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The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918 : A History of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary Reprint edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Edward Crankshaw's book on "The Fall of the House of Habsburg," while ostensibly starting in 1848, is a good suggestion for the "first" book called for by so many reviews. Crankshaw, an intelligent old-school conservative, appears to have written his book in part as a retort to Taylor (judging by his comments in the text). Very readable, though without Taylor's wit.
The early sections of the this book dealt with the problems the Hapsburgs faced from the 16th. to the early 19th. century. The problems of the Reformation and Counter Reformation plus the serious Turkish invasions were concisely treated and gave readers a clear historical understanding the problems the Hapsburghs faced prior to the French Revolution and the rise and fall of the Napoleanic Empire.
Taylor then introduced readers the problems the Hapsburgs faced when their armies were decisively defeated by Napoleon's armies in 1806 and 1809. These defeats showed signs of political ineptness and weakness. The "subject nationalities" were not slow to recognize these weaknesses. Taylor made clear the reason why Metternich (1773-1859)was the guiding force at the Congress of Vienna( 1814-1815). Metternich knew very well that if the subject nationalities such as the Czechs, Polish, Reuthenians (Little Russians),Serbs, Italians, etc. ever got political independence, that would be the end of the Hapsburg Empire. The Hapsburgs had to do a politcal balancing act both within their empire and with the Russians, Prussians (Nothern Germans), and some of the Italian rulers. The Quadruple Alliance worked tolerably well. However when the Hapsburg Emperor Francis died in 1835, he was replaced by Ferdinand (1835-1848)who was lazy and incompetent. Taylor made clear that Ferdinand was NOT the one to keep the Empire intact.Read more ›
The period starts with the end of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which was smashed into pieces by Napoleon's France. This `holy' empire had a Habsburg at its top, as Kaiser, for most of its time. When it ended, a new German Confederation was started, without a comparable nominal head, and with Austria and Prussia as twin leaders. The struggle between the two was won by Prussia, who established a new German Empire, leaving the Habsburgs to their now `Austrian Hungarian' empire.
The main theme of the book is the struggle of this supranational structure against the growing phenomenon of the `nation'. The ghost of nationalism had been awakened by Napoleon's raids across the continent. This had to come to a clash with the Habsburgs: `In other countries, dynasties are episodes in the history of the people; in the Habsburg Empire peoples are a complication in the history of the dynasty'.
It could have been such an interesting book. Alas, it is not quite so interesting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There aren't many books about this subject, so I was pleased to find this one. So far, so good. Very informative but not too academic or dry (aka, "boring")Published 12 months ago by Andrew White
I think this book would primarily be of use as a primary source for a person interested in 20th-century British attitudes toward 19th-century Austria-Hungary. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Karl S.
recommended history of the latter days of the habsburg dynasty. very reasonably priced and in good shape.Published 17 months ago by p scott morris
Oh goodness. A.J.P. Taylor (*screaming noises in my head*). Le sigh. I had managed to avoid Taylor through most of university and grad school and beyond, and eventually had to... Read morePublished 17 months ago by de Winter
Another seminal work by AJP Taylor, this time charting the course of the Habsburg monarchy through the 19th Century, up to its final disintegration in 1918. Read morePublished 17 months ago by David Sutherland
It is really fascinating reading especially for one from the central Europe itself. The Taylor's interpretation is capable to subvert nationalistic interpretation of history that... Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Martin Palecek
This is another purchase made to further understand our roots. It came to us in a very timely manner and in great condition.Published on October 10, 2013 by C. Wright