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Grant number like: FT-60085-12

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James M. Brophy
University of Delaware (Newark, DE 19716-0099)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 8/31/2012

Democratic Publishers in Germany, 1770-1850

During the Age of Revolution, 1770-1850, ideals of constitutionalism, democracy, and civil society circulated widely in the Atlantic World. Printers met the brisk demand for newsprint, pamphlets, and books, creating a transnational circuit of political information that flowed through Western Europe and North America. But these networks also extended to German-speaking lands, a pattern of European print diffusion that remains under explored. Scholarship has yet to explain how the German book trade, in spite of censorship, inculcated rights bearing citizenship ideals. How publishers worked with writers, translators, binders, shippers, retailers, and a host of municipal, state, and federal officials to sell oppositional political literature is a story not yet told in German historiography. In doing so, these printers brought the public sphere of central Europe in step with that of the Atlantic basin. This history of printers throws new light on the broadened remit of democratic thought.