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22 January 2019

Judson’s History of the Habsburg Empire

"An imperial EU, if it is to function, will necessarily be authoritarian, since there is as yet no demos that would provide the basis for a genuine pan-European democracy. A partial solution is supposedly offered by 'subsidiarity', a notion founded in Catholic doctrine, which accepts that some issues are best resolved at the local level. However this is in conflict with the Eurocratic mindset of accreting power to Brussels wherever and whenever possible – 'more Europe' as Angela Merkel used to urge, though perhaps not entirely sincerely."


 

It is only the cruelty of their lords which has driven these wretched people to such extremes.

Maria Theresia, commenting on agrarian revolts in western Hungary in the 1760s.1


 

In fact what nationality do you consider yourself?” asked Tardieu. “German, Hungarian or Czech? Because Austrian nationality does not exist.”

I am Viennese”, answered Berchtold.

But what side would you take if there would be a conflict between the peoples of the Monarchy?”

The side of the Emperor.”

And if the empire would cease to exist?” insisted Tardieu. I would still remain what I am: an aristocrat. Conversation in 1909 between André Tardieu of Le Temps and Count Leopold Berchtold, later Foreign Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.2

 

 

According to A. J. P. Taylor, “in other countries dynasties are episodes in the history of the people; in the Habsburg Empire peoples are a complication in the history of the dynasty ... the history of Central Europe revolves round them, not they round it”.3

Pieter Judson’s excellent new history of the later period of Habsburg rule both confirms and challenges this insight. It confirms it, insofar as the rise of national consciousness in the Habsburgs’ great empire from the 18th century onwards necessarily chipped away at the dynasty’s indispensability, the imperial myth; but it also challenges it by showing the possibilities for self-realisation amongst the Emperor’s subjects that opened up with increasing pace in the second half of the 19th century, aided by more liberal government and economic development. Broadly speaking, Habsburg historiography is written either from the dynasty’s perspective (for example the classic work by Robert E. Kann, which is constitutionally oriented),4 or diversely from the perspectives of the subject nations. Judson has achieved the remarkable feat of combining the two, a stimulating narrative that is both “top down” and “bottom up”.

 

THE HABSBURGS IN HISTORY

 

The geopolitical entity referred to as “Europe”, usually now shorthand for Western and Central Europe, has attempted unity three times in its impressively violent history. For some three and a half centuries, the Romans governed it from Iberia to the natural northern or eastern frontiers supplied by two great rivers, the Rhine and the Danube; Charlemagne’s writ ran from Aachen to a border territory that was later called Ostarrîchi (Upper and Lower Austria), the Eastern March of his empire; Napoleon, an ephemeral but forceful would-be unifier of Europe under French rule, briefly extended his hegemony over all of Western Europe, including Italy and Spain.

At least from the early modern period, the struggle for dominance in Europe became primarily focused on France and the Holy Roman Empire based on Central Europe, although the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) brought in other players such as Sweden. The Empire was in fact an agglomeration of substantively autonomous statelets; however its symbolic ruler wielded not only considerable secular power, but also quasi-spiritual authority (insofar as there was an often disturbed connection between throne and altar, that is, between Pope and Emperor). With one brief Wittelsbachian interlude, from the time of Friedrich III in the 15th century to the Empire’s dissolution in 1806, the House of Habsburg (or Habsburg-Lorraine) held the post of Holy Roman Emperor, Friedrich being the last Emperor to be crowned in Rome (1452) like Charlemagne. In the 21st century the European Union has internalised the ancient Franco-German rivalry, originally a struggle of dynasties, and is attempting to bring about by peaceful means what Napoleon and Hitler failed to do by force, namely to establish a centrally governed European state. This project therefore still hinges on the relationship, rivalry and rapprochement, between France and Germany.

The role of the Habsburgs in all this is one of the more remarkable dynastic narratives of history. This is not only because of their unrivalled feat of survival for over six hundred years, but also because of the pragmatic evolution of their governance. Pieter Judson’s fine, revisionist history of them, even though it only engages with their history more than halfway through it, helps us better understand the congruence of statecraft, diplomacy, military force and (perhaps above all) serviceable myth, which they deployed. It enabled them, at their peak under Charles V, to pose as rulers of most of what was then regarded as the civilised world. This was unsustainable, but even after the division of the empire into western and eastern ones, the eastern part (with which Judson is exclusively concerned) is rather unlike empires based purely on conquest. Famously the Habsburgs accumulated territory more by dynastic marriage pacts than by brute force – Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria, nube! as a rather envious Matthias Corvinus of Hungary allegedly expressed it in the 15th century.5 In the 18th century this mot became an important motif of Habsburg public relations.

Moreover, with the arguable exception of the very late annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,6 the eastern Habsburgs did not become a 19th-century colonial power in the manner of periodic rivals further west like France or Britain. Sometimes they had even arranged for colonisation within their own empire,7 especially after the Turkish wars when Maria Theresia brought in Swabians to populate a devastated Hungary in the 18th century, replicating a policy adopted by Hungary’s own King Béla IV after the Mongol storm of the 13th century. Such resettlements are not of course unique in history (one thinks of the British encouraging Indians to move into their African colonies to stimulate commerce), but in the Habsburg case the creative tension between German culture and the other nations or ethnicities was unusual, insofar as the German Austrian rulers were seen sometimes as overlords or oppressors, at other times (or even simultaneously) more like the fathers (or, in one case, the mother) of the various nations over which they presided.

The infusion of Germans into territories to the east was a factor in the rapid spread of the Reformation, the mining towns of Upper Hungary and elsewhere being chiefly German. Consequently the Holy Roman Empire eventually had a wide spectrum of faith ranging from its core Catholicism to Lutherans in North Germany to Calvinists in Hungary and diverse confessions in Transylvania (finally annexed to the Habsburgs in the 18th century). Even if the dynasty itself was fiercely Catholic, by the end of the Thirty Years’ War it seemed reconciled to a certain level of such diversity; by the 19th century this pragmatism was also evident in the protection that Franz Joseph was prepared to offer the Jews in his realms, a noteworthy reversal of the religiously inspired anti-Semitism of his counter-reformatory and medieval forebears.

Charles V had ruled over an empire of many different peoples, some ancient and state-forming, others which were to discover national identity as a consequence of the Enlightenment. He exhibited the sort of qualities that many of his predecessors and successors had only in part Catholic piety, sagacity, guile and (when required) ruthlessness.8 For an example of Machiavellian guile and ruthlessness, consider a fascinating piece of “fake news” cooked up by the Habsburg court in 1620 to discredit Frederick V, the Calvinist Elector Palatine, who had occupied Prague when the Bohemian Protestant nobility rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand. Frederick was married to Elizabeth Stuart, a daughter of James VI and I, and the pair were known as the “Winter King” and “Winter Queen” because they ruled only for one winter before their defeat at the Battle of White Mountain (November 1620). The fact that a translation of this into English (from Latin) was made by Thomas Hobbes was significant, since the justification advanced for black propaganda was the Machiavellian concept of ragion di stato (reason of state), a theme explored by Hobbes in his writings on political science. The Habsburgs did not shrink from such methods although, like (most) American presidents, they maintained a protective cover of deniability”.

On the one hand Charles ended his days as a contemplative in a monastery in a room bizarrely lined with clocks, having renounced his worldly power; on the other, his mutinous armies had looted Rome in the infamous sacco di Roma in 1527, one of the worst examples of destruction and savagery in early modern European history (ironically many Protestant soldiers were serving in His Catholic Majesty’s imperial army and determined to crush the papacy and ravage its city). It is said that the Emperor kept three seminal works by his bed: the Bible, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Baldassare Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano. Perhaps this claim is apocryphal, but if true, it neatly sums up enduring principles of Habsburg imperial rule and helps to explain its resilience.

The Central European part of Charles’s mighty empire encompassing Germany (symbolically his as Holy Roman Emperor), the Austrian Hereditary Lands, Bohemia and Hungary, was formally ceded to his brother Ferdinand in 1556, but the latter (as Charles’s surrogate) had already embarked on the policies to solve the religious schism caused by the rise of Protestantism and measures to confront the menace of the Ottomans. These two issues were to preoccupy the dynasty into the following century, when the Counter-Reformation finally triumphed in Southern Germany, Austria and Bohemia, and until 1683 when the final Turkish push to Vienna was repulsed.

It is fashionable nowadays in some quarters to dismiss empires as nothing more than disreputable historical episodes consisting entirely of exploitation (“extraction”) and massacres. A recent attack on Oxford’s Professor Nigel Biggar illustrates this tendency. He had the temerity to suggest a more nuanced approach to imperial and colonial history than morally superior condemnation supported somewhat selectively by the worst aspects of them. Fifty-eight academics immediately wrote an open letter denouncing him in the most personal terms, leading the former equalities tsar, Trevor Phillips (who is a person of colour) to label their mobbing as reminiscent of Stalinism. A uniformly hostile analysis of empire (usually camouflage for a multiculturally-based attack on European civilisation) has to ignore any beneficial achievements, which may include stable government, development of infrastructure and the utility of an administrative lingua franca. The Roman Empire, with its efficient and often merciless armies, nevertheless gave Europe all of these and more; much of the Code Napoléon is still pertinent in Western Europe; the British Empire made English a worldwide, transactional lingua franca, admittedly much assisted by what Niall Ferguson calls America’s “undeclared empire” in the 20th century.

How does the Central European Habsburg Empire compare with other hegemonies in the history of Europe? The Economists appropriately named Charlemagne column recently touched on this, observing somewhat picturesquely that the Habsburgs “charmed their subjects by giving them relative freedom, material benefits, and protection under the law from the whims of local barons”. And it adds Pieter Judson’s argument that “[t]hey created a situation where ordinary people could see their own interests in institutions of empire”.9 This of course is a hardly recognisable picture when the dynasty was still driving through the Counter-Reformation. However it becomes arguable once the Habsburgs had embarked on modernisation under the influence of the Enlightenment. Indeed both Maria Theresia and her son Joseph II, particularly the latter, saw fit to intervene, or try to intervene, to curb the untrammelled power of the nobility over their bondsmen, especially in Hungary. It is perhaps therefore appropriate that Judson begins his narrative with the “enlightened absolutism” of these two monarchs.

 

ENLIGHTENED ABSOLUTISM

 

The Enlightenment that flourished in 18th-century Scotland and England was the product of a growing middle class, both commercial and academic, while that of Habsburg Central Europe was “top down”, a notion of reform known as “enlightened absolutism”. It could hardly be otherwise with so many vested interests and particularisms ranged against it. Maria Theresia, despite being educated by religious bigots and unable to speak to practising Jews without a screen between her and her interlocutors, nevertheless appointed liberal secular-minded advisers like the Dutchman Gerard van Swieten10 and Joseph von Sonnenfels, a converted Jew. She initiated the delicate process of protecting her subjects (primarily the peasants) from feudal exploitation by their masters. Whereas the formidable education of the kirk lay behind Scotland’s social mobility based on talent, Maria Theresia needed to institute mandatory education (1774) for children between the ages of six and twelve. The census she introduced not only rationalised military conscription but provided a mass of information about living conditions, piety or lack of it, and general complaints (altogether fourteen different categories of input). As the quotation at the head of this article suggests, she was determined to confront the question of peasant exploitation with the Urbarium of 1767, whereby peasant labour and crop dues were transformed into cash rents for land.11

Maria Theresia’s son, Joseph II, was far more radical and incautious with his reforms, with the result that fierce resistance forced him to withdraw many of them shortly before his death. However his Edicts of Toleration lifted most restrictions on alternative confessions and (to a lesser extent) on Jews. Partial though they were, such measures opened the way towards a modern state where government service and promotion were determined on merit. Indeed Judson underlines the point when he observes that only the Habsburg and French (Revolutionary or Napoleonic) armies conscripted significant numbers of Jews during the European wars between 1788 and 181512 (a dubious honour perhaps, but symbolically significant). Freedom of speech increased, as did personal liberty – within limits. Burnings of supposed witches ceased, as did the use of torture (a liberalising measure opposed by Maria Theresia, but finally introduced by Sonnenfels against her objections). The arch at the entrance to the Augarten in Vienna, which was opened to the public like some other imperial properties, contained Joseph’s official credo: “A place of leisure dedicated to all men by one who esteems them.” As co-regent with his mother, he had travelled the empire anonymously collecting information from all layers of society and “self-consciously inhabited a role as first servant of the state”.13

 

THE AUSTRIAN EMPIRE

 

From 1806, when Napoleon forced the dissolution of the weakened Holy Roman Empire on Emperor Francis, until 1867, when defeat at the hands of Prussia and losses in Italy forced Franz Joseph into the Compromise that created the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Habsburgs ruled as Emperors of Austria. From the Congress of Vienna to the outbreak of revolution in 1848, Metternich presided over a highly conservative regime designed to keep the lid on national aspirations and political dissidence. “The word ‘freedom’ means for me not a point of departure but a genuine point of arrival”, he argued. “The point of departure is defined by the word ‘order’. Freedom cannot exist without the concept of order.” However, as Judson points out, the regime was not the totalising dictatorship that is often claimed. The Austrian Empire was instead a Rechtsstaat it now functioned according to the rule of law, not according to the arbitrary whims of rulers or local officials. The Allgemeines Burgerliches Gesetzbuch or ABGB (Civil Law Code) dating from 1811 (and comparable to the Code Napoléon) was a truly modernising step that brought equality before the law to realms previously subject to class privilege. Of course it was not sufficient to head off political discontent grounded in nationalism, and of course in the avenging fire of (counter-)revolution it was sometimes honoured only in the breach (not for nothing do Hungarian historians refer to their War of Independence as a “lawful revolution”). Nevertheless it heralded a bourgeois civil society that was to grow up in the second half of the century, even if more rapidly in some parts of the Empire than others.

The Biedermeier era in Austria (1814–48) certainly showed great discrepancies between rich and poor naturalistically depicted (if sometimes rather romanticised) by the painters of the day; but it also showed the first signs of infrastructure development that were to culminate in the thunderous economic growth of the Gründerzeit in the second half of the 19th century. The liberal-minded Archdukes lobbied for investment in transport and services and it may come as a surprise to some weaned on the idea of the “backward” empire that, for example, the Linz–Budweis railway, initiated in 1824, was the first rail project in Europe. When Franz Joseph announced the demolition of the Vienna city walls in 1857, thus ushering in the city’s Ringstrassen era, Vienna was certainly not far behind other European capitals, and the World Exhibition of 1873 (on the imperial model pioneered in London but perfected in Paris) was designed to illustrate this, together with the achievements of the Empire. Somewhat later, Hungary was to showcase the Hungarian half of the Empire with its great Millennium show of 1896.

The meat of Judson’s book is in the period from the 1848 Revolution up to the demise of empire, particularly the rise and fate of liberalism, both economic and political. This encompasses industrialisation, albeit unevenly spread, across the Habsburg realms and the rise of warts and all capitalism, which delivered its first great crash in 1873. A criticism inherent in Judson’s text is the tendency of the Emperor and his advisers to devise “one-size-fits-all” structures, rather than target resources to raise economic or cultural standards.14 As the experience of incremental EU governance is beginning to show, the latter, though more pragmatic than the former, is by no means so easy to do without reducing the autonomy of individual nations or regions. Despite the limitations of a lingeringly mercantilist approach, the benefits of competent and reasonably corruption-free “German” imperial administration were obviously appreciated by many at different levels of society.

Perhaps Bruno Le Maire, the current French Finance Minister, might find a study of the Habsburg experience relevant to current debates in regard to “Europe”. In an interview with Handelsblatt he has argued that the EU must become anEmpire” like China or the USA, thus admitting that the logic of European integration through the single currency is imperial rather than a hybrid treaty club of nation states”.15 Ironically the EU is moving in the opposite direction to the late Habsburg Empire, which tried to reconcile insurgent nationalism with imperial governance, for example through the Badeni language ordinance (1897) that required aspirant German bureaucrats in Bohemia to learn Czech. German nationalist resistance to this (not just in Bohemia) forced the repeal of the ordinance and Badeni’s resignation. MeanwhileMagyarisation” in the Hungarian half of the Monarchy, which inter alia forced the difficult Magyar tongue on non-Magyars, who were rapidly becoming the majority, had consequences that are all too well known.

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF LIBERALISM

 

The Emperor Franz Joseph was so named in memory of Joseph II, the reforming ruler of the Enlightenment and the “good Emperor Franz” (the First of Austria) who was an arch-conservative. Nomen is omen and the tension between progressive governance (Joseph) and paternalistic reaction (Franz) soon made itself felt as the young Emperor tried to pick up the pieces after the 1848 Revolution. Alexander Freiherr von Bach, the Minister of the Interior between 1849 and 1859, presided over the first period of Franz Joseph’s reign, “pacifying” Hungary and creating a centralised authoritarian state, as well as reintroducing the Catholic Church’s control over family life and education through a Concordat signed with the Vatican in 1855.16 Yet the pragmatic, utilitarian Geist of the Enlightenment was not entirely absent in this paradoxical figure (as was also the case with Metternich) and the neo-absolutist state drew its inspiration from the age of Joseph II’s activist bureaucracy”.17 It was Bach who urged the Emperor to tear down the Vienna city wall in 1857. This landmark decision ushered in the period of industrial, infrastructural and financial expansion known as the Gründerzeit, which in turn accelerated the rise of the bourgeoisie and extensions of civil rights.

In the chapter entitled “Culture Wars and Wars for Culture” and those that follow, Judson is at his most persuasive and vivid in his revisionism. The imperial Liberals fought a war on two fronts – against Catholic and conservative Ultramontanism and against regional nationalism. The irony here is that it was liberal intellectuals themselves who were the driving force behind ethnic nationalism in the Empire’s separate parts. In an insightful passage, Judson reminds us that German Austrians of the 1860s “articulated their nationalism in ethnic terms”, but as “liberals or centralists” standing above the “petty pursuit of selfish, sectarian interests in which other nationalists engaged”. They were the “privileged Staatsvolk”, a claim which however “allegedly forced them to pursue the interest of the whole state against the interests of any particular region or nation within the empire including their own”.18

This of course is precisely the conundrum facing the liberal elite that still runs the EU. Monsieur Le Maire’s projected “Empire of Europe” will require an EU treasury, debt union, social security system and tax authority which will render national parliaments impotent by depriving them of their democratic lifeblood. An imperial EU, if it is to function, will necessarily be authoritarian, since there is as yet no demos that would provide the basis for a genuine pan-European democracy. A partial solution is supposedly offered by “subsidiarity”, a notion founded in Catholic doctrine, which accepts that some issues are best resolved at the local level. However this is in conflict with the Eurocratic mindset of accreting power to Brussels wherever and whenever possible –“more Europe” as Angela Merkel used to urge, though perhaps not entirely sincerely. The problem remains unsolved, lambently phrased in historian Lonnie Johnson’s question: “How do we centrally mediate particularity?” An acquaintance of mine who toiled in the Eurocracy writes to me: “I was a great supporter of the ‘subsidiarity’ principle (a term borrowed from the Roman Church, I believe) when it was introduced into, but promptly ignored by, EU institutions in the 90s: namely that a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, except for the purpose of coordination or other good reason conducing to the common good. (The ultimate instance of the lower order is of course the individual.) But whenever I cited this principle at meetings in Brussels in support of refraining from EU action and leaving the matter in question to Member States, I was dismissed as a rather tiresome eccentric, since the (usually tacit) aim of the EU was to raise its own profile and increase its reach.”

The Habsburg Empire’s solution to the problem of national sovereignty was famously to weiterwursteln or “muddle through”, a tactic not unknown to the EU. This may have been untidy, but it often served well enough (the Compromise with Hungary of 1867 is a good example). It was however not enough to impress a dyspeptic observer like the Social Democratic leader Viktor Adler, who described the late Empire as despotism mitigated by muddle”. It is a thoroughly unfair description, but has resonated through left-wing historiography, which also brought us the Marxist fake news depicting the Empire as a Völkerkerker or “prison of peoples” (in fairness one should add that Friedrich Engels coined this notorious phrase in the heat of the 1848 revolutions).

More positive assessments of the Habsburgs (for example, Edward Crankshaw’s splendid vindication of Maria Theresia) have failed to dislodge the widespread view that basically the Empire was a fossilised construct that outstayed its welcome. Judson shows with detailed quotation from hitherto under-examined sources that this is a simplistic and biased view, and is thereby taking on a formidable weight of opinion. Anti-Habsburg British propagandists such as Wickham Steed, Robert Seton-Watson and (at his most cynical) A. J. P. Taylor have dominated the narrative. There is moreover a certain irony in the fact that the more democracy there was in the Empire, the stronger the centrifugal elements became; as Judson observes, “[t]he more people gained the vote, the more politicians turned to nationalism to forge unity out of social diversity”.19

In the context of a polity stressed by modernisation, the mix of Marxism and Social Democracy potentially fared better than the nationalistic anti-Semitic populism of Karl Lueger because of Socialism’s claims to universalism. Yet, in the end, it too was overpowered by nationalism as the equivocal career of the Socialist leader Karl Renner demonstrated. Renner and the Marxist ideologue Otto Bauer proposed cultural autonomy for all the nations of the Empire, while at the same time seeking to “centralise economic and political policy at the level of a supranational state”.20 His idea of cultural national autonomy was fiercely denounced both by Lenin and Stalin, who of course would never have separated political control from cultural, but it demonstrated Renner’s humane sensitivity to national diversity inherited from the Empire (he was himself a Moravian German). Following the collapse of the Empire, Renner believed that Austria should be incorporated into Germany and indeed later voted in favour of the Anschluss.

The last phase of the Habsburg Empire opted for a policy of “unity in diversity”, which might be a motto for the EU if it could curb its appetite for centralising power. This seems rather unlikely while Emmanuel Macron continues to use his power to root aggressively for a Federal European State. An acute Hungarian commentator has observed that this means, in Macron’s terms, “a Europe dominated by the French using German money”.21 However the Visegrád Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and the Three Seas Initiative (the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia) may provide an impetus for the “subsidiarity” proclaimed by the EU to become a reality.22

Political developments in the Austro-Hungarian Empire were subject both to explosive industrialisation, which created an impoverished urban underclass, and the concurrent advance of democracy which in due course gave that class a political voice. The Monarchy’s evolution towards greater democracy was no less, and no more, successful than elsewhere (in fact universal male suffrage in Austria was achieved in 1907, which was earlier than in the United Kingdom, likewise universal votes for women). Today’s economic historians no longer dismiss the economy of the Empire as hopelessly backward, though of course it depends what you compare it with. Liberalism was to be replaced by Socialism in the political ring, but the spirit of idealistic liberalism never entirely died. Judson supplies an enchanting picture of its initial, almost child-like, idealism dating to 1861 when the town of Bozen (Bolzano) held a sharpshooting contest to celebrate simultaneously a new law tolerating Protestantism and the institution of gas lighting locally. The flyers distributed in the town linked the symbolism of light to the liberal concept of enlightenment.The light on our streets”, proclaimed the Mayor,which from now on will turn night almost into daycalls to mindthe emancipation of conscience from every kind of unworthy confinement.”23 A little Gilbertian perhaps, but nevertheless a sentiment that showed the Empire at its best, simultaneously advancing material and socio-political progress. Nor need its naïve enthusiasm be despised when one compares it with the view expressed in the Kölnische Zeitung, some forty years earlier, namely that street lighting wasan interference with God’s order”, which by artificial means chased from the mindthe horror of darkness that keeps the weak from many a sin“.24

 

 

Notes:


1 Quoted in Pieter M. Judson: The Habsburg Empire: A New History (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2016). (Hereafter: Judson: op. cit.)

2 I am indebted to Zsuzsa Sidó for permission to use this quotation which is featured in her forthcoming PhD dissertation on the Andrássy family. Source: Mihály Károlyi: Hit, illúziók nélkül (Faith without Illusions), (Budapest: Európa Könyvkiadó, 1982), p. 9.

3 A. J. P. Taylor: A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria–Hungary (Hamish Hamilton, 1948).

4 Robert E. Kann: A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526–1918 (University of California Press, 1974, 1977).

5 In fact the Habsburg marriage diplomacy had hardly got going at the time of Matthias, although one historian attributes the saying to Rudolf IV, the Founder (1358–65), on his opportunistic persuasion of Margaret of Tyrol in 1363 to make over her patrimony to the Habsburgs (her deceased son had married Rudolf’s sister). The Baroque era raised the Latin distich to a propagandist slogan, emphasising the peacefully acquired legitimacy of the dynasty, its final form being: “Bella gerant alii, tu, felix Austria, nube! / Nam quae Mars aliis, dat tibi Regna Venus.”

6 Judson: op. cit., p. 329, quotes Benjamin von Kállay, the imperial administrator of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as saying that Austria was a great Occidental Empire charged with the mission of carrying civilisation to Oriental peoples”.

7 Judson: op. cit., p. 75. Of course there were also migrants from Western and Southern Europe beyond the Empire’s border and especially the Balkans.

8 See Noel Malcolm: Reason of State, Propaganda, and the Thirty Years’ War: An Unknown Translation by Thomas Hobbes (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2007, Paperback 2010).

9 Charlemagne: “Life in the centrifuge”, The Economist, 1 September 2018.

10 Van Swieten had been denied preferment at Leiden University due to his Catholic faith, but in Vienna he set about reducing what he regarded as the pernicious influence of the Jesuits.

11 Judson: op. cit., p. 46.

12 Judson: op. cit., p. 69.

13 Judson: op. cit., p. 57.

14 Judson: op. cit., pp. 128–9.

15 See Ambrose Evans Pritchard: “France calls for euro ‘empire’ to take on the US and China” (The Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2018).

16 The Concordat was revoked in 1870 by a liberal minister for religion and education as a result of the uproar caused by Pope Pius IX’s assertion of papal infallibility on questions of Catholic dogma.

17 Judson: op. cit., p. 222. In a remarkable work of scholarship, Waltraud Heindl has analysed the mostly benign influence of liberal officials in the imperial bureaucracy: Gehorsame Rebellen and Josephinische Mandarine (2 vols., Böhlau, 2013).

18 Judson: op. cit., pp. 297–8.

19 Judson: op. cit., p. 306.

20 Judson: op. cit., p. 374.

21 Political analysis in Kossuth Rádió, Budapest, 23 November 2018.

22 See James Shotter: “Three Seas seeks to turn tide on east-west divide” (Financial Times, 22 November 2018).

23 Judson: op. cit., p. 281.

24 Quoted in Nina Edwards: Darkness: A Cutural History (Reaktion Books, 2019).




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