Nation State, Conflict Resolution, and Culture War, 1850–1878

Siegfried Weichlein

in The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199237395
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Nation State, Conflict Resolution, and Culture War, 1850–1878

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)



Germany as the nation state forms the basis of this article. The notion that rule requires identity, and that identity has to be based on unity and consensus, derives from assumptions of the liberal historiography of the nineteenth century. Symbols and liturgies, on the other hand, represented actions, differences, tasks, and institutions. Between 1850 and 1878, industrialization and nation building were the principal forces generating conflict. Both played a crucial role in politics and society. But in this article, the foundation and formation of the German nation state is the main focus. The second conflict over nation building, which was linked to the first, was the antagonism between the confessional majority and minority: in Germany, this conflict centered on the tension between Catholicism and a Protestant inflected liberalism. This conflict was ideologically charged. This article explains the incidents that led to nation building in the German hinterland.

Keywords: nation state; liberal historiography; nation building; Catholicism; Protestant

Article.  12478 words. 

Subjects: History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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