The objective of this study is to investigate the amalgamation of culture and power at the Musenhof
court of enlightened absolutist Carl Frederic of Baden (1728–1811) in the second half of the eighteenth century, and to compare that court to the court of Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg in the same period. Both struggled to deal with eclectic issues facing the institution court in this transitory phase, which has often been said to mark the fall of the ancien régime
and the rise of modernity. Yet one came out enlarged and enriched, while the other crumbled in the process. By means of court manuals, diaries and other primary documents this study explains the importance of the institution court to the political system, the manifold processes which changed the way household and government co-existed at court in theory and practice, and the impact these processes had on the rise and fall of a ruler and his state. By concentrating on the functionality of the courts between 1750 and 1790 the author hopes to create a fresh perspective and diverge from the more accepted focus on enlightened absolutists and their contribution to the emergence of German liberalism.
Stefanie Freyer, Zeitschrift für Thüringische Geschichte 67, 2013