German Nationalism

Nationalism is defined as ” devotion and loyalty to one’s own country” ( 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. ( 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. Fichte wrote, “Those who speak the same language are joined to each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly.” (Fichte) He spoke against “the deceptive vision of a universal monarchy” and attempted to convince the German population to dig deeper and embody the ideals of their nationĀ as a whole. Nationalism is an extremely important factor in the rise of any nation and began to escalate in this time period for the Germans.

One thought on “German Nationalism

  1. I agree with your analysis, and that Fichte was trying to spread nationalist ideas. However, perhaps your most important analysis is that this was a trend that was starting to take hold. Nationalism is a slow building process, and this is highly evident in Germany. It would not be for another near three quarters of a century before Otto von Bismarck was actually able to unify Germany.

    In comparison, look at the United States. While the country itself was formed in the late 18th century, it wasn’t until about the same time frame that citizens began to start calling themselves American, as opposed to Marylander, Pennsylvanian, or Virginian. (It was only after the Civil War.)

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