Parliaments, interests, convictions: European trajectories in the late 17th – mid-19th centuries

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Popper Room
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 9:00am
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Monday, October 14, 2019 - 9:00am to 4:00pm

Parliaments, interests, convictions: European trajectories in the late 17th – mid-19th centuries

 International conference organized by the Hungarian National Archives, in cooperation with Central European University, the Hungarian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Austrian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

 Budapest, 17–18 October, 2019

 Working language: English

 Papers to be presented at this international conference will discuss in a comparative framework aspects of parliamentary culture in the last century of ancien régime in continental Europe, when in certain countries the estates possessed more substantial political powers than elsewhere. Prime examples include the sejm in Poland, the Diet in Hungary or the Riksdag in Sweden in the Age of Liberty. The conference will confront certain elements of political culture in these countries with corresponding features in other countries, and explore how various configurations are linked to different political systems. Particular emphasis will be placed on motivations and political communication, and the interplay of ideas and practices. The regional focus will be on the Austrian, Bohemian and Hungarian lands of the Habsburg monarchy, but the comparative experience of other Central European realms (Poland) and Scandinavia will receive substantial attention.

17 October, 2019

Location: Hungarian National Archives

14.00 Thomas Wallnig (University of Vienna) and János Kalmár (Eszterházy University, Eger): Opening remarks

14.30 Rulers and estates

(moderator: Thomas Wallnig)

1. Wim Blockmans (retired Professor of Leiden University and former Rector of the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Study): The remains of the Ancien Régime, caught between collaboration and innovation

2. Géza Pálffy (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Budapest): Court, estates and Diet in the seventeenth-century Hungary

3. Anna Grzeṡkowiak-Krwawicz (The Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Adacemy of Sciences, Warsaw): Domicilium libertatis or a threat to liberty? 18th-century discussions on the role and place of the Sejm within the system of government of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

4. Stefan Seitschek (Institute of Austrian Historical Research, University of Vienna): Paying tribute to the sovereign: Emperor and Estates during the rule of Charles VI

15.30 Discussion

Coffee break

16.20 Rulers and estates (continued)

5. Patrik Winton (Örebro University from May 2019): The growth of political instability and the royal coup in Sweden, c. 1760-1780

6. William D. Godsey (Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna): ’He is working to abolish all Estates’: The Estates in the Habsburg lands under Joseph II (1780–1790)

7. Petra Vokáčová (Prague City Archives): The Parliamentary Commissioners of Baroque Bohemia

8. Krisztina Kulcsár (Hungarian National Archives, Budapest): With or without estates? The role and functions of the lieutenant-governorship in Hungary in the 18th century

17.20 Discussion

18 October, 2019

Location: Central European University

9.00 Motivation in politics

(Moderator: Grete Klingenstein)

1. András Forgó (University of Pécs): Instruments of conviction in the political culture of 18th-century Hungary

2. István Szijártó (Eötvös University, Budapest): From confession to constitution. The Hungarian MPs’ motivation in the mid-18th century

3. Olga Khavanova (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Institute of Slavic Studies): The Order of St. Stephen as the Austrian Monarchy's civilian order of merit: candidates, applications, grounds

4. László Kontler (Central European University, Budapest): Political ambition: The concept in  Montesquieu and in his Hungarian reception (1748-1848)

10.00 Discussion

Coffee break

 11.00 Parliamentary communication and political culture

(Moderator: László Kontler)

1. Joakim Scherp (Stockholm University): "An emerging parliamentary political culture. Patterns of communication, cooperation and conflict in the Swedish Diet 1660-1723"

2. Benedek Varga (University of Cambridge): ’Domina et Rex’: Maria Theresa and the problem of gynecocracy in 18th-century Hungary

3. Philip Steiner: The Renaissance of estates culture in late-Josephinistic Inner Austria, 1789-1792


12.00 Lunch break

 13.30 Parliamentary communication and political culture (continued)

4. Orsolya Szakály (SOAS, University of London): Pragmatism triumphant: Hungary's political culture in the age of the French Revolution

5. Tamás Dobszay (Eötvös University, Budapest): Order of seats in the House defined by the estate structure and power relations


14.30 László Kontler: Closing remarks


For practical questions concerning accommodation and travel, please contact Dr István Németh  (Hungarian National Archives):