Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-sqtrr Total loading time: 0.451 Render date: 2022-06-29T10:50:21.863Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Book contents

15 - American Policy Toward German Unification: Images and Interests

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2013

David E. Barclay
Affiliation:
Kalamazoo College, Michigan
Get access

Summary

The peaceful revolutions of 1989-90 toppled regimes and transformed international relations. After four decades in which time itself seemed to have become frozen, events rushed forward at a dizzying pace. In a nutshell, the collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe overthrew the Soviet empire, destroyed the Warsaw Pact, and dissolved the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). The unexpected rising of suppressed peoples shattered the relative stability of the Cold War and ushered in a period of rapid and unpredictable change. By ending the East-West confrontation, this rupture opened up undreamt-of vistas of action which also tested the established relationship between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany. It was in effect a redefining movement in transatlantic relations that was fraught with exciting possibilities for crises and new beginnings.

Not surprisingly, American opinion responded to the new situation much like an individual reacts to an unforeseen event, namely, in terms of its prior experiences with the Germans. The Central and East European rising stirred up layers of public images in the United States that had accumulated through personal contact and media projection over two centuries. In the case of Germany negative stereotypes, created by the enmity of the world wars and the shock of the Holocaust, predictably raised old fears of aggression and domination. But earlier historical memories of immigration as well as education, and recent impressions based on private contacts and the stability of the Federal Republic, also engendered more positive views that spurred new hopes. These mixed feelings sparked a lively debate in the American press and academic community which, although ostensibly about the future, was largely couched in terms of the past.

Type
Chapter
Information
Transatlantic Images and Perceptions
Germany and America since 1776
, pp. 333 - 352
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×