Please join CGS on March 23 at noon, in person at Coble Hall, 306 and on Zoom for Marco Jaimes (History, UIUC), "The Deaths of Monarchs and the Creation of Nations"

Description: Even as many monarchies collapsed or were deposed as systems of governance during the modern era, remaining monarchs retained great symbolic importance, particularly in representing their countries and nations on the international stage as well as focusing identities and loyalties of domestic audiences.  Prof. Jaimes’s work focuses on the important case of the Habsburg Empire and explores how this monarchy served as the foundational and focal point for shared loyalties and the hopes of developing a Habsburg society. During Franz Joseph’s reign of nearly seven decades (1848 – 1916) numerous teachers, bureaucrats, and everyday people contributed to the idea of the monarch as representative of the state as a whole. These groups participated in Jubilee Day celebrations, wrote tributes to their ruler, and mourned with him. We can see, therefore, through this contentious and contested reign, the importance of monarchy even in a time of nationalist upheaval, and trace how monarchical ideas reverberate in recent history, as the death of Elizabeth II in 2022 has revived questions about the perseverance of monarchy as the symbol of a multinational community, specifically in the context of the United Kingdom.