We could say that this is a story about the admiration of ordinary people, the caution of the court, the profit of the few, the clumsiness of newborn diplomacy, or the stubbornness of new leaders. But first and foremost, this is so far an untold story of the global entanglement of the world in the 18th century.

“Benjamin Silas Arthur Schuster.

 It sounds a peculiar yet familiar name, right?
The same unplaceable strangeness struck the Viennese onlookers and well-wishers gathered at St. Stephan’s Cathedral in 1778. They had assembled for the baptism of baby Benjamin, whose parents, Johann and Maria Schuster, had decided to name him in honour of the three American representatives in Paris: Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee. So great was their admiration for the revolutionary trio that the baptism entry recorded the American representatives as godfathers in absentia. Buoyed by ineffable feelings of fatherhood, Johann Schuster wrote to his newborn son’s first namesake within a week. He informed Franklin of his pride in their “little American” who served as a daily reminder of the “illustrious and dear people” who strove for liberty half a world away.” 

Jonathan Singerton evokes the unenviable situation in 1778 when William Lee, the first American diplomat came to Vienna. 

Jonathan Singerton

What you’ve just read is the beginning of a book called “The American Revolution and the Habsburg Monarchy” written by British historian Jonathan Singerton, now a professor at the University of Amsterdam.

Today we are traveling to Habsburg Monarchy at the end of the 18th century and on this journey will we be guided by prof. Singerton who is going to tell us what were people living in the Monarchy thinking of America before and during the American Revolution and how was the Monarchy and its citizens involved in the war on a distant continent.


Why Habsburg Monarchy and American Revolution?
Image of America in the Monarchy before Revolution
Reaction of the court and Habsburg family on the war breakout
Reaction of the ordinary people on the war
The failure of the first diplomatic mission
Habsburg-American trade during the war
The failure to sign a trade agreement
Ironic story of Jefferson’s house and Bohemian glass
Croatians as Habsburg’s subjects in the American Revolution


In the History PodcastTihana Kušter talks to historians about their recent research, books, public practices, education or events in historiography and culture. Episodes with Croatian historians are recorded in the Croatian language, while interviews with foreign researchers are recorded in English.

Povijesnom podcastu Tihana Kušter razgovara s domaćim i stranim povjesničarima o recentnim istraživanjima, edukaciji, praksama i događanjima u znanosti i kulturi. Epizode s domaćim istraživačima i stručnjacima snimljene su na hrvatskom jeziku dok su razgovori s inozemnim istraživačima snimljeni na engleskom jeziku.