Resilienz und Konstruktion von Sicherheit : Die piemontesische Adelsfamilie Balbo im Zeitalter der Revolutionen
Prospero Balbo, the head of a leading Piedmontese noble family, followed a career path similar to that of the versatile French statesman Talleyrand. In the aftermath of 1789, Balbo served under four different regimes: the Old Regime monarchy, the Russian provisional administration of Piedmont in 1799, the Napoleonic empire, and the restored Savoy monarchy. After the short-lived revolutionary movement of 1821 in Sardinia-Piedmont, Prospero lost his job as interior minister and his son, Cesare, was forced into exile. The revolutionary waves of 1820–1821 were the most recent of numerous disruptive events and regime changes that jeopardized Europe and the Atlantic world between the late 1770 s and the early 1820 s. These five decades of revolutionary upheavals, wars, and persistent insecurity forced the traditional elites to mobilize their material, cultural, and social resources to preserve their prestige and power. Based on extensive archival research, this article examines the resilience-strengthening resources and strategies implemented by members of the Balbo family during periods of political turmoil. In doing so, the article aims to develop an analytical and conceptual framework to describe historical processes in terms of resilience and vulnerability. This new approach enables us to look afresh at elite transformations and at the dynamics of political change and continuity in early nineteenth-century Europe.
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