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The Limits of Loyalty

The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy

Laurence Cole
Daniel L. Unowsky
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 258
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  • Book Info
    The Limits of Loyalty
    Book Description:

    The overwhelming majority of historical work on the late Habsburg Monarchy has focused primarily on national movements and ethnic conflicts, with the result that too little attention has been devoted to the state and ruling dynasty. This volume is the first of its kind to concentrate on attempts by the imperial government to generate a dynastic-oriented state patriotism in the multinational Habsburg Monarchy. It examines those forces in state and society which tended toward the promotion of state unity and loyalty towards the ruling house. These essays, all original contributions and written by an international group of historians, provide a critical examination of the phenomenon of "dynastic patriotism" and offer a richly nuanced treatment of the multinational empire in its final phase.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-224-5
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. [Map]
    (pp. x-x)
  6. Introduction Imperial Loyalty and Popular Allegiances in the Late Habsburg Monarchy
    (pp. 1-10)
    Laurence Cole and Daniel L. Unowsky

    Historians and other social scientists have always been concerned with issues of nationalism and national identity, but scholarly interest has expanded rapidly since the publication of a number of influential general works in the 1980s.¹ The research wave intensified during the 1990s in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Empire, as war and ethnic conflicts tragically unfolded in the former USSR and Yugoslavia (while the Czechoslovak state was also dissolved, although in peaceful fashion). At the same time, the passing of the Warsaw pact witnessed a renewed surge of interest—both on the part of the general public...

  7. Chapter 1 Patriotic and National Myths: National Consciousness and Elementary School Education in Imperial Austria
    (pp. 11-35)
    Ernst Bruckmüller

    The modern nation is unthinkable without a national education system: it transmits to each new generation of schoolchildren the idea of belonging to a greater, nationally delimited community, without which the existence of modern nations cannot be “imagined.”¹ States seeking to transform themselves into “nation-states” assigned schools the role of teaching children a standardized national language. At the same time, language was used to disseminate a whole series of ideas, legends, stories and so on, which can be summarized under the heading of “national myths.”² As studies of other European countries have shown, literature and history were two key disciplines...

  8. Chapter 2 Military Veterans and Popular Patriotism in Imperial Austria, 1870–1914
    (pp. 36-61)
    Laurence Cole

    Of all the manifold images conjured up by the Habsburg military, two of the most enduring are those associated with theRadetzkymarschon the one hand andThe Good Soldier Svejkon the other. The first of these recalls the most famous Austrian military commander of the nineteenth century, Field-Marshall Count Joseph Anton Wenzel Radetzky (1766–1858), whose deeds— above all, his victories in Northern Italy in 1848–49—were immortalized by Johann Strauss the Elder in his celebratory composition, theRadetzkymarschof 1848. The resounding success of Strauss’ tune, with its triumphal invocation of victory and loyalty to the...

  9. Chapter 3 Emperor Joseph II in the Austrian Imagination up to 1914
    (pp. 62-85)
    Nancy M. Wingfield

    Sole ruler of Austria for only the decade from 1780 to 1790, the reforming Habsburg Emperor Joseph II left a complicated legacy. From the time of his death through the outbreak of the First World War, the meaning of Joseph II was popularly reinterpreted in connection with contemporary political events. By the centenary of Joseph II’s rule in 1880, varied, changing, and sometimes opposing groups had claimed different elements of the emperor’s diverse legacy. Their claims were liberal and national; Jewish and Protestant; dynastically loyal (Habsburgtreu) and revolutionary. Increasingly, they would be German.

    The Habsburg Empress Maria Theresia (1740–1780)...

  10. Chapter 4 The Flyspecks on Palivec’s Portrait: Francis Joseph, the Symbols of Monarchy, and Czech Popular Loyalty
    (pp. 86-112)
    Hugh LeCaine Agnew

    The relationship between His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty Franz Joseph I and his “ancient and glorious city of Prague” and “loyal Bohemians”¹ has been the subject of many anecdotes and stories. During his reign, of course, public displays of loyalty and affection from both Czechs and Germans were the norm, although beginning in the 1890s an anti-dynastic tone emerged more insistently in the political protests marking the last decades of the dual monarchy. In independent Czechoslovakia that anti-dynastic element became the norm in its turn, in both popular attitudes and state ideology. The Czechoslovak declaration of independence of 18 October...

  11. Chapter 5 Celebrating Two Emperors and a Revolution: The Public Contest to Represent the Polish and Ruthenian Nations in 1880
    (pp. 113-137)
    Daniel L. Unowsky

    Scholars who research individual provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy all too often focus solely on the seemingly inevitable march toward increasingly radical and conflicting nationalisms and assume a parallel diminishing of popular imperial loyalties. Studies of particular “nationalities” have tended to focus on the journey of a single designated “ethnie” toward national consciousness to the exclusion of other “national communities” inhabiting the same cities, towns, and rural regions.¹ The role of the imperial center is ignored; nationalists are depicted as free to construct seamless narratives of the national past in a vacuum. Much of the recent work on Galicia, the...

  12. Chapter 6 Empress Elisabeth as Hungarian Queen: The Uses of Celebrity Monarchism
    (pp. 138-161)
    Alice Freifeld

    Over four million people have seen the musicalElisabethsince its premier in 1992, making it the most successful German language musical to date. In this melodrama, the once most beautiful sovereign in Europe descends to her doom, with her assassin, Luigi Luccheni, insisting he is merely the agent of her death wish. The musical gained its poignancy from the real life ending which befell the Empress, her son, the monarchy itself, and their public, for whom all ended tragically in assassination, suicide, war, and political abyss. AVarietyreviewer likened the musical to a sort ofCliffs Notesof...

  13. Chapter 7 State Ritual and Ritual Parody: Croatian Student Protest and the Limits of Loyalty at the End of the Nineteenth Century
    (pp. 162-177)
    Sarah A. Kent

    Having come to the Habsburg throne at a time of revolution, Emperor Franz Joseph (1848–1916) confronted the difficulty of reconciling the competing interests of a multitude of peoples to life in a multinational state. One of the central mechanisms that he and his advisers employed was the revitalization of court ritual and Catholic tradition, which bound the aristocracy and the church hierarchy to the monarch. The incorporation of local elites and the wider populace into this process was achieved not only through official holidays celebrating the royal family and Catholic feast-days but also through the renovation of the imperial...

  14. Chapter 8 Collective Identifications and Austro-Hungarian Jews (1914–1918): The Contradictions and Travails of Avigdor Hameiri
    (pp. 178-198)
    Alon Rachamimov

    A vigdor Hameiri (born Feuerstein, 1890–1970) was one of the most significant literary masons in modern Hebrew literature. Besides being the most prolific World War I memoirist in the Hebrew language, the Austro-Hungarian born writer pioneered the expressionist style in Hebrew poetry, edited his own literary journal, authored children’s literature, composed travel journals, and translated into Hebrew numerous works from Hungarian, German, and Yiddish. Despite his manifold contributions, Hameiri is primarily remembered today as the lyricist of two songs: the sentimental poemMe’al pisgat har ha-tsofim(On Top of Mt. Scopus) and the children’s favoriteTen katef(Give a Shoulder).¹ Although...

  15. Chapter 9 Representing Constitutional Monarchy in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Britain, Germany, and Austria
    (pp. 199-222)
    Christiane Wolf

    Until 1914, Europe was a continent dominated by monarchies. Even the new “nation-states” which emerged during the nineteenth century were founded as monarchies. Despite the obvious persistence of dynastic states, however, there have been relatively few sustained efforts at examining how monarchies met the challenges of modern society, chief among them being the idea of “the nation” and the force of nationalism. In short, the “nationalization” of society became an existential question for numerous states including the British Empire, the new German Empire, and the multinational Habsburg Monarchy.

    Over the last decade and more, a growing body of work has...

  16. Afterword: The Limits of Loyalty
    (pp. 223-232)
    R.J.W. Evans

    The dynasty is the oldest theme in Austria’s historiography at home and abroad: we need only think of the standard designation of the state, even in its final phase, as the Habsburg Monarchy or (less accurately) Empire. That perception was particularly central to English-language commentators, whether critics or apologists, from Archdeacon Coxe at the beginning of the nineteenth century to Horace Rumbold a hundred years later.¹ Henry Wickham Steed begins his highly influential book of 1913 with firm stress on “Austria” as a “monarchical unity,” and on the crown as its “active, driving, sometimes aggressive force.” And he concludes: “The...

  17. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 233-235)
  18. Index
    (pp. 236-246)