Czech, German, and Noble

Czech, German, and Noble : Status and National Identity in Habsburg Bohemia

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Czech, German, and Noble examines the intellectual ideas and political challenges that inspired patriotic activity among the Bohemian nobility, the infusion of national identity into public and institutional life, and the role of the nobility in crafting and supporting the national ideal within Habsburg Bohemia. Patriotic aristocrats created the visible and public institutional framework that cultivated national sentiment and provided the national movement with a degree of intellectual and social legitimacy. The book argues that the mutating identity of the aristocracy was tied both to insecurity and to a belief in the power of science to address social problems, commitment to the ideals of enlightenment as well as individual and social improvement, and profound confidence that progress was inevitable and that intellectual achievement would save society. The aristocrats who helped create, endow and nationalize institutions were a critical component of the public sphere and necessary for the nationalization of public life overall. The book explores the myriad reasons for aristocratic participation in new or nationalized institutions, the fundamental changes in legal and social status, new ideas about civic responsibility and political participation, and the hope of reform and fear of revolution. The book examines the sociability within and creation of nascent national institutions that incorporated fundamentally new ways of thinking about community, culture, competition, and status. The argument, that class mattered to the degree that it was irrelevant, intersects with several important historical questions beyond theories of nationalism, including debates about modernization and the longevity of aristocratic power, the nature of the public sphere and class, and the measurable impact of science and intellectual movements on social and political more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 160 x 236 x 28mm | 557.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195323459
  • 9780195323450

Review quote

"This is an excellent book that could be very useful not only for upper-level courses of Central and Eastern European history, but also to all interested in the early history of nationalism."--Alexander Mirkovic, World History Bulletin"Much of the material presented points to a fascinating and altogether more significant development than the barely incipient Czech 'nation' in early-nineteenth-century Habsburg history: the rise of new, lively forms of territorial patriotism little beholden to ideas of linguistic or ethnic nationalism." --Europe: Early Modern and Modern"Rita Krueger has produced a valuable study of the Bohemian aristocracy's role in setting the stage for the Czech National Awakening. ...Extremely well-written and well-sourced." --Slavic and Eastern European Journal"An important study and fine first monograph. Krueger's work illustrating how a noble class with its cosmopolitan orientation paradoxically became a critical player in the development of nationalism in the Bohemian context is a useful reminder of the ambiguities and complexity of this phenomenon in the Habsburg lands." --Journal of Modern History"Krueger's monograph gives important issues a welcome airing, provides a distinctive viewpoint on some well-known events, and adds new detail to our knowledge of this century of transition." --Austrian History Yearbook"Krueger's study underline[s] the considerable power and influence the Bohemian nobles wielded into the 'era of bourgeois nationalism, ' and indeed beyond. Her book provides a solid introduction to the era and to a fascinating social group." --German History"Krueger's thesis is arresting in its originality. ...Makes a valuable contribution to the scholarly literature on the history of the Bohemian lands...[F]illed with details and insights for the discerning reader." --H-Net Reviews"Rita Krueger has undoubtedly written an important book." --H-Soz-u-Kult"This book is exceedingly well written and covers a period that has been neglected in the English-language literature on this region, making it of great use to Habsburg historians." --Slavic Review"Engagingly written...This volume adds to our understanding of Czech aristocratic-intellectual life in an era of crucial cultural, political, and social change in Europe from the Enlightenment through the 1848 Revolution...In its careful examination of the Bohemian transition from a traditional society of orders to a modern, nationalizing nineteenth-century social, this book makes contributions to the history of the Bohemian Lands, and the Habsburg Monarchy as well as to the late Enlightenment, the French Revolutionary era, and the formation of modern Europe." --Central European Historyshow more

About Rita Krueger

Rita Krueger is Assistant Professor of History at Temple Universityshow more

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