Bodie A. Ashton, The Kingdom of Württemberg and the Making of The Kingdom of Württemberg and the Making of Germany, 1815-1871Germany, 1815-1871 (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).

Utilising diplomatic records, diaries, newspapers, and a wealth of other resources, this book reevaluates the process of the German unification (Reichsgründung) of 1870-1, through the prism of the southwest German Kingdom of Württemberg. Listed as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2017, recommended as ‘nothing less than the current state of research on the history of nineteenth-century Württemberg’ (European History Quarterly) and a book ‘that should be included on all reading lists devoted to German history between 1815 and 1871’ (Journal of European Studies), The Kingdom of Württemberg and the Making of Germany is available in hardback, paperback, and e-book from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Select reviews for The Kingdom of Württemberg and the Making of Germany, 1815-1871

It is hard to give this book sufficient praise; lucid and thoroughly researched, it brings the past to life, and the sections on politics, economic growth (or the absence of it in southern Germany), and warfare are equally effective. If the unification of Germany came in a way that was unexpected (the author notes in closing), what came afterward was equally unpredictable. Summing up: Highly recommended.

—Stephen Bailey, CHOICE

[Ashton] offers in a concise way a good overview of Württemberg’s room for manoeuvre and initiatives with regard to the German Question between 1815 and 1871. Alternatives and missed chances are, in this way, made clear. Ashton convincingly shows that the path to a Prussian-dominated foundation of the German empire was not inevitable.

— Henning Türk, German History

Some readers will be familiar with Abigail Green’s Fatherlands: State-Building and Nationhood in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), an excellent ground-breaking study of Württemberg in this period. Ashton builds on Green’s work and offers a fascinating analysis of Württemberg’s German policy between the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the unification of Germany. […] Ashton’s book should be included on all reading lists devoted to German history between 1815 and 1871.

Joachim Whaley, Journal of European Studies

[Ashton’s] compact and tightly-written book is based upon the evaluation of comprehensive archival materials from archives in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and Britain, the analysis of newspapers and unpublished source materials as well as the reappraisal of the research literature. With his book, Bodie A. Ashton achieves an important contribution to German and regional history of the nineteenth century. The reading of the book is recommended. 

— Ursula Rombeck-Jachinski, H-German

This comprehensive book represents nothing less than the current state of research on the history of nineteenth-century Württemberg, and it will surely find readers in the other remaining Mittelstaaten as well.

— Ulf Morgenstern, European History Quarterly

Journal Articles

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Kingship, Sexuality and Courtly Masculinity: Frederick the Great and Prussia on the Cusp of Modernity’ANU Historical Journal II  1 (2019): 109-35.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Constitutionalism as a Force of Popular Loyalty: Constitutional and Unconstitutional Württemberg in the Nineteenth Century’Giornale di storia costituzionale 34, no. 2 (2017): 137-60.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘In Defence of Paul Ham: History as Its Own Worst Enemy’Flinders Journal of History & Politics 31 (2015): 3-14.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Retrospective: Jonathan Brent and Vladimir P. Naumov’s Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot against the Jewish Doctors 1948-1953, Ten Years Later’Flinders Journal of History & Politics 29 (2013): 2-7.

Book Reviews

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Benjamin Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s Rise to Power (London: William Heinemann, 2018), European History Quarterly 49, no. 2 (2019): 322-4.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Sebastian Heer, Parlamentsmanagement: Herausbildungs- und Funktionsmuster parlamentarischer Steuerungsstrukturen in Deutschland vom Reichstag bis zum Bundestag (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2015)’, American Historical Review 123, no. 4 (2018): 1411-12.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Laurence Cole, Military Culture and Popular Patriotism in Late Imperial Austria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)’, European History Quarterly 48, no. 3 (2018): 551-3.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Susan Richter, Pflug und Steuerruder: Zur Verflechtung von Herrschaft und Landwirtschaft in der Aufklärung (Cologne, Weimar and Vienna: Böhlau, 2015)’, German Studies Review 40, no. 2 (2017): 411-13.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Brian E. Vick, The Congress of Vienna: Power and Politics after Napoleon (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2014)’, German History 33, no. 2 (2015): 294-6. 

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Barbara Eichner, History’s Mighty Sounds: Musical Constructions of German National Identity 1848-1914 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2012)’, German History 31, no. 4 (2013): 585-6.

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Review: Sebastian Conrad, German Colonialism: A Short History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012); and Christian S. Davis, Colonialism, Anti-Semitism, and Germans of Jewish Descent in Imperial Germany (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012)’, The German Quarterly 85, no. 3 (2012): 368-70.

Media, Blogs, Other

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘The Past is not a Straight Line’, History Matters: History Brought Alive by the University of Sheffield (13 July 2017).

Bodie A. Ashton, ‘Stop Tinkering with School History, and Start Teaching It’The Conversation (2 January 2014).