The most noticeable features in his reign were the repeated and sudden changes of policy, which, while they arose from the extreme difficulty of finding any system by which the Habsburg monarchy could be governed, were due also to the personal idiosyncrasies of the emperor.
If we study the economy of a village, the idiosyncrasies of every individual in it are of importance.
If the village is replaced by a large area, inhabited by millions, with modern facilities of communication, it is a matter of observation and experience that for the purposes of general reasoning the idiosyncrasies of individuals may be neglected.
Some crystallizers are made entirely cylindrical, and are connected to the condenser of the vacuum pan; in order to maintain a partial vacuum in them, some are fitted with cold-water pipes to cool them and with steam pipes to heat them, and some are left open to the atmosphere at the top. But the efficiency of all depends on the process of almost imperceptible yet continuous evaporation and the methodical addition of syrup, and not on the idiosyncrasies of the experts who manage them; and there is no doubt that in large commercial processes of manufacture the simpler the apparatus used for obtaining a desired result, and the more easily it is understood, the better it will be for the manufacturer.
But this way too had to be given up, since even the smallest nationality would not allow itself to be absorbed, and during Taaffe's administration (1878) the idea came into favour of treating each nationality, and allowing it to grow up, according to its own idiosyncrasies; they were only to be restricted so far as the unity of the state rendered it absolutely necessary.
These idiosyncrasies met with no sympathy from either of his parents, whose ambitious plans for his future career they threatened to disappoint.
But even in his most sweeping reforms he never lost sight of the idiosyncrasies of the people.
It has been well said that in the writings of Juhani Aho can be traced all the idiosyncrasies which have formed the curious and pathetic history of Finland in recent years.