UCSB > History Dept. > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133a > Lecture 6: German Romanticism

UCSB Hist 133A, Fall 2006 (133a homepage)
19th Century Germany, Oct. 13, 2006

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

Lecture 6:
German Romanticism
(previous lecture, next lecture)


  • What role did "high" culture play in the unfolding "general" culture in the German lands?

Summary: Questions to date

  • Was "Germany's" development special, and if so, how? (militarism, obedience?)
    Trace the development of a nation-state since the Holy Roman Empire, focus on Prussia.
  • The role of the French Revolution (1789-1792) and Napoleon (1795-1814) in changing German traditions? What changed? What didn't? Where (in which states)? Why? (think EIEIO)
  • Look at specific political entities (states, principalities), people & events

Book Essay Handout

Reformers and Romanticism

  • Last time: v. Eggers, Fichte, v. Humboldt; v. Stein (peasants, towns), successor v. Hardenburg
    Pestalozzi (1746-1827): himself fatherless, Univ. Zurich, school, 1798-99 orphans; 1801 book
  • Deutsche Romantik (1790s-1850), vs. Classicism, Biedermeier (see Kitchen, pp. 30-35);
    preceded by Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress)

1945 US Army training film Here is Germany (ca. 20 of 52 mins.)

  • Contrast "clean and prosperous," "musical," "industrious," with "tyranny, aggression, gas chambers"
  • Frederick the Great (r. 1740-86): "I begin by taking. I shall find scholars afterwards to demonstrate my perfect right."
  • Clausewitz, in Vom Kriege (On War--big website): "Just as Prussia has been fated to be the core of Germany, so Germany will be the core of the future German empire of the west."
    "Conquered people should be left with nothing but their eyes to weep with."
  • "3 pillars of power:" militarists, large landowners, state officials [army, Junkers, bureaucracy]
  • Frederick William IV (r. 1840-58) "Never may a scrap of paper come between me and my subjects!"
  • Over the next 30 years [1850-1880] 2 million people emigrated to the US: "Those remaining were molded into mindless automatons."
  • Otto von Bismarck (*1815-d. 1898; 1862 head of Prussian cabinet): "Great questions of the day will not be decided by [speeches and resolutions of] majorities [--that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849--], but by iron and blood." [Sept 1862 speech, then clarified: "I must protest that I would never seek foreign conflicts just to get over domestic difficulties; that would be frivolous. I was speaking of conflicts that we could not avoid, even though we do not seek them."] [See Schulze S10 on 1848]

Event on Sunday

  • Sun., Oct. 15, 3pm, Campbell Hall: Niall Ferguson on 20th Century Conflict & Descent of the West

prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Oct. 14, 2006, updated: 10/18/06
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