(Comparing Empires )
Encounters and Transfers in the Long Nineteenth Century
(Encounters and Transfers in the Long Nineteenth Century)
2. Edition 2012
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Schriftenreihe der FRIAS School of History -
The empires of Europe were characterized by their ethnic pluralism and diverse geographical backgrounds. This pluralism was long held to be the reason for the eventual failure and disintegration of Europe. Unlike today, the empires of the time had a more lasting influence on the history of Europe than did the individual nation states. The contributions to this volume systematically compare four European empires of the 19th and early 20th centuries: the British Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Examples are given to show the tension that existed in the relationships between the central and the peripheral areas as well as between the rulers and those they ruled over. The infrastructure, political conflicts and war experiences are demonstrated in the everyday practice of monarchy and religion.
The empires of Europe with their multiethnic societies have long been considered failures, and their history was often presented as a narrative of mere disintegration and decay. With the ever-dominating subject of nation-state formation receding, a new scope for considering empires as the much longer and pervasive alternative in European history opens up. Against this background this volume contributes to a more systematic comparison of the ambivalent und changing relationships between central and peripheral areas, between those who colonized and those who were colonized in the British Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The spectrum of such relationships ranges from infrastructure and political conflicts to the practice of monarchy between religion and war.