Speisezettel Neues Palais
Court practice around 1878: Prussian Court or Imperial Court?; Source: Wolfgang Neugebauer Collection

The project is investigating the development of the monarchy through the example of Prussia in the nineteenth century from a European and global perspective.


The monarchy ranks as the main European constitutional model in the nineteenth century, which in Prussia under Frederick II underwent a distinctive political-cultural shaping; under his successors it entered in to a relationship with constitutionalism which was marked by lasting and strong tensions. This editorial project draws on more recent theories of the „reinvention of the monarchy” in the nineteenth century which challenge the idea of the secular decline of the monarchy. Arguing from a European and global perspective the project presents the example of Prussia. Compared to elsewhere in Europe, Prussia, since 1871/1889, was characterised by the striking dichotomy of a non-national Prussian state and by the functions of a national royal court. The goal is to create for the first time a large, multi-volume editorial work that makes sources on the history of the monarchy in the period from 1786 to 1918 available to international and comparatist research. No such work exists for any of the European monarchies.


The adaptability and flexibility of the monarchy in the nineteenth century , in the context of interpretive concepts such as the expansion of the bourgeoisie (“Verbürgerlichung”), nationalisation, bureaucratisation and cultural transfer, can be observed in the geographical perspective of court, city and region, but also relate to the state and transnational relations. Considering the key concept of political culture and against the background of current research in constitutional, social and gender history, the representative-symbolic sphere of the Prussian monarchy will be regarded as being inherent in politics instead of being an alternative world.


The Academy research project “Adaption Strategies of the Late Central European Monarchy Through the Example of Prussia, 1786 to 1918” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.

Dr. Bärbel Holtz
Anpassungsstrategien der späten mitteleuropäischen Monarchie am preußischen Beispiel 1786-1918
Tel.: +49 (0)30 20370 0
Jägerstraße 22/23
10117 Berlin
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