In April 1809—less than four years after Austerlitz—Austria declared war on France and entered the field as the champion of a vanquished German Empire. In their analyses of the Habsburg bid to restore the old order in the Germanies, historians have stressed certain internal developments within the Austrian Empire that made war possible: a revitalized army, a strong feeling of German nationalism, an embittered émigré lobby, and a powerful war party. This article explores the importance of the factions within the imperial family in relation to these events and points up an irony in the Austrian decision. For while the emperor Francis viewed the war as a final effort to save the dynasty, Count Philipp Stadion, his chief minister and leader of the war party, capitalized on the divergent points of view within the family to attain his own ends. His principal concern was to restore the old political order, to reverse the terms of the Treaty of Pressburg (1805), and to reconstruct the Holy Roman Empire in Germany. By skillful manipulation of ideology and dynastic ambition, he won most of the imperial princes to his side. They, in turn, persuaded the emperor to commit himself to a foreign policy that jeopardized his monarchy for the sake of a war whose diplomatic goals interested him scarcely at all.