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The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered

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Volume 1

Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association

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The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered

Edited by Jason Philip Coy, Benjamin Marschke, and David Warren Sabean

346 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-759-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2010)

ISBN  978-1-78238-089-4 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (July 2013)

eISBN 978-1-84545-992-5 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…a meticulous reappraisal of the Holy Roman Empire in its early modern period. Informed and informative, "The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered" is a seminal work and strongly recommended for academic library European History reference collections in general, and Holy Roman Empire Studies supplemental reading lists in particular.  ·  Library Bookwatch

There is a strong sense of Aufbruchstimmung about this book, that is a readiness to explore pastures new, both in terms of launching an interdisciplinary publication series and in presenting an Anglophone audience with a survey of new departures in the historiography of German-speaking Europe. The result is a very welcome collection which will be useful for a range of purposes, be it general orientation about an innovative field of scholarship, framing new research questions in late medieval and early modern studies or adding fresh materials to courses for advanced students.  ·  English Historical Review

"This is a lively and stimulating collection which many will wish to read.  ·  German Studies Review

If the editors of Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association were looking for an impressive collection with which to lead off their new series, they certainly succeeded admirably in choosing The Holy Roman Empire, Reconsidered…In sum, each individual paper in this collection repays careful reading. Taken as a whole, they reveal the vitality and variety of contemporary scholarship on the Holy Roman Empire.”  ·  Austrian History Yearbook

"Over the last two decades historians have promoted the Holy Roman Empire from a creaking fossil ready for history’s ax to a relatively effective government of a decentralized, highly diverse polity. This well-edited volume by a distinguished international corps of specialists offers the most current views on political Germany from around 1500 to around 1800. The perspectives range between two views: the Empire as the forerunner of modern German states; the Empire as an example of a typically premodern political culture. Readers who know only what textbooks say about Germany before 1800, are in for a surprise."  ·  Thomas A. Brady Jr., University of California, Berkeley

"Whereas a revised view of the Empire is now part of the historiography in Germany it is not yet widely known among Anglo-American scholars. [O]ne of the important contributions of [this volume] is that it makes some of these revisionist approaches to the Old Empire accessible...I know of no other work that offers such a rich spectrum of approaches to the Old Empire."  ·  Thomas Robisheaux, Duke University


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.

Jason Philip Coy is an Associate Professor of History at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina. He has received a DAAD Research Grant and a Maria Sibylla Merian Fellowship for Postdoctoral Studies from the University of Erfurt, Germany. He is the author of Strangers and Misfits: Banishment, Social Control, and Authority in Early Modern Germany (2008).

Benjamin Marschke is an Associate Professor of History at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. He has held fellowships from the DAAD, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, and the Max Planck Institute for History. He has published Absolutely Pietist: Patronage, Factionalism, and State-Building in the Early Eighteenth-Century Prussian Army Chaplaincy (2005).

David Warren Sabean is Henry J. Bruman Professor of German History at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has been the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Prize. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His publications include Property, Production, and Family in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870 (1990); Kinship in Neckarhausen, 1700–1870 (1998). He is co-editor with Simon Teuscher and Jon Mathieu of Kinship in Europe: Approaches to Long-Term Development (1300-1900) (2007).

Subject: History: Medieval/Early Modern
Area: Europe


List of Illustrations
Series Preface
Volume Preface
List of Contributors

Introduction: The Holy Roman Empire in History and Historiography
Jason Coy


Chapter 1. Discontinuities: Political Transformation, Media Change, and the City in the Holy Roman Empire from the Fifteenth to Seventeenth Centuries
Philip Hoffmann-Rehnitz

Chapter 2. Overloaded Interaction: Effects of the Growing Use of Writing in German Imperial Cities, 1500–1800
Alexander Schlaak

Chapter 3. Princes’ Power, Aristocratic Norms, and Personal Eccentricities: Le Caractère Bizarre of Frederick William I of Prussia (1713–1740)
Benjamin Marschke


Chapter 4. The Illuminated Reich: Memory, Crisis, and the Visibility of Monarchy in Late Medieval Germany
Len Scales

Chapter 5. The Production of Knowledge about Confessions: Witnesses and their Testimonies about Normative Years in and after the Thirty Years’ War
Ralf-Peter Fuchs

Chapter 6. Staging Individual Rank and Corporate Identity: Pre-Modern Nobilities in Provincial Politics
Elizabeth Harding

7. The Importance of Being Seated: Ceremonial Conflict in Territorial Diets
Tim Neu


Chapter 8. Ceremony and Dissent: Religion, Procedural Conflicts, and the “Fiction of Consensus” in Seventeenth-Century Germany
David M. Luebke

Chapter 9. Contested Bodies: Schwäbisch Hall and its Neighbors in Conflicts Regarding High Jurisdiction (1550–1800)
Patrick Oelze

Chapter 10. Conflict and Consensus around German Princes’ Unequal Marriages: Prince’s Autonomy, Emperor’s Intervention, and the Juridification of Dynastic Politics
Michael Sikora

Chapter 11. Power and Good Governance: The Removal of Ruling Princes in the Holy Roman Empire, 1680–1794
Werner Trossbach


Chapter 12. Marital Affairs as a Public Matter within the Holy Roman Empire: The Case of Duke Ulrich and Duchess Sabine of Württemberg at the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century
Michaela Hohkamp

Chapter 13. The Corpus Evangelicorum: A Culturalist Perspective on its Procedure in the Eighteenth-Century Holy Roman Empire
Andreas Kalipke

Chapter 14. Gallican Longings: Church and Nation in Eighteenth-Century Germany
Michael Printy

Conclusion: New Directions in the Study of the Holy Roman Empire - A Cultural Approach
André Krischer


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