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The Prince, the Crypt, and the Historians: Emperor Friedrich III and the Continuity of Monarchical Geschichtspolitik in Imperial Germany

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Abstract

A monarchical politics of memory (Geschichtspolitik) was a prominent feature of the political culture of Wilhelmine Germany. In cooperation with historians of the Borussian school, and based on their politicized and fiercely contested interpretation of Prusso-German history, Kaiser Wilhelm II employed a variety of media to communicate an emphatically monarchical, dynastic, and teleological version of the German past. Wilhelmine Geschichtspolitik was largely anticipated, though, by the ideas and plans vigorously pursued by the crown prince and later Kaiser Friedrich III. Notwithstanding his reputation as a liberal, Friedrich wholly subscribed to the Borussian canon and planned to use architecture, historical narrative, museums, and other media for the patriotic instruction of the population.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-540
Number of pages20
JournalGerman Studies Review
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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