This session aims to discuss and compare the various legitimizing strategies adopted by new regimes in Early Modern Europe. We invite authors working on political, cultural or socio-economic aspects of regime changes to submit abstracts on the topic. Europe and its colonies witnessed many regime changes and transfers of sovereignty, due to the endless series of wars, succession crises, territorial exchanges or even successful revolts against princes. Because each Early Modern regime needed a modus vivendi with its subjects (especially with the local and regional elites), most regime changes initially went hand in hand with a very pragmatic policy towards new subjects, in which patronage was very important. In every single case the interaction between new rulers and subjects can be located somewhere on a scale between two extremes: on the one hand “continuity” as shown in the often adopted strategies of ratification of privileges, functionaries and representative institutions to ensure a smooth transition, on the other hand “change” either in the form of the generous bestowal of new titles or other favours or maybe even in the form of drastic measures curtailing existing rights and changing the traditional political order.
The interaction of rulers and their subjects on how to legitimize and enact the new rulership was in most cases combined with the new regimes’ ambition to have their legitimacy recognized by other European powers. This international acceptance could make the difference between a tolerated temporal regime of occupation and the fully fledged transfer of sovereignty to a new ruling body. All treaties and conquests notwithstanding, in the medium and long run the establishment of every new regime depended essentially on a new modus vivendi with its subjects because their acceptance and cooperation afforded the best chance to minimize the costs and maximize the gains in newly acquired territories.
Papers may deal with the following themes (or a combination of them): how did new regimes achieve a modus vivendi with new subjects, how did the singular cases oscillate between “continuity” and “change”, how were internal and external strategies of legitimization intertwined, which (invented) traditions were applied to support the legitimization and which aspects were deliberately brushed aside. Papers from the late fifteenth till the early nineteenth century and on all parts of Europe and the European colonial empires are welcome.
Please send a short abstract (up to 500 words), including name, title, affiliation and contact details by April 30, 2013 to: Klaas.VanGelder@UGent.be and to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will inform you on the result of the selection in the second week of May, so that by May 15 registrations can take place. For further information on the ESSHC please visit http://esshc.socialhistory.org/esshc-vienna-2014
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