Promotionskolleg "Personalunion"

The Personal Union of Great Britain and Hanover, 1714–1837: An International Space of Communication and Interaction

The coronation of George I, elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover), precipitated a shift in the political spheres of power in the transatlantic world and on the continent. The connection of the continental Electorate with the Kingdom of Great Britain created a space that enabled reciprocal cultural, political and economic exchanges. Its effects can be found in both territories even today. Because historical research has focused on the bilateral constitutional dimension of this union, it has neglected to address many of the accompanying cultural implications. To this end, the focus of this research project is on the impact and consequences of the Personal Union in the German, European, and transatlantic contexts, in conversation with recent trends in European and American historiographic research.

The Postgraduate Research Group (PRG) understands the Union between the Electorate of Hanover and the Kingdom of Great Britain as a space of communication and interaction - a construct constituted not only in the coronation of a monarch but also in the public mind; a phenomenon anchored in the internationality of culture, society, politics, and administration.

This study of the Union encompasses several fields of research: the reciprocal perceptions to be found in magazines and written reports; technology transfer at the advent of industrialisation; the reception and exchange of musical trends; administrative practices across borders; and the regimental cultures of British troops in Hanover and Hanoverian troops receiving British pay. These various inquiries will be informed by the ethos of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen – itself a product of the processes under analysis – which has long been a leader in fostering international cooperation in teaching and research. Accordingly, they will seek to incorporate perspectives from the histories and historiographies of their various disciplines.

The PRG members will work on these research tasks independently. At the same time the group’s structure will enable them to pursue relevant topics in a structured and coordinated manner. They will draw from the methods of the historical sciences, literary studies, and musicology in carrying out their research.

Of particular importance will be the cooperation with the German Historical Institute London and several other experts, especially in Great Britain and the United States.

The PRG will be supported by PhD supervisors from a broad spectrum of academic fields at the Faculty of Humanities of Göttingen University, and is closely linked to the Graduate School of Humanities Göttingen (GSGG).
Prof. Dr. Arnd Reitemeier
Deputy Speaker
Prof. Dr. Manfred Jakubowski-Tiessen

The Postgraduate Research Group is funded by the State of Lower Saxony.