Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




This dissertation analyzes how a large, German-language newspaper, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung served the German-American immigrant community in Chicago in the second half of the nineteenth century. The German diaspora in the United States was not a secluded, separated, and isolated entity, but a node in a transnational network of cultural exchange that crossed national and natural boundaries. Newspapers contributed significantly to the creation and maintenance of this cultural sphere. The editors of the Staats-Zeitung were refugees of the failed 1848 democratic revolutions in Germany. In Germany they had been academics, intellectuals, lawyers and journalists. They brought their political convictions with them to their new home country. Here, they used their abilities, personal connections and collective experiences to rise in the ranks of the German immigrant community to leading positions. As editors of the Staats-Zeitung - like editors of foreign-language newspapers across the country - the former revolutionaries used their publication as a tool to influence and shape their community, as well as they used the newspaper as a tool to enact political pressure on the nation-state they resided in on local, state and even federal levels. Through the newspaper, they maintained a close contact between the immigrant diaspora in the United States and the German homeland.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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