Colonising, looking sidewise’; colonisation as peer review: Elizabeth B. Jones, ‘Keeping Up with the Dutch: Internal Colonization and Rural Reform in Germany, 1800–1914’, International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, 3, 2, 2015
Abstract: Recent research on internal colonization in Imperial Germany emphasizes how racial and environmental chauvinism drove plans for agricultural settlement in the ‘polonized’ German East. Yet policymakers’ dismay over earlier endeavours on the peat bogs of northwest Germany and their admiration for Dutch achievements was a constant refrain. This article traces the heterogeneous Dutch influences on German internal colonization between 1790 and 1914 and the mixed results of Germans efforts to adapt Dutch models of wasteland colonization. Indeed, despite rising German influence in transnational debates over European internal colonization, derogatory comparisons between mediocre German ventures and the unrelenting progress of the Dutch persisted. Thus, the example of northwest Germany highlights how mounting anxieties about ‘backwardness’ continued to mold the enterprise in the modern era and challenges the notion that the profound German influences on the Netherlands had no analog in the other direction.
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