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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

History

Date of Award

5-2010

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen G. Fritz

Committee Members

Wolf D. Gruner, Henry J. Antikiewicz, Emmett M. Essin III

Abstract

There are surprisingly detailed similarities between Germany and the USA on their way towards the Second World War. In this paper, I have compared the nations' expansionist philosophies, their encounter with racism, and the internal conflicts between authoritarian leadership and democracy.

I began with an overview of Manifest Destiny and the German myth of the East. Next, I summed up the deep changes that the First World War caused for both societies and how they went into the Great Depression. I examined the rise of scientific racism as part of the international eugenics movement and the emergence of populist leaders during the economic crisis.

It became clear that neither expansionism nor racism were genuine German ideologies. In fact, the American Manifest Destiny served as a role-model for German plans in the East. Even the racist concepts of the Third Reich were strongly influenced by American scientists. The main difference seems to be the experience with the First World War and the diversity of American protest during the crisis.

Document Type

Thesis - Campus Only

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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