Societies perceive "Reform" or "Reforms" as substantial changes and significant breaks which must be well-justified. The Enlightenment brought forth the idea that the future was uncertain and could be shaped by human beings. This gave the concept of reform a new character and new fields of application. Those who sought support for their plans and actions needed to reflect, develop new arguments, and offer new reasons to address an anonymous public. This book aims to compile these changes under the heuristic term of "languages of reform." It analyzes the structures of communication regarding reforms in the 18th century through a wide variety of topics.
Susan Richter is Full Professor of Early Modern History at Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel.
Thomas Maissen is Professor of Early Modern History at Heidelberg University.
Manuela Albertone is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Turin.
Introduction: Languages of Reform and the European Enlightenment
Pascal Firges, Johan Lange, Thomas Maissen, Sebastian Meurer, Susan Richter, Gregor Stiebert, Lina Weber, Urte Weeber, and Christine Zabel
Section I: Semantics of Languages of Reform
1. The Concept of Reform in Polyglot European Enlightenment
2. The Dawning of the Age of Reform: Epistemic and Semantic Shifts in Georgian Britain
3. The Making of "Federalism" in Eighteenth-Century France: Between Reform and Revolution
4. Ambiguity in Translation: Communicating Economic Reform in the Multilingual Republic of Berne
Lisa Kolb and Lothar Schilling
Section II: Strategies and Rhetoric of Reform
5. Change and Improvement to Save the State: Administrative Reforms in Maria Theresian Austria
6. Reform as Verbesserung: Argumentative Patterns and the Role of Models in German Cameralism
7. Luxury as an Eighteenth-Century Language of Reform of Society Between France and Italy: Jean-François Melon, Antonio Genovesi and Georges-Marie Butel-Dumont
8. A Useful Public Institution?: Languages of University Reform in the German Territories, 1750-1800
Section III: Thematic Vocabularies in Specific Contexts
9. A Kind of Sovereignty?: Legitimising Freedom of Contract in the 18th Century
10. From Economic Reform to Political Revolution: The Language of Dutch Patriotism
11. Mending the Boat While Sailing: Languages of Linguistic Reform in the German Territories, c. 1750-1815
12. From a Reform-Language of Speculation to a Speculative Language of Reform: Liberalising Trade in Mid-18th-Century France
13. From the Civic Improvement of the Jews to the Separation of State and Church: Languages of Political Reform in Brandenburg-Prussia, 1781-1799
Section IV: Adaption and Translation of Reform Languages
14. The Difficult Reform of Military Discipline in the Latter Half of Eighteenth-Century France
15. Writing on "The New Order": Ottoman Approaches to Late Eighteenth-Century Reforms
Section V: Reflecting on Reform
16. Reform, Revolution, and the Republican Tradition: The Case of the Batavian Republic
Wyger R.E. Velema
17. Words and Things: The Language of Reform in Wilhelm Traugott Krug and Karl Ludwig von Haller
Conclusion: Bringing a Despotic Agenda into the Public Sphere - Concluding Remarks on Languages of Reform