Habsburg Self and Bourbon Other in the Franco-Austrian Alliance, 1756-1791

  • Author / Creator
    Swanson, David MJ
  • Taking cues from the work of Paul W. Schroeder, this project seeks to investigate the particular conditions which allowed the Habsburg Monarchy and two of its leading politicians—Leopold II and Metternich—to have such pride of place in Schroeder’s ‘transformation’ of the European state-system. It contends that the international politics of restraint, reciprocity, and far-sighted collective security predate the French Revolution and the Habsburg reaction to it, instead proceeding from the Austrian experience in the 18th Century. At the same time, inspired by both constructivist and critical approaches to diplomatic history, this project aims to set this ‘Habsburg self’ against its ‘Bourbon other’ in a discussion of the Monarchy’s primary ally from 1756–1791: the Kingdom of France. In this sense it acts as a much-needed counterpart to the burgeoning literature on French perceptions of Austria, Marie Antoinette, and Austrophobia. Far from a “deadlocked alliance”, what emerges from this analysis is the history of a relationship—founded on a significant degree of assumption of commensurability—which Habsburg policymakers consistently sought to improve through further investment and optimism, despite repeated disappointments. This structure serves to set France and Austria apart from the other Great Powers, particularly Prussia and Russia, in order to tentatively suggest that the diplomatic and foreign-policy cultures of ancien-régime Habsburg–Bourbon Europe anticipated the international order of the 19th Century.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • History
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Szabo, Franz (History and Classics)
    • Samson, Jane (History and Classics)
    • Mitterbauer, Helga (Visiting Professor, Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
    • Patrouch, Joseph (History and Classics)