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Staging Philanthropy

Patriotic Women and the National Imagination in Dynastic Germany, 1813-1916

Jean H. Quataert

Publication Year: 2001

Staging Philanthropy is a history of women's philanthropic associations during Germany's "long" nineteenth century. Challenged by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic occupation and war, dynastic groups in Germany made community welfare and its defense part of newly-gendered social obligations, sponsoring a network of state women's associations, philanthropic institutions, and nursing orders which were eventually coordinated by the German Red Cross. These patriotic groups helped fashion an official nationalism that defended conservative power and authority in the new nation-state. An original and truly multi-disciplinary work, Staging Philanthropy uses archival research to reconstruct the neglected history of women's philanthropic organizations during the 'long' nineteenth century. Borrowing from cultural anthropologists, Jean Quataert explores how meaning is created in the theater of politics. Linking gender with nationalism and war with humanitarianism, Quataert weaves her analysis together with themes of German historiography and the wider context of European history. Staging Philanthropy will interest readers in German history, women's history, politics and anthropology, as well as those whose interest is in medicalization and the German Red Cross. This book situates itself in the middle of a string of debates pertaining to modern German history and, thus, should also appeal to readers from the general educated public. Jean Quataert is Professor of History and Women's Studies, Binghamton University. She has previously published a number of books, including Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Present with Marilyn J. Boxer (Oxford, 1999).

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Social History, Popular Culture, and Pol


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pp. vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix

List of Tables

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pp. xi

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book grows out of my own engagement with issues of war and national consensus, which was rekindled during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. With the onset of hostilities, I observed the silencing of debate in the proliferation of “yellow ribbons” and, in Vestal, my small town in upstate New York, experienced at ‹rsthand efforts at consensus building through parades and ceremonies. And yet these activities coexisted...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xv

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Introduction: Dynastic Legitimacy and Women’s Philanthropy in German State and Nation Building

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pp. 1-20

At an elaborate public ceremony in October 1896, the magistrates of Koblenz unveiled a monument to the memory of Empress Augusta, who had died six years earlier. By official intent, the marble structure was placed in the new public gardens along the Rhine River, named, appropriately, Empress Augusta Park in recognition, as one mayor put it, of “her...

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Chapter 1. The Landesmutter and Philanthropic Practices in the New German Dynastic States, 1813–1848

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pp. 21-53

In 1835, a Protestant pastor in the Rhineland issued a public appeal to humanitarians (Menschenfreunde) everywhere. Remarkable in content and style, it spoke of new relationships that were being forged between institution building and state identity as well as individual behavior and social capital. Addressing a potential group of educated patrons, the manifesto...

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Chapter 2. The Politics of Philanthropy under Dynastic Patronage, 1848 to 1870–71

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pp. 54-89

It once was an uncontested adage that the midcentury revolutions and civil wars in German territories were a “turning point” when German history failed to turn. The argument now is suspect, for in its original formulation it assumed a necessary and logical connection between revolution and liberal reforms on the one hand and bourgeois economic power and democratic...

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Chapter 3. Civic Voluntarism and Gift Giving in the “Caring” State

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pp. 90-132

Women who volunteered their patriotic services in imperial Germany entered a distinct cultural world that managed the day-to-day relief work at the community level. The evolving nature of these charitable interventions—from poor relief (Armenfürsorge) to social welfare services (Sozialfürsorge), as they usually are called in the literature1—was part of...

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Chapter 4. Cultural Performances in the Struggle over National Community after 1871

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pp. 133-176

The dynastic center of official nationalist politics in Germany came under intense public scrutiny in the year 1888. William I, already revered in nationalist lore as the “beloved old” unification kaiser, died in March 1888. After three months as emperor, his own son, Frederick III, also died and was succeeded, in turn, by his son, William II, on June 16. While loyal...

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Chapter 5. Gendered Medical War Services in the “Curing” State

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pp. 177-216

A detailed set of notes published in English in 1891 introduced the various establishments af‹liated with the “Ladies’ Association” (the Frauen-Verein) in Karlsruhe to the English reading public.1 The broadsheet was designed to advertise the city as “an important center for the development of female art, industry and learning” and attract well-off British families...

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Chapter 6. Mobilizing Social Memory: Gendered Images of War and Sacrifice

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pp. 217-250

A large international art and garden show opened in D

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Chapter 7. Testing Patriotic Alliances, 1913–1916

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pp. 251-292

In the late Kaiserreich, veterans’ and soldiers’ gravesites offered ample opportunity for nationalist musings. The centrality of the dead soldier’s sacri‹ce in the national imagination elevated cemeteries to sites of official patriotic celebration and mourning. Historians such as George Mosse interested in the distinctive “styles” of German nationalist thought see...

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Conclusion: A Gendered Reading of Patriotism and Power

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pp. 293-304

The German figure of the patriot (Vaterlandsfreund) entered the public realm in the eighteenth century. Throughout German lands, authors penned pamphlets, titled newspapers, and wrote travel accounts and memoirs from the new perspective of the patriotic. Reform associations in urban settings adopted the name, and political philosophers rearranged...

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Bibliographical Essay

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pp. 305-308

Primary research for this book centers on the archival collections of the Civil Cabinets of the German states, the “secret” offices that connected members of the court to state ministries in their interactions over the economy, civil society, and politics. It draws primarily on rich archival holdings in the states of Baden and Prussia. In Baden, the Genderallandesarchiv...


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pp. 309-317

E-ISBN-13: 9780472022663
E-ISBN-10: 0472022660
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472111718
Print-ISBN-10: 047211171X

Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 10 photographs, 6 tables, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2001

Series Title: Social History, Popular Culture, and Pol