The Habsburgs are the most famous dynasty in continental Europe. From the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, they ruled much of Central Europe, and for two centuries were also rulers of Spain. Through the Spanish connection, they acquired lands around the Mediterranean and a chunk of the New World, spreading eastwards to include the Philippines. Reaching from South-East Asia to what is now Ukraine, the Habsburg Empire was truly global.
In this Very Short Introduction Martin Rady looks at the history of the Habsburgs, from their tenth-century origins in Switzerland, to the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire in 1918. He introduces the pantheon of Habsburg rulers, which included adventurers, lunatics, and at least one monarch who was so malformed that his true portrait could never be exhibited. He also discusses the lands and kingdoms that made up the Habsburg Empire, and the decisive moments that shaped their history. Dynasty, Europe, global power, and the idea of the multi-national state all converge on the history of the Habsburg Empire. Martin Rady shows how.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A master of compression and lively anecdote, Rady combines his sprightly account of Europe's most enduring and important ruling house with an illuminating commentary on the changing nature and efficacy of dynastic governance. * R.J.W. Evans, Regius Professor of History Emeritus, Oxford University *
1: Dynasties and empires; titles and peoples
2: The imperial vision: eleventh to sixteenth centuries
3: 'As if the king of each': sixteenth to seventeenth centuries
4: In the service of the faith: seventeenth to eighteenth centuries
5: Enlightenment and reaction: eighteenth to nineteenth centuries
6: The era of Franz Joseph: nineteenth Century
7: World war and dissolution: twentieth century