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Lordship and State Formation
Lordship and State Formation

Bohemia and the Habsburg monarchy from the Thirty Years’ War to Charles VI

Author(s): Stephan Sander-Faes
Subject(s): History, Political history, 17th Century
Published by: Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích
Keywords: fiscal-military state; state deformation; fiscal-financial history; composite lordship; Český Krumlov

Summary/Abstract: This essay focuses on the crucial role of the lordship in Habsburgs’ attempts of stateformation from the Thirty Years’War to Charles VI. During these decades, Austria becamea great power, mostly from accident, helped by the unintended consequences ofan ill-conceived Ottoman assault on Vienna in 1683. This essay focuses on the usuallyoverlooked by-products of state formation in early modern composite monarchies, administrativeconfusion and social disruptions. Using the example of Bohemia and contraryto most books available, which employ a top-down perspective, my approach is basedon two different premises: First, individual actions and structural developments conveydifferent- and differing-consequences for central institutions vis-à-vis those occurringcontemporaneously in more remote areas. And, second, state integration, understood asan elite-driven process emanating from a centre, is accompanied by countervailing andat times opposing trends whose consequences only increased with geographical distance.War thus gives rise to a certain kind of state formation, which was accompanied by thecontemporaneous disintegration and loss of cohesion outside the centre. This essay explores,how, as the government tried to cope with war-induced stresses, its actions started totear apart the administrative and social fabric that held society together.

  • Issue Year: 18/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 82-99
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English