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Title page for ETD etd-11232014-145634

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brignac, Kelly Ann
Author's Email Address kelly.brignac914@gmail.com
URN etd-11232014-145634
Title Romantic Wanderlusts: German Travelers to the United States, 1822-1852
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lauren Clay Committee Chair
David G. Blackbourn Committee Member
  • travel
  • germany
  • native americans
  • paul wilhelm
  • frederick gustorf
  • albert koch
  • rudolph kutz
  • united states
Date of Defense 2014-11-21
Availability unrestricted
This paper examines the travel diaries and sketches of four Germans who traveled to the United States in the nineteenth century: Paul Wilhelm, Duke of Württemberg (1822-1824); Frederick Julius Gustorf (1835-1836); Albert C. Koch (1844-1846); and Rudolph Friedrich Kurz (1846-1852). Each man observed the peoples, particularly Native Americans, and the natural landscape of America with the ultimate aim of presenting the results of their studies to the general German public in the form of published travel narratives. Many historians overlook German efforts to explore the “New World,” instead focusing their energy on nations with formal colonies in the Americas, such as France, England, and Spain. Analysis of these four travel narratives, however, demonstrates that this trend is unwarranted in the larger historiography of exploration and expansion into the Americas. These four Germans were actively involved in exploring the North American continent, even if they did not formally possess colonies or hope to establish a “New Germany” in North America. The absence of formal colonial possessions does not preclude a nation from participating in a broader discourse on exploration or scientific discoveries.
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