Languages of Reform in the Eighteenth Century: When Europe Lost Its Fear of Change, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Languages of Reform in the Eighteenth Century

When Europe Lost Its Fear of Change, 1st Edition

Edited by Susan Richter, Thomas Maissen, Manuela Albertone


438 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367427733
pub: 2019-10-21
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pub: 2019-10-18
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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Early Modern History

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General