States of Ambivalence: Certain American Perceptions of Germany, 1888-1917
Affleck, Colin Ian
This thesis examines certain of the ways in which Americans perceived the German Empire between 1888 and 1917. A background is provided by considering the influence of America's relationship with Great Britain on perceptions of Germany and by examining official relations between the United States and Germany, in which context the views of Germany expressed by American diplomats are discussed. The ways in which Americans looked at Kaiser Wilhelm II, at German Socialism, at the German cities (with particular regard to the works of Frederic C. Howe), and at social reforms in Germany (especially as they influenced, or were interpreted by, American Progressives), are considered and related to American conditions. The picture of Germany in American literature of the period is examined, particularly Mark Twain's relationship with the country. In these ways the essential ambivalence of American views of Germany at this time is exposed, the country being both admired and feared.