History | History of Germany Since 1648
B377 | 27147 | Roos

Above class carries Culture Studies credit
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only

Not until 1871 was a German nation-state founded. What
constituted “Germany” and German identity in the centuries before
this nation-state came into existence? Which factors help explain
the delay of German unification, and what alternative outcomes to a
unified German nation-state conceivably would have been possible?
These are some of the questions we will address as we explore the
development of German society, culture, and politics from the end of
the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) to the founding of the German
Empire of 1871. The main focus will be on the period after the
Thirty Years’ War. We will spend some time discussing the origins,
course, and consequences of this bloody military conflict. Other key
themes and topics include: witch hunting, the rise of absolutism,
Baroque culture, the Enlightenment, anti-Semitism and Jewish
emancipation, the French Revolution in Germany, the Napoleonic Wars,
nationalism, industrialization, the labor movement, gender
relations, and the military path to unification. We will examine
different approaches to historical analysis stressing the importance
of social class, gender, political structures, and cultural beliefs
and practices, respectively. The readings for this course include a
textbook (Mary Fulbrook, "Concise History of Germany"), scholarly
essays, a play (G. E. Lessing, "Nathan the Wise," 1779), a diary
(Jakob Walter, "Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier"), as well as a
range of other writings by historical contemporaries.


Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions are
essential for a good participation grade. Unexcused absences will
result in a low participation grade. Students are asked to write two
3-5 page papers, two hour exams, and one final exam. All exams are
in short-essay format.

Grade components: Participation: 20 percent; papers: 20 percent
each; hour exams: 10 percent each; final: 20 percent.