The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806

Overview

Over the last forty years or so, research on the history of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (1495-1806) has been transformed almost beyond recognition. Once derided as a political non-entity, a chaotic assemblage of countless principalities and statelets that lacked coercive power and was stifled by encrusted structures and procedures, the Reich has been fully rehabilitated by more recent historiography. It is now being hailed by some as a model of peaceful conflict resolution in the centre of Europe ...

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Overview

Over the last forty years or so, research on the history of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (1495-1806) has been transformed almost beyond recognition. Once derided as a political non-entity, a chaotic assemblage of countless principalities and statelets that lacked coercive power and was stifled by encrusted structures and procedures, the Reich has been fully rehabilitated by more recent historiography. It is now being hailed by some as a model of peaceful conflict resolution in the centre of Europe which, in the long run, was able to defuse the religious tensions created by the confessional divide of the sixteenth century and to protect its smaller members against the voracious appetite of more powerful neighbours. Some historians even draw lessons from the history of the Holy Roman Empire for our present. The multi-layered, federal structure of the old Empire and its system of collective decision-making have been held up as a model for a peace-loving, multi-ethnic Europe, a European Union avant la lettre. Other historians have described the Reich as the first German nation-state, a political configuration based not on power and expansion, but on rights and liberties, the rule of law and a structural lack of capacity for aggression.

This volume takes stock of this research, particularly in the critical areas of the Empire's constitutional, religious and social history. A notable feature is the presentation of several decades of research in concise, accessible essays by continental scholars, much of it appearing in English for the first time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199602971
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/19/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Peter H. Wilson and Michael Schaich
Part I. The Constitution History of the Empire
2. The Old Reich: A Federation or a State of the German Nation?, Karl Otmar von Aretin
3. The Old Reich: The State and Nation of the Germans, Georg Schmidt
4. The Role of the Imperial Auli Council in the Constitutional Structure of the Holy Roman Empire, Leopold Auer
5. Does the Holy Roman Empire Need a New Institutional History?, Siegrid Westphal
6. The Thirty Years War as the Empire's Constitutional Crisis, Peter H. Wilson
7. The Permanent Imperial Diet in European Context, 1663-1806, Karl Harter
Part II. The Religious History of the Empire
8. The Imperial Cities and the Politics of Reformation, C. Scott Dixon
9. Religious War and Religious Peace in the Age of Reformation, Franz Brendle and Anton Schindling
10. The Triumph of Unity over Dualism: Saxony and the Imperial Elections 1559-1619, Dominic Phelps
11. Re-Catholicization in the Empire: Strategies, Problems, Consequences, Trevor Johnson
12. Catholic Culture and Rural Society, Marc R. Foster
Part III. The Social and Cultural History of the Empire
13. Is there a Social History of the Holy Roman Empire?, Susan C. Karant-Nunn
14. German Aristocracies and Social Discipline: Noble Hierarchies, the State, and the Law in Sixteenth-Century Bavaria, Christian Wieland
15. The Formation of the Imperial Knighthood in Franconia: A Comparative European Perspective, Hillay Zmora
16. A German Nation? National and Confessional Identities before the Thirty Years War, Joachim Whaley
17. The 'Historical Consciousness' of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century), Markus Volkel
18. The Holy Roman Empire as a Communication(s) Universe, Wolfgang Behringer
19. On the Function of Rituals in the Holy Roman Empire, Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger

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