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Staging Philanthropy

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

Jean H. Quataert
Geoff Eley Series Editor
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    Staging Philanthropy
    Book Description:

    Staging Philanthropyis 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 Philanthropyuses 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 Philanthropywill 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, includingConnecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1500 to the Presentwith Marilyn J. Boxer (Oxford, 1999).

    eISBN: 978-0-472-02266-3
    Subjects: History, Sociology, Anthropology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Preface (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. List of Abbreviations (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Introduction: Dynastic Legitimacy and Women’s Philanthropy in German State and Nation Building (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 prominence in all areas of public life and particularly her benevolent care(Fürsorge)for her favorite residence city, Koblenz.”¹ Before taking over the Prussian throne, between 1850 and 1858 Prince William and Princess Augusta had resided in Koblenz. The monument depicts a...

  8. CHAPTER 1 The Landesmutter and Philanthropic Practices in the New German Dynastic States, 1813–1848 (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 simultaneously drew on and redeployed a host of symbols around community care, obligations, and responsibilities. If anthropological methods help decode the symbolic frameworks through which people experience reality, in complementary fashion historians’ sensitivity to change helps uncover the emergence and transformation of new symbols in society.


  9. CHAPTER 2 The Politics of Philanthropy under Dynastic Patronage, 1848 to 1870–71 (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 state formation on the other.¹

    And, yet, 1848–49 undeniably was a transforming and unsettling event both to contemporaries and to subsequent generations of Germans, whose identity was being shaped by particular understandings of, as well as silences about, historical episodes. The...

  10. CHAPTER 3 Civic Voluntarism and Gift Giving in the “Caring” State (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 the contradictory processes of social change in the “long” nineteenth century.

    This world of voluntarism was “seen” in the community through its symbolic practices that were part of the daily performances of its tasks as well as its distinctive festive time. The force of these well-known symbolic forms worked...

  11. CHAPTER 4 Cultural Performances in the Struggle over National Community after 1871 (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 monarchists could feel secure in the smooth workings of legitimate hereditary succession, these transitions nonetheless introduced elements of deep uncertainty over policy and purpose from above.

    Frederick’s speech “to my people” on March 14 had confirmed his father’s...

  12. CHAPTER 5 Gendered Medical War Services in the “Curing” State (pp. 177-216)

    A detailed set of notes published in English in 1891 introduced the various establishments affiliated with the “Ladies’ Association” (theFrauen-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 or other foreigners who wanted to live abroad and educate their children. Assurances were given, too, that “comfortable” housing was available with respectable families and in boarding homes.

    The descriptions captured the educational and charitable aims of the Baden Women’s Association, couched squarely in the language...

  13. CHAPTER 6 Mobilizing Social Memory: Gendered Images of War and Sacrifice (pp. 217-250)

    A large international art and garden show opened in Düsseldorf in September 1904 to considerable fanfare. After all, the duchess of Baden, Luise, was the honored guest, a point of extensive attention in the newspaper and official accounts of the inaugural events.¹ The appearance of the royal figure prompted the magistrates to arrange the requisite ceremonies of homage that, in turn, worked to the credit of the same officials tied at that moment into the dynastic state system of honors and rewards. The crowds of common folk lined up to greet the duchess were large and enthusiastic, according to officials,...

  14. CHAPTER 7 Testing Patriotic Alliances, 1913–1916 (pp. 251-292)

    In the lateKaiserreich, veterans’ and soldiers’ gravesites offered ample opportunity for nationalist musings. The centrality of the dead soldier’s sacrifice 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 cemeteries as increasingly important spaces in shaping the “myths” about war in the long nineteenth century.¹ But cemeteries also were contested places in theKaiserreich, a point overlooked in the totalizing myths of nationalism too often reproduced by its historians. Celebrations over soldiers’ graves were not a monopoly of the...

  15. Conclusion: A Gendered Reading of Patriotism and Power (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 the bonds of legitimacy between ruler and subject around allegedly shared patriotic commitments. Whatever its specific context or shade of meaning, at its core was a new subjectivity, which helped to create personal identities partly through civic activism in the name of a vision of individual and community well-being. Patriotism was a...

  16. Bibliographical Essay (pp. 305-308)
  17. Index (pp. 309-318)
  18. Back Matter (pp. 319-319)