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HIST6030 German Nationalisms since the Englightenment

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Introduce you to the main historical manifestations of German nationalism in the C19th and C20th - Provide you with an opportunity to consider some of the key nationalist writings of the period - Introduce you to key debates concerning the nature of nationalism and its interpretation in a German context

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Theoretical debates about the nature of modern nationalism, such as those theories espoused by Hobsbawn, Anderson and Smith
  • The vicissitudes of Germany’s national making, unmaking and remaking in the modern era
  • The key characteristics of nationalist writings such as those of Fichte, Wagner and Treitschke
  • The place of nationalist discourse and rhetoric in modern German political culture
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work independently and confidently using a range of library, archival and virtual sources as appropriate
  • Give effective oral presentations that engage and inform their listeners
  • Produce extended pieces of prose to a high standard
  • Contribute to discussion in a group environment and listen and response to the reasoned views of others in such contexts
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the key processes in the construction of German national identity and make connections across different historical, cultural and political contexts
  • Recognise and apply the methods by which manifestations of nationalist rhetoric can be analysed
  • Integrate close textual analysis with contextual research


This module seeks to map the evolution of German nationalism in its contrasting and competing variants from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Tracing its origins in the secularising impulses of a nascent modernity it will then consider how its early function as an ideology of liberation, temporarily allied to the doctrine of liberalism, shifted through the nineteenth century as it became entwined with conservative and sometimes racist and anti-Semitic politics. The impact of the first world war as a catalyst for the emergence of ultra-radical nationalism, alongside the competing presence of more cosmopolitan nationalist thought, will be considered, as will attempts to define national belonging in the post-national context of Cold War division.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Seminars Learning activities include: • The preparation of oral presentations • The preparation of extended written work • Participation in seminar discussion • The accessing of online resources

Independent Study180
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Abigail Green (2002). Fatherlands: State-Building and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Germany. 

J. Breuilly (1992). The State of Germany. 

Peter Alter (2000). The German Question and Europe: A History. 

Mary Fulbrook and Martin Swales, eds (2000). Representing the German Nation. 

Helmut Walser Smith, ed (2001). Protestants, Catholics and Jews in Germany, 1800-1914. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


No additional costs have been associated with this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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