By Subject: Early Modern History
The Absent Jews
Kurt Forstreuter and the Historiography of Medieval Prussia
For nearly a century, it has been a commonplace of Central European history that there were no Jews in medieval Prussia—the result, supposedly, of the ruling Teutonic Order’s attempts to create a purely Christian crusader’s state. In this groundbreaking historical investigation, however, medievalist Cordelia Hess demonstrates the very weak foundations upon which that assumption rests. In exacting detail, she traces this narrative to the work of a single, minor Nazi-era historian, revealing it to be ideologically compromised work that badly mishandles its evidence. By combining new medieval scholarship with a biographical and historiographical exploration grounded in the 20th century, The Absent Jews spans remote eras while offering a fascinating account of the construction of historical knowledge.
Subjects: Jewish Studies Early Modern History WWII History
Archeologies of Confession
Writing the German Reformation, 1517-2017
Johnson, C. L., Luebke, D. M., Plummer, M. E. & Spohnholz, J. (eds)
Modern religious identities are rooted in collective memories that are constantly made and remade across generations. How do these mutations of memory distort our picture of historical change and the ways that historical actors perceive it? Can one give voice to those whom history has forgotten? The essays collected here examine the formation of religious identities during the Reformation in Germany through case studies of remembering and forgetting—instances in which patterns and practices of religious plurality were excised from historical memory. By tracing their ramifications through the centuries, Archeologies of Confession carefully reconstructs the often surprising histories of plurality that have otherwise been lost or obscured.
Subjects: Early Modern History Religion
Building on Water
Venice, Holland and the Construction of the European Landscape in Early Modern Times
A fundamental natural resource, water and its use not only reflect "modes of production" but also that complex interplay between resources and their exploitation (and domination) by various social agents, who in their turn are inevitably influenced by the abundance or rarity of water supplies. Focusing on scientific, social and economic issues from the 16th to the 19th century, the author, one of Italy's leading historians in this field, looks at the innumerable conflicts that arose over water resources and the environmental impact of projects intended to control them. Venice and Holland are undoubtedly the two most fascinating cases of societies "built on water," with the conquest of vast expanses of marshland - either inland or on the coast (the Dutch polders or the Venetian lagoon) – not only stimulating agricultural production, but also nurturing a deeply-felt relationship between the local populations and the element of water itself. The author rounds off his study by looking at the influence the hydraulic technology developed in Holland would have on many European countries (France, England and Germany in particular) and at questions raised by contemporaries about the environmental impact of agricultural progress and its effects upon the social-economic equilibria within the communities concerned.
Conversion and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Germany
Luebke, D. M., Poley, J., Ryan, D. C., & Sabean, D. W. (eds)
The Protestant and Catholic Reformations thrust the nature of conversion into the center of debate and politicking over religion as authorities and subjects imbued religious confession with novel meanings during the early modern era. The volume offers insights into the historicity of the very concept of “conversion.” One widely accepted modern notion of the phenomenon simply expresses denominational change. Yet this concept had no bearing at the outset of the Reformation. Instead, a variety of processes, such as the consolidation of territories along confessional lines, attempts to ensure civic concord, and diplomatic quarrels helped to usher in new ideas about the nature of religious boundaries and, therefore, conversion. However conceptualized, religious change— conversion—had deep social and political implications for early modern German states and societies.
Subject: Early Modern History
Diversity and Dissent
Negotiating Religious Difference in Central Europe, 1500-1800
Louthan, H., Cohen, G. B. & Szabo, F. A. J. (eds)
Early modern Central Europe was the continent’s most decentralized region politically and its most diverse ethnically and culturally. With the onset of the Reformation, it also became Europe’s most religiously divided territory and potentially its most explosive in terms of confessional conflict and war. Focusing on the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, this volume examines the tremendous challenge of managing confessional diversity in Central Europe between 1500 and 1800. Addressing issues of tolerance, intolerance, and ecumenism, each chapter explores a facet of the complex dynamic between the state and the region’s Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Utraquist, and Jewish communities. The development of religious toleration—one of the most debated questions of the early modern period—is examined here afresh, with careful consideration of the factors and conditions that led to both confessional concord and religious violence.
Subject: Early Modern History
The Dutch Slave Trade, 1500-1850
Dutch historiography has traditionally concentrated on colonial successes in Asia. However, the Dutch were also active in West Africa, Brazil, New Netherland (the present state of New York) and in the Caribbean. In Africa they took part in the gold and ivory trade and finally also in the slave trade, something not widely known outside academic circles. P.C. Emmer, one of the most prominent experts in this field, tells the story of Dutch involvement in the trade from the beginning of the 17th century–much later than the Spaniards and the Portuguese–and goes on to show how the trade shifted from Brazil to the Caribbean. He explains how the purchase of slaves was organized in Africa, records their dramatic transport across the Atlantic, and examines how the sales machinery worked. Drawing on his prolonged study of the Dutch Atlantic slave trade, he presents his subject clearly and soberly, although never forgetting the tragedy hidden behind the numbers – the dark side of the Dutch Golden Age -, which makes this study not only informative but also very readable.
The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America
The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley
Employing a frontier framework, this book traces intercultural relations in the lower Hudson River valley of early seventeenth-century New Netherland. It explores the interaction between the Dutch and the Munsee Indians and considers how they, and individuals within each group, interacted, focusing in particular on how the changing colonial landscape affected their cultural encounter and Munsee cultural development. At each stage of European colonization - first contact, trade, and settlement - the Munsees faced evolving and changing challenges.
Understanding culture in terms of worldview and societal structures, this volume identifies ways in which Munsee society changed in an effort to adjust to the new intercultural relations and looks at the ways the Munsees maintained aspects of their own culture and resisted any imposition of Dutch societal structures and sovereignty over them. In addition, the book includes a suggestive afterword in which the author applies his frontier framework to Dutch-indigenous relations in the Cape colony.
Embodiments of Power
Building Baroque Cities in Europe
Cohen, G. B. & Szabo, F. A. J. (eds)
The period of the baroque (late sixteenth to mid-eighteenth centuries) saw extensive reconfiguration of European cities and their public spaces. Yet, this transformation cannot be limited merely to signifying a style of art, architecture, and decor. Rather, the dynamism, emotionality, and potential for grandeur that were inherent in the baroque style developed in close interaction with the need and desire of post-Reformation Europeans to find visual expression for the new political, confessional, and societal realities. Highly illustrated, this volume examines these complex interrelationships among architecture and art, power, religion, and society from a wide range of viewpoints and localities. From Krakow to Madrid and from Naples to Dresden, cities were reconfigured visually as well as politically and socially. Power, in both its political and architectural guises, had to be negotiated among constituents ranging from monarchs and high churchmen to ordinary citizens. Within this process, both rulers and ruled were transformed: Europe left behind the last vestiges of the medieval and arrived on the threshold of the modern.
The Emperor's Old Clothes
Constitutional History and the Symbolic Language of the Holy Roman Empire
For many years, scholars struggled to write the history of the constitution and political structure of the Holy Roman Empire. This book argues that this was because the political and social order could not be understood without considering the rituals and symbols that held the Empire together. What determined the rules (and whether they were followed) depended on complex symbolic-ritual actions. By examining key moments in the political history of the Empire, the author shows that it was a vocabulary of symbols, not the actual written laws, that formed a political language indispensable in maintaining the common order.
Subject: Early Modern History
Discourses on Margins, Communities, Images
Molho, A. & Ramada Curto, D. (eds)
In the last decade or so, many books have been devoted to the history of Europe.Two conceptual axes predominate in a large number of these accounts: a discourse focusing on Europe’s values, and another discourse, fashioned largely in opposition to the first, which emphasizes the process of European “construction.” The first conceives of Europe’s past teleologically, as a process by which certain values (Christian ethics, individualism, capitalism, tolerance, republicanism, due process, etc.) were affirmed and came to define European culture. The second approach rejects the discourse on values emphasizes the post-Enlightenment emergence of the concept of Europe, and the political and ideological implications in its continuous redefinitions (and re elaborations) during the past two or more centuries. This volume offers new approaches that integrate the long temporal dimension of the values-based approach, albeit devoid of its teleological element, with the “constructivist” interpretation.
Subject: Early Modern History
Germany and the Black Diaspora
Points of Contact, 1250-1914
Honeck, M., Klimke, M., & Kuhlmann, A. (eds)
The rich history of encounters prior to World War I between people from German-speaking parts of Europe and people of African descent has gone largely unnoticed in the historical literature—not least because Germany became a nation and engaged in colonization much later than other European nations. This volume presents intersections of Black and German history over eight centuries while mapping continuities and ruptures in Germans' perceptions of Blacks. Juxtaposing these intersections demonstrates that negative German perceptions of Blackness proceeded from nineteenth-century racial theories, and that earlier constructions of “race” were far more differentiated. The contributors present a wide range of Black–German encounters, from representations of Black saints in religious medieval art to Black Hessians fighting in the American Revolutionary War, from Cameroonian children being educated in Germany to African American agriculturalists in Germany's protectorate, Togoland. Each chapter probes individual and collective responses to these intercultural points of contact.
The Historical Practice of Diversity
Transcultural Interactions from the Early Modern Mediterranean to the Postcolonial World
Hoerder, D., Harzig†, C. & Shubert, A. (eds)
While multicultural composition of nations has become a catchword in public debates, few educators, not to speak of the general public, realize that cultural interaction was the rule throughout history. Starting with the Islam-Christian-Jewish Mediterranean world of the early modern period, this volume moves to the empires of the 18th and 19th centuries and the African Diaspora of the Black Atlantic. It ends with questioning assumptions about citizenship and underlying homogeneous "received" cultures through the analysis of the changes in various literatures. This volume clearly shows that the life-worlds of settled as well as migrant populations in the past were characterized by cultural change and exchange whether conflictual or peaceful. Societies reflected on such change in their literatures as well as in their concepts of citizenship.
Subjects: Early Modern History General Cultural Studies
The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered
Coy, J.P., Marschke, B., & Sabean, D.W. (eds)
The Holy Roman Empire has often been anachronistically assumed to have been defunct long before it was actually dissolved at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The authors of this volume reconsider the significance of the Empire in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Their research reveals the continual importance of the Empire as a stage (and audience) for symbolic performance and communication; as a well utilized problem-solving and conflict-resolving supra-governmental institution; and as an imagined political, religious, and cultural "world" for contemporaries. This volume by leading scholars offers a dramatic reappraisal of politics, religion, and culture and also represents a major revision of the history of the Holy Roman Empire in the early modern period.
Subject: Early Modern History
The Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, 1450-1800
Bernardini, P. & Fiering, N. (eds)
Jews and Judaism played a significant role in the history of the expansion of Europe to the west as well as in the history of the economic, social, and religious development of the New World. They played an important role in the discovery, colonization, and eventually exploitation of the resources of the New World. Alone among the European peoples who came to the Americas in the colonial period, Jews were dispersed throughout the hemisphere; indeed, they were the only cohesive European ethnic or religious group that lived under both Catholic and Protestant regimes, which makes their study particularly fruitful from a comparative perspective. As distinguished from other religious or ethnic minorities, the Jewish struggle was not only against an overpowering and fierce nature but also against the political regimes that ruled over the various colonies of the Americas and often looked unfavorably upon the establishment and tleration of Jewish communities in their own territory. Jews managed to survive and occasionally to flourish against all odds, and their history in the Americas is one of the more fascinating chapters in the early modern history of European expansion.
Kinship in Europe
Approaches to Long-Term Development (1300-1900)
Sabean, D. W., Teuscher, S., & Mathieu, J. (eds)
Since the publication of Philippe Ariès’s book, Centuries of Childhood, in the early 1960s, there has been great interest among historians in the history of the family and the household. A central aspect of the debate relates the story of the family to implicit notions of modernization, with the rise of the nuclear family in the West as part of its economic and political success. During the past decade, however, that synthesis has begun to break down. Historians have begun to examine kinship - the way individual families are connected to each other through marriage and descent - finding that during the most dynamic period in European industrial development, class formation, and state reorganization, Europe became a “kinship hot” society. The essays in this volume explore two major transitions in kinship patterns - at the end of the Middle Ages and at the end of the eighteenth century - in an effort to reset the agenda in family history.
Subjects: Early Modern History General Anthropology
The Language Encounter in the Americas, 1492-1800
Gray, E. & Fiering, N. (eds)
When Columbus arrived in the Americas there were, it is believed, as many as 2,000 distinct, mutually unintelligible tongues spoken in the western hemisphere, encompassing the entire area from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. This astonishing fact has generally escaped the attention of historians, in part because many of these indigenous languages have since become extinct. And yet the burden of overcoming America's language barriers was perhaps the one problem faced by all peoples of the New World in the early modern era: African slaves and Native Americans in the Lower Mississippi Valley; Jesuit missionaries and Huron-speaking peoples in New France; Spanish conquistadors and the Aztec rulers. All of these groups confronted America's complex linguistic environment, and all of them had to devise ways of transcending that environment - a problem that arose often with life or death implications.
For the first time, historians, anthropologists, literature specialists, and linguists have come together to reflect, in the fifteen original essays presented in this volume, on the various modes of contact and communication that took place between the Europeans and the "Natives." A particularly important aspect of this fascinating collection is the way it demonstrates the interactive nature of the encounter and how Native peoples found ways to shape and adapt imported systems of spoken and written communication to their own spiritual and material needs.
Transgressive Unions in Germany from the Reformation to the Enlightenment
Luebke, D. M. & Lindemann, M. (eds)
The significant changes in early modern German marriage practices included many unions that violated some taboo. That taboo could be theological and involve the marriage of monks and nuns, or refer to social misalliances as when commoners and princes (or princesses) wed. Equally transgressive were unions that crossed religious boundaries, such as marriages between Catholics and Protestants, those that violated ethnic or racial barriers, and those that broke kin-related rules. Taking as a point of departure Martin Luther’s redefinition of marriage, the contributors to this volume spin out the multiple ways that the Reformers’ attempts to simplify and clarify marriage affected education, philosophy, literature, high politics, diplomacy, and law. Ranging from the Reformation, through the ages of confessionalization, to the Enlightenment, Mixed Matches addresses the historical complexity of the socio-cultural institution of marriage.
Subject: Early Modern History
Possessing the World
Taking the Measurements of Colonisation from the 18th to the 20th Century
Based on an impressive body of information and data, this volume recounts the history of five continents over a long stretch of time and in a comparative approach. From the beginning of European expansion the question was posed: what were the "empire tools" that gave Europe its military superiority, even before the industrial revolution? What was it that enabled Europeans to withstand life-threatening tropical diseases and to control indigenous populations? This book gives a fresh and wide-ranging view of the construction and collapse of the modern colonial empires of Europe, the United States of America and Japan.
The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800
Focusing on England, this study reconstructs the centuries-long process of commercialization that gave birth to the modern market society. It shows how certain types of markets (e.g. those for real estate, labor, capital, and culture) came into being, and how the social relations mediated by markets were formed. The book deals with the creation of institutions like the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London, as well as the way the English dealt with the uncertainty and the risks involved in market transactions. Christiane Eisenberg shows that the creation of a market society and modern capitalism in England occurred under circumstances that were utterly different from those on the European continent. In addition, she demonstrates that as a process, the commercialization of business, society, and culture in England did not lead directly to an industrial society, as has previously been suggested, but rather to a service economy.
Sacral Kingship Between Disenchantment and Re-enchantment
The French and English Monarchies 1587-1688
Asch, R. G.
France and England are often seen as monarchies standing at opposite ends of the spectrum of seventeenth-century European political culture. On the one hand the Bourbon monarchy took the high road to absolutism, while on the other the Stuarts never quite recovered from the diminution of their royal authority following the regicide of Charles I in 1649. However, both monarchies shared a common medieval heritage of sacral kingship, and their histories remained deeply entangled throughout the century. This study focuses on the interaction between ideas of monarchy and images of power in the two countries between the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and the Glorious Revolution. It demonstrates that even in periods when politics were seemingly secularized, as in France at the end of the Wars of Religion, and in latter seventeenth- century England, the appeal to religious images and values still lent legitimacy to royal authority by emphasizing the sacral aura or providential role which church and religion conferred on monarchs.
Subject: Early Modern History
Women, Family and Society in Medieval Europe
Historical Essays, 1978-1991
Until his untimely death in 1991, David Herlihy, Professor of History at Brown University, was one of the most prolific and best-known American historians of the European Middle Ages. Author of books on the history of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy, Herlihy published, in 1978, his best-known work in collaboration with Christine Klapisch-Zuber, Les Toscans et leurs familles (Translated into English in 1985, and Italian in 1988). For the last dozen or so years of his life, Herlihy launched a series of ambitious projects, on the history ofwomen and the family, and on the collective behavior of social groups in medieval Europe. While he completed two important books - on the family (1985) and on women's work (1991) - he did not find the time to bring these other major projects to a conclusion.
This volume contains essays he wrote after 1978. They convey a sense of the enormous intellectual energy and great erudition that characterized David Herlihy's scholarly career. They also chart a remarkable historian's intellectual trajectory, as he searched for new and better ways of asking a set of simple and basic questions about the history of the family, the institution within which the vast majority of Europeans spent so much of their lives. Because of his qualities as a scholar and a teacher, during his relatively brief career Herlihy was honored with Presidencies of the four major scholarly associations with which he was affiliated: the Catholic Historical Association, the Medieval Academy of America, the Renaissance Society of America,and the American Historical Association.
Subjects: Gender Studies Early Modern History