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The Holy Roman Empire

Scales, Len

Authors



Contributors

Cathie Carmichael
Editor

Matthew D'Auria
Editor

Aviel Roshwald
Editor

Abstract

Since the nineteenth century, the Holy Roman Empire has occupied a central but often negative place in accounts of German nationhood. “In the beginning was the Reich,” declared Heinrich August Winkler in his monumental German history, which took as its starting point the empire’s abolition in 1806.1 It was with the empire that, in Winkler’s view fatally, “that which distinguishes German history from the history of the great western-European nations has … its origin.” Winkler’s judgment reflects a viewpoint which has been tenacious and highly influential: that at the heart of the problem of German nation-making lay the peculiar and deficient character of Germany’s premodern “state,” the empire itself. Whereas other European nations had developed within the framework of governments exercising sovereign power over firmly bounded populations, the Reich, after a promising start, had fallen prey to universalist fantasies, fragmentation, institutional atrophy, and the interference of foreign powers.

Citation

Scales, L. (2023). The Holy Roman Empire. In C. Carmichael, M. D'Auria, & A. Roshwald (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Nationhood and Nationalism Volume 1: Patterns and Trajectories over the Longue Durée (54-75). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108655385.004

Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 27, 2023
Publication Date 2023-10
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 28, 2024
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Pages 54-75
Series Title The Cambridge History of Nationhood and Nationalism
Series Number 1
Book Title The Cambridge History of Nationhood and Nationalism Volume 1: Patterns and Trajectories over the Longue Durée
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108655385.004
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1651209

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