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Decades of Reconstruction
Postwar Societies, State-Building, and International Relations from the Seven Years' War to the Cold War


Part of Publications of the German Historical Institute

Ute Planert, Julia Angster, Sven Externbrink, Ulrike Kirchberger, Reinhard Stauber, Charles Ingrao, John Fahey, Christopher Clark, Robert Beachy, Katherine Aaslestad, Christopher Wilkins, James Retallack, Elizabeth Vlossak, Jesse Kauffman, Mark Jones, Jörg Echternkamp, Kimberly Lowe, Adrian Shubert, Jörn Leonhard, James J. Sheehan
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  • Date Published: May 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316617083

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About the Authors
  • As wars and other conflicts increase on a worldwide scale, the alleged 'new wars' of the present day have taught that military victory does not necessarily result in a sustained state of peace. Rather, societies in conflict experience a 'status mixtus' - a transformative period that includes substantial changes in economy, politics, society and culture. Focusing on these decades of reconstruction in Europe and North America, this book examines the transformation of state systems, international relations, and normative principles in international comparison. By putting the postwar decade after 1945 into a long-term historical perspective, the chapters illuminate new patterns of transition between war and peace from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. Experts in the field show that states and societies are never restituted from a 'zero hour'. They also demonstrate that foreign and domestic policy are intermixed before and after peace breaks out.

    • Proposes a new view of transitions from war to peace which will benefit those who are uncomfortable with the view of a 'zero hour' in postwar eras
    • Sets transitions from war to peace in long-term and global perspectives, allowing readers to put the postwar experience after 1945 into a broader historical context
    • Combines pioneering archival research with broad perspectives on historical turning-points and trends, appealing to specialists and the educated public
    • Aids temporal and geographic comparability by focusing on ten-year periods following the conclusion of major military conflicts in world history, thus providing focus and breadth
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316617083
    • length: 393 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: neither war nor postwar: decades of reconstruction Ute Planert
    Part I. A World in Upheaval: From the Seven Years' War to the Age of Metternich:
    1. Sea power and informal empire: Great Britain and the world after the Seven Years' War Julia Angster
    2. Losing an empire, re-entering the stage: France after the Seven Years' War Sven Externbrink
    3. How long was the Seven Years' War? 1763 in Native American country Ulrike Kirchberger
    4. The reorganization of Europe in 1815 as a 'subject domestic policy' Reinhard Stauber
    Part II. Between Reich and State: The Germanies, 1648–1830:
    5. The Habsburg Empire 1763 and 1815: reconstruction and repose Charles Ingrao and John Fahey
    6. Eras of postwar reconstruction in Prussian history Christopher Clark
    7. The alchemy of credit: Saxony's rétablissement after 1763 Robert Beachy
    8. Identifying a postwar period: case studies from the Hanseatic cities following the Napoleonic wars Katherine Aaslestad
    Part III. Civil and Uncivil Wars: The 1860s and 1870s:
    9. US reconstruction, republicanism, and imperial rivalries in the Caribbean after 1865 Christopher Wilkins
    10. After the 'German civil war' of 1866: building the state, embracing the nation James Retallack
    11. The civil war in France, Alsace-Lorraine, and postwar reconstruction in the 1870s Elizabeth Vlossak
    Part IV. Central Europe and its Borderlands in the Twentieth Century:
    12. German state-building in occupied Poland as an episode in postwar reconstruction, 1915–18 Jesse Kauffman
    13. Violent reconstruction as shatterzones: the German revolution of 1918/19 and the foundation of the Weimar Republic Mark Jones
    14. Reconstruction and representation: state-building and interpretations of war in Germany after 1945 Jörg Echternkamp
    Part V. A New International Order after Total War?:
    15. The International Red Cross, the League of Nations, and Humanitarian Assistance Regimes, 1918–39 Kimberly Lowe
    16. After civil war: Francoism and the reconstruction of Spain Adrian Shubert
    17. The end of empires and the triumph of the nation state? 1918 and the new international order Jörn Leonhard
    Part VI. Prospects:
    18. Five postwar orders, 1763–1945 James J. Sheehan.

  • Editors

    Ute Planert, University of Cologne
    Ute Planert is Professor of Modern History at Universität zu Köln. She was a Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, Massachusetts and held the Hannah Arendt Visiting Chair of German and European History at the Munk School for Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Recent publications include 'International Conflict, War, and the Making of Modern Germany, 1740–1815', in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, edited by Helmut Walser Smith (2011), and the edited volume Napoleon's Empire. European Politics in Global Perspective (2015).

    James Retallack, University of Toronto
    James Retallack is Professor of History and German Studies at the University of Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the author of Germany's Second Reich: Portraits and Pathways (2015) and Red Saxony: Election Battles and the Spectre of Democracy in Germany, 1860–1918 (forthcoming). His current research project is a biography of the Social Democratic leader August Bebel.


    Ute Planert, Julia Angster, Sven Externbrink, Ulrike Kirchberger, Reinhard Stauber, Charles Ingrao, John Fahey, Christopher Clark, Robert Beachy, Katherine Aaslestad, Christopher Wilkins, James Retallack, Elizabeth Vlossak, Jesse Kauffman, Mark Jones, Jörg Echternkamp, Kimberly Lowe, Adrian Shubert, Jörn Leonhard, James J. Sheehan

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