The End of the Concert of Europe:
Europe and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the end of the long 19th century
10th and 11th November 2022
The changes that were initiated, stimulated or accelerated by the First World War caused significant shifts in a number of areas. The political, religious and social map of Europe in 1914 was fundamentally different to the map of the continent in the immediate post-war period and the years thereafter. The unquestioned power of the pentarchy was ended, multinational monarchies were replaced by republican nation states whose governments based their legitimacy on different concepts than their predecessors. However, it is possible to find many more symptoms of this paradigm shift, allowing us to research the turning-point that signalled the end of the long 19th century from the perspective of a variety of disciplines and differing methods.
One possible impetus for a discussion defined in these broad terms is the 100th anniversary of the death of Emperor Charles I of Austria (1922), who in this country is commonly labelled the last King of Bohemia. He remains a controversial figure, one that is subject to diametrically opposed viewpoints, ranging from the defensive to hypercritical. The ten decades that have passed since his death have brought a large number of disputed topics, for example the tense relations between the Habsburgs and the countries of Central Europe and Charles's beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. The centenary of the death of Charles I of Austria can thus be seen as an opportunity for the historization, i.e. the taking of a balanced, critical approach, to not only the person of one emperor, but also the modern history of the Czech Republic and Europe as a whole.