Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Executive editor of the English version: Andrew Colin Gow

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The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History is the English edition of the German-language Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. This 15-volume reference work, published in print between 2005 and 2012 and here available online, offers a multi-faceted view on the decisive era in European history stretching from ca. 1450 to ca. 1850 ce. in over 4,000 entries.
The perspective of this work is European. This is not to say that the rest of the World is ignored – on the contrary, the interaction between European and other cultures receives extensive attention.

New articles will be added on a regular basis during the period of translation, for the complete German version see Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit Online.

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(4 words)

See Qabalah
Date: 2019-10-14


(969 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
Kabinettsjustiz (“cameral justice” or “cabinet justice”)  signifies a ruling over a legal case by a territorial sovereign or any other intervention by a sovereign in the administration of justice, always in reference to a single case (Territorial sovereignty [Holy Roman Empire]). The German term originated in the 18th century and had a negative connotation long thereafter, indicating an infringement against the separation of powers (Powers, separation of) and the independence of the judiciary. This la…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,150 words)

Author(s): Rogg, Matthias
The term Kabinettskrieg (“cabinet war”) denotes the dominant form of European warfare in the period from the Peace of Westphalia (1648) to the French Revolution (1789), and refers in particular to those who were making political and military decisions. It implies that decisions of war and peace were made in cabinet, or even that wars were fought on this theoretical level. Another term sometimes used in German synonymously with Kabinettskrieg is  gehegter Krieg (“conceptual war”), evoking the rational, restrained form of warfare that emerged under the influence…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Kabinettsjustiz
Date: 2019-10-14


(784 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
The Kameralprozess (“cameral procedure”) is the term used to describe the trial procedure of the Reichskammergericht established in 1495. It was a special form of the general ordinary civil procedure, as set forth by medieval Italian jurists and especially in the Speculum iudiciale (1271-1291; “judicial mirror”) of Guilelmus Durantis. On contrast to scholarly law, the Kameralprozess retained the separation of judge and jurors that was typical of the German Middle Ages. The royal chamber court ( Kammergericht) of the 15th century was heavily influenced by the procedural law of iu…
Date: 2019-10-14


(6 words)

See Demesne | Crown land
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Kabinettsjustiz
Date: 2019-10-14


(992 words)

Author(s): Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco
1. ConceptKantianism is the name given to a philosophical tendency of the last two decades of the 18th century that drew on Immanuel Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft ( Critique of Pure Reason, 1781/87) and contributed to the popularization of Kantian philosophy. Discussions of Kantianism may be regarded as the first reflection of the Copernican revolution in philosophy effected in Kant’s  Kritik. This revolution consisted in the assertion that the phenomenal world was dependent on the constitutional powers of the subject. Kant thus abolished subject…
Date: 2019-10-14


(841 words)

Author(s): Riemer, Nathanael
1. Concept and development in the Middle AgesThe autonym of the splinter group known as the “Karaim,” which began to develop from Babylonian-Persian Judaism early in the 8th century, indicates considerable departures from the mother religion: the  Ba'ale ha-Mikra (“People of the Scriptures”) accepted only the Hebrew Bible as the written Torah, therefore rejecting the oral Torah (Halakhah, Judaic law) of rabbinical Judaism, although they used its hermeneutics. Compared with rabbinic Judaism, the Karaite Halakhah, Sevel ha-Jeruscha (“Yoke of Inheritance”), is less syst…
Date: 2019-10-14

Karlsbad Decrees

(815 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Gerald
The Karlsbad Decrees were drafts for four repressive laws of the German Confederation. They were prepared in August 1819 at the Bohemian spa town of Karlsbad (today Karlovy Váry) at ministerial conferences attended by representatives of ten German governments regarded as conservative (Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Hannover, Württemberg, Baden, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and Nassau). The ostensible motivation was the murder of the writer August von Kotzebue, who had been wor…
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,003 words)

Author(s): Pfister, Ulrich
1. DefinitionThe term  Kaufsystem denotes a production regime, that is, the institutional embodiment of the organization of production and work relations in the export-oriented industrial trades and crafts in the period of proto-industrialization. A Kaufsystem involves a purely market-oriented relationship between independent commercial producers and the merchants who purchased their products and sold them on export markets [6. 202–210]. As soon as the relationship of the largely anonymous purchasing was supplemented by a production order (com…
Date: 2019-10-14

Keeping of animals

(19 words)

See Animal husbandry | Aviculture | Dogs, keeping of | Livestock | Livestock, housing of
Date: 2019-10-14


(1,078 words)

Author(s): Fenske, Michaela
1. Meaning and form The German  Kermis (Dutch kermis; Belgian/French kermesse) derived from the MHG  kirmesse (“church mass”), denoting the ceremonial blessing of new places of worship. From the Middle Ages, the festival of Kermis was held annually in commemoration of the initial consecration of the church ( Kirchweih), and a secular festival accompanied the church festival from medieval times. The equivalent term in English would be “parish fair,” and in the French-speaking world (away from regions bordering Germany), fête foraine.In the agrarian society of the early m…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3 words)

See Marriage
Date: 2019-10-14

Keyboard music

(1,716 words)

Author(s): Körndle, Franz
1. ConceptKeyboard music in the broadest sense means any music that is played on a keyboard instrument or in the playing of which a keyboard instrument is involved. The word “keyboard” is first attested in the early 19th century; the earlier “clavier,” borrowed from French (like the German Klavier), derives from the Latin  clavis (“key”), which from the Middle Ages denoted the (sounding) note and, from the 13th century, also the finger-operated mechanism for sounding the note. Keys in this physical sense, which in early times (attested from 11…
Date: 2019-10-14

Key (music)

(11 words)

See Harmony and composition, theory of | Tonal systems
Date: 2019-10-14