Nation, anti-Enlightenment and religious revival in Austria: Tyrol in the 1790s

Laurence Cole

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15 Citations (Scopus)


By taking the Austrian province of Tyrol as a case-study, the article explores the relationship between Enlightenment, anti-Enlightenment, and national sentiments in and around the 1790s. Characterized by economic crisis and political turbulence, this period had profound consequences for the formation of national and regional identities amongst the region's German-speaking majority. In reaction to the challenges posed first by the centralist reforms in the Habsburg monarchy, and secondly the experience of the French Revolutionary Wars, the local nobility and clergy articulated a greater Tyrolian provincial consciousness, and also a stronger sense of their German identity. The mobilizing experience created by Tyrol's fight against the invading French armies meant that these sentiments were disseminated among and articulated by broader sections of the German-Tyrolian population as well. The article assesses the meanings and nuances of regional consciousness, local patriotism, German identity, and dynastic loyalty, and argues that national feeling in Tyrol was strongly influenced by anti-Enlightenment political and social forces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-497
Number of pages23
JournalThe Historical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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