Varied Nationalisms and Prussian Masculinity: Foundational Constructs for the Stabilization of Gender Roles during the Wars of Liberation

  • 2016

Varied Nationalisms and Prussian Masculinity: Foundational Constructs for the Stabilization of Gender Roles during the Wars of Liberation

Author:
Christopher Goodwin
Abstract:

The Wars of Liberation in Prussian history was a seminal moment in two main ways: a unifying patriotic-nationalism and the rise of valorous masculinity. German patriotic-nationalism was based on an imagined community that was constructed using the past as a model for future prosperity and change through the creation of a new objective reality in the present. This objective reality was valorous masculinity as a method of overcoming French subjugation. Trauma incurred on men during the defeat and occupation destroyed old gender ideals and beliefs. The trauma was so extensive that proponents of patriotic-nationalism were able to propagate the idea of valorous masculinity so thoroughly that it became hegemonized throughout Prussia. This spawned the willingness of men to sacrifice their lives in defense of the Fatherland that lasted at least until 1945.