The City and The Crown: Vienna and the Imperial Court, 1600-1740 (Central European Studies)

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9781557530219: The City and The Crown: Vienna and the Imperial Court, 1600-1740 (Central European Studies)
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Spielman presents the role of the Habsburg court in the rise of Vienna the early modem period. His study clearly shows the extraordinarily complex web of interrelationships and interdependencies between the court, its servants, and the city as each strove to protect its privileges. The author's innovative approach consists in identifying the specific role that the court quartering system played in the expansion of the government's involvement in the development of the city. in so doing, Spielman ties in the two approaches traditionally used in histories of early modem Germany and Austria: the growth of the modem bureaucracy and the development of the Baroque.

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Review:

“Currently there are two basic theories regarding the rise
of the modern Hapsburg Monarchy: (1) it rose because of a growing centralized
government that created a modern army and bureaucracy, or (2) it rose because
of the rise of the Counterreformation and the emergency of the Baroque.
Professor Spielman combines both approaches in an understated but masterful
way. He documents the emergence of the bureaucracy not only by pointing out the
increase in numbers but also by discussing in detail the need for Vienna to
provide housing for these officials. Then he shows how the court encouraged the
city’s property owners to increase the size of their houses and, not
incidentally, to do so in the Baroque style that would bring glory to the city
as a whole. The rise of the bureaucracy and the rise of the Baroque thus went
hand-in-hand and together made Vienna a great city. For anyone who knows Vienna,
this book is a must. It documents not how Vienna became a great city but why it
did. One can always complain about growing bureaucracies, but now and then they
give us monuments of lasting beauty and importance. The city of Vienna is one
of these monuments.”

(Karl A. Roider, Louisiana State University 2018-08-01)

“. . . the best introduction available for students of one
of the most important philosophers of this century.”

(American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 2018-08-09)

“Spielman has given us an important study that opens up new
vistas into pre-Theresian Austrian history. . . . a soundly reasoned,
engagingly written, and an intellectually stimulating work.”

(American Historical Review 2018-08-09)

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