Nobles and Nation in Central Europe: Free Imperial Knights in the Age of Revolution, 1750–1850

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 18, 2004 - History
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This is a study of Central European nobles in revolution. As one of Germany's richest, most insular and most autonomous nobilities, the Free Knights in Electoral Mainz represented the early modern noble ideal of pure bloodlines and cosmopolitan loyalties in the old society of orders. But this world came to an end with the outbreak of the revolutionary wars in 1792. Quite apart from the social, economic and political dislocations and loss, the era from 1789 to 1815 also meant a cultural reorientation for the nobility. William D. Godsey, Jr. here explores how nobles in post-revolutionary Germany gradually abandoned their old self-understanding and assimilated with the new cultural 'nation' while aristocrats in the Habsburg Empire, which had taken in many emigres from Mainz, moved instead towards supranationalism. This is a major contribution to debates about the relationship between identity, cultural nationalism, supranationalism and religion in Germany and the Habsburg Empire.
 

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Contents

the transformation of a concept
48
the destruction of a geocultural landscape
72
knights on the Middle Rhine 17501850
106
knights in the Hapsburg Empire 17921848
141
the Coudenhoves and the Catholic revival
187
the naturalization of Baron Carl vom und zum Stein 17571831
213
Conclusion
249
Appendix Families of Free Imperial Knights 1797
255
Index
295
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