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Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification (Hardcover)

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ITEM# 13940034
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Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification (Hardcover)
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ITEM#: 13940034

Rebecca Ayako Bennette is Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College.

Historians have long believed that Catholics were late and ambivalent supporters of the German nation. Rebecca Ayako Bennette’s bold new interpretation demonstrates definitively that from the beginning in 1871, when Wilhelm I was proclaimed Kaiser of a unified Germany, Catholics were actively promoting a German national identity for the new Reich.

In the years following unification, Germany was embroiled in a struggle to define the new nation. Otto von Bismarck and his allies looked to establish Germany as a modern nation through emphasis on Protestantism and military prowess. Many Catholics feared for their future when he launched the Kulturkampf, a program to break the political and social power of German Catholicism. But these anti-Catholic policies did not destroy Catholic hopes for the new Germany. Rather, they encouraged Catholics to develop an alternative to the Protestant and liberal visions that dominated the political culture. Bennette’s reconstruction of Catholic thought and politics sheds light on several aspects of German life. From her discovery of Catholics who favored a more “feminine” alternative to Bismarckian militarism to her claim that anti-socialism, not anti-Semitism, energized Catholic politics, Bennette’s work forces us to rethink much of what we know about religion and national identity in late nineteenth-century Germany.


ISBN 9780674065635
Genre HISTORY / Europe / Germany
Format Hardcover
Pages 368
Publisher Date 2012-06-20 00:00:00.0
Publisher Harvard Univ Pr
Copyright Year 2012
Wdth 6.5 in
Thickness 1.25 in
Unit weight 1.52 lb
Height 9.5 in
Language English
Subtitle The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification
Series Name Harvard Historical Studies
Series Volume Number 178
Audience College/higher education
Authors Bennette, Rebecca Ayako

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