Marcus Bierich Distinguished Visitorship in the Humanities Lecture
What the Habsburg Empire Got Right—and Why It Matters
Over a century ago, the treaties of St. Germain en Laye and Trianon officially ratified the break-up of the Habsburg Monarchy and the distribution of its territories, peoples, and economic resources among several successor states. These treaties also laid the basis for the ways the Habsburg Monarchy would later be remembered by Europeans, largely as a “prison of peoples” and a “feudal anachronism.” In this lecture, Pieter Judson goes beyond these common nationalist tropes to examine other possible legacies of Europe’s most multi-national state and largest free-trade zone. What were the Habsburg Empire’s institutional innovations, particular strengths, and reasons for its ultimate disappearance? Are there lessons to be learned for today’s European Union?
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