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Joseph II

Volume 2. Against the World, 1780–1790

$53.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107616264

$ 53.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This second and final volume of Derek Beales's magisterial biography of the emperor Joseph II describes the period when he was sole ruler of the Austrian monarchy. Influenced partly by Enlightenment ideals, Joseph relaxed censorship, introduced wide-ranging religious toleration and fostered a 'new Catholicism' whilst Mozart's music, the greatest cultural achievement of his reign, owed much to Joseph's patronage. He also abolished personal serfdom and diminished the nobles' power, seeking to achieve full personal control over all his provinces. Opposition became serious when his hyperactive foreign policy landed him in war against the Turks, and he died with his Belgian provinces in rebel hands and Hungary threatened by revolt and invasion. Though these pressures forced Joseph to withdraw some of his measures, Derek Beales argues that he left an indelible mark on the history of all his lands, which now form part of fifteen modern states.

    • Major account of Joseph's transformation of the Austrian monarchy that highlights his lasting historical influence
    • Offers a fresh view not only of Joseph II's policies but also of his personality and cultural interests
    • Essential reading for scholars of the Habsburg Empire and Central European history more generally
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...splendid second volume of his biography of Joseph II.... This book should restore Joseph II to his rightful position, holding a central place in the history of Austria, the Habsburg monarchy, Germany and central Europe." - Steven Beller, Times Literary Supplement

    "This is a masterful biography, based on research in multiple European archives, published primary sources, and just about every extant secondary source related to Joseph. Highly recommended." -Choice

    "Beales has completed his awesome project on Joseph with another monumental volume, this time on the final decade, the ten years - actually just over nine - of his sole rule in Austria. And what a rule!." -The New York Review of Books

    "a magisterial study of the Austrian monarchy and continental Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century." -Francia-Recensio

    "...Beale's biography will be an essential reference point for all future contribution." -Bettina Dietz, Austrian History Yearbook

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107616264
    • length: 754 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 42 mm
    • weight: 1.09kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Joseph, his ministers, the court and the constitution
    2. The first six months: Josephism intensified (29 November 1780 to 22 May 1781)
    3. Foreign policy and the Russian alliance, 1780–2
    4. Joseph's visit to Belgium, the Dutch Republic and France, May–August 1781
    5. Toleration of Protestants, Greek Orthodox and Jews
    6. The Pope's visit to Vienna (22 March–22 April 1782)
    7. Joseph and the peasants, 1780–1785/6
    8. Josephism rampant I: monasteries, general seminaries and parishes
    9. Josephism rampant II: lay education and a new Catholicism
    10. 'The Lion's Claws Bared', 1782–4
    11. Foreign policy, 1782–6: The Scheldt, the 'Greek Project' and the Crimea, the Dutch 'War' and the Bavarian Exchange
    12. Joseph as Emperor
    13. Joseph in Vienna: his routine and his impact, especially on music
    14. 'Just One Body, Uniformly Governed': Hungary, the Tyrol, Italy and Belgium, 1784–7
    15. Joseph's Enlightenment: freemasonry, law reform and police
    16. War against the Turks, August 1787–December 1788
    17. Rebellion, victory and death, January 1789–February 1790

  • Author

    Derek Beales
    Derek Beales is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. His previous publications include Joseph II. Volume I: In the Shadow of Maria Theresa, 1741–80 (Cambridge University Press, 1987), Prosperity and Plunder: European Catholic Monasteries in the Age of Revolution, 1650–1810 (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Enlightenment and Reform in Eighteenth-Century Europe (2005).

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