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Hall Fellow wins Leverhulme Prize

6 November 2006

Dr William O'Reilly, Tutor & Staff Fellow in History at Trinity Hall, has won a Leverhulme Prize for his research.

The the award is made on the basis of work to-date, and with the expectation that it will facilitate completion of a larger research project.

Dr O'Reilly's work is concerned with "the comparative ideologies of colonisation and government examined through a study of the changes introduced in Central Europe around the reign of Emperor Charles VI (1711-1740). This study is tentatively called Multi-Ethnic Government and the Reconquest of Central Europe. At an acquisitive phase of the Habsburg's empire in Central Europe Charles, later Emperor Charles VI, returned from Barcelona to Vienna in 1711. With a state beset by financial problems, Charles's administrative assembly in Vienna immediately instituted a broad and comprehensive reorganisation of the state, based on the most efficient economic use of the newly acquired lands of Central and Southern Europe. In the nomenclature of his day, Charles referred to these lands as his 'colonies' and in an understandable semantic turn used the language of the Spanish Empire in the Americas, and of the 'reconquest' in Spain, to explain how these lands and their residents might best be governed and utilized.

Charles conceived of using Spanish methods to administer his new lands taken from the Ottoman Empire. Just as in Spain and the Spanish colonies in the Americas, reconquista politics and restrictions on immigration were applied by Charles's administration to the former Ottoman-administered territories of Central Europe. Charles was responsible not alone for the introduction of the Spanish court to Vienna, but also a system of administration that saw his imperial, and colonial, world collapse; his syncretic form of colonial government, blending ideas born of colonial government in the Spanish Americas with intolerant religious administrative practices from Spain, were applied to the multi-ethnic, multi-religious theatre of Central Europe."

Dr O'Reilly is Tutor & Staff Fellow in History at Trinity Hall; University Lecturer in Early Modern History; and Director of Studies, Centre for History and Economics.

 

November 2006

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