Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2013 Benjamin W. Goossen. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Pieter M. Judson


Historians of the early Kaiserreich have often linked the rise of modern nationalism to the assimilation of minority groups into the new German nation state. In the case of Mennonites, the assimilation narrative tells only half the story. German nationalism served not only to Germanize many Mennonites living in the Empire; it also spurred the parallel formation of a transnational Mennonite consciousness akin to the development of Jewish Zionism. Using a wide variety of sources ranging from newspapers and letters to children’s stories and congregational address books, this thesis tracks Mennonites’ changing attitudes toward ethnicity, geography, education, historiography, and festival making in order to explore the interplay between religion and nationality.


Recipient of the Paul H. Beik Prize in History, awarded in 2013.

Included in

History Commons