UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Weapons of propaganda : national character and history in the pamphlets of Ulrich von Hutten and his contemporaries Hendry, Gayle Maureen


This thesis investigates the interrelationship between nationalism, technological advance and the development of propaganda in the early sixteenth century. It focuses on the function and contemporary impact of pamphlets written by Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523). It examines the formative influences on Hutten and considers the ways in which he moulded his chosen genres to solicit the adherence of his target audience. Hutten developed two major themes in order to encourage national sentiment and direct hostility against identified enemy groups. The development and use of the themes of national character and history are explored in Hutten's pamphlets with special consideration of the labels, rhetorical devices, and argumentation employed, as well as the cultural patterns and prevailing prejudices that are manipulated. Hutten's work is compared in detail with pamphlets by two other major authors, Eberlin von Günzburg and Hartmut von Cronberg, and a briefly survey is made of other contemporary pamphlets. The reception of both Hutten's nationalist thought and his propagandistic methods is discussed, as well as possible reasons for the diverse response of other authors. Both the potential and the limitations of Hutten's propaganda is revealed in the reactions of other pamphleteers. The thesis emphasizes Hutten's importance as a pioneer and methodologist of early nationalist propaganda, and the relevance of his and his supporters' work in the evolution of nationalism.

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