Krieg, Nation und Konfession: Die Erfahrung des deutsch-französischen Krieges von 1870/71

TitleKrieg, Nation und Konfession: Die Erfahrung des deutsch-französischen Krieges von 1870/71
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsRak, Christian
Number of Pages455
PublisherF. Schöningh

The German Empire was born on the battlefields of France; in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, Prussia's vocation in German history seemed to be fulfilled. But the national unity rhetoric of the publicists only barely concealed the rifts between North and South, between conservatives and democrats, and above all between Catholics and Protestants. Using a concept of experience grounded in the sociology of knowledge, the author examines how field chaplains interpreted the Franco-Prussian War. Contrasting archival and published sources - from letters and reports to field sermons and war memoirs - shows how selectively individual, sometimes contradictory elements of the war experience were given weight in different fields of communication and at different times. Against the backdrop of journalistic discourse, it becomes apparent how the supposedly highly individual grew out of collective patterns and, in turn, fed back into general knowledge about the war in a reinforcing or redirecting manner. In this way, the study also methodologically enriches the discussion about a further development of military history with a weighty contribution. 

Translated TitleWar, Nation and Confession: The Experience of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71
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