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Germany’s ‘special path’ History of Germany Lecture 1


Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

German Federal Traditions The National Anthem or ‘where is Germany?’ Unification from Above Nation and Nationalism Germany’s Special Path


Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

German Federal Traditions The National Anthem or ‘where is Germany?’ Unification from Above Nation and Nationalism Germany’s Special Path


1.Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt, wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze brüderlich zusammenhält! Von der Maas bis an die Memel, von der Etsch bis an den Belt: |: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt! :|

1. Germany, Germany above all, above anything in the world, when always, for protection, we stand together as brothers. From the Meuse to the Neman, from the Adige to the Belt, |: Germany, Germany above all, above anything in the world. :|

2. Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang sollen in der Welt behalten ihren alten schönen Klang, uns zu edler Tat begeistern unser ganzes Leben lang: |: Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang! :| 3. Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland! Danach lasst uns alle streben brüderlich mit Herz und Hand! Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand; |: blüh' im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe, deutsches Vaterland. :|

August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben


1.Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt, wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze brüderlich zusammenhält! Von der Maas bis an die Memel, von der Etsch bis an den Belt: |: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt! :|

1. Germany, Germany above all, above anything in the world, when always, for protection, we stand together as brothers. From the Meuse to the Neman, from the Adige to the Belt, |: Germany, Germany above all, above anything in the world. :|

2. Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang sollen in der Welt behalten ihren alten schönen Klang, uns zu edler Tat begeistern unser ganzes Leben lang: |: Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang! :|

2. German women, German fidelity, German wine and German song, Shall retain, throughout the world, Their old respected fame, To inspire us to noble deeds For the length of our lives. German women, German fidelity, German wine and German song.

3. Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland! Danach lasst uns alle streben brüderlich mit Herz und Hand! Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit sind des Glückes Unterpfand; |: blüh' im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe, deutsches Vaterland. :|

3. Unity and right and freedom For the German Fatherland; Let us all strive to this goal Brotherly, with heart and hand. Unity and rights and freedom Are the pledge of fortune grand. Prosper in this fortune's glory, Prosper German fatherland.


1. Heil dir im Siegerkranz, Herrscher des Vaterlands! Heil, Kaiser, dir! F端hl in des Thrones Glanz Die hohe Wonne ganz, Liebling des Volks zu sein! Heil Kaiser, dir!

1. Hail to thee in victor's crown, Ruler of the fatherland! Hail to thee, Kaiser! Feel in the throne's glow The high ecstasy in full To be darling of thy people! Hail to thee, Kaiser!


Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

German Federal Traditions The National Anthem or ‘where is Germany?’ Unification from Above Nation and Nationalism Germany’s Special Path


Germania 1848

Germania, 1914 Friedrich August von Kaulbach, 192 x 147 cm


German Dualism and the Founding of the German Empire 1859-1871 Austria Prussia Efforts to reform the German Confederation

Greater Germany

France neutral

Breakdown of the Frankfurt Assembly of German Princes 1863 German-Danish war 1864 Austria brings an action against Prussia in front of the Federal Diet. Prussia declares the end of the German Confederation. Prussian-Austrian War 1866

Lesser Germany

Alliance with Italy Prussia founds the North German Confederation

Austria excluded from Germany

Declaration of war by France, July 1870

Prussia takes the lead in Germany with the help of the Zollverein (Customs Union)

Napoleon III taken prisoner in September 1870

Founding of the Empire in Versailles in January 1871


Painting by A. v. Werner


Constitutional Conflict in Prussia 1858: “New Era” under William I Army Reform King’s Army vs. Army of the Parliament Constitutional conflict

Old Liberals with 55% of the deputies in the Prussian Diet German Progressive Party (Old Liberals 40%, Progressivists 29.3% in Diet)

1862: William I appoints Bismarck to be Minister President of Prussia “Lückentheorie”: 18621866, governing without legal budget

Liberals with 2/3 majority in Diet Victorious wars 1864 und 1866

Diet idemnifies government 1866

Founding of the National Liberal party


Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

German Federal Traditions The National Anthem or ‘where is Germany?’ Unification from Above Nation and Nationalism Germany’s Special Path


“Nation as a natural, God-given way of classifying men, as an inherent … political destiny, are a myth; nationalism, which sometimes takes preexisting cultures and turns them into nations, sometimes invents them, and often obliterates preexisting cultures: that is a reality”. (Ernest Gellner)


“Nations do not make states and nationalisms but the other way round�. (Eric Hobsbawm)


“A nation can therefore be defined as • a named human population • sharing an historic territory, • common myths and historical memories, • a mass public culture, • a common economy • and common legal rights and duties for all members.“ Anthony D. Smith: National Identity. Reno, Las Vegas, London 1991, p. 14.


http://nationalismproject.o rg


Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

German Federal Traditions The National Anthem or ‘where is Germany?’ Unification from Above Nation and Nationalism Germany’s Special Path


Friedrich II (Frederick II the Great ), King of Prussia, as commander of his troops Painting by Antoine Pesne, 1745


Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)


Wilhelm II

Field Marshal of the Reich Paul von Hindenburg


Germany’s ‘special path’ (Deutscher Sonderweg) Distinctive German way to modernity which contrasts with the standard (West European, British, French) way  Industrialization: belated industrial revolution, several decades after that of England  Failed bourgeois revolution in Germany (defeat of the democratic revolution of 1848)  German unification not a result of the success of a liberal and democratic movement but created by the militarist Prussian state (born in war)  Weimar republic not accepted by large part of the population, seen as a result of the defeat and forced onto Germany by the victorious Entente  Continuous dominance of antidemocratic, reactionary elites (ostelbian agrarians, estate owners and “big business”)  Traditions of Prussian militarism  Culminating in: Third Reich, seen as logical result of the German “special path”



Deutscher Sonderweg