Focusing on the era in which the modern idea of nationalism emerged as a way of establishing the preferred political, cultural, and social order for society, this book demonstrates that across different European societies the most important constituent of nationalism has been a specific understanding of the nation’s historical past. Analysing Ireland and Germany, two largely unconnected societies in which the past was peculiarly contemporary in politics and where the meaning of the nation was highly contested, this volume examines how narratives of origins, religion, territory and race produced by historians who were central figures in the cultural and intellectual histories of both countries interacted; it also explores the similarities and differences between the interactions in these societies.
Histories of Nationalism in Ireland and Germany investigates whether we can speak of a particular common form of nationalism in Europe. The book draws attention to cultural and intellectual links between the Irish and the Germans during this period, and what this meant for how people in either society understood their national identity in a pivotal time for the development of the historical discipline in Europe. Contributing to a growing body of research on the ’transnationality’ of nationalism, this new study of a hitherto-unexplored area will be of interest to historians of modern Germany and Ireland, comparative and transnational historians, and students and scholars of nationalism, as well as those interested in the relationship between biography and writing history.