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Against Stupidity: Catholic Workers, Christian Socialism, and Identity Politics in Imperial Germany, 1869-1878

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This thesis explores the intersection of religion, social class, and politics during the late nineteenth century in Imperial Germany. Specifically, the focus of this work is on the Workers' Association of Saint Paul's in Aachen and Burtscheid, a Catholic working-class

This thesis explores the intersection of religion, social class, and politics during the late nineteenth century in Imperial Germany. Specifically, the focus of this work is on the Workers' Association of Saint Paul's in Aachen and Burtscheid, a Catholic working-class organization in the 1870s located in the city of Aachen, a rapidly industrializing city in the majority Catholic Prussian Rhineland. This organization was the largest Catholic working-class association in Germany in the 1870s, reaching 5,000 members by the middle of the decade, and also espoused the politics of Christian Socialism. This thesis explores the intersection of the possibly competing social identities of these workers between being Catholics and workers. To start, the scholarly framework of studying society and politics in Imperial Germany is discussed, especially the concept of rigidly constructed social milieus into five groups, two of them being the Catholics and the working-class, and how this work may suggest a challenge to this concept. Next, the background information of how a Catholic working-class came into existence, as it was the product of simultaneous nineteenth century processes of industrialization and a religious revival among German Catholics. The Kulturkampf was the force that politicized Catholicism in Germany, as the persecution of Catholic institutions by Prussia forced Catholics into a social and political "ghetto." Then, the Association of St. Paul's itself is discussed. First, the workers espoused their Catholic identity and religious solidarity during a time of persecution, but also emphasized the Christian basis for their brand of Socialism. This lent into their identity as part of the working-class. While they steadfastly rejected the "godlessness" of Social Democracy, the Christian Socialists also shared many similar social and political goals. This intersection between identities eventually led to political conflict in Aachen throughout the 1870s with the mainstream, bourgeois Catholics of the city. To conclude, the legacy of Christian Socialism on modern Germany is discussed, as well as its contribution to the complex politics of Imperial Germany.

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2016-05

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Apologia in German and Japanese Post-War Film: A Comparative Analysis of Exculpatory Discourses on the German and Japanese Military in World War II.

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In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies,

In the sixty-seven years following the end of World War II, West Germany and Japan underwent a remarkable series of economic and social changes that irrevocably altered their respective ways of life. Formerly xenophobic, militaristic and highly socially stratified societies, both emerged from the 20th Century as liberal, prosperous and free. Both made great strides well beyond the expectations of their occupiers, and rebounded from the overwhelming destruction of their national economies within a few short decades. While these changes have yielded dramatic results, the wartime period still looms large in their respective collective memories. Therefore, an ongoing and diverse dialectical process would engage the considerable popular, official, and intellectual energy of their post-war generations. In West Germany, the term Vergangenheitsbewältigung (VGB) emerged to describe a process of coming to terms with the past, while the Japanese chose kako no kokufuku to describe their similar historical sojourns. Although intellectuals of widely varying backgrounds in both nations made great strides toward making Japanese and German citizens cognizant of the roles that their militaries played in gruesome atrocities, popular cinematic productions served to reiterate older, discredited assertions of the fundamental honor and innocence of the average soldier, thereby nurturing a historically revisionist line of reasoning that continues to compete for public attention. All forms of media would play an important role in sustaining this “apologetic narrative,” and cinema, among the most popular and visible of these mediums, was not excluded from this. Indeed, films would play a unique recurring role, like rhetorical time capsules, in offering a sanitized historical image of Japanese and German soldiers that continues to endure in modern times. Nevertheless, even as West Germany and Japan regained their sovereignty and re-examined their pasts with ever greater resolution and insight, their respective film industries continued to “reset” the clock, and accentuated the visibility and relevancy of apologetic forces still in existence within both societies. However, it is important to note that, when speaking of “Germans” and “Japanese,” that they are not meant to be thought of as being uniformly of one mind or another. Rather, the use of these words is meant as convenient shorthand to refer to the dominant forces in Japanese and German civil society at any given time over the course of their respective post- war histories. Furthermore, references to “Germany” during the Cold War period are to be understood to mean the Federal Republic of Germany, rather than their socialist counterpart, the German Democratic Republic, a nation that undertook its own coming to terms with the past in an entirely distinct fashion.

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2012-12

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A Tocquevillean Analysis of Imperial Germany in Defense of Sonderweg

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This paper applies six components of Tocqueville's lens to Imperial Germany in an effort to demonstrate how from a contemporary's perspective the Kaiserreich can be understood to have deviated from what was conceived at the time as the standard path

This paper applies six components of Tocqueville's lens to Imperial Germany in an effort to demonstrate how from a contemporary's perspective the Kaiserreich can be understood to have deviated from what was conceived at the time as the standard path to political, economic, and social modernity, and that these deviations give a justification for the original positive understanding of a German Sonderweg that balanced the excesses of both Western Liberalism and Eastern Reactionarism whilst using the best.

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2021-12