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Nation as a Local Metaphor: Wurttemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871-1918

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Nation as a Local Metaphor: Wurttemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871-1918 Cover

 

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Publisher Comments:

All nations make themselves up as they go along, but not all make themselves up in the same way. In this study, Alon Confino explores how Germans turned national and argues that they imagined the nation as an extension of their local place.

In 1871, the work of political unification had been completed, but Germany remained a patchwork of regions with different histories and traditions. Germans had to construct a national memory to reconcile the peculiarities of the region and the totality of the nation. This identity project, examined by Confino as it evolved in the southwestern state of Württemberg, oscillated between failure and success. The national holiday of Sedan Day failed in the 1870s and 1880s to symbolically commingle localness and nationhood. Later, the idea of the Heimat, or homeland, did prove capable of representing interchangeably the locality, the region, and the nation in a distinct national narrative and in visual images.

The German nationhood project was successful, argues Confino, because Germans made the nation into an everyday, local experience through a variety of cultural forms, including museums, school textbooks, popular poems, travel guides, posters, and postcards. But it was not unique. Confino situates German nationhood within the larger context of modernity, and in doing so he raises broader questions about how people in the modern world use the past in the construction of identity.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

1. Thinking about German Nationhood, 1871-1918

Thinking the Nation

Thinking Germany

Collective Memory

German National Memory, 1871

Württemberg, 1871

Part I. Germany and Württemberg: An Uncomfortable Coexistence in Sedan Day

2. The Nation in the Locality

The Abdication of the State

Württemberg: Who Celebrated the Holiday, Where, and What Did It Mean?

The Celebration: Bequeathing Local and National Memories

The Pedagogical Holiday: National Wine in Local Bottles

3. Sedan Day: A Memory for All the Germans?

Society, Politics, and the Holiday

Exclusion and the Appropriation of the Nation

Rethinking German History before and after 1871: Birth of a Nation

Feeling Swabian or Feeling German?

Local Land, National Land: A Nation of Two Germanies?

4. An Unfulfilled National Community

Opposition: A National Holiday without a Nation

The 1890s and the End of Sedan Day

Part II. Germany and Württemberg: A Nation of Heimats

5. A System of Knowledge and Sensibilities

Heimat History: "Vivid, Conceivable, Popular"

Heimat Nature: Poeticalness and Practicality

Heimat Ethnography: Commemorating the Good Old Days

Heimat and Modernity: Progress and Loss

6. A National Lexicon

One, Two, Three… A Thousand German Heimats

The Word and the Organization

Heimat: The Bourgeois Homeland

Heimat Museums: A National History of Local and Everyday Life

History and Memory

7. The Nation in the Mind

Cityscape, Regionscape, Nationscape

Homo Germanicus

The German Heimat: Illo Tempora

Old Wine in New Bottles—Again?

Space I: Nature and Landscape

Space II: The Heimat Hometown

The Nation as a Mental Property

Afterword: Heimat, Germany, and Europe

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807846650
Author:
Confino, Alon
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Location:
Chapel Hill :
Subject:
History
Subject:
Europe - Germany
Subject:
Germany
Subject:
Nationalism
Subject:
National characteristics, german
Subject:
Germany Politics and government 1871-1918.
Subject:
Nationalism -- Germany -- Wèurttemberg.
Subject:
Wèurttemberg
Subject:
German history; nationalism; political unification; Sedan Day; Heimat; homeland; modernity; construction of identity
Subject:
German history
Subject:
political unification
Subject:
Sedan Day
Subject:
Heimat
Subject:
Homeland
Subject:
Modernity
Subject:
construction of identity
Subject:
World History-Germany
Copyright:
Series Volume:
sv. 47
Publication Date:
October 1997
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in
Age Level:
18-18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » 1815 to WWI
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Germany » General

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