The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire PDF Å The Habsburgs:

The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire PDF Å The Habsburgs:

The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire [Read] ➪ The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire By Andrew Wheatcroft – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Splendidly richrequired reading for anyone who hopes to understand the real Europe Daily Telegraph Splendidly richrequired reading for anyone who hopes to understand the real Europe Daily Telegraph.


10 thoughts on “The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire

  1. Bruce Bruce says:

    On a recent trip to east central Europe, I became aware that my knowledge of the Habsburgs was only partial and episodic, restricted to awareness of a few names and a few dates without a continuing context in which to locate them and without an understanding of the sweep of their rule over centuries.As Wheatcroft begins his book, in June 1386 in Brugg, Leopold, the then head of the Habsburgs, gathered his retainers to fight and punish uppity peasants The march into the Aargua formed part of On a recent trip to east central Europe, I became aware that my knowledge of the Habsburgs was only partial and episodic, restricted to awareness of a few names and a few dates without a continuing context in which to locate them and without an understanding of the sweep of their rule over centuries.As Wheatcroft begins his book, in June 1386 in Brugg, Leopold, the then head of the Habsburgs, gathered his retainers to fight and punish uppity peasants The march into the Aargua formed part of a larger pattern A social order already under siege was waging yet another campaign in a war to the death, to preserve rank and subordination against the threat from below Wheatcroft s thesis is that the Habsburgs, throughout their long domination of politics in Austria and beyond, deliberately created and cultivated a cult, a family history and mystique that included the continual accretion of claimed ancestors, however improbable Conquest by arms was less their strategy than expansion by alliance, particularly by marriage ties with other noble houses in Europe, so that ultimately they were linked together in such a way that they became a kind of unity There were times when the family seemed in the ascendency, and there were times when it was in relative eclipse, but the trajectory was gradually upward, and stability became an overarching goal During the 16th century the history of the Habsburgs was characterized by extensive intermarriage between the Austrian and Spanish branches of the family with gradual negative genetic effects At the same time the Spanish branch, obsessed with purity of royal blood that merged with anti Muslim and anti Semitic revulsion to produce the Inquisition, gradually exported its attitudes and practices to the north of Europe as well as the New World Their expanding empire was based less on the dominance of one individual within the family than on a network of relationships all focused on preservation of land, possessions, and familial integrity and power This required a continual deliberate campaign of what would today be called public relations, a careful cultivation of image that guaranteed power and stability Ultimately Spain was lost forever, and, in the 18th century the royal line seemed to be withering away until the fecundity of Maria Theresa seemed to ignite the reproductive faculties of the entire extended family During these years, the b te noires of the Habsburg empire, itself apparently increasingly identified with Austro Hungary, were first France and then Prussia.Wheatcroft traces the family fortunes down to the present day, the official position of the Habsburgs having ended effectively with the end of Franz Joseph s rule in the early 20th century, although a couple of hangers on ruled for a few years thereafter A common overriding characteristic of Habsburg rule had been a conservative reactivity that preferred to substitute pomp and ceremony for substantive reform, although the latter did occur when strategically necessary.Such a history in bald form might suggest a quest for power for its own sake But this is to neglect the family s self perception of service to the people, their sincere desire to rule constructively and well, albeit over a concatenation of peoples who were expected to be obedient and grateful Even today those who remain of the official lineage view themselves as being ready to resume rule and official responsibilities at such a time as they are needed and wanted.Wheatcroft s book clearly advances a particular thesis and perspective It is readable if sometimes a bit dry, and one does come away with the desired understanding of the fortunes and role of the remarkable Habsburg family and dynasty It is a good source for the reader seeking a relatively detailed understanding of an extended particular period in this part of the world I am less persuaded that the otherwise general reader would find it particularly gripping


  2. Ethan Cramer-Flood Ethan Cramer-Flood says:

    37 inches of flat screen high definition LCD panel goodness came into my life just before the holidays, which dramatically interfered with my reading for a while It didn t help that I was in the middle of this book at the time Not that it was bad I actually quite enjoyed most of it just that it was extremely dry and dense A page turner it s not Some academic or esoteric books make an effort at cross over appeal, or at least strive for so called readability Andrew Wheatcroft is not i 37 inches of flat screen high definition LCD panel goodness came into my life just before the holidays, which dramatically interfered with my reading for a while It didn t help that I was in the middle of this book at the time Not that it was bad I actually quite enjoyed most of it just that it was extremely dry and dense A page turner it s not Some academic or esoteric books make an effort at cross over appeal, or at least strive for so called readability Andrew Wheatcroft is not interested in such pleasantries, and this book is for hard core history nerds only Luckily I am one.If the name Habsburg means anything to you already if you have a general concept of this extraordinary family that ruled anywhere from 20% to 50% of Europe for most of the past 1000 years then you d be interested in this book But if this kind of stuff doesn t fire up your engines on its own merits, steer clear Wheatcroft has a high opinion of his readers, and doesn t bother to provide much context or description for the major historical events the Habsburgs weaved their way through He expects you to already know the details of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the Treaty of Westphalia, the Reformation, the Council of Trent, the 30 Years War, the interactions between the Ottoman Empires and the Holy Roman Empire, the War of Spanish Succession, the Bourbons, the overseas possessions of various empires, the regions of Europe and their various religious affiliations, the ally enemy breakdowns in all the major wars, etc etc Some of this stuff he never even mentions specifically, focusing instead on the inner workings and machinations of the family, and blowing past the political headlines of the day Not that he doesn t think it s important, he just assumes you already know the context, can appreciate the gravity of the situation, and don t want to hearabout it He even at one point impatiently declared his refusal to rehash the story of the Defenestration of Prague, since everyone knows it so well You get the idea


  3. Kevin Kevin says:

    This history of the Habsburgs focuses on the line of succession and how the family used marriage and images rather than conquest for the most part to further their empire I would have given it 5 stars if it had contained a bitabout the territorial gains losses of the empire and had disclosedinformation about societal changes that they brought about in each era but other than that it was very detailed and interesting This is not written to be an introduction to the Habsburgs, al This history of the Habsburgs focuses on the line of succession and how the family used marriage and images rather than conquest for the most part to further their empire I would have given it 5 stars if it had contained a bitabout the territorial gains losses of the empire and had disclosedinformation about societal changes that they brought about in each era but other than that it was very detailed and interesting This is not written to be an introduction to the Habsburgs, although was for me except for the thirty year war era I would suggest having a basic knowledge the history of the Habsburgs or being an avid reader before picking this up


  4. Brian Brian says:

    If you re expecting a play by play, day by day history of the Habsburgs, this is not the book for you If you want a thesis about what was the main drive and focus of the family, and how it was passed down through the centuries, this is your book Mr Wheatcroft did a masterful job of using the history, and the standouts who ruled to put forth his theory and justification for why they did what they did Not a light read, but a very interesting theory that history buffs will enjoy.


  5. DeAnna Knippling DeAnna Knippling says:

    The tale of a family that spent their resources not on armies or palaces although they did but upon image, history, and narrative taking over central Europe in the process, for better or worse.This book has an interesting premise, that you can learn a lot about politics based on the art that is commissioned by an empire I felt like what I walked away with was a sense of being able to read portraits who is shown, what s in the background, proportions, accoutrements It all has very specific, The tale of a family that spent their resources not on armies or palaces although they did but upon image, history, and narrative taking over central Europe in the process, for better or worse.This book has an interesting premise, that you can learn a lot about politics based on the art that is commissioned by an empire I felt like what I walked away with was a sense of being able to read portraits who is shown, what s in the background, proportions, accoutrements It all has very specific, very political meaning But I also felt the author was farinterested in the beginnings of the Habsburgs than anything after the year 1700 or so After that, the narrative starts to feel rushed and far drier than it was in the beginning of the book Five stars for the first half, three stars for the second.In general, if you re interested in the history of chaotic political systems or if you like writing high fantasy go for the Habsburgs Once you start reading up on them, you ll see them everywhere I burst out laughing when I realized how Lord Farquaad from Shrek got his chin Recommended for history lovers and high fantasy writers


  6. Emmett Hoops Emmett Hoops says:

    One reviewer wrote that this book is essential for understanding modern Europe I echo that sentiment The author, Andrew Wheatcroft, wisely chose to confine this history to the nature of the Habsburg dynasty rather than to fritter away the reader s time in a rehashing of well known seminal events such as the Thirty Years War or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo For those interested in those isolated topics, there are thousands of well written histories in many languag One reviewer wrote that this book is essential for understanding modern Europe I echo that sentiment The author, Andrew Wheatcroft, wisely chose to confine this history to the nature of the Habsburg dynasty rather than to fritter away the reader s time in a rehashing of well known seminal events such as the Thirty Years War or the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo For those interested in those isolated topics, there are thousands of well written histories in many languages that can be sought This book keeps its focus as narrow as possible, and in so doing has provided us with a unique study of a unique family European history seems to have many unconnected strands Where did Metternich come from Where was Austria in 1800 What became of 1848 s peasant uprisings Why is it only the Habsburg dynasty that made its mark for 500 years all across Europe This book has insights into all these questions, and will cause you to consider manyShould you be the type of reader who likes an intellectually challenging, thought provoking history, this is a book you should seriously consider reading


  7. Sherwood Smith Sherwood Smith says:

    I suspect that this book is probably best read by people already very familiar with the history of the Habsburgs While there were a few new facts for me, most of what Wheatcroft had to tell so engagingly was familiar The thing that kept me reading was his take on how they saw themselves I had seen signs of this when I was in Austria four decades ago, delving in the library at the University of Vienna, and in my single trip into the Habsburg archives Gosh I wish I hadn t been a twenty year o I suspect that this book is probably best read by people already very familiar with the history of the Habsburgs While there were a few new facts for me, most of what Wheatcroft had to tell so engagingly was familiar The thing that kept me reading was his take on how they saw themselves I had seen signs of this when I was in Austria four decades ago, delving in the library at the University of Vienna, and in my single trip into the Habsburg archives Gosh I wish I hadn t been a twenty year old ignoramus, I missed so much Anyway, Wheatcroft, instead of shoving the imperial personalities into this or that box, as adjudged by nineteenth or twentieth century standards, sifted their memoirs, and the contemporary writings about them, to illustrate how they saw themselves how they made the idea of the empire work as long as it did in the minds of client nations Which is surprising, given the far flung nature of the empire, and its multitude of languages


  8. Carmen Carmen says:

    A quick history of the thousand year reign of the Habsburgs HIghlighting Maximilian, the combo Pope and emperor Franz Joseph, Ferdinand Maximilian, the one who tried to control Mexico Rudolf, and the women like Maria Theresa, who had lots of kids and named all the girls Maria, as in Marie Antoinette.


  9. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    Surprisingly readable, finished in a little over two days Glosses over some of theimportant historical events but gives excellent portraits of the most important Habsburgs.


  10. Belle Belle says:

    Following a trip to Austria last year, I fancied learningabout the Habsburg family, as I was only really aware of Marie Antoinette Whilst there, Sisi was everywhere and on our guided tour it was explained that the Habsburg family still exists, but they liveanonymous life Once back home, we visited a local bookshop and I saw this book on the shelf and no others on the subject of this Austrian dynasty If you want a detailed explanation of the actions of the rulers, you won t get m Following a trip to Austria last year, I fancied learningabout the Habsburg family, as I was only really aware of Marie Antoinette Whilst there, Sisi was everywhere and on our guided tour it was explained that the Habsburg family still exists, but they liveanonymous life Once back home, we visited a local bookshop and I saw this book on the shelf and no others on the subject of this Austrian dynasty If you want a detailed explanation of the actions of the rulers, you won t get much out of this book Crucial events are glossed over, such as the Spanish Armada At times major battles that helped cement the iconography the author loves to gush over regarding these Emperors are summed up in mere sentences Stating who won and those involved but not much detail on the context behind them Naming some key players in events and then not explaining who they are There is also the assumption that you know the names of Historians and who there are as well One repercussion of this is that a written account may be given either by someone who lived at the time, or a Historian from arecent era He also has an obsession with repeating certain things, such as that the Emperors where given a broach or necklace of the Order of the Golden Fleece Since most of these kept this feature when crowned, it would have been less tedious to just list the ones that had it or didn t All in all, its a book about how the Habsburg propaganda helped them keep the public supposedly happy and how they thought they were God s representative on Earth a notion other royal families had, so I m unsure why this is considered so special Since these factors and opinions of themselves seldom changed, the repetition gets a bit too much The paintings shown are also placed in a peculiar order throughout the book We ll see portraits of Emperors and relatives that haven t come into the frame yet so to speak Leading you to have to go back when he gets around to describing them for you The author also mentions artwork that isn t shown on these pages either on one occasion My copy had some newspaper clippings form 1997 regarding this royal family and annotations of some incorrect statements Such as the age of Elizabeth Sisi when she got engaged to Franz Joseph If you already have an in depth understanding of the whole family, then maybe you d getout of this book If like me, you wanted to learnabout the individual rulers, I d look for an alternative


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