German nationalism  

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"The second major assumption was nationalism. It is no accident that German philology and Germanic textual criticism coincided with the dynamic rise of the German national consciousness (and let us not forget that it was on the genius of the German scholars that the rest of Europe, England, and America drew so heavily). As Herder, the Grimm brothers, and the whole lineage of German literary teachers and critics were frank to proclaim, the study of one's own literary past played a vital part in affirming national identity. To this point of view Taine and the historical positivists added the theory that one gets to know the unique racial genius of a people, of one's own people, by studying its literature. Everywhere the history of modern literary studies shows the mark of this nationalist ideal of the mid-and late-nineteenth century." --"To Civilize Our Gentlemen" (1965) by George Steiner

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

German nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that Germans are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of Germans. The earliest origins of German nationalism began with the birth of Romantic nationalism during the Napoleonic Wars when Pan-Germanism started to rise. Advocacy of a German nation began to become an important political force in response to the invasion of German territories by France under Napoleon. After the rise and fall of Nazi Germany that committed the genocide now known as the Holocaust in the name of extreme nationalism against Jews and others during World War II, German nationalism has been generally viewed in the country as negative and taboo. However, during the Cold War a mainstream moderate German nationalism arose that supported the unification of East and West Germany that was achieved in 1990.

German nationalism has faced difficulties in promoting a united German identity as well as facing opposition within Germany. The Catholic-Protestant divide in Germany at times created extreme tension and hostility between Catholic and Protestant Germans after 1871, such as in response to the policy of Kulturkampf in Prussia by German Chancellor and Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck, that sought to dismantle Catholic culture in Prussia, that provoked outrage amongst Germany's Catholics and resulted in the rise of the pro-Catholic Centre Party and the Bavarian People's Party. There have been rival nationalists within Germany, particularly Bavarian nationalists who claim that the terms that Bavaria entered into Germany in 1871 were controversial and have claimed the German government has long intruded into the domestic affairs of Bavaria. Outside of modern-day Germany in Austria, there are Austrian nationalists who have rejected unification of Austria with Germany on the basis of preserving Austrians' Catholic religious identity from the potential danger posed by being part of a Protestant-majority Germany.

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