Read Austria's Wars of Emergence, 1683-1797: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy by Michael Hochedlinger Online


The Habsburg Monarchy has received much historiographical attention since 1945. Yet the military aspects of Austria's emergence as a European great power in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have remained obscure. This book shows that force of arms and the instruments of the early modern state were just as important as its marriage policy in creating and holding togThe Habsburg Monarchy has received much historiographical attention since 1945. Yet the military aspects of Austria's emergence as a European great power in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have remained obscure. This book shows that force of arms and the instruments of the early modern state were just as important as its marriage policy in creating and holding together the Habsburg Monarchy.Drawing on an impressive up-to-date bibliography as well as on original archival research, this survey is the first to put Vienna's military back at the centre stage of early modern Austrian history....

Title : Austria's Wars of Emergence, 1683-1797: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy
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ISBN : 9780582290846
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 488 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Austria's Wars of Emergence, 1683-1797: War, State and Society in the Habsburg Monarchy Reviews

  • William Young
    2019-02-23 13:57

    There are many surveys of Austria and the Habsburg monarchy covering the early modern period. However, few of these studies contain detailed discussions of Austria's war efforts. Dr Michael Hochedlinger, Senior Archivist at the Austrian State Archives, filled this gap in historiography with an outstanding study of the Habsburg Monarchy's government and society stressing the military and wars in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hochedlinger was formerly the Head of the Early Modern Section at the Research Department of the Army Museum in Vienna.This study covers domestic and foreign policy issues, including administrative institutions, state finances, home defense, the standing army, geopolitics, war, and the modernization of the Habsburg Monarchy. Hochedlinger stresses that "Austria rose to European great-power status almost by accident: first, as a by-product of the Maritime Powers' struggle with France in which the Habsburg Monarchy proved a very useful continental ally and second, through a spectacularly successful Turkish War...." (p.1). The author's central focus is on the primacy of power politics. As such, Hochedlinger examines Austria's rise to Great Power status. He begins with the Habsburg Monarchy's military struggles against the Ottoman Empire in the Great Turkish War (1683-99) and Austro-Turkish War (1716-18), as well as conflicts against Louis XIV's France in the Nine Years' War (1688-97) and War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14). The Habsburg Monarchy under Emperor Leopold I (1658-1705) acquired territory in Hungary, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slavonia in the Peace of Karlowitz (1699). Transylvania, although nominally independent, became subject to the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1714, Austria under Emperor Charles VI (1711-40) gained Naples, Milan, Sardinia, and the southern Netherlands (Austrian Netherlands) from Spain as well as Freiburg and other small areas along the eastern French border in the Peace of Rastatt. Then, in 1718, the Habsburgs gained the Banat and parts of Syrmia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Wallachia from the Ottomans in the Peace of Passarowitz. At that point in time, the Habsburg Empire reached its largest territorial extent in history. Austria would soon swap Sardinia for Sicily in the Peace of The Hague (1720) ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718-20) with Spain.Hochedlinger next tackles Austria's crises in the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35/38), Austro-Turkish War (1737-39), and War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). He points out that the Habsburg Monarchy lacked the political, fiscal, and military infrastructure to sustain the earlier successes of 1683 to 1718 (p.205). In the first conflict, the Habsburg Monarchy attempted to fight off a coalition of France, Spain, and Sardinia-Piedmont, which attempted to turn back the rising power of Austria. Louis XV's France took Lorraine while Philip V of Spain regained control of Naples and Sicily. The war ended in 1735, but the final Peace of Vienna was signed in 1738. In this settlement Austria gained Parma while Carlos of Parma (the future Carlos III of Spain) acquired Naples and Sicily. Francis Stephen, the Duke of Lorraine (the future Emperor Francis I), was given the Grand Duchy of Tuscany as compensation for the loss of Lorraine. In the second conflict, Charles VI supported the Habsburg alliance with Russia and entered an ongoing Russo-Ottoman war (1736-39). The Austrians were defeated by the Turks several times, losing Belgrade in a siege in 1739. The Habsburgs signed a separate settlement in the Peace of Belgrade (1739) ceding Belgrade and Serbia, the southern part of the Banat of Temeswar (Timișoara), and northern Bosnia to the Ottoman Empire and Oltenia to Wallachia. With the death of Charles VI in 1740, the War of the Austrian Succession broke out when Frederick II of Prussia challenged Habsburg power by refusing to uphold the Pragmatic Sanction, an agreement that allowed Maria Theresa of Austria (1740-80) to succeed to the hereditary possessions of the Habsburgs, by invading Silesia. The conflict grew and raged on, gradually involving Austria, Britain, the Dutch Republic, Russia, and Sardinia-Piedmont against Prussia, France, Spain, Bavaria, Sweden, Sicily, Naples, and Genoa. The Habsburg Monarchy survived the conflict, one which threatened its very existence, losing Silesia to Prussia in the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748). Austria also ceded Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla in Italy to Spain.Austria sought revenge for the loss of Silesia. After the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, the Habsburg Monarchy, now allied with France, Russia, and Sweden, fought Prussia once again over Silesia in the Seven Years' War (1756-63). Frederick II was supported by an Anglo-Hanoverian alliance. Prussian military victories, British financial support, along with Russia and Sweden's withdrawal from the conflict (1762) were important factors that led to Prussia keeping Silesia in the Peace of Hubertusberg (1763). Austria, however, joined Prussia and Russia in carving up the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the First Partition of Poland (1772). Austria took Galacia. This was followed by the annexation of Bukovina in 1775. After this diplomatic success, Emperor Joseph II (1764-90), whose domestic reforms made Austria a Great Power in its own right, attempted to exchange the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate. Prussia and Saxony opposed the idea, resulting in the brief War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-79). Austria gained the Bavarian Innviertel in the Peace of Teschen (1779) that ended the conflict. In the subsequent exchange project of 1784-85, Joseph II again attempted to trade the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria. This time, France, Prussia, and the Fürstenbund (German League of Princes) stayed the attempt. In the meantime, Joseph II negotiated and established an alliance with Catherine II of Russia (1781). This alliance led to a joint Austro-Russian war against the Ottoman Empire in 1788. Austria gained little in territory in the Peace of Svištov (1791).The French Revolution led to war. In the War of the First Coalition (1792-97), the Habsburg Monarchy was aligned with Britain, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, Sardinia-Piedmont, the Dutch Republic and other states against Revolutionary France. Prussia, Spain, the Dutch Republic (Batavian Republic), and Sardinia-Piedmont would break from the coalition by 1795-96. French military victories led to Austria accepting the Peace of Campo Formio (1797). In this treaty, the Habsburg Monarchy gave up the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium), and recognized French control over the German Rhineland and most of Italy. France and Austria partitioned the Republic of Venice. Even so, in the midst of this conflict, Austria had gained more Polish territory (West Galacia) in the Third Partition of Poland (1795).Austria's Wars of Emergence 1683-1797 is an excellent survey of the Habsburg Monarchy's government, finances, and war efforts from the Great Turkish War to the War of the First Coalition. It explores the growth and government of a Great Power in Central Europe, focusing on territorial expansion and the struggle to main that status. The study is valuable for understanding Austria and its place in the European states system during this era. It is highly recommended to students and scholars interested in international relations and military history.

  • Michael
    2019-02-22 19:24

    This is an impressive work of scholarship, which I, unfortunately, didn't benefit much from reading. I simply found it too dense, and its topic too obscure, to take it in while simultaneously consuming dozens of other books in preparation for comps. I even had a discussion session with a professor and two other grad students on this book, but I recall nothing from that discussion more than five years later. I suspect that I was unusually quiet.The book is a discussion of the transition of the Habsburg empire from a vague coalition, dating back to Medieval Europe, to an Early Modern great power. He sees this as tied to the modernization of its military due to frequent tests in actual warfare in a period of just over a century. He points out that Austria’s importance and political influence in this time has generally been overlooked by scholars more interested in Prussia, France, Britain, or Russia. He sees Austria as having been promoted in part due to Habsburg ties with Spain, which used Austria as a counter-balance against French power, and also as a bulwark against Islam in the form of the Ottoman Empire. His narrative begins, ostensibly, with the Turkish siege on Vienna (1683) and ends with the War of the First Coalition, in which an Austrian-led alliance tried (and failed) to restrain the power of revolutionary France. I say “ostensibly” above because, in the first few chapters, we are provided with so much background information on the Austrian political and military situation that at times it seems the narrative begins in the early Seventeenth Century, if not the Sixteenth or even the Fifteenth. The first 140 pages are dedicated to setting the stage in a section titled “Modern Origins: The Habsburg Monarchy During the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century.” According to the index, the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) receives 22 individual references, more in fact than are listed for the Seven Years War (1754-1763). This may be a strength or a weakness of the book, depending on how you look at it. Indeed, much of the book seems to me to be a question of “too much of a good thing.” There’s a wealth of valuable information here, but many students and scholars may find it as I did, impossible to take in all at once. There are also many impressive graphs and organizational charts to visualize the data, but similarly I found many of these too obscure to comprehend (admittedly, I’m terrible at reading organizational charts – others may find these a wonderful resource). Hochedlinger is by profession an archivist at the Austrian State Archives, which makes this book that much the more interesting, now that I have a degree in Archival Studies and more leisure time. It’s interesting in part because the book uses no archival sources whatsoever – it is entirely a synthesis of secondary literature. That may well reflect Hochedlinger’s career, and his ethics; when the archives are open, he’s working, and doesn’t have time to read the materials held there. On the other hand, there might be a slightly more mercenary explanation: this book serves in part to point out gaps in the scholarship, which could encourage readers to come to the State Archives looking to fill those gaps. It’s not very mercenary, because an archivist isn’t going to directly profit by increased use of the archives, but it may provide slightly higher job security, or just an increased sense of job satisfaction, if more people come in.One thing I would expect is that an archivist would know how to cite his sources, using inline citations (as they say over at Wikipedia), but instead we just get a brief bibliography at the end of each chapter. This may reflect different standards in US and European scholarship, or it may have been a standard imposed by the editors of the series, and not Hochedlinger’s fault, but I find it annoying. On the whole, I think this book would be most useful as a reference for scholars working on other areas, but want some hard facts on what Austria was up to at the time. That said, there are some fascinating anecdotes and stories, particularly in the later chapters when he does finally start describing the wars, rather than setting the stage and giving background details. Austria emerges as a state born in crisis, which modernized under pressure of necessity, and the book certainly does correct a tendency to erase the now-minor State from history. I’m sure that many people have gotten more out of it than I did, and I look forward to returning to it at a time when I have fewer pressures to read it quickly.