Was the Habsburg monarchy an empire like those of Great Britain, France or Spain? Drawing upon, for the first time, modern theoretical perspectives on European expansion to answer this question, Paul Sutter Fichtner argues that the Habsburg holdings did indeed constitute a form of European imperialism. Fichtner examines the role of the interaction between Habsburg rulers, territorial estates, and religious institutions in the expansion of the empire. She then goes on to explore amongst other things the reorientation of these relationships through the impact of the European Enlightenment, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the rise of nationalism.
PAULA SUTTER FICHTNER is Professor Emerita of History at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.