By Alan Forrest, Peter H. Wilson
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Extra resources for The Bee and the Eagle: Napoleonic France and the End of the Holy Roman Empire (War, Culture and Scoiety, 1750-1850)
The Westphalian settlement of 1648 made the Empire’s constitutional balance part of a wider attempt to preserve international peace. The Empire was to remain a non-aligned, passive force in European relations; something that in fact suited the majority of its inhabitants. The Reichstag became a forum through which the weaker elements sought to compel the more powerful principalities to settle their differences and remain at peace with outside powers. Attempts to negotiate a settlement with Revolutionary France failed as Austria and Prussia combined to bully the others into declaring war in 1793.
See also David Hopkin’s Chapter 11 in this volume. 18. Wilson, From Reich to Revolution, pp. 50, 307–26. 19. M. Hochedlinger, Austria’s Wars of Emergence 1683–1797 (Harlow, 2003), pp. H. C. ), Warfare in Europe 1792–1815 (Aldershot, 2007), pp. 415–30. 20. See W. Burgdorf, Reichskonstitution und Nation. Verfassungsrefromprojekte für das Heilige Römische Reich deutscher Nation im politischen Schriftum von 1648 bis 1806 (Mainz, 1998). G. Gagliardo, Reich and Nation: the Holy Roman Empire as Idea and Reality, 1763–1806 (Bloomington, 1980).
The Roman element chimed with his revival of ancient imperial symbols and with his claim to represent a new European order. The universal dimension matched the scope of his ambitions. Even the link to Christianity could serve his current agenda of reconciliation with the papacy. Finally, Caesar, Charlemagne and Otto, who had refounded the Empire in 962, had all been successful warriors who asserted their imperial status following spectacular victories. 51 However, Napoleon’s Charlemagne was very different from Dalberg’s.
The Bee and the Eagle: Napoleonic France and the End of the Holy Roman Empire (War, Culture and Scoiety, 1750-1850) by Alan Forrest, Peter H. Wilson