2/7/12 ASHLAND, OH -- The Ashbrook Center at Ashland University will host a Feb. 24 colloquium on “The War of Austrian Succession: Why is it Important?” presented by Dr. Reed Browning, who served as acting president and provost at Kenyon College before his retirement.
Because its alliances were fragile, its purposes obscure, and its results broadly disappointing, the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) is often treated—in contrast to the significant struggles of 1701-13, 1756-63, and 1791-1815—as one of those less consequential conflicts that kept bedeviling Europe between 1648 and 1815.
However, there are reasons for looking past the confusions over its alliances, its purposes, and its fruits, and in the process Dr. Browning will argue that, for Europe itself (and disregarding the world of empires), the War of the Austrian Succession was a signally important continental conflict, blocking the hegemonic ambitions of France, inaugurating the era of German dualism, bringing political stability to Italy, and foreshadowing the coming age of democratic revolutions.
Browning was born in 1938 in New York City and received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He also studied at the University of Vienna. He taught at Amherst College from 1964 to 1967 and then spent 40 years teaching at Kenyon College. He retired in 2007. During his years at Kenyon, he served stints as provost as well as acting president.
He is the author of three books on British/European history—The Duke of Newcastle (1975), Political and Constitutional Ideas of the Court Whigs (1982), and The War of the Austrian Succession (1994); and he has written two books on baseball history—Cy Young: A Baseball Life (2000) and Baseball’s Greatest Season: 1924 (2003). Browning lives with his wife, Susan, in Granville, Ohio.
The Ashbrook Center, located on the campus of Ashland University, seeks to restore and strengthen the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government through educational programs for students, teachers and citizens. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.