Consolidation and Crisis, 1705–1740: the Reich Under Joseph I and Charles VI

Joachim Whaley

in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693078
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732256 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of Early Modern Europe

Consolidation and Crisis, 1705–1740: the Reich Under Joseph I and Charles VI

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Joseph I and Charles VI had to deal with the turbulence arising from the War of Spanish Succession and faced significant challenges in Italy, the Low Countries and Spain. Confessional tensions increased over differing interpretations of the terms of the Peace of Westphalia and of the Treaty of Rijswijk (1697). Joseph I died after barely five years on the throne but Charles VI successfully exercised the imperial prerogatives established by Leopold I. He lacked an heir, however, and this gradually undermined his authority in the 1730s. Many have argued that these events reflected the decay and imminent collapse of the Reich, but in fact writing about the Reich in the print media, the production of JJ Moser's classic study of the Reichs constitution and an upsurge in patriotism (Gottsched and the ‘German Societies’) suggests that, while the dynasty faltered in 1740, the Reich itself was in good repair.

Keywords: Joseph I; Charles VI; War of Spanish Succession; Treaty of Rijswijk; imperial succession; JJ Moser; patriotism; Gottsched; German Societies; print media; newspapers; reading public

Chapter.  39554 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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