1st Edition

Languages of Reform in the Eighteenth Century When Europe Lost Its Fear of Change

Edited By Susan Richter, Thomas Maissen, Manuela Albertone Copyright 2020
    452 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    450 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Societies perceive "Reform" or "Reforms" as substantial changes and significant breaks which must be well-justified. The Enlightenment brought forth the idea that the future was uncertain and could be shaped by human beings. This gave the concept of reform a new character and new fields of application. Those who sought support for their plans and actions needed to reflect, develop new arguments, and offer new reasons to address an anonymous public. This book aims to compile these changes under the heuristic term of "languages of reform." It analyzes the structures of communication regarding reforms in the 18th century through a wide variety of topics.

    Introduction: Languages of Reform and the European Enlightenment
    Pascal Firges, Johan Lange, Thomas Maissen, Sebastian Meurer, Susan Richter, Gregor Stiebert, Lina Weber, Urte Weeber, and Christine Zabel

    Section I: Semantics of Languages of Reform

    1. The Concept of Reform in Polyglot European Enlightenment
    Gisela Schlüter

    2. The Dawning of the Age of Reform: Epistemic and Semantic Shifts in Georgian Britain
    Sebastian Meurer

    3. The Making of "Federalism" in Eighteenth-Century France: Between Reform and Revolution
    Manuela Albertone

    4. Ambiguity in Translation: Communicating Economic Reform in the Multilingual Republic of Berne
    Lisa Kolb and Lothar Schilling

    Section II: Strategies and Rhetoric of Reform

    5. Change and Improvement to Save the State: Administrative Reforms in Maria Theresian Austria
    Gregor Stiebert

    6. Reform as Verbesserung: Argumentative Patterns and the Role of Models in German Cameralism
    Susan Richter

    7. Luxury as an Eighteenth-Century Language of Reform of Society Between France and Italy: Jean-François Melon, Antonio Genovesi and Georges-Marie Butel-Dumont
    Cecilia Carnino

    8. A Useful Public Institution?: Languages of University Reform in the German Territories, 1750–1800
    Johan Lange

    Section III: Thematic Vocabularies in Specific Contexts

    9. A Kind of Sovereignty?: Legitimising Freedom of Contract in the 18th Century
    Johannes Süßmann

    10. From Economic Reform to Political Revolution: The Language of Dutch Patriotism
    Lina Weber

    11. Mending the Boat While Sailing: Languages of Linguistic Reform in the German Territories, c. 1750–1815
    Theo Jung

    12. From a Reform-Language of Speculation to a Speculative Language of Reform: Liberalising Trade in Mid-18th-Century France
    Christine Zabel

    13. From the Civic Improvement of the Jews to the Separation of State and Church: Languages of Political Reform in Brandenburg-Prussia, 1781-1799
    Avi Lifschitz

    Section IV: Adaption and Translation of Reform Languages

    14. The Difficult Reform of Military Discipline in the Latter Half of Eighteenth-Century France
    Isabelle Deflers

    15. Writing on "The New Order": Ottoman Approaches to Late Eighteenth-Century Reforms
    Pascal Firges

    Section V: Reflecting on Reform

    16. Reform, Revolution, and the Republican Tradition: The Case of the Batavian Republic
    Wyger R.E. Velema

    17. Words and Things: The Language of Reform in Wilhelm Traugott Krug and Karl Ludwig von Haller
    Béla Kapossy

    Conclusion: Bringing a Despotic Agenda into the Public Sphere — Concluding Remarks on Languages of Reform
    Thomas Maissen


    Susan Richter is Full Professor of Early Modern History at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.

    Thomas Maissen is Professor of Early Modern History at Heidelberg University.

    Manuela Albertone is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Turin.