Plzeňské sympozia

Jiří Štaif

The Austrian state bankruptcy of 1811 and the reaction in Bohemia, or: Money and collective memory

pp. 41–57 (Czech), Summary 56 (English), 57 (Deutsch)

This study is made up of four parts: 1. Undermined state finances, 2. State bankruptcy as a ''natural'' disaster, 3. State bankruptcy in the historical memory, 4. Money and consumer uncertainty. The emphasis is placed on those life securities that are nowadays measured in terms of money. Hence the author deals first with the role of money in the traditional, and ultimately in the modern mentality, i.e. primarily with the issue of the extent of social confidence in its purchasing power between 1811 and 1918. This is because people, and from 1861 citizens, increasingly looked to the modern state for a guarantee that they would receive the appropriate countervalue for their money. A huge crisis in this confidence took place in Czech national society during the First World War, when it became evident that the Austro-Hungarian state was not able to deal with the accumulated social problems to a standard that was considered acceptable by the broad strata of society. Their historical memory retained memories of the state bankruptcy from 1811 because evidently for the first time in the modern era it had so drastically undermined confidence in the Austrian state. Similar delegitimizing shocks have also taken place in the 20th and 21st centuries.


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