German Nationalism

Nationalism is defined as ” devotion and loyalty to one’s own country” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nationalism) and it was the main focus in Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s piece To the German Nation. Fichte was a German philosopher who lived from 1762 to 1814 and developed many of his ideals from analyzing Kant and his writings. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Gottlieb_Fichte). He aimed for the ears of the common German man/woman to rally together and show unity and pride in their respective nation. Once a supporter of France and the Revolution, Fichte changed his stance after Napoleon overrode Germany.… Read the rest here

Germany Becoming Germany

Back in 1806, Johann Gottlieb Fichte made his thirteenth address to the German Nation. Fichte was a German philosopher who was also a supporter of the French Revolution and the ideas behind it((Fichte, Johann Gottlieb. To the German Nation. Fordham University, 1997)). When the new country of France invaded the German states, Fichte was not as supportive anymore. He saw how the Frenchmen were different from the German people and thought the Germans could unite together like the French had.… Read the rest here

Nationalism within “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind”

In German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder’s piece, “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” he provided other German thinkers with the knowledge and ability to be able to think and identify with nationalism for themselves. For most European countries, it was easier to understand nationalism with the similarities between people within their state, but for Germany, it was comprised of, “Peoples of different religions, languages, and traditions lived interspersed with each other under a huge variety of states and semi-states – empires, kingdoms, dukedoms, and independent cities.” (Halsall 1).… Read the rest here

Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind

Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher associated with the Enlightenment. He wrote the article, “Materials for the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” in 1784, and he discussed the idea of nationalism. Paul Halsall provided an introduction to this article. There have been different types of nationalism, such as cultural pride, …right to self-government, and …national superiority” (Halsall 1)

He established the central ideas of nationalism, which are that people can be defined as having a “common history, language, and tradition” and that a nation “has a unique claim to be considered a legitimate political basis for sovereignty” (Halsall 1).… Read the rest here

Mussolini’s Italy

Clark’s chapter, “Fascist Diplomacy and Fascist War” was highly critical of Mussolini and his policies. He was described as “erratic”, obsessed with himself, and failing at every diplomatic attempt.1 Mussolini tried to outwit France, Great Britain, and Germany, all to his failure. He underestimated Hitler, and suffered as a result. Initially, Hitler supported Italy through the war, but the shipments of coal and military supplies were not sufficient. The people of Italy not only lost their sons, husbands and fathers, but many at home faced bombings and starvation.… Read the rest here

All Wars Are Civil Wars

One side brings a knife, the other brings a gun. One side invades Poland, the other runs down Berlin while destroying anything in its path. One side begins systematically destroying its own citizens, the other does the same. Edele and Geyer describe a concept they dubbed as “interior and exterior fronts”,1 and further categorize the conflict between Russia and the Soviet Union as a multi front war, fought both on the line between the two nations, and within the respective countries.… Read the rest here

Mussolinism

While Fascist Italy under Mussolini sought to control its people and implement a new united world of ideas and ways of life in Italy, it did not succeed. Bosworth’s article, “Everyday Mussolinism: Friends, Family, Locality and Violence in Fascist Italy” demonstrated the disunity and corruption under Fascist rule.1 Bosworth cited numerous examples of Fascist leaders who corrupted the system. They reverted to the well known political practices. They appeared almost like American gangsters from the same era.… Read the rest here

Think of the Children

In Beyond Totalitarianism, chapter 3 focuses on the reproductive policies of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Both countries, along with Italy and all of Western Europe, placed importance on increasing the birth rate and population numbers in their respective countries. WWI had devastated a generation and decreased birth rates dramatically. The countries related population numbers to military strength, the more people you had, the more men you could use to fight the enemy.

The Nazis, Fascists and Soviets implemented policies and incentives to encourage increased birth rates.… Read the rest here

Public Works vs. Nature and the Back to the Land Movement

The Great Depression ravaged the economies of the United States and Germany. In an attempt to recover the United States and Germany implemented public works projects to improve not only unemployment rates, but also industry levels and infrastructure. These projects were also used as forms of government propaganda to revive national pride. In Schivelbusch’s chapter on public works he highlights public projects of the United States and Germany as well as the less successful public works attempts of the Soviet Union and Fascist Italy.… Read the rest here

Breaking and Mending of Social Bonds

In Chapter 7 of Beyond Totalitarianism ((Shelia Fitzpatrick and Alf Lüdtke, “Energizing the Everyday: On the Breaking and Making of Social Bonds in Nazism and Stalinism,” in Beyond Totalitarianism: Stalinism and Nazism Compared, ed. Michael Geyer and Shelia Fitzpatrick (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).)) Shelia Fiztpatrick and Alf Lüdtke discuss the breaking and mending of social bonds present in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Soviet Russia.  There a several types of bonds including inclusion, exclusion, and creation and renewal bonds.  … Read the rest here