office: 1203 IAB, 854-6598
office hours: Mon. 4:15 – 6:00
home phone: (212) 662-9507
This course surveys the history of Central Europe during the early modern period. It focuses primarily on the Habsburg Monarchy, although Germany and Poland will also figure prominently. The course will proceed chronologically, with different topics – including religious conflict, art and architecture, and dynastic propaganda – being addressed each week.
The history of the Habsburg Monarchy cannot be told without a consideration
of the dynasty that gave it its name. Ruling over various parts of
Central Europe for the better part of a millennium, the Habsburgs left
an indelible stamp on this region. This course will study the dynasty
closely, examining both its most celebrated and most maligned members.
Several general themes will frame this portrait of the ruling house.
First, the course will examine the relationship between state and society
in Central Europe, examining theories of “confessionalization” and “enlightened
absolutism.” Second, it will look at the great diversity of the Monarchy’s
lands and peoples, and the recurrent religious, social and cultural conflicts
arising between them. In spite of these great differences, the Monarchy
held together and weathered numerous crises. This suggests a third
theme, namely, the sources of cohesion in the region. In particular,
the course pays close attention to cultural life in Central Europe, including
art, architecture and education.
Students are expected to complete the required readings as outlined
on the syllabus, take a midterm exam (on March 11) and a final exam, and
produce a paper (circa 10 pages) on any topic in this course of interest
to them. Since we will be discussing the readings each week, preparation
and class participation will also count toward the final grade.
Reading List and Weekly Syllabus
This course is greatly aided by the publication in recent years of several excellent books concerning early modern Central Europe. These required readings will be supplemented by journal articles, primary sources and slides. The recommended readings include further English-language books and articles, many of which provide a guide to important foreign language works on related topics.
Required Readings (available at Labyrinth Books on 112th Street)
- Stephen Ozment, The Bürgermeister’s Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town (HarperCollins, 1997).
- Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Court, Cloister and City: The Art and Culture of Central Europe, 1450-1800 (Chicago UP, 1995).
- Charles Ingrao, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1618-1815 (Cambridge UP, 1994).
- T.C.W. Blanning, Joseph II (Longman, 1995).
- Peter Demetz, Prague in Black and Gold: Scenes from the Life of a European City (Hill and Wang, 1998).
We will also be reading large portions of R.J.W. Evans, The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700 (Oxford UP, 1979). This book is out of print but may still be available in bookstores. Photocopies of the required sections from this book, as well as all other weekly readings, will be available in the History Reading Room in Fayerweather Hall and in the reading room on the 12th floor of IAB (photocopied readings are marked with an asterix).
Lecture Topics and Readings:
January 19 & 21: Introduction
* Timothy Garton Ash, “Does Central Europe Exist?” in The Uses of Adversity (Random House, 1989), 179-213.
* Tony Judt, “The Rediscovery of Central Europe,” Daedalus 119/1 (1990), 23-54.
Lonnie Johnson, Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends (Oxford UP, 1996).
George Schöpflin and Nancy Woods, eds., In Search of Central Europe (Polity Press, 1989).
January 26 & 28: The House of Habsburg
* Robert Kann, “Austria: The Name,” in Kann, The Multinational Empire (Columbia UP, 1950), 3-28.
* Adam Wandruszka, The House of Habsburg: Six Hundred Years of a European Dynasty (New York, 1964), 1-23.
* Victor-L. Tapié, “A Historical Survey of the Danube Countries up to 1526,” in Tapié, Rise and Fall of the Habsburg Monarchy (Praeger, 1969), 1-34.
* Gerald Hart, “The Habsburg Jaw,” CMA Journal (April 3, 1971), 601-603.
Victor Mamatey, The Rise of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918 (1971).
Norman Davies, God’s Playground: The History of Poland (Columbia UP, 1982).
Marie Tanner, The Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Habsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor (Yale UP, 1993).
Jean Béranger, A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1273-1700 (Longman, 1997).
February 2 & 4: Town Life in the Sixteenth-Century
Ozment, The Bürgermeister’s Daughter, entire.
* Mack Walker, German Home Towns: Community, State and General Estate, 1648-1871 (Cornell UP, 1971), 1-33.
Christopher Friedrichs, The Early Modern City, 1450-1750 (Longman, 1995).
February 9 & 11: Protestant and Catholic Reformations
* Evans, The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1-154.
* Mary Weisner, “Nuns, Wives, and Mothers: Women and the Reformation in Germany,” and David Daniel, “Piety and Perversion: Noblewomen in Reformation Hungary,” in Sherrin Marshall, ed., Women in Reformation and Counter-Reformation (Indiana UP), 8-26 & 68-88..
Paula Sutter Fichtner, Ferdinand of Austria (EEM, 1982).
R. Po-Chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Revival (Cambridge, 1998).
February 16 & 18: Alchemy, Magic and Humanism: The World of Rudolf II
Kaufmann, Court, Cloister and City, 166-203.
* Evans, Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 311-446.
* H.C.E. Midelfort, Mad Princes of Renaissance Germany (UP of Virginia, 1994), 125-43.
Demetz, “Rudolf II and the Revolt of 1618” in Demetz, Prague in Black and Gold, 171-236.
R. J. W. Evans, Rudolf II and His World (Oxford UP, 1973).
Eliška Fucíková et al., eds., Rudolf II and Prague: The Court and the City (Thames and Hudson, 1997).
February 23 & 25: The Thirty Years’ War
Ingrao, Habsburg Monarchy, 23-52.
* “The War in Myth, Legend and History,” in Geoffrey Parker, ed., The Thirty Years’ War (RKP, 1984), 190-226.
* John A. Mears, “The Thirty Years’ War, the ‘General Crisis,’ and the Origins of the Standing Professional Army in the Habsburg Monarchy,” Central European History 21/2 (June 1988), 122-41.
* “The Defenestration of Prague,” “The Revised Constitution of the Kingdom of Bohemia” and “The Suffering of the Hungarian Protestants” in Macartney, Habsburg and Hohenzollern Dynasties, 33-56.
C.V. Wedgwood, The Thirty Years War (Penguin, 1957).
J.V. Polišenský, The Thirty Years War (Univ. of California Press, 1971).
Thomas Barker, “Military Entrepreneurship and Absolutism: Habsburg Models,” Journal of European Studies 4 (1974), 19-42.
Ronald G. Asch, The Thirty Years War: The Holy Roman Empire and Europe, 1618-1648 (Longman, 1997).
March 2, 4 & 9: Confessional Absolutism and Resistance
Ingrao, Habsburg Monarchy, 53-104.
* Articles by Bireley, Schindling and Hsia in Charles Ingrao, ed., State and Society in Early Modern Austria (Purdue UP, 1994), 27-80.
* Winfried Schultz, “Estates and the Problem of Resistance in Theory and Practice in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” in R.J.W. Evans and T.V. Thomas Crown, Church and Estates (St. Martin’s Press, 1991), 158-75.
* Béla Köpeczi, “The Hungarian Wars of Independence in the 17th and 18th Centuries in their European Context,” in György Ránki, ed., Hungarian History – World History (Akadémiai kiadó, 1984), 31-40.
John Stoye, The Siege of Vienna (New York, 1965).
John Spielman, Leopold I of Austria (Thames and Hudson, 1965).
Robert Bireley, “Ferdinand II: Founder of the Habsburg Monarchy,” in Evans and Thomas, Crown, Church and Estates, 226-44.
March 11: MIDTERM EXAM
March 16 & 18: No Class, Spring Break
March 23 & 25: Imperial Baroque
Kaufmann, Court, Cloister and City, 282-333.
* John Spielman, The City and the Crown: Vienna and the Imperial Court (Purdue UP, 1993), 137-216.
* Victor-L. Tapié, “Central Europe” and “Imperial Baroque” in Tapié, The Age of Grandeur: Baroque Art and Architecture (Praeger, 1960), 191-225.
* Charles Ingrao, ed., State and Society in Early Modern Austria (Purdue UP, 1994), 82-138.
Charles Ingrao, ed., In Quest of Crisis: Emperor Joseph I and the Habsburg Monarchy (Purdue UP, 1979).
F. Matsche, Die Kunst im Dienst der Staatsidee Kaiser Karl VI (2 vols., Walter de Gruyter, 1981).
March 30 & April 1: Maria Theresa and “Enlightened Absolutism”
Ingrao, Habsburg Monarchy, 105-219
* Ernst Wangermann, “Maria Theresa: A Reforming Monarchy,” in A.G. Dickens, The Courts of Europe: Politics, Patronage and Royalty, 1400-1800 (Thames & Hudson, 1977), 282-304.
* H.M. Scott, “Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy,” in Scott, ed., Enlightened Absolutism: Reforms and Reformers in Late Eighteenth-Century Europe (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1990), 145-87.
William McGill, Maria Theresa (Twayne Publishers, 1972).
John Komlos, “Stature and Nutrition in the Habsburg Monarchy: The Standard of Living and Economic Development in the Eighteenth Century,” AHR 90 (1985), 1149-61.
Franz A.J. Szabo, Kaunitz and Enlightened Absolutism, 1753-1780 (Cambridge UP, 1995).
M.S. Anderson, The War of the Austrian Succession, 1740-1748 (Longman, 1995).
April 6 & 8: Joseph II
T.C.W. Blanning, Joseph II (London, 1994).
* Derek Beales, “Was Joseph II an Enlightened Despot,” in Ritchie Robertson and Edward Timms, eds., The Austrian Enlightenment and Its Aftermath (Edinburgh UP, 1991), 1-21.
Paul Bernard, Jesuits and Jacobins: Enlightenment and Enlightened Despotism in Austria (University of Illinois Press, 1971).
Derek Beales, Joseph II vol. 1: In the Shadow of Maria Theresa (Cambridge UP, 1987).
April 13 & 15: Religion & Popular Culture
* Ingrao, State and Society, 229-72.
* Paul Bernard, “Joseph II and the Jews: The Origins of the Toleration Patent of 1782,” AHY 4/5 (1968/69), 101-19.
* William O. McCagg Jr., A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670-1918 (Indiana UP, 1989), 1-43.
* Gábor Klaniczay, “Witch Hunting in Hungary: Social or Cultural Tensions” and “The Decline of Witches and the Rise of Vampires under the Eighteenth-Century Habsburg Monarchy,” in Klaniczay, The Uses of Supernatural Power (Polity Press, 1990), 151-88.
James Van Horn Melton, Absolutism and the Eighteenth-Century Origins of Compulsory Schooling in Prussia and Austria (Cambridge, 1988).
April 20 & 22: Enlightenment Culture
Kaufmann, Court, Cloister and City, 392-464.
“Mozart in Prague,” in Demetz, Prague in Black and Gold, 237-71.
* Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization in the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford UP, 1994), 106-115
* Ernst Wangermann, The Austrian Achievement, 1700-1800 (HBJ, 1973), 107-55.
Domokos Kosáry, Culture and Society in Eighteenth-Century Hungary (Corvina, 1987).
Johann Pezzl, “Sketch of Vienna,” in H.C. Roberts Landon, Mozart and Vienna (Schirmer Books, 1991), 53-191.
Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization in the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford UP, 1994).
April 27 & 29: The Revolutionary Era
Ingrao, Habsburg Monarchy, Ch. 7
* Walter Langsam, “Emperor Francis II and the Austrian ‘Jacobins’” AHR 50 (1945), 471-90.
* István Deák, “Cause for Despair? (Some Remarks on the Mood of Pessimism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy,” in Éva Somogyi, ed., Polgárosodás Közép-Európában (Budapest, 1991), 87-96.
Ernst Wangermann, From Joseph II to the Jacobin Trials (Oxford UP, 1959).
Kinley Brauer and William E. Wright, eds., Austria in the Age of the French Revolution 1789-1815 (Center for Austrian Studies, 1990).
May 7-14: FINAL EXAM