Anglo-Prussian relations and the reciprocal production of status : ceremonial and diplomacy between London and Berlin, 1701-1714
Matthews, Crawford Antony Roxburgh
Thesis or dissertation
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The period between the 1648 Peace of Westphalia and the 1713 Pacification of Utrecht-Rastatt-Baden saw a transition in European princely society from a hierarchically arranged political order to a bipartite system. This led many princes and states to attempt to secure their position within the upper tier of this new system. Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg, was one such ruler, and his efforts to gain admittance to the superior grouping resulted in him crowning himself as King in Prussia in 1701. This rank elevation could however not be unilaterally declared, for status production required the recognition and cooperation of others. The ceremonial honours granted to rulers and their diplomatic representatives acted as the primary means through which status within European princely society was brought into being, and this thesis adopts the culturalist approach to reinvigorate such performative actions with the meaning they held for contemporaries. Frederick consequently instrumentalised his relations with other princes throughout his reign to secure marks of acceptance, and construct his status as king.
Relations with English actors provided the most susceptive space in which the Prussian king was able to bring his potentate status into being. This was due to a number of facilitating factors which made the English consistently willing to grant greater ceremonial concessions than others, as well as other dynamics which amplified the impact of ceremonial concessions granted by the English. The Anglo-Prussian relationship likewise provided English actors with the opportunity to facilitate rank elevations. This is most prominently represented in the person of Baron Raby, the English representative to Berlin from 1703-1711, who managed to secure an increase in status, wealth, and prestige. Four case study chapters will demonstrate how Anglo- Prussian relations acted as an effective medium for reciprocal status production, re-emphasising the importance of the Anglo-Prussian connection during this period.
- Department of History, The University of Hull
- Biskup, Thomas; Price, Munro
- Sponsor (Organisation)
- Arts Council England; German History Society (Great Britain); Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz
- Qualification level
- Qualification name
- 4 MB