History OCR German Nationalism Unit A2Watch this thread
This next one is a restoration to bring those times into colour and is fascinating.
It covers everything you possibly need to know, and more.
I was just wandering if anyone has tips for this unit when i start in September. Also, this may sound really stupid but I can't seem to actually understand what German nationalism is? I've been told for this course we have to write an overview on how attitudes towards German nationalism changed.
Bob Whitfield also pinpointed the growth of nationalistic feeling as a deciding factor in the eventual unification of Germany, succinctly describing nationalism as a ‘set of ideas which was growing in popularity across Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century’ , originating as a backlash against the so-called ‘crisis of the eighteenth century’- Napoleonic Europe. The immediate effect of a Corsican dictator annexing states, removing their monarchs and replacing them with his own family, was antipathy towards all that was French- as Dr Bruce Waller put it, ‘German nationalism was anti-French in origin’ -, and sprang from a sense of pride in their own country for withstanding the tumultuous years of 1804-1815. No citizens would have been more proud than the Prussians (and Austrians), whose armies, under the command of Gebhard von Blücher, played a decisive part in the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. This uncharacteristic display of companionship between Prussia and Austria culminated in the emergence of a ‘German’ national identity, which was subsequently adopted and promoted by a plethora of famous poets and playwrights. One such author was Friedrich Schiller, a man Stefan Berger hailed as the ‘intellectual founding figure of the German nation’ . The educated classes- namely the emerging middle class- built upon these ideas and created university societies, leading to the celebration of national festivities and the establishment of national costume throughout the 1830s. The epitome of German character was discovered in the ancient oak leaf, which was to symbolise fastness and strength- ‘core ingredients of German national character’ . Similarly, flags of black, gold and red were flown to further consolidate German identity. What was originally a triumph for commercialism soon became a political ideology in Prussia, maturing into the formation of the Nationalverein. Since individual countries within the German Confederation already saw themselves proudly as a nation-state, the prospect of becoming a unified Germany was both yearned for and welcomed, thus nationalism clearly contributed to the auguring of German unification.
Germany did not exist until the proclamation of the German Empire in 1871. Before then, the original German territories had existed as separate, independent states within the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation. Most people were separatist; they didn't view themselves as German but as Austrian or Prussian.
[There was much hostility between Austria and Prussia and both wanted to take the lead in unifying Germany. Prussia did eventually and Austria was excluded]
What I'm trying to say is, long before 1871, there was no German nationalism. It emerged in 1815, when Austria and Prussia allied against Napoleon. However, it was still heavily regionalised. Later, they were encouraged to be expansionist, yearning for the old, excluded German territories as an extension of the German Empire. Thus, there was a change in the remit of German nationalists.