The RECS’ first VISITING RESEARCHER: Crawford Matthews

The RECS welcomes its first VISITING RESEARCHER Crawford Matthews from the University of Hull, UK.
He will stay in Potsdam and Berlin from 1 November 2016 until 30 July 2017.
Welcome Crawford Matthews!

Below Crawford introduces himself and his project:

I completed my undergraduate degree in History and Politics at the University of Hull in 2013, I then went on to study for my masters in British and European history at the University of Oxford. I completed this in 2015, producing a thesis entitled: “State Formation in Isolation? The Contingent Effects of Foreign Policy upon Brandenburg-Prussia under the Great Elector”. In October 2015, I then returned to the University of Hull to study for my PhD, which I am currently engaged in.

My current PhD project is entitled “Royal Dignity, Ceremony and Rank: Anglo-Prussian Relations and their impact: 1688 – 1714”. Here I focus on the Anglo-Prussian relations during the reign of Fredrick I. and investigate the extent to which they constituted a medium through which Frederick’s claims to sovereign status could be communicated, in front of a European audience and thus via which his royal rank was produced. Frederick’s overriding foreign policy objective was the legitimization of his fragile, and recently attained kingship and foreign relations with England were instrumentalised in order to achieve this. Demonstrating this will allow a greater comprehension of Prussian foreign policy during the period of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Establishing this will necessitate investigating the diplomatic crises of 1706 and 1711-13. I am therefore currently producing two chapters for my PhD on these periods. I have already conducted extensive archival research in the National Archives in Britain, and now plan to do the same in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The use of both sets of sources will be extremely advantageous to my work, particularly as many previous works have only utilised one set.

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