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Historians, the nationality question and the downfall of the Hapsburg Empire

Sked, Alan (1981) Historians, the nationality question and the downfall of the Hapsburg Empire. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 31. pp. 175-193. ISSN 0080-4401

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Identification Number: 10.2307/3679051


Was the Habsburg Empire doomed to collapse, and if so, at what point did its collapse become inevitable? This is a question which has been debated consciously and unconsciously by historians ever since 1918. Today, it is true, Austrian historians are warning against it— Professor Wandruszka even a decade ago advised us to do our ‘duty’ and accept ‘the tragic element in history’1—yet the issue is still discussed. Alexander Gerschenkron, for example, in his last work on Austrian history2 chose a counter-factual theme, and in the introduction to his book condemned historians—presumably those like Professor Wandruszka—who were ‘anxious to prevent people from asking pertinent and interesting questions and [had] neither the wit nor the imagination for asking those questions themselves’. Whether Professor Gerschenkron himself employed too much imagination is only one of the issues to be examined in this paper.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1981 Cambridge University Press
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DB Austria
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2009 16:01
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2024 01:15

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