DISCORD BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE MODERN IN THE HABSBURG MONARCHY OF THE 19TH CENTURY, EMPEROR FRANCIS JOSEPH I. AND HIS CENTRAL EUROPEAN (AND CZECH) HERITAGE
In as early as the 19th century, the Austrian Empire was the symbol of conservatism and reactionism in the eyes of European as well as Czech liberals. Was the Austrian monarchy thus on the path to modernity in as early as the 19th century, or was it the chief guardian of traditions and old orders? The experience of Joseph II's reforms rooted an aversion towards excessive radicalism and revolutionary solutions and a peaceful course of gradual reforms met with success. We inherited an aversion to professional politics run by parliament from the monarchy. With this we can also explain the sympathy that a significant part of the public has towards governments comprised of specialists. The monarchy's legacy also consists of an exaggerated respect towards the heads of state, in the Austrian Empire, Czechs also learned to live with other nations in a joint political territory. The ruling elite made no effort to develop patriotism in the Austrian Empire and counted solely on dynastic loyalty. It was the absence of feelings for all of Austria that allowed the resulting vacuum to be filled with particular (often intolerant) forms of nationalism.
J. Rak, Institut mezinarodnich studii FSV UK, U Krize 8, 158 00 Praha 5, Czech Republic
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