Late Enlightenment

Late Enlightenment: Emergence of the Modern 'National Idea'

Balázs Trencsényi
Michal Kopeček
Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 356
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Late Enlightenment
    Book Description:

    This volume represents the first in a four-volume series , a daring project by CEU Press which presents the most important texts that triggered and shaped the processes of nation-building in the many countries of Central and Southeast Europe. The series brings together scholars from Austria, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. The editors have created a new interpretative synthesis that challenges the self-centered and "isolationist" historical narratives and educational canons prevalent in the region, in the spirit of of "coming to terms with the past."

    eISBN: 978-615-5053-84-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Inter-texts of identity
    (pp. 1-32)

    The history of this ‘Reader’ goes back to a meeting of a group of young scholars at the Balkan Summer University in Plovdiv in 1999. The lively interaction and debates engendered by this occasion highlighted the necessity of creating a common regional framework of intercultural dialogue. A year later, meeting in the same place, the idea of a ‘Reader’ containing a representative collection of fundamental texts that had contributed to and/or reflected upon the formation of narratives of national identity in Central and Southeast Europe was conceived. We envisioned this ‘Reader’ as a new synthesis that could challenge the self-centered...

    (pp. 33-54)

    The question mark at the end of my title is intended as a reminder of the, still, problematic nature of these terms, especially when used in combination with one another. Happily, the editors save me the effort of explicating the second one: heuristically, ‘Central Europe’ here stands for what was once the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Habsburg Monarchy—and that is just about as acceptable as any (or several) other notions of the same. But what about the Enlightenment in these lands? Did they have one?

    The question is not as trivial as it might look at first glance....

    (pp. 55-124)

    In the 1760s the Republic of Venice, to which Dalmatia belonged as a province, recognized the shortcomings of its economic status and introduced an agricultural policy based on physiocratic ideas.¹ The situation in Dalmatia had been particularly bad and the rural population in the Dalmatian hinterlands, known as Morlacchia, was suffering from famine caused by crop failure. Yet, despite these calamities, it proved difficult to interest the Slavic-speaking Morlachs (Gr. Mavrovlachs = ‘Black Wallachians’) in any sort of bettering of their condition, since their martial culture was incompatible with ideas of agricultural reform. Around the same time the Serenissima, anxious...

    (pp. 125-194)

    In the second half of the eighteenth century, Austrian state and society experienced a period of profound transformations. In 1749, facing increasing political and social unrest, Empress Maria Theresa (r. 1740–1780) introduced a number of reforms, which would have an enduring effect on the Habsburg Monarchy. The administration of the state was divided among a state chancellery, a state council, and the Directorium in publicis et cameralibus charged with the management of internal affairs. Other reforms included the introduction of district commissions, the creation of a general land register and the establishment of a military academy in Wiener Neustadt....

    (pp. 195-262)

    The Enlightenment in Austria had two main dimensions: a social and legal reform initiated by the state, and a literary revival. If ‘cameralism’—arguably an internal development within the Austrian political establishment—represented the first aspect (see Joseph von Sonnenfels, On the love of Fatherland), the second aspect was the result of a combination of exogenous influences and indigenous conditions. As a result, the very notion of ‘Austrian’ literature at the end of the eighteenth century is contested. One of the most important influences on the Austrian cultural context was exerted by the appeal of prominent German writers for the...

    (pp. 263-351)

    During his reign Joseph II (r. 1780–1790) introduced a program of major reforms in Austria: improvement of the legal standing of the peasantry and soldiers; regulation of taxes and extension of taxation to the nobility and clergy; an Edict of Tolerance; intervention in Catholic institutions; secularization of the training of priests; and the reform of divine service and funerals. Arguably, the most important reforms were those aimed at subordinating the church to the authority of the state.

    Although it appeared as if the Emperor’s actions were directed against Catholicism as a religion, they rather illustrated Joseph II’s profound distrust...