

Foreign affairs

Johann II somewhat cooled relations with Liechtenstein's traditional ally, Austria-Hungary and its successor states, to forge closer relations with Switzerland, particularly after World War I. Liechtenstein was neutral during World War I, but the war broke Liechtenstein's alliance with Austria-Hungary and led it to go into a customs union with Switzerland. Late in Johann's reign, in 1924, the Swiss franc became Liechtenstein's official currency.

Patron of the arts

Johann II added much to the Liechtenstein Princely Collections. Although considered a prominent patron of the arts and sciences during his long reign, Johann II was also considered to be rather unsociable and did not participate in social events. He never married or had any children, like several other members of his family.

Between 1905 and 1920, Schloss Vaduz was renovated and expanded. Prince Johann II did not live in the castle or even in Liechtenstein, though his successors would make the castle their home in 1938.

Upon his death in 1929, Johann II was succeeded by his brother Franz I.

Honours

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