John Adams and the Habsburg Monarchy

John Adams and the Habsburg Monarchy

By Jonathan Singerton

The Habsburg Monarchy had many men who understood the complexity of the early American situation. Foremost among them, Count Karl von Zinzendorf had studied the American colonial economy, had met with Benjamin Franklin in London before the war, and had read the histories of America as well as the revolutionary pamphlets of Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams.

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John Adams and the Habsburg Monarchy2021-12-14T14:44:36+00:00

Early America and the Habsburg Dynasty

Early America and the Habsburg Dynasty

By Jonathan Singerton

The Columbian voyages in the 1490s captivated the European imagination with the discovery of the New World. Encounters with indigenous inhabitants informed the European perspective on the Americas.

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Early America and the Habsburg Dynasty2021-12-14T14:45:22+00:00

Teaching American-Austrian Encounters: The Case for Bayard Taylor

Teaching American-Austrian Encounters: The Case for Bayard Taylor

By Nadine Zimmerli

In the increasingly crowded antebellum marketplace for books on travel, Bayard Taylor’s 1846 Views A-Foot, or Europe Seen with Knapsack and Staff stood out as the only book chronicling an affordable tour of Europe.

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Teaching American-Austrian Encounters: The Case for Bayard Taylor2021-12-14T14:46:30+00:00

Nadine Zimmerli’s An Unexpected Encounter between a Silesian Weaver and a (future) American President

An Unexpected Encounter between a Silesian Weaver and a (future) American President

By Nadine Zimmerli

Today I would like to recount John Quincy Adams’s visit to a Silesian weaver’s home in 1800 to share the delightful and unexpected insights that historical research into European-American connections can bring.

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Nadine Zimmerli’s An Unexpected Encounter between a Silesian Weaver and a (future) American President2021-12-14T14:48:11+00:00

Imprisoned Germans, Half-mad Scots, and Bloodsucking Americans: The Habsburg Fears of Emigration to the United States

Imprisoned Germans, Half-mad Scots, and Bloodsucking Americans: The Habsburg Fears of Emigration to the United States

By Jonathan Singerton

“One could call this era the start of a new mass migration,” declared the editors of the popular Provinzial Nachrichten (Provincial News) of Lower Austria in August 1783. There was good reason. The rest of the frontline article relayed the numerous reports from across Europe of the wave of emigrants heading to the new United States of America. From Ireland, where “130,000 people” uprooted themselves, to as far as Poland “the same amount are now migrating to America,” the newspaper reads. A description of such an exodus in the Habsburg Monarchy was conspicuously absent from the report, but it was present.

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Imprisoned Germans, Half-mad Scots, and Bloodsucking Americans: The Habsburg Fears of Emigration to the United States2021-12-14T14:49:44+00:00

A “solitary supper… and a glass of Hungary wine”: American Impressions of Central Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century

A "solitary supper... and a glass of Hungary wine": American Impressions of Central Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century

By Nadine Zimmerli

In mid-November of 1822, Washington Irving sat down to "a solitary supper... and a glass of Hungary wine" in Vienna. Irving—America’s first bestselling author of international fame—traversed much of Central Europe in the early 1820s, and he's a good reminder that early Americans explored Europe beyond the better known destinations of Britain, France, and Italy.

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A “solitary supper… and a glass of Hungary wine”: American Impressions of Central Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century2021-12-14T14:48:47+00:00

Constitutional Connections: The Emperor’s Brother and the United States of America

Constitutional Connections

By Jonathan Singerton

On March 8 1779, the Grand Duke Leopold I of Tuscany left Vienna for Florence in a rather disgruntled mood. Over the past year he had deputized for his brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, while he was away commanding in the War of the Bavarian Succession. Leopold felt horrified at the running of the state in the Habsburg capital. Finances were poor, subjects were displeased, and, worse, Leopold felt Joseph only uttered “frightful, despotic statements.”

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Constitutional Connections: The Emperor’s Brother and the United States of America2021-12-14T14:51:26+00:00

Zinzendorf and Zinner: Two Unlikely Experts on the American Revolution

Zinzendorf and Zinner: Two Unlikely Experts on the American Revolution

By Jonathan Singerton

Before the American Revolution had even begun, the British ambassador in Vienna disgruntledly commented to his superiors in London, “every idle fellow talks of America.” Yet who really knew what they were talking about, exactly? Who in the Habsburg Monarchy knew the most about the faraway land across the Atlantic Ocean?

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Zinzendorf and Zinner: Two Unlikely Experts on the American Revolution2021-12-14T14:52:37+00:00

All in His Hands

All in His Hands: The Emperor's Artist Who Sculpted America's Founding Fathers

By Jonathan Singerton

In November 1783, readers of the Wienerisches Diarium learned about the craze of monument building across the Atlantic. “Sculpted marble,” “bas-reliefs,” and “statues of bronze” were springing up across the American states to commemorate their independence and to honour their leader, Washington. The editors closed the latest report in the ‘Amerika’ section with a copy of the Continental Congress’s commission for equestrian statue of Washington. “How flattering must such an honour be for him,” they commented.

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All in His Hands2021-12-14T14:33:31+00:00

“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna

“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna

By Jonathan Singerton

When Colonel William Stephens Smith (1755-1816) rode along the “most remarkably bad road” between Pirna and Litoměřice along the Elbe River, he joined an exclusive cadre of Americans who reached the Habsburg lands in Central Europe. In all likelihood, Smith became the fifth American to visit the Habsburg capital, Vienna.

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“Lessons for Republicans”: John Adams’s Son-in-law Visits Vienna2021-12-14T14:35:10+00:00