Jonathan Triffitt

Project Title: The German Princes and the People after the Fall of Monarchy, 1918-1934

Jonathan’s research concerns the fall of dynastic monarchy, and its legacy, in inter-war Germany. In November 1918, almost two dozen kings, princes, and dukes were forced to abdicate as revolution swept aside a millennium of monarchical rule. Such a mass dethronement was unique, as was the fate of its victims; unlike their predecessors of centuries past, the monarchs did not flee into exile, but continued to live and work amongst their former subjects. Existing literature on the Weimar Republic is incredibly dense, but the post-revolutionary lives of Imperial Germany’s monarchs – and the profound significance of their sudden disappearance – form a striking lacuna. With a focus on the Kingdoms of Bavaria and Württemberg and the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Jonathan’s project will mark the centenary of the 1918 Revolution by examining princely and popular reactions to this dramatic caesura, and the consequences of ‘de-monarchification’ for the identity, culture, and politics of each state. Amongst other questions, it will ask: what did the new citizen-princes do next, and how did they interact with their former subjects and territories? Did the people regret the fall of monarchy, or celebrate it as an opportunity for reform? How were the princes replaced as symbolic figureheads, cultural patrons, religious leaders, and wielders of power? What implications does this have for our understanding of continuity in German history, and the course it subsequently took

Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: History

University: University of St Andrews

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