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The Age of the Democratic RevolutionA Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800$
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R. R. Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161280

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161280.001.0001

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Germany: The Revolution of the Mind

Germany: The Revolution of the Mind

(p.684) Chapter XXIX Germany: The Revolution of the Mind
The Age of the Democratic Revolution

R. R. Palmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Germany during the revolutionary decade. The years of political change coincided with the supreme efflorescence of German thought and culture. It was the age of Goethe and Schiller, of Mozart and Beethoven, of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Herder, Schleiermacher, and the Humboldts. Under the influence of such masters, a new German national consciousness was beginning to take form. An ambivalent attitude to revolution entered into the national outlook. The Germans neither rejected revolution in the abstract, nor accepted it in its actual manifestations. Nothing was more characteristic, in Germany before 1800, than to continue to hail the principles and goals of the French Revolution with enthusiasm, and to believe that in French hands, thanks to French faults, these principles had miscarried.

Keywords:   Germany, revolutionary movements, French Revolution, political change

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