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In: Nationalism before the Nation State
In: Nationalism before the Nation State
Author: Ellen Pilsworth

Abstract

This chapter explores the moral dilemmas encountered by the Enlightenment writer and pedagaogue Rudolph Zacharias Becker around the concepts of nationalism and war. His meticulous selection and adaptation of texts for the two editions of his Mildheimisches Liederbuch (an originally pedagogical work designed to teach peasants more Enlightened ways of thinking) reveal the issues of war and nationalism to have been greatly troubling for him, yet also, unfortunately, unavoidable. While the first edition of Mildheimisches Liederbuch in 1799 treated war as a moral problem, the second edition in 1815 contained a great many new songs proclaiming the anti-French and pro-war sentiments that had arisen during the Wars of Liberation, even though his personal memoir from this period argued for tolerance and respect of the French. Why, then, did he include this anti-French material in the 1815 collection? I interpret Becker’s choice to include pro-war texts with which he did not agree as an attempt to respect freedom of different political opinions, rather than to censor and control them, in the aftermath of Napoleonic occupation.

In: Nationalism before the Nation State
Author: Ellen Pilsworth

Abstract

This chapter explores the moral dilemmas encountered by the Enlightenment writer and pedagaogue Rudolph Zacharias Becker around the concepts of nationalism and war. His meticulous selection and adaptation of texts for the two editions of his Mildheimisches Liederbuch (an originally pedagogical work designed to teach peasants more Enlightened ways of thinking) reveal the issues of war and nationalism to have been greatly troubling for him, yet also, unfortunately, unavoidable. While the first edition of Mildheimisches Liederbuch in 1799 treated war as a moral problem, the second edition in 1815 contained a great many new songs proclaiming the anti-French and pro-war sentiments that had arisen during the Wars of Liberation, even though his personal memoir from this period argued for tolerance and respect of the French. Why, then, did he include this anti-French material in the 1815 collection? I interpret Becker’s choice to include pro-war texts with which he did not agree as an attempt to respect freedom of different political opinions, rather than to censor and control them, in the aftermath of Napoleonic occupation.

In: Nationalism before the Nation State
Author: Dagmar Paulus

Abstract

This chapter discusses Briefe auf einer Reise nach Petersburg an Freunde geschrieben [Letters to Friends from a Journey to Petersburg], by writer and traveller Fanny Tarnow (1779–1862). First published in 1819, this travelogue contains two discourses of exclusion: one based on gender and the other on culture. Tarnow is victim of the former and complicit in the latter. On the one hand, the difficulties faced by Tarnow as a female writer resonate throughout her text. As a woman who had the audacity not only to write and publish but also to travel and live abroad for two years, Tarnow was acutely aware of the restrictions placed upon her based on her gender. On the other hand, however, she constructs a notion of German national identity in contrast to the perceived Otherness, and inferiority, of Russia. Tarnow, in this context, makes use of common national stereotypes that were already virulent at the time, and even claims that nature in Russia is fundamentally different and inferior to German nature. Hence, her letters from Petersburg oscillate between confident self-assertion as a German (and therefore, ‘inherently superior’ to her Russian counterparts) and self-conscious justification as a female author-traveller (and therefore, ‘inherently inferior’ to her male counterparts).

In: Nationalism before the Nation State
Author: Dagmar Paulus

Abstract

This chapter discusses Briefe auf einer Reise nach Petersburg an Freunde geschrieben [Letters to Friends from a Journey to Petersburg], by writer and traveller Fanny Tarnow (1779–1862). First published in 1819, this travelogue contains two discourses of exclusion: one based on gender and the other on culture. Tarnow is victim of the former and complicit in the latter. On the one hand, the difficulties faced by Tarnow as a female writer resonate throughout her text. As a woman who had the audacity not only to write and publish but also to travel and live abroad for two years, Tarnow was acutely aware of the restrictions placed upon her based on her gender. On the other hand, however, she constructs a notion of German national identity in contrast to the perceived Otherness, and inferiority, of Russia. Tarnow, in this context, makes use of common national stereotypes that were already virulent at the time, and even claims that nature in Russia is fundamentally different and inferior to German nature. Hence, her letters from Petersburg oscillate between confident self-assertion as a German (and therefore, ‘inherently superior’ to her Russian counterparts) and self-conscious justification as a female author-traveller (and therefore, ‘inherently inferior’ to her male counterparts).

In: Nationalism before the Nation State
In: Nationalism before the Nation State
In: Nationalism before the Nation State
In: Nationalism before the Nation State
In: Nationalism before the Nation State