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Title: Landscape, Environment and Nationalism in Germany, 1800-1933
Author: Delph, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0001 3421 7636
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2008
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Although in many countries there is a long tradition that landscape and climate shaped human character and culture, certain individuals in Germany made a specific connection between the German landscape and race. Four thinkers who believed that the wellbeing and survival of the German race were inextricably linked to the German landscape in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were Ernst Moritz Arndt, Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, Ernst Rudorff and Paul Schultze-Naumburg. This thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of the theories expressed by these four with respect to the relationship between the landscape and race and traces the progression of ideas from one individual to the next. Initially, this relationship was bound up with the natural landscape and, in particular, the woodland or Wald but during the nineteenth century it expanded to encompass the whole of the Heimat landscape. This thesis also investigates how this belief led to a discussion about the importance of maintaining a peasant community and a concern for the destruction and degradation of the landscape. It will demonstrate how their concern for the peasant community became less prominent as their focus shifted to the industrial and urban developments which were increasingly beginning to mar the landscape. It will also establish how their concern for the degradation of the landscape reflected the actual landscape of Germany which was transformed by industrialisation and urbanisation during the nineteenth century. This thesis will also demonstrate that, although on occasion these four presented some advanced ideas with respect to knowledge of environmental issues, they did not exhibit a prescient understanding of environmental issues in modem terms. Instead it establishes that their concern for the landscape, which was often based on aesthetic considerations, was actuated by a belief that the landscape was fundamental for the survival of the German race.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available