This is the eagerly awaited second volume of Jean Bérenger's history of the Habsburgs. It covers the last two centuries of their rule and provides a compelling account of the fluctuations of Habsburg dynastic power and its disintegration after World War One. Bérenger gives a rich portrait of Habsburg greatness under Maria Theresa and Joseph II and shows how their successors proved more adroit at riding the tide of nationalism in their multi-ethnic empire than is often recognised.
Introduction The Habsburg inheritance, 1273-1700. 1. The war of the Spanish Succession 1665-1713. 2. The achievement of Charles VI, 1711-1740. 3. A great power on a fragile basis. 4. The accession of Maria Theresa and the crisis of 1740. 5. The age of enlightenment and Austrain society. 6. Joseph II, enlightened despot. 7. Leopold II and the end of the enlightenment, 1790-92. 8. Austria confronts the French Revolution, 1792-1815. 9. The age of Metternich, 1815-48. 10. The Revolution of 1848. 11. The rear guard fights back, 1849-67. 12. 1886: the decisive year. 13. The Austro-Hungarian compromise, 1867. 14. Economic expansion during the reign of Francis Joseph.
15. Political life from 1867-1914. 16. The monarchy during the First World War. 17. Finis Austriae: Dissolved or put to death. Conclusion. Chronology.