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.

In his thirteenth address here, Fichte was trying to rally the people of Germany together. Though his language gets a little complicated towards the end, Fichte was writing to the everyday people of Germany. This was his thirteenth address so the common people would have understood him by then. The common people were the ones that led the revolution in France, so the German common people could do the same.

Fichte was trying to get people to understand that the battles that the French had held with and for them was on German soil and German blood had been split. He indented to make a nation out of the German people who could understand each other, unlike the foreign Frenchmen.

2 thoughts on “Germany Becoming Germany

  1. It is great that you emphasize how Fichte was addressing the german people in the vernacular. Nationalism is another step towards shifting the power of a state into the hands of the people. Nationalism is not a call to officials, but rather a unifying call to the people to recognize the commonalities they already share with one another and to come together as one people and one nation against those others who oppress them and deny their betterment. The concept of nationalism relies greatly on the support of the everyday person; nationalism does not work for uniting people that do not want to be united. The nation is formed from the people up, beginning with a shared culture and ending with that cultures desire to be sovereign and able to protect and procure its own rights and way of life separate from other cultures and nations.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of Fichte’s writing. What is quite amazing though, is that he was shunned by many Germans earlier in his life on accounts of him possibly being an atheist. Berlin was the only place in Germany willing to accept Fichte, because of all of that History. Moreoever, if you look at his biography, he had one heck of a up and down life. Seeing as he died a few years after this was written/spoken, it’s good to know that his last few years were on the upslope.

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