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Nationalism and Political LibertyRedlich, Namier, and the Crisis of Empire$
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Amy Ng

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199273096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199273096.001.0001

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Lost Worlds, Present Dangers

Lost Worlds, Present Dangers

(p.118) 4 Lost Worlds, Present Dangers
Nationalism and Political Liberty


Oxford University Press

The breakup of Austria-Hungary following World War I devastated Josef Redlich. To him, whose life, identity, and political activities had been so closely woven with the Habsburg monarchy, its dissolution was tantamount to the ‘collapse of the world’. The ‘lost world’ meant the loss of culture and civilisation submerged by a wave of barbarisation, a catastrophe which both Redlich and fellow historian Lewis Namier regarded as not merely local to Central and Eastern Europe but a wider phenomenon that threatened western civilisation. Redlich's own political vocation was so inextricably linked to the old Austria that he felt little inclined to take part in post-war politics. Despite their conviction that German nationalism had been responsible for the war, Redlich and Namier directed their anger in the immediate post-war years towards the victors for destroying what remained of the loved old world. This chapter also looks at the views of Redlich and Namier regarding democracy and parliamentary government.

Keywords:   World War I, nationalism, Austria, democracy, parliamentary government, Europe, politics

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