Mediating the Enemy: Prussian representations of Austria, France and Sweden during the Seven Years War
2014 (English)In: German History, ISSN 0266-3554, E-ISSN 1477-089X, Vol. 32, no 2, 181-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article aims to shed light on early modern images of intra-European 'others' and the interface between the transnational public sphere and politics of the time through an investigation of how the periodical Berlinische Privilegirte Zeitung framed Prussia's adversaries Austria, France and Sweden during the Seven Years War (1756-1763). The global struggle was accompanied by intense wars of words and in print, but not all representations of the enemy 'others' in the Berlin periodical were negative in tone-some reports on the antagonistic powers were neutral or even positive. The pro-Prussian drive of the Berlinische Privilegirte Zeitung was therefore not, it appears, a comprehensive propaganda campaign; rather, it was the sum of a multitude of biased accounts that corresponded to the preferences of King Frederick II and his government. While the analysis corroborates the claim that the Seven Years War was primarily a political conflict, it simultaneously demonstrates that religious arguments were by no means obsolete. On the contrary, religion and politics were intimately intertwined in a master narrative defined by a sequence of dichotomies between 'self' and 'other'. Even so, the article overall reveals the looser, more porous quality of identities in a period when religious essentialism had been decisively weakened and the rise of nationalism had yet to occur.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 32, no 2, 181-200 p.
Seven Years War, Germany, Prussia, Frederick II, propaganda, public sphere
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231441DOI: 10.1093/gerhis/ghu036ISI: 000339918200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-231441DiVA: diva2:744752