Wartime Pamphlets, Anti-English Metaphors, and the Intensification of Antidemocratic Discourse in Germany after the First World War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The article establishes so far neglected links between the German anti-English pamphlets during WWI, on the one hand, and right-wing antidemocratic theory after the war, on the other, by engaging with their central argumentative forms. Particularly the metaphors of the English as “merchants” or “peddlers” as well as England as a mechanical civilization in contradistinction to German organic culture facilitated the transfer of arguments between the discourses on war and democracy, respectively. The metaphors were old, but they were intensified by the concrete enmity – and further intensified the domestic constitutional arguments by underscoring the fundamental unsuitability of democracy for Germany.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the History of Ideas
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)279-304
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • 611 Philosophy

Cite this