Course overview

The history of Vienna in the 19th century, from the time of the Congress of Vienna, which decided the layout of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars, through the revolutionary period of the late 1840s, when it seemed the old order would be swept away, and on to a period of retrenchment, when the monarchy re-established control, albeit increasingly out of step with modern developments, some of which were profound.

Course description

This course covers the history of Vienna In the 19th century, during which its population grew from 300,000 people to more than 2 million and it became the sixth largest city in the world, capital of an empire of 53 million and a centre for the arts, scientific ideas, and political theorising. We will look at the significance of the Congress of Vienna for the city, during which the great powers of Europe vied for influence over the smaller states, and Prussia, Austria’s future rival, began to make its presence felt. We’ll examine the chaotic scenes during the revolution in 1848, when the monarchy was faced with a serious threat to its power. We’ll look at the diversion of the Danube and the development of the Ringstrasse, and the massive migration to the city as a result of large-scale industrialisation. We will also look at some of the personalities who lived in the city, like Johann Strauss the younger, Sigmund Freud, Theodor Herzl, Adolf Hitler and Leon Trotsky, and how music and art changed over this period.

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