Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Joe Perry

Second Advisor

Dr. Jared Poley


Historians have posited a number of theories about nationalism. Using Anthony D. Smith's historic ethno-symbolic theory, this thesis examines the development of German national identity in the decades following the French Revolution up to the 1848 revolutions and the National Assembly that met in Frankfurt to write a constitution for the German Nation. Martin Luther was an important figure to Germans in the nineteenth century and a number of influential intellectuals drew on his contributions to define themselves as a distinctive people, even though Germans as yet, had no nation-state. The particular contributions of Luther examined in this thesis are language, music and concepts of freedom and unity.