Empire, Socialism & Jews
1848, 1867, 1889 – Revolution, Emancipation and Mass Politics


One contemporary paradox of Austrian national identity is that its narrative became so potent that parents these days cannot tell their children stories from before 1918. Can the Austrian Empire be written back into Austrian history?

The workshop, the third in a series, represents an ongoing project to reconceptualize the Austrian Empire’s place in Central European history by focusing on the interaction of imperial institutions, the socialist movement and Austrian Jewry. This workshop will focus on the transformations of the 1848 revolutions, the 1867 emancipation of the Jews, and the founding of the socialist party in 1889. Participants will discuss German-Jewish educational reform in the Czech Crownlands, the role of socialism in the 1848 revolutions, Jewish intellectuals before emancipation, the Grundgesetz and Jewish property rights, the founding of the socialist party as an imperial event, and the Arbeiter-Zeitung’s attitude toward the empire in its early years. Some of the field’s basic premises will be questioned: Was Jewish imperial patriotism limited to Franz Joseph? Was the Grundgesetz truly revolutionary? Was Austrian socialism anti-imperial? The workshop seeks to write the empire back into the Austrian national narrative.