Joseph was an idealist and a doctrinaire, whose dream was to build up his ideal body politic; the first step toward which was to be the amalgamation of all his dominions into a common state under an absolute sovereign.
When the first Russian revolutionary movement developed in 1905 he took part in the meetings of Zemstvo representatives, but did not join the Cadets, whom he considered to be too doctrinaire and cosmopolitan.
The result of the constitutional experiment hardly justified the royal expectations; the parliament was hardly opened (February 5th, 1819) before the doctrinaire radicalism of some of its members, culminating in the demand that the army should swear allegiance to the constitution, so alarmed the king, that he appealed to Austria and Germany, undertaking to carry out any repressive measures they might recommend.
The mass of the working-class population in the Protestant parts of Germany belonged to the Social Democracy, an inclusive term covering variations of opinion from the doctrinaire system of Marx to a degree of Radicalism which in England would not be considered a bar to a peerage.
He was himself a strange incarnation at once of " doctrinaire liberalism and the old Habsburg autocracy.