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Absolute WarViolence and Mass Warfare in the German Lands, 1792-1820$
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Mark Hewitson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198787457.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021



A History of Remembering and Forgetting

(p.244) Conclusion
Absolute War

Mark Hewitson

Oxford University Press

The Conclusion outlines the extent to which this study differs from much of the recent historiography. It shows how contemporaries’ attitudes to war were frequently separable from their support for a German nation. At the same time, it argues that subjects’ linkage of patriotism, nationalism, and warfare (or myths of war), when it did occur, was often of secondary importance and was rarely perceived to be problematic. What was of greater significance was the fact that wars had become more threatening, lasting longer and entailing greater financial and human cost, and they had become participatory in nature (or an affair of the Volk), requiring conscription or levées en masse. In these circumstances, the most obvious question—which differs from those posed by recent studies—is why there was so little resistance to war in the German lands after the cataclysm of the years of conflict between 1792 and 1815.

Keywords:   wars of the Volk, nationalism, patriotism, myth, historiography

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