Fusing the Myth, 1830–1871
This chapter examines the fusing of earlier German thinking about Eastern Europe into a fully elaborated myth of the East. The period 1830-1871 was marked by broad shifts in relations with Eastern Europe, as liberal enthusiasm for Poland's independence waned after a catalytic ‘Polish debate’ in the German parliament of the revolution of 1848, spelling an end to these affinities. In the revolution's aftermath, a variety of narratives flourished about the East on the left and right of the political spectrum, with fascinating commonalities between socialists, nationalists, and conservatives. These were reflected in historical writing, fiction, and political discourse. Ultimately, these narratives reflected and contributed to the changing character of German nationalism in this period.
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