Monarchical Entries in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Emperor Wilhelm I, 1848-1888

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Abstract

Entry parades formed an essential part of staging monarchical political authority in nineteenth-century Germany. The practice helped monarchs to take symbolic possession of the urban environment and present it as society’s political center. As such, it served to generate popular legitimacy, at a time when monarchy as a form of government was increasingly dependent on the population’s support for its perpetuation. How this practice developed during this period is shown in this chapter through four entry parades used by German Emperor Wilhelm I to stage himself in a particular role. Drawing on Clifford Geertz’ concept of thick description, Edward Shils’ concept of center and periphery, and Alf Lüdtke’s notion of Eigen- Sinn, this chapter shows how Wilhelm I utilized entry parades to effectuate his monarchical political agency. This chapter also demonstrates that these parades were not a one-way street. Rather, monarchical entry parades were a symbolic dialogue between ruler and ruled, in which the latter frequently deviated from the interpretation of political authority the ruler sought to project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStaging authority
EditorsEva Giloi, Martin Kohlrausch, Heikki Lempa, Heidi Mehrkens, Philipp Nielsen, Kevin Rogan
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISBN (Electronic)9783110574012
ISBN (Print)9783110571141
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameDe Gruyter Reference

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