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Germany from Napoleon to Bismarck

Germany from Napoleon to Bismarck: 1800-1866

Thomas Nipperdey
Translated by Daniel Nolan
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 768
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    Germany from Napoleon to Bismarck
    Book Description:

    Thomas Nipperdey offers readers insights into the history and the culture of German nationalism, bringing to light much-needed information on the immediate prenational period of transition. A subject of passionate debates, the beginnings of German nationalism here receive a thorough-going exploration, from the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire to Bismarck's division of the German-speaking world into three parts: an enlarged Prussian state north of the Main, an isolated Austria-Hungary in the south, and a group of Catholic states in between. This altering of power structures, Nipperdey maintains, was the crucial action on which the future of the German state hinged. He traces the failure of German liberalism amidst the rise of nationalism, turning it from a story of inevitable catastrophe toward a series of episodes filled with contingency and choice.

    The book opens with the seismic effect of Napoleon on the Germanancien-régime.Napoleon's modernizing hegemony is shown to have led to the gradual emergence of a civil society based on the liberal bourgeoisie. Nipperdey examines the fate of this society from the revolutions of 1848-49 through the rise of Bismarck. Into this story he weaves insights concerning family life, working conditions, agriculture, industrialization, and demography as well as religion, learning, and the arts.

    Originally published in 1996.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6430-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. I The Great Upheaval
    (pp. 1-84)

    In the beginning was Napoleon. His influence upon the history of the German people, their lives and experiences was overwhelming at a time when the initial foundations of a modern German state were being laid. The destiny of a nation is its politics, and those politics were Napoleon’s — the politics of war and conquest, of exploitation and repression, of imperialism and reform. The nations and the other states were left with no option but to acquiesce or to resist. Rarely have power politics and pressure from without so dominated every sphere of life. The great reforms which so altered...

  5. II Life, Work, Business
    (pp. 85-236)

    In 1800 the population of the German territories was some 30 million. The area in question was the Reich as it existed in 1871, excluding Alsace–Lorraine but including the Austrian territories in the German Confederation, of which Bohemia and Moravia also formed part. By 1816, after the Napoleonic wars, it had not grown substantially, but stood at around 32.7 million. By 1865 it had risen to over 52 million. Thus, in this period, for the duration of the German Confederation, it rose by 60%, corresponding to an average German growth of 0.94%. Of course, such averages are not very...

  6. III Restoration and Vormärz, 1815–48
    (pp. 237-355)

    The problem of the five-year period after 1815 was whether and to what extent the reforms of the Napoleonic era would be continued or at least consolidated, or whether they would be brought to an end, or even revoked. This problem focused particularly on the question of whether the individual states would be given a constitution. The period ended in division, only the south German states becoming constitutional states, but not Prussia and certainly not Austria. However, for Germany as a whole it would be true to say that ‘restoration’ became the dominant principle of the epoch and brought the...

  7. IV Faith and Knowledge; Education and Art
    (pp. 356-526)

    Nineteenth-century Germany was still an age marked by Christianity and the church. Their force in people’s lives, thoughts and behaviour went without saying. For the state, society and culture they were also of crucial importance. Questions as to life’s meaning or the meaning of ‘truth’ were purely religious matters. It is true that since the eighteenth century there has been a general shift towards secularisation, which has led to the relative decline of Christianity in the 20th century, where active Christians are a minority and religion and the church are relegated to a small and distinct area of life. But...

  8. V The Revolution of 1848–49
    (pp. 527-598)

    All the tensions and hopes of political and social life of the German people are gathered together in the outbreak and explosion of the great German revolution of 1848–49.

    Despite the eschatological fear of revolution that the conservatives harboured, and despite the hunger revolts of 1847, die revolution in Germany came unexpectedly; and indeed, it was not planned by activists or conspirators. The liberals that led the revolution had not wanted it, and it was not inevitable. It had been triggered by the February revolution in Paris. The clash between the forces of movement and of resistance was a...

  9. VI Between Reaction and Liberalism: Bismarck and the Problem of German Unity, 1849–66
    (pp. 599-715)

    The policies of the German governments in the 1850s were policies of reaction. There was an attempt to re-establish firmly the conservative, bureaucratic state of authority and order, and to protect against all forms of liberalism and all those tendencies that had governed the revolution. But this was more than a mere return to the times as they had been before the revolution. In the first place, this would have been impossible, because those who took part and those who were affected by it were post-revolutionary people. For this reason, the means that the governments used to achieve this aim...

  10. Epilogue
    (pp. 716-716)
    Thomas Nipperdey

    On concluding this book, which has been a part of my life for many years now, I not only feel relief, but also a profound sense of gratitude. What we are and what we do are not things that come from within. We stand in the continuity and community of the historians, our predecessors, our teachers, our colleagues, our students, who have prepared and taught us, who motivate and provoke, criticise and revise, particularly with regard to those aspects which lie outside the scope of the direct material and problems of a book like this. That is why my friends...

  11. Index
    (pp. 717-760)