By Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann
"Civil Society" has been a world catchphrase because the finish of the chilly conflict, and is a scorching subject between teachers and politicians. knowing the evolution of this idea within the eighteenth and 19th centuries is essential to its research, even if within the context of heritage, sociology, politics, or diplomacy. This concise and incisive creation to the transnational historical past of civil society is vital interpreting for college kids and students alike.
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Additional info for Civil Society: 1750-1914 (Studies in European History)
189]. 41 Civil Society, 1750–1914 For European liberals, moral improvement and reform through association were the keys to social progress. At the same time, as the examples of Toqueville, John Stuart Mill, and Jacob Burckhardt show, they never abandoned their suspicion of the masses or democracy. Ever since 1789, despotism, in their eyes, always threatened from both ‘above’ and from ‘below’ [14: p. 142]. This elitist aspect of nineteenth-century liberalism produced a duality that manifested itself in the clubs’ social practices: liberalism was characterized, according to Dagmar Herzog, by a ‘simultaneous tolerance and intolerance – the elastic, always potentially inclusive aspects, and the continually contested and renegotiated exclusions’ [72: p.
However, a glance at the continental European states after the Napoleonic wars reveals that governmental suspicion does not necessarily say anything about the actual extent of local sociability. In 1822 Alexander I forbade the Masonic lodges, and fear of secret societies made his successor Nicholas I also regard them with suspicion. Beginning in 1826, free associations were required to obtain state approval of their statutes. A consequence of this was that many voluntary associations met without government approval, as was the case with the illegal student circles in the 1830s and 1840s, while other informal places of discussion like literary salons and circles (krushki) were silently tolerated by the state.
Recent studies on the associational life of 14 German cities in the Vormärz (1815–48) directed by Lothar Gall have come to the same conclusion, as have others in the field [see the summary by 71]. Although the leading hypothesis of the 14-city research project was that a ‘classless civil society’ was to be found in the social network of voluntary associations beginning in the 1820s, the empirical findings suggest that this claim contains a good bit of ideology. For, as the studies show, it was their nearly obsessive passion for social exclusivity, even from a comparative perspective, that characterized German civic associations of the time.
Civil Society: 1750-1914 (Studies in European History) by Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann