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Imperial Challenges in Austro-Hungarian Multicultural Cities

Abstract : The terms of 'multiculturalism' or 'pluriculturalism' were not used by the contemporaries of the Habsburg Monarchy. The concept of the Empirewas framed by its territorial definition and by the ruling dynasty. Itsi nhabitants were to becomecitizens only after the enactmentofthe Constitutional laws of December 1867. The territories of the Empire were either hereditaryp ossessions of the Crown (Kronländer)with their historical rights or provinces ruled by Vienna or Budapest. The diversityoft ongues and confessionsw as considered under the terms of 'peoples' (Völker)o r' ethnic group' (Vo lksstamm); the whole was conceivedasa'multinational state' (Vielvölkerstaat). In his recentbookabout the Habsburg Empire Pieter Judson discusses the use of the term'nationality' by historians and suggests thatweshould keep on speakingof'groups'.Indeed the 'nationality' was not acategorybut acommodityoflanguage and of course an elementofthe political discourse at the same time. It was thus aconstruction and was not relevantfor the daily practice. In this respectheisright in pointing to the factthatconflicts brokebetween nationalists and not between 'nationalities' thus not involving an entire people. 2 The mobilityofsome groups was verycharacteristic:military, bureaucrats, merchants, students, and thus enabled transfers and exchanges. Before 1867, self-identification was defined by religion and territorial belonging,w hat is generallyc alled the 'patriotism of the land' (Landespatriotismus)t hat is the attachment to 'smallh omelands'. The culturet hat characterized the Empire was thus fragmented, moving and fluid between groups and territories. 3 People had multiple identities that were superseded by dynastic loyalty composed of shared symbols and historical references. The
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Catherine Horel. Imperial Challenges in Austro-Hungarian Multicultural Cities. Österreich-Ungarns imperiale Herausforderungen. Nationalismen und Rivalitäten im Habsburgerreich um 1900, 2020. ⟨halshs-03090267⟩



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