Tobacco as Cultural Signifier: A Cultural History of Masculinity and Nationality in Habsburg Hungary

Alexander Maxwell


Since tobacco smoking acquired important patriotic symbolism in nineteenth century, the history of tobacco sheds light on Hungarian nationalism. Hungarian tobacco growers found the Austrian tobacco tariff policy harmful to their interests, particularly when war disrupted the supply of American tobacco in potential export markets. Pushing for a different tariff, Hungarian patriots turned smoking into a marker of Hungarian patriotism. Tobacco symbolism was prominent during Hungary’s 1848 Revolution, not least because tobacco acquired revolutionary symbolism in Italy and Germany as well. The culture of patriotic tobacco corresponded to revolutionary national ideas in that it mostly transcended class barriers but excluded women.


Reform Era, Tobacco, Nationalism, Social History, Austria-Hungary

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