Power as a German problem
A historical survey
in Prussians, Nazis and Peaceniks
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Historically, Germany seems to have or have had a ‘problem’ with power. This was undoubtedly true of the Nazi regime, but there is a body of opinion that sees a tradition of German power being mishandled reaching further back, to the 1871 Empire or even beyond. This chapter seeks to put this issue into a historical perspective that is longer still, beginning with the founding of the German kingdom in the tenth century and then taking the story to the early twentieth century. Necessarily, such an approach entails discussing what ‘Germany’ actually was at different stages of its historical trajectory. Its successive iterations involved much change that necessarily also meant that power played a different and variable role for each of them.

Prussians, Nazis and Peaceniks

Changing images of Germany in International Relations


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