Petr Mat'a

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2012/2013
discipline History
Assistant Professor in the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung at the University of Vienna

Research project

Estates, Provincial Diets and the Struggle for Resources 
in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1620-1740. A Comparison

 

Historians have rarely stressed the significance of the estates and provincial diets in the Habsburg monarchy after the Thirty Years War. My project aims to reconsider the history of such institutions in this period. I will focus on several turning points in the history of Habsburg finances between 1620 and 1740 to show how estates responded to new fiscal challenges. In contrast to ongoing projects based on case studies, I have adopted a comparative perspective. The territorial scope of my project embraces what can be called the “core” hereditary provinces (Bohemia, Moravia, Lower and Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola). Chronologically, the research has focused on the more than century-long “blank” period between two major crises of the Habsburg monarchy.

 

So far, my comparative research on the estates has followed a threefold agenda: (i) their social composition; (ii) the inner working of diets; (iii) internal divisions. During the EURIAS fellowship, I will be enabled to complete the picture by illuminating concrete bargaining procedures in the matter of taxation. My research has revealed striking varieties between the provinces under examination with regard to the degree of autonomy enjoyed by the respective estates; varieties so far overshadowed by the simplistic absolutism-paradigm as well as by the lack of comparative examination. What remains to be done is to establish whether the bargaining with the crown in the matter of taxation followed the same pattern, leaving the estates in the Northern provinces less resistant to royal demands. Surprisingly enough, this kind of careful comparative analysis has never been attempted before. In order to achieve this goal, I will focus on several turning points in the history of Habsburg finances to show how estates responded to new fiscal challenges.

 

The monograph is intended to fill a conspicuous gap in our understanding of the Habsburg monarchy as both an emerging fiscal-military state and as a political system based on mutual but highly asymmetric collaboration between the central power and the provincial elites.

Biography

 

Petr Maťa is Assistant Professor in the Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung at the University of Vienna. Born in 1973 in Prague. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the Charles University of Prague.

 

His research fields of interest are the Habsburg monarchy in the early modern period, master narratives in the former states of the Austro-Hungarian empire, cultural, social and religious history of nobility in the erly modern Europe and religion and magic in the age of confessionalization (Catholic ‘charismatics’, prophecies, visions of purgatory, revelations).

Selected publications

 

‘Bohemia, Silesia and the Empire. Negotiating Princely Dignity on the Eastern Periphery’, in R. J. W. Evans – Peter and H. Wilson (eds), The Holy Roman Empire, 1495-1806, London-Boston, 2012, pp.143-165.

 

‘Constructing and Crossing Confessional Boundaries: The High Nobility and the Reformation of Bohemia’, in H. Louthan, G. B. Cohen and F. A. J. Szabo (eds), Diversity and Dissent. Negotiating Religious Difference in Central Europe, 1500–1800, New York–Oxford, 2011, pp.10–29. 

 

‘Noblesse et chapitres dans les pays de la Couronne de Bohême au XVIIe siècle’, XVIIe siècle, vol.250, no.63, 2011, pp.73–95.

 

‘Unerträgliche praegravation. Steuererhebung und Militärfinanzierung im Königreich Böhmen vom Dreißigjährigen Krieg bis zum Regierungsantritt Maria Theresias’, in P. Rauscher (ed.), Kriegsführung und Staatsfinanzen. Die Habsburgermonarchie und das Heilige Römische Reich vom Dreißigjährigen Krieg bis zum Ende des habsburgischen Kaisertums 1740, Münster, 2010, pp.139–185.

 

‘Patres Patriae or Proditores Patriae? Legitimizing and De-Legitimizing Provincial Estates Authority in Seventeenth-Century Bohemia’, in B. Trencsényi and M. Zászkaliczky (eds), Whose Love od Which Country? Composite States, National Histories and Patriotic Discourses in Early Modern East Central Europe, Leiden–Boston, 2010, pp.405–442. 

 

Svět české aristokracie (1500–1700) [The World of the Aristocracy of Bohemia (1500–1700)], Praha, 2005. 

institut

junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2012/2013
Central European University - Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Literature
2012
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2011/2012
Central European University - Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Sociology
2011
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Central European University - Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Philosophy
2013
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2015/2016
Central European University - Institute for Advanced Study
discipline Humanities and Social Sciences
2015