Fichte – To the German Nation

Johann Gottlieb Fichte began his argument by outlining what makes a natural border for a people. He determined that language was a natural border that defines a people because they can communicate and grow. Germany was united by a common language and way of thinking. He then argued that foreign countries intentionally divided us the German peoples for their own benefit. Germany was unsuspecting and naively fell for their tricks. Fichte claimed that foreign countries manipulated Germany for their own selfish benefit. Some people were considering a universal monarchy as a remedy but Fichte exclaimed that monarchy was the very opposite of what the Germans needed to unify. Perhaps he too saw the repeated mistake the French made or making progress, then undoing it by reinstating a monarch. Instead he wanted to let natural borders reunify the German people.  Otherwise, the nation established would not hold up to the test of time.

Fichte emphasized that the intention of foreign countries was to manipulate unsuspecting Germans and turn them against one another for their own selfish benefit. However, it is difficult to believe that all the blame ought to be on the foreign countries. Maybe the foreigners did have selfish intentions, but they were more likely meant to benefit the foreigners less than to malign Germans. It just happened that Germans suffered from their gains. Also, Germans should have realized. Therefore, Germans were not as united as Fichte claimed in the first place. Were natural borders like language and common ways of thinking truly determinant of a people, Germans would not have been so susceptible.

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