Nationalism before the Nation State

Literary Constructions of Inclusion, Exclusion, and Self-Definition (1756–1871)


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Long before it took political shape in the proclamation of the German Empire of 1871, a German nation-state had taken shape in the cultural imagination. Covering the period from the Seven Years’ War to the Reichsgründung of 1871, Nationalism before the Nation State: Literary Constructions of Inclusion, Exclusion, and Self-Definition (1756–1871) explores how the nation was imagined by different groups, at different times, and in connection with other ideologies. Between them the eight chapters in this volume explore the connections between religion, nationalism and patriotism, and individual chapters show how marginalised voices such as women and Jews contributed to discourses on national identity. Finally, the chapters also consider the role of memory in constructing ideas of nationhood.

Contributors are: Johannes Birgfeld, Anita Bunyan, Dirk Göttsche, Caroline Mannweiler, Alex Marshall, Dagmar Paulus, Ellen Pilsworth, and Ernest Schonfield.

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Dagmar Paulus, Ph.D (2013), is a Senior Teaching Fellow in German Studies at University College London, UK. Her first book, Abgesang auf den Helden: Geschichte und Gedächtnispolitik in Wilhelm Raabes historischem Erzählen, was published in 2014.

Ellen Pilsworth, Ph.D. (2017), is Lecturer in German and Translation at the University of Reading. She has published several articles on eighteenth-century German poetry.
 List of Illustrations
 Notes on Contributors
 Introduction: Nationalism before the Nation State
Dagmar Paulus and Ellen Pilsworth

Part 1: Eighteenth-Century Debates and Dilemmas

 1 Johann Joachim Spalding’s 1778 Kriegs-Gebeth: Church Prayers (Kirchengebete), War Prayers (Kriegsgebete), and the Patriotic and National Discourse in late Eighteenth-Century Germany
Johannes Birgfeld
 2 Enlightenment Dilemmas: Nationalism and War in Rudolph Zacharias Becker’s Mildheimisches Liederbuch (1799/1815)
Ellen Pilsworth

Part 2: Germany and “Other” Stories: Defining the Nation from Outside

 3 “No sensuous requirement that might not be satisfied here to surfeit”: Heinrich von Kleist and Friedrich Schlegel Constructing the German Nation in Paris
Caroline Mannweiler
 4 Femininity, Nation and Nature: Fanny Tarnow’s Letters to Friends from a Journey to Petersburg (1819)
Dagmar Paulus

Part 3: German-Jewish Voices in the Nationalism Debate

 5 Jews for Germany: Nineteenth-Century Jewish-German Intellectuals and the Shaping of German National Discourse
Anita Bunyan
 6 Moses Hess: One Socialist Proto-Zionist’s Reception of Nationalisms in the Nineteenth Century
Alex Marshall

Part 4: Looking Back, Looking Forwards: Nineteenth Century Contests of Memory and Progress

 7 Nationalism, Regionalism, and Liberalism in the Literary Representation of the Anti-Napoleonic “Wars of Liberation,” 1813–71
Dirk Göttsche
 8 Learning from France: Ludwig Börne in the 1830s
Ernest Schonfield

Researchers in German Studies working on literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and scholars of nationalism more broadly.
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