Contesting Surveillance: The German Gymnastics Movement and the Prussian State, 1850–1864

Contesting Surveillance: The German Gymnastics Movement and the Prussian State, 1850–1864 Abstract While the history of the Bürgertum (the German middle class) post-1848/49 has focused on the inherently political nature of a reform-oriented group of citizens concerned with progress and modernization, the Bürgertum’s explicit understanding of the political has largely remained on the periphery of research, overshadowed by nationalism and its shift to the right post-unification. This article focuses on the immediate post-revolutionary period. Using a case study, it depicts how members of German gymnastics societies relied on cultural strategies to negotiate an oppositional existence in the post-revolutionary security state. It contends that between 1850 and 1864, associations acted as a mediator between the Prussian state and its citizens in insisting upon the state’s adherence to legally defined norms. It illustrates that throughout the period, gymnastics societies across the Rhine-Ruhr region engaged in a political process of contestation to question the Prussia state’s justification of its power. After nearly a decade of playing by the rules of the surveillance game, the Bürgertum lost its trust in the state and began to demand that the laws the state had created to monitor voluntary associations also be used to guarantee their rights. By refusing to accept the state’s authority, the Bürgertum developed a form of contentious politics that required pamphlets rather than revolutionary barricades. I: Introduction The balance between citizens’ rights to privacy and the state’s need for surveillance has come under significant scrutiny in recent years as governments draw on new technology to provide repertoires of surveillance that use cloak-and-dagger data mining of private emails, web browsing, online chatter and social media activity to track citizens.1 Such research often laments that a lack of historical memory facilitates post-Orwellian surveillance that surpasses the imagination of 1984.2 Germany’s historical trajectory, rife with exemplary surveillance states, has not been immune from this interest. In particular, the subject has attracted significant attention since a series of panels at the annual German Studies Association conference held in Kansas City in 2014, the association’s subsequent special issue of German Studies Review (2015) and a roundtable forum in German History (2015) drew attention to surveillance across the various Germanys.3 This article continues the discussion, moving it away from exemplary German surveillance states—the Metternich era of Restoration, the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic—to the often-overlooked period of reaction between 1850 and 1864. It examines state surveillance through the lens of the German gymnastics movement’s negotiation of survival in the post-revolutionary period, as the movement, in its interactions with the Prussian Law of Association and Assembly of March 1850, carved out a space where members could experience the rights of citizenship they had attempted to realize in 1848/49. It was not until it became increasingly clear that the Prussian state was more interested in upholding its perceived need for surveillance than in expanding the rights of citizenship that members, as this article contends, used the gymnastics movement as a medium to contest post-revolutionary surveillance and express dissatisfaction with the pre-1848 status quo. A historical analysis of the German gymnastics movement straddles two fields of scholarly inquiry: first, the world of voluntary associations with normative expectations defined through social contracts and pseudo-democratic structures; and second, the multi-dimensional realm of sport, where participants’ bodies and minds were disciplined as part of leisure-sport activities.4 Founded in Berlin in 1811 by the so-called father of gymnastics, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, in response to the Napoleonic occupation of Germany, the popular sports-nationalist gymnastics movement was originally conceptualized as a means to cultivate male bodies and minds in preparation for a unified and free Germany.5 By design, Jahn’s voluntary movement actively communicated itself as part of a revolutionary undercurrent in society that sought to make individuals into citizens eager to support the state as agents of freedom and catalysts of nationhood. Following the German-language historiographical tradition established by the Bielefeld and Frankfurt schools’ Bürgertum projects, this article explores the nineteenth-century German Bürger (citizen) beyond mere legal or economic status.6 Instead, the term is used here to denote a social and cultural praxis evoked to differentiate Bürger from the largely lower-class Others through Bürgerlichkeit, a nebulous concept related to a belief in independence, discipline and rationality, loyalty and a respect for freedom.7 The concept Bürger also connoted the potential that all individuals could become Bürger, provided Bürgerlichkeit was realized through Bildung, that is, cultivation.8 This article revisits the conceptualization of Bürgertum as a social and cultural praxis against the background of the recent interest amongst historians of Germany in the ‘contours of the political’ in order to explore how Bürger negotiated such contours after 1848/49.9 As historians have convincingly argued that the oft-cited power of the Bürgertum was found in symbolic political practices in both the Vormärz and Wilhelmine periods, this article explores the survival of one of the largest middle-class voluntary associations in the immediate post-revolutionary period.10 To date, historical treatment of the period has largely been confined to the context of nationalism and the conceptualization of Germany as a nation state.11 This article seeks to contribute to the reconstruction of the various transformations that happened after 1848, paving the way for Germany’s political sphere(s) after unification.12 Moreover, this article contributes to the historiography of the gymnastics movement, which continues to be associated with the Sonderweg narrative of exclusionary nationalism that prepared German society for the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.13 The movement’s connection to the Bürgertum’s cultivation of political culture in the decades leading up to unification has been left largely unexplored in favour of narratives that depict how, beginning in the 1860s, the movement focused on cultivating working-class male bodies into Germans through indoctrination based on unity, discipline and morality.14 On the eve of unification, as Michael Krüger recently put it in a summary that echoes the Sonderweg thesis, the ‘aim of a strong German nation state become more important than the liberal and democratic ideas of the “Achtundvierziger” (Forty-Eighters)’.15 That the Prussian state permitted a movement that had been so clearly aligned with the political desires of the Forty-Eighters to survive into the post-revolutionary period requires its own treatment distinct from consideration of the development of nationalism prior to unification. This article therefore seeks to resituate the historiography of the gymnastics movement by exploring how such survival was rendered, tracing how the movement negotiated its continued existence while also contesting the state in general and surveillance in particular. For its analysis, this article looks at the area between the Rhine and its eastern tributary the Ruhr as a case study. Bordered by Dortmund and Düsseldorf in the north and south respectively, the Rhine-Ruhr region includes major cities such as Barmen, Bochum, Krefeld, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Elberfeld and Essen. Historians, particularly James Brophy, Michael Rowe and Jonathan Sperber, have documented the area’s Vormärz political culture, which was characterized by the duality of ‘revolutionary reminiscence’ and a Bürgertum determined to increase its political power through the associational sphere.16 Moreover, the Rhine-Ruhr region provides a window on situations that directly affected the contours of the political in the post-revolutionary period: the memory of the upheavals of 1815 and 1848/49; a substantial legacy of revolutionary turmoil particularly in Elberfeld and Barmen; prior experience with the surveillance state; and the interplay of larger transnational currents in the form of rapid industrialization and urbanization.17 Against this backdrop, a clearer image will emerge of how the gymnastics movement navigated the murky waters of a dual associational existence that on the one hand promoted exercises such as gymnastics, walking, running, jumping and swinging, and on the other hand relied on discrete forms of discipline in an attempt to define the perfect German citizen in light of behaviour and decorum. II: Negotiating Survival On 31 March 1850, the German Gymnastic Federation declared, ‘Political partisanship is to be excluded as such from the gymnastics movement.’18 This addition to the national federation’s official statutes was meant to prescribe the national body and all member associations’ movement away from the political ideals that had been pursued in the Vormärz and revolutionary periods. Marked by an asterisk, the statement was strategically inserted immediately following the associational purpose, §1 of the statutes, which declared that the national federation was to act as the central body for the gymnastics-oriented activities of individual gymnastics societies.19 While the movement’s new dedication to gymnastics alone was meant to mark its post-revolutionary politics-free purpose, this declaration should not be understood as an apolitical position. Instead, it signalled a new beginning: the gymnastics movement’s entangled negotiations for survival in the post-revolutionary period. Such survival required an ability to manoeuvre within the new reality that had been framed by the Prussian Law of Association and Assembly of March 1850, which placed associations at the mercy of the Prussian surveillance state.20 The law established the tenets of the Prussian state’s post-revolutionary surveillance of associations: the right to access statutes and membership lists, restrictions on associational networks across Prussia, and, most importantly, participatory surveillance that required that associations inform authorities about their actions and secure state approval for any public gatherings. Post-revolutionary associations, accordingly, had to carefully negotiate the realm of permissibility, finding a way between the right to assemble and labelling, and banning, as a threat to public welfare and security. Failure to play by the rules ran the risk of accusations of being a Zweiverein, a two-faced association that served to unite individuals who shared common interests under the umbrella of socialization but continued to promote the Vormärz oppositional discourses that had motivated revolution.21 The post-revolutionary surveillance of associations was not a covert operation. The Law of Association made it clear that all associations would be monitored and that any failure to abide by the surveillance state’s demands could lead to a legal prohibition on their pursuing their goals in public space. By forcing associations to participate in their own surveillance, the state achieved two distinct goals. First, it established power over each association by using its internal documentation to assess the threat it posed—hence the national federation’s addition of a politics-free purpose to its statutes in the 1850s. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the law ensured that the state was informed of all associational gatherings and could send representatives to attend them without notice. The threat of surveillance thus limited the associations’ ability to elude the state’s gaze. It forced associations to supply legitimate records and deterred subversive tactics such as falsifying statutes, which put at risk the association’s legal right to exist. The first test of the gymnastics movement’s negotiations with the surveillance state came at the first post-revolutionary gymnastics festival, held in March/April 1850, an annual event that the national federation had begun in 1848. At this meeting, in recognition of the rules established by the Prussian Law of Association, the national federation’s statutes were formalized for the new post-revolutionary reality and direct reference to the federation’s move away from politics was included. With the revision of the national federation’s statutes, member associations were able to retain statutes they had established during the revolution, as their membership in the national federation underscored their desire to pursue gymnastics as a sport rather than a political movement.22 Records from the following year’s festival suggest that this tactic was largely successful. In 1851, more than fifty associations came together to continue the tradition that had begun during the revolution. Two thousand gymnasts and 1,000 friends of gymnasts were permitted by the Prussian state to gather in Bückenburg to celebrate the existence of a movement that only two years earlier had participated in a revolution against that state.23 Getting to Bückenburg took a concerted effort, however. In preparation for the 1851 festival, member associations had to willingly participate in their own surveillance. All fifty gymnastics societies not only registered their intended participation in the festival with the organizing association but also provided Prussian authorities with copies of their statutes, membership lists and other pertinent information about their activities. The final report by the regional authorities in Koblenz responsible for the Rhine-Ruhr region not only references the member associations of the Lower Rhine/Westphalian societies, such as those from Barmen, Bochum, Krefeld, Duisburg and Elberfeld, but also contains information on associations beyond the region, including the number of members for places like Erfurt, Hamburg and Kiel.24 The regional authorities were therefore able to draw on the information that had been supplied not only to their offices but also to other Prussian authorities in order to gain an understanding of the gymnastics movement as a whole, from resources that included local and regional goals, membership requirements and, most importantly, current membership lists that identified local leaders.25 While such information might appear mundane, once it was in the hands of the surveillance state, Prussian authorities had significant knowledge of how associational goals were institutionalized and upheld by members.26 For some of the Rhine-Ruhr gymnastics societies, their goals corresponded to the straightforward gymnastics-oriented purpose, such as the Barmer Turnverein’s ‘collective practice of physical exercise’.27 Other associations, however, risked drawing further attention from the state by continuing to refer to a dual purpose for the association: Rheydt’s society, for example, was for men who came together to ‘develop and strengthen physical and mental facilities’.28 The Elberfeld Turngemeinde—despite the revolutionary significance of its location—continued to reference the larger purpose that had served as the impetus for Jahn’s founding of gymnastics in the early nineteenth century; its goal was to vigorously support members both mentally and physically to be moral and virtuous men united in brotherhood as part of the development of true humanity in connection with every association of the German Gymnastics Federation, for the strengthening of the unity and freedom of the German people.29 If such objectives could be understood as the strategic plans of individual associations, providing information on those goals to authorities gave the state knowledge of what the association hoped to achieve, and how. Furthermore, membership in an association implied support for its purpose. In cases such as the Barmen society, this likely did not give much cause for concern. In other cases, however, such as the Rheydt or Elberfeld associations, belonging to the association could draw the state’s gaze, as the statutes explicitly referred to major social concerns of the post-revolutionary period: unity, freedom and brotherhood. Such gymnastics societies were explicitly connected to ‘progress’, which for many had meant only three years prior to the Bückenburg festival a united—and democratic—German nation, tied to the idea of a better life: gymnastics could serve to develop the physical body and cultivate the mind by creating a brotherhood of moral and virtuous men that would later form the people of a united and democratic German nation. The statutes included with the police report from Koblenz also underscore the degree to which even early in the post-revolutionary period gymnastics societies continued to exist as democrat mini-parliaments, more inclusive and more democratic than Prussia itself. Gymnastic societies offered a space for members to rehearse what it meant to be part of, and to have a voice in, a movement. Despite the federation’s reinvention in the image of apoliticalness at the Eisenach festival in 1850, it had nevertheless maintained Jahn’s vision of a training ground for both citizenship and the political sphere.30 There was no need for divisive partisan politics: all members were united under the banner of the association’s goals, and the association acted as a community of peers navigating civil society together. Despite the risks of belonging to a society linked to such dangerous ideals, members ensured that each association remained within the legal realm the Law of Association had established. Accordingly, gymnastics societies were able to continue to engage in dialogue with the oppositional position the Prussian state was trying to limit: democracy.31 Both the state and the associations used the 1850 law to frame their actions: on one hand, the state ensured that associations were kept under its surveillance, while on the other, the gymnastics societies participated in their own surveillance by providing necessary documentation to the state, exposing both associations and their members to the state’s gaze, with the recognition that the laws also provided a framework within which associations could continue to operate. The German Gymnastics Federation understood perhaps better than other associations the degree to which survival in the post-revolutionary period required working within the established legal framework. During the revolution, the partisanship stemming from the divisive question of republic or monarchy was the catalyst for a split among gymnasts, just as many other associations were also divided. The disagreement led to the formation of a competing national association, the Democratic Gymnastics Federation, which explicitly advocated the creation of a German republic. Only one federation survived the revolution: the German Gymnastics Federation, with its purpose revised so that its concern was gymnastics, rather than being a political movement. This shift can in part be explained by Prussia’s crackdown on ‘radical Germans’ and the subsequent immigration of revolutionary Turners to the United States.32 The Democratic Gymnastics Federation and its members’ insistence on continuing to refer to the ideals of the French Revolution—equality, freedom and brotherhood—and refusal to play by the rules of the surveillance state also likely played a role.33 Credit must also be given, however, to the willingness and ability of the German Gymnastics Federation to manoeuvre itself within the new realities of the post-revolutionary period. Although the federation was subjected to increased surveillance, under the banner of the German Gymnastics Federation the gymnastics movement continued to grow throughout Prussia. While the negotiation of survival was not without difficulties—the regional association in the Lower Rhine region was banned for a short period beginning in 1851—member associations were nonetheless able to continue to pursue gymnastics as Jahn had intended, for both physical and mental purposes.34 III: Negotiating Citizenship In the context of the Vormärz, James Brophy has illustrated the degree to which public space acted as ‘not just a site, but a medium for subjects to contest an imposed social order and thus articulate their citizenship claims’.35 In the post-revolutionary period, the Bürgertum used associations such as gymnastics associations to articulate (revised) conceptions of citizenship through clear definitions of the right to and responsibilities of membership. By disciplining the bodies and minds of gymnasts, gymnastics societies shaped not only behaviour connected to belonging to the association but also the ideals of what constituted a Bürger in the post-revolutionary period. Obtaining membership—or citizenship—in the association followed a regulated and tedious protocol. To apply, an individual required a connection to the society, which for many gymnastics societies meant that prospective members had to be recommended by an existing member.36 Once an individual was nominated for membership, his name was placed on public display, to determine his suitability. In Elberfeld the name was displayed for eight days, after which, provided no member saw any reason why the person should not be admitted, the individual was granted membership. By contrast, if a member objected to the individual’s inclusion—such objections were to be made in secret to the association’s executive—the applicant was given the opportunity to withdraw his request to join; if he declined, admission was decided upon by majority vote of the entire association at a special meeting.37 In addition to requiring social standing and connections to the community, membership for some individuals was simply not possible. Those unable to pay the membership fee or fulfil the requirements of the discourse of belonging remained the Other. The classification ‘member’ was defined in vague terms that implied some degree of independence based on four exclusionary characteristics: financial standing, gender, age and social status. The Rheydt Turnverein, for instance, limited membership to males over the age of sixteen, while the Barmen and Elberfeld societies restricted membership to those over the age of eighteen and nineteen respectively.38 Women and children were not considered for membership. The gymnastics movement’s understanding of membership paralleled what Frank Möller has identified as the tenets of the Bürgertum’s conceptualization of citizenship: first, a Bürger was male; second, a Bürger was independent; and third, a Bürger was an influential member of urban civil society.39 These conceptualizations of a ‘member’ reflected the post-revolutionary emphasis on independence and maturity for entry into civil society and, inherently, the right to be considered a Bürger. Carl von Rotteck and Carl Welcker’s Staats-Lexikon—the bible of nineteenth-century German liberalism—related these two values to the cultural development of individuals defined in terms of Bildung, an individual’s level of cultivation. Age and gender were both considered particularly important factors in an individual’s ability to understand cultural norms and explicitly excluded youth and women not only from becoming members but also from envisioning themselves as—or as becoming—Bürger.40 In granting and refusing membership, gymnastics societies could control the associational discourse of belonging. Through the threat of revoking membership, the movement maintained discipline. Once an individual met the standard of belonging, that is, he was granted entry into the club, he was also required to continue his Bürgerlichkeit by upholding the terms of membership and fully committing to the association’s purpose. In some gymnastics societies, new members were required to sign the statutes, thereby contractually agreeing to the formal processes and procedures they outlined.41 Failure to uphold the terms of membership could be punished, In Elberfeld, for instance, if a member showed himself to be ‘unworthy’—grounds for such a designation included an indecent lifestyle, repeated inappropriate conduct, incompatibility with the association or failure to respect the terms outlined by the statutes including the financial requirements in the form of membership dues—his status as member could be rescinded.42 Membership therefore not only risked exposure to the state; it also entailed acknowledgement of a social contract: individuals joined an association upon agreement that their personal freedom would be subjected to the authority of the association in exchange for the experience of belonging.43 As such, members had to find a balance between their understanding of the rights of citizenship and the Prussian state’s surveillance demands, but they were also trapped by power struggles with other members. Gymnasts were disciplined by a series of rules: gymnastic exercises could only begin when the Turnwart (the gymnastics leader) gave the order ‘zum Turnen’ (begin exercises); gymnasts could only attempt the exercise if the ‘Bahnfrei’ (lane clear) order had been given; and members had to understand the decorum of the Turnplatz (gymnasium) by paying attention to the exercises taking place on the floor rather than talking and joking with peers.44 Other forms of discipline were also required. For instance, the Rheydt statutes outline that while gymnasts were not permitted to go into the stands during the exercises, smoking was not permitted on the floor, which effectively banned smoking during physical training. Thus membership required both mental and physical discipline, dictating matters as simple as when and where members could smoke. Members had to commit fully to the association and the gymnastic exercises and exhibit self-control.45 Discipline was not limited to the Turnplatz. Members were also forbidden from gathering outside regular meeting times, symbolic of the power of the gymnasium in the establishment of discipline and the Bürgertum’s use of that space to communicate its leadership in civil society. Furthermore, any meeting beyond the official space that might be construed as linked to the gymnastics movement required prior approval from the Vorstand (executive), which structured power relationships within the association. Upon review, the leaders of the association could—paralleling the Prussian Law of Association—attend such gatherings, establish regulations for them or forbid them entirely.46 During the post-revolutionary period, being a gymnast was dangerous in itself, as the gymnastics movement remained on Prussia’s watch-list. Simply belonging to such an organization could connect a member to what the state perceived to be a looming threat. For example, an instructional book from 1853 for the Prussian police on the ‘Communist conspiracy’ underscored that gymnastics societies could quickly fall under the radical influence of organizing Communists.47 Adding to power constructions, the right to discipline members beyond the Turnplatz was likely tied to the exposure membership in gymnastics societies required. As a member’s name was publicly associated with the movement, his behaviour was expected to uphold the orderly image of the gymnast, to avoid drawing the state’s gaze not only on himself but also on the association to which he belonged. Members had to be willing to risk such exposure, a commitment worth noting for an era when reaction against oppositional forces was expected. The exclusive nature of the gymnastics movement, evident in barriers to associational membership, ensured that only those who could handle the pressures of membership, only ‘capable citizens’, were admitted. The membership selection process facilitated the differentiation that came with belonging. Conditions focused on independence as well as further membership requirements ensured that members fitted a specific image of what a member ought to be. Protecting the association from the potential threat of disorder meant limiting membership, a direct reflection of the Bürgertum’s general fear and mistrust of the Volk, or lower classes, which restricted the associations’ ability to be inclusive. The exclusiveness of the gymnastics movement was strategic, intended to ensure survival in the post-revolutionary period; it served as a means for the movement to define itself as a community of cultivated, mature, independent and, most importantly, orderly citizens in the face of a state that wanted to see it as anything but. Accordingly, associational life in the post-revolutionary period mirrored the Bürgertum’s post-1848/49 dilemma: how could the Volk be improved if they could not be trusted sufficiently to be able to receive the benefits of sociability? For the gymnastics movement, this dilemma was expressed in its function as an organized panopticon; just as both Bürger and Bürgerlichkeit were considered fluid conceptualizations, membership restrictions were not envisioned as constants.48 Membership was eventually to be expanded, and accepted members were never beyond observation; membership was granted, but it was never permanent. On one hand, this facilitated the movement’s survival in the post-revolutionary period, as membership required a willingness to play by the rules established by the state and to adhere to the intricacies of the association’s statutes. On the other hand, this also served to mould members in the image of the Bürgertum: gymnasts largely had met—or would foreseeably meet within a short time—the nebulous criteria of being Bürger before they were permitted to call themselves gymnasts.49 For the post-revolutionary gymnastics movement, narratives of Otherness were not necessarily used to reinforce exclusivity; instead, conditions of membership acted as forms of communication not only with the Prussian state but also with (prospective) members, as part of a larger negotiation of survival and the tenets of citizenship. Membership was exclusively offered to those who had been afforded the status of Bürger, which implied, first, an understanding of responsibility to civil society and only then the right to participate in it.50 The exclusion of young and seemingly disorderly males from the association served as a particular form of communication with the Prussian state in a region which, as young males migrated to the area to fulfil labour needs resulting from heavy industrial growth, was increasingly characterized by its youthful and unmarried population.51 In its communication with the state, the gymnastics movement underscored its attempts to protect not only the movement, from becoming a source of disorder, but also Prussia, from organized disorder in an ordered post-revolutionary surveillance state. IV: Negotiating Surveillance In the immediate post-revolutionary period, therefore, the gymnastics movement found itself in a mutually beneficial relationship with Prussian authorities. By operating in light of accepted discourse and according to state regulations, gymnastics societies avoided reaction despite the state’s gaze, which provided opportunities for the development of micro-civil societies governed by norms of behaviour motivated by a desire to foster the well-being of civil society in general. Post-revolutionary gymnastics societies can accordingly be considered part of what Brophy refers to for the Vormärz as the ‘relocation of power’, with ever-growing counter-space influenced by and representing an alternative to the Prussian state. 52 In this role, associations served several functions in the public sphere. First, they acted as regulated entities whereby specific norms were institutionalized and governed by a constitution in the form of the association’s statutes. Second, they defined membership in terms of behaviour, in a model that saw individuals formed in the image of the Bürgertum and its Bürgerlichkeit. Finally, as this section illustrates for the gymnastics movement, associations defined participation in line with the idea that a Bürger was a political actor who was constitutionally connected to the state and maintained associational standards in working within legal channels to avoid direct confrontation with the state; at the same time he was a medium for the expression of a desire for social, economic, cultural and—importantly—political progress. By mirroring society and providing a concrete image of how politics ought to be, the leaders of the gymnastics movement had hoped it would be rewarded for showing the Prussian state how increasingly democratic practices could be incorporated without the threat of disorder. Gymnastic associations’ willingness to adhere to the state’s demands for surveillance and transparency reiterated the importance of working within accepted and legal boundaries as a daily-life practice. As micro-democracies and informal political spheres, associations provided a domain where, to borrow a phrase from Margaret Lavinia Anderson, participants could not only practise democracy, but also live it.53 As both the medium and the message, gymnastics associations communicated that it was possible to exist in the realm of the political and maintain order, despite the state’s misgivings.54 At the dawn of the New Era, gymnastics societies found their message was falling on deaf ears.55 Rather than opening up civil society and providing the Bürgertum with increased freedom to experiment with democracy, Prussia seemed determined to stick to its old reactive ways. As such, the gymnastics movement expanded throughout Prussian territories and began to test the realm of the permissible. It extended its membership to include more workers, and by 1864, almost 60 per cent were young craftsmen who were considered capable of reaching the Bürgertum’s desired level of independence on their way to becoming masters of their trade.56 As workers were also experiencing self-development by participating in the associations, socialist-oriented gymnasts became increasingly vocal about the need for further integration of the working classes to circumvent the connection between education and power that was held as an unassailable truth by the leadership of the movement.57 In Elberfeld, for example, a second gymnastics society, the Elberfeld Allgemeiner Turnverein, was formed in 1860 with a predominantly craftsman membership base.58 The reason for the split was made public in 1863, when, in a letter to the Elberfelder Zeitung, the leaders of the new association accused their fellow Bürger of forsaking the goal of the overall development of man by turning the gymnastics movement into a sports association that had lost its larger purpose.59 For many of the gymnasts who had experienced the turmoil of 1848/49, extending the membership base to include more workers was considered too much, too soon. This was further complicated by the omnipresent state surveillance machine’s continued linking of workers’ participation in civil society with a direct Communist threat. With the emergence of an increasing number of working class–oriented gymnastics associations in urban spaces like Elberfeld and Barmen, in the 1860s the Bürgertum began a negotiation with the state about the movement’s association with politics and the need for continued surveillance. A pertinent example of the Bürgertum’s contestation of the state’s gaze appeared in the Rhine-Ruhr region in the mid 1860s, in the form of a pamphlet written by one of the socialist-oriented gymnasts, the editor of the Rhein- und Ruhrzeitung, Friedrich Lange. Lange’s polemic reflects the contours of the political the Bürgertum used to contest the mutual benefit of the relationship between Prussia and its citizens in the later post-revolutionary period. First, it overtly questions Prussia’s legal authority for surveillance of associations, focusing on the gymnastics movement and the application of the Law of Association.60 Secondly, it argues that despite the fact that gymnastics societies in the region had tried to adhere to the Law of Association, they were finding it increasingly difficult to manoeuvre within the state’s legal framework. Finally, Lange’s pamphlet highlights the fear that despite its best efforts, the gymnastics movement in the Rhine-Ruhr region was under threat, as Prussia was failing to act in the best interests of its citizens for it was unable—or refused—to distinguish politics from civil interests. Lange positioned his pamphlet as a dialogue with the state that could ensure that ‘the trust between the people and authorities, which we need so badly, could grow’.61 Lange begins his pamphlet with the premise that it had become increasingly difficult to follow the Law of Association as Prussian authorities were becoming overzealous in its application. As Prussia had formulated the law in a manner that created uncertainties about its purpose, associations were never certain whether they would be subjected to police intervention and whether their legal standing would be retained even if they did continue to play by the rules.62 Furthermore, Lange lamented the troubling presence of the surveillance state even though the gymnastics movement had appropriately removed politics from member associations and had accordingly proven itself not to be a threat to public order. The premise was simple for Lange: if an association defined in its statutes that it was not political, by forcing surveillance on the movement Prussia was overextending its reach. While expecting associations to refrain from politics, the state had failed to develop a clear distinction between formal politics in the form of political action and scholarly discussion of politically oriented ideals.63 For Lange, formal politics required common organized action, while an association concerned with scholarly discourse sought understanding and debate and pursued a rational and practical goal.64 As such, being political required a specific plan for what the state should become and the aspiration to do something about it. In contrast, voluntary associations, such as gymnastics societies, sought to catalyse progress to a better life with neither an explicit method to force the realization of their goals nor a concrete understanding of what a ‘better’ life even meant.65 For Lange and the gymnastics movement, Prussia’s legal framework that served to define the rights and responsibilities of its citizens was detrimentally vague. Lacking clear accountability, citizens found it increasingly difficult to pursue their legal rights in public space. As the Prussian authorities continued to force their gaze upon gymnastics societies, the March 1850 declaration of a politics-free associational sphere became increasingly meaningless. The gymnastics movement had done its part: it had remained in the realm of informal politics, providing the cultivation and practice needed to prepare for the eventual deepening of the formal political sphere, and had proven itself relatively harmless—if not beneficial—to the state. In response, Prussian authorities had treated it as though it was continuing to engage in formal politics and a quest for equality, freedom and brotherhood in the spirit of the French Revolution. The gymnastics movement saw its value in gymnastic exercises, vocal training and presentations about hygiene and the like, all of which it held to be connected to the development of a sphere that existed beyond the state but also to retain the potential to enact change in society and teach people what it meant to be citizens with a voice in their own governance. The state, however, constantly held the movement’s role in civil society at its mercy. In its attempts to define what historians have come to refer to as the ‘political’, the gymnastics movement saw itself at odds with Prussia and no longer able to commit to the precarious balance it had maintained in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The gymnastics movement’s attempt to work with, rather than against, the state wavered as Prussian authorities appeared less interested in balance than in control. By contrast, the desire to extend the political resulted in exponential growth in the number of gymnasts across the Rhine-Ruhr region, with the establishment of multiple gymnastics societies within urban centres, repeating a similar pattern of the revolutionary era.66 In cities where multiple associations were founded in response to disillusionment with the movement’s slow pace of change that was a result of a desire to remain within the state’s framework, a clear line was drawn between those associations that sought to include workers and those that sought to educate them. As a result, cities with two associations often had one predominantly middle-class association and one predominantly working-class association. For the German gymnastics movement, the increase in associations in the post-revolutionary period was a direct result of dissenting voices, raised as the dominant discourse met with opposition.67 The emergence of contestation was also, therefore, a direct result of the Bürgertum’s strategy in the post-revolutionary period: as it sought to play by the rules, it increasingly isolated dissenting views and contested identities. For this reason, in Rhine-Ruhr gymnastics societies a culture of democracy developed independent citizens who not only participated in but also contested the public sphere. V: Conclusion The Prussian authorities’ suspicions about the latent politicalness of associations in the post-revolutionary period was not unfounded. It was, however, likely misdirected. As a result of its focus on gymnastics societies for harbouring revolutionaries and, more particularly in the post-revolutionary period, a Communist threat, the state failed to see the movement’s focus on developing and contesting the political. In contrast to the Law of Association, gymnastics societies used their statutes to form a social contract between the association and its members and between Prussia and the Bürgertum. For the Bürgertum, associations symbolically underscored how a community comprising mature, well-behaved (male) individuals could encourage the creation of competent political citizens who acted on behalf of the greater good. Gymnastics societies, for example, adhered to the legal framework defined by the Law of Association and even willingly participating in their own surveillance by providing local, regional and Prussian authorities with copies of statutes and membership lists. At the same time, such associations expected to be rewarded for being a community of ‘good citizens’ and to be allowed to continue to pursue their common goals in public space without Prussian interference. Furthermore, the gymnastics movement’s trajectory of contestation from survival to citizenship and then to surveillance also sheds light on how the legitimacy of the Prussian state’s surveillance was questioned—not in terms of whether its gaze should be turned towards its citizens but instead about the degree to which the gaze should be placed on ‘good citizens’. As Geoff Eley reflected in this journal’s forum on surveillance, historians must also consider this arena of beliefs and expectations—the realm and justification for participatory surveillance. For the gymnastics movement, this balance proved difficult to maintain.68 It was not until it became increasingly clear in the New Era that this utopian equilibrium would not be achieved that the Bürgertum became increasingly mistrustful of the state and used associational discourses to express their distrust, by expanding their membership and directly calling into question the legitimacy of the state’s surveillance. That associational life could become a medium for ‘contentious performances’ and ‘contentious repertoires’ exemplifies the degree to which the Bürgertum was able to contest the surveillance state in the post-revolutionary period.69 By refusing to accept the state’s refusal to abide by its own rules, German gymnasts were indeed partaking in politics. Their participation, as defined by Lange, involved not formal politics, but thinking about what could be done to prepare effectively for the realization of future political channels.70 The gymnastics movement was political insofar as the political was understood as a multidimensional act that involved the communication of information, messages and structures that defined what constituted a citizen and in so doing offered an opportunity to rehearse political skills. Unlike the Prussian state, the gymnastics movement maintained its accountability to its members, a contour of the political identity it had hoped the state would adopt once civil society developed rather than hold true to the Vormärzian status quo. Footnotes * An early draft of this paper was presented at the German Studies Association’s annual conference in October 2014 as part of a panel series, ‘Surveillance and German Studies’, organized by Andrew Zimmerman and Jonathan Wiesen. The research presented in this paper was funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and draws on my doctoral dissertation, completed at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. I would like to thank the organizers and participants in the series as well the Department of History at Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, particularly Andreas Fahrmeir, who supervised my doctoral thesis, and the peer reviewers for their constructive feedback on the work in progress, which improved the draft substantially. 1 For an overview see David Barnard-Willis’s recent research on surveillance in the United Kingdom and the link between new technology and new surveillance: Barnard-Willis, Surveillance and Identity: Discourse, Subjectivity and the State (London and New York, 2016). 2 See, for example, Henry A. Giroux, ‘Totalitarian Paranoia in the Post-Orwellian Surveillance State’, Cultural Studies, 29, 2 (2015), pp. 108–40; David Lyon, ‘The Snowden Stakes: Challenges for Understanding Surveillance Today’, Surveillance & Society, 13, 2 (2015), pp. 139–52. 3 Forum: ‘Surveillance and German History’, German History, 34, 2 (2016), pp. 293–314; ‘Surveillance and German Studies’, special issue, German Studies Review, 38, 2 (2015). 4 Sport as a category of historical investigation has been acknowledged but remains underrepresented in German historiography. For an overview of sports history in the German context see the excellent rallying call for more sport history, Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, ‘The History and Historiography of Sport in Germany: Social, Cultural and Political Perspectives’, German History, 27, 3 (2009), pp. 313–30. 5 Jahn’s manifesto was published in Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and Ernst Wilhelm Bernhard Eiselen, Deutsche Turnkunst (Berlin, 1816), see in particular Jahn’s self-history of establishing the gymnastic movement, including a quite lengthy discussion of the development of the movement’s language, pp. iii–xlvii. 6 In the late 1980s and 1990s extensive research on the German middle class came out of the Bielefeld and Frankfurt Bürgertum projects, under the direction of Jürgen Kocka and Lothar Gall, respectively. For the Bielefeld school see Jürgen Kocka, Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert: Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich (Munich, 1995). For the Frankfurt school see Lothar Gall, Bürgertum in Deutschland (Berlin, 1989); and Gall, Bürgertum und bürgerlich-liberale Bewegung in Mitteleuropa seit dem 18. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1997). With very few of the works produced by these research projects translated into English, Jonathan Sperber’s ‘Bürger, Bürgertum, Bürgerlichkeit, Bürgerliche Gesellschaft: Studies of the German (Upper) Middle Class and Its Sociocultural World’, Journal of Modern History, 69 (1997), pp. 272–97, provides an excellent English-language summary of the two projects. In nineteenth-century sources, there is a clear distinction between Bürger as a legal concept of citizen defined by the state and the local concept of the Bürger, which was primarily socially and culturally defined alongside both political rights and responsibilities. For further discussion of the Bürgertum’s conceptualization of the term, see for example the three main articles on the Bürgertum, ‘Bürger’, ‘Bürgerstand’, ‘Bürgertugend’, by Carl Joseph Anton Mittmeier, in Carl von Rotteck and Carl Welcker (eds), Das Staats-Lexikon: Encyklopädie der sämmtlichen Staatswissenschaften für alle Stände, vol. 3 (3rd edn, Altona, 1858; 1st edn. 1836), pp. 220–34. 7 While the two schools’ conceptualizations of Bürgerlichkeit differed, they largely shared an understanding of such common values. See, for example, the Bielefeld approach to Bürgerlichkeit in Jürgen Kocka (ed.), Bürger und Bürgerlichkeit im 19. Jahrhundert (Göttingen, 1987). For an overview of the tenets of Bürgerlichkeit in the Frankfurt school, which emphasized a Bürgertum that made up more than a quarter of Germany’s urban society driven by notions of freedom and the desire for self-governance, see, for example, Lothar Gall (ed.), Stadt und Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1990). 8 For a discussion of Bildung see Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Einleitung—zur anthropologischen und semantischen Strukturen der Bildung’, in Reinhart Kosseleck (ed.), Bildungsbürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert, vol. 2 (Stuttgart, 1985), pp. 13–15, which argues that Bildung is largely untranslatable and lacks an English equivalent. Here, the English ‘cultivation’ is used rather than ‘education’, in line with the emphasis placed on development in contemporary nineteenth-century sources. See for example, Carl von Rotteck, ‘Bildung, Erziehung, Bildungsstufen, Bildungsanstalten’, in Rotteck and Welcker, Staats-Lexikon, vol. 2, pp. 725–35. Historians provide ample evidence of a common approach to educating individuals into citizens in nineteenth-century Europe. See, for example, Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Geselligkeit und Demokratie: Vereine und zivile Gesellschaft im transnationalen Vergleich, 1750–1914 (Göttingen, 2003). For the French context, see Carol E. Harrison, The Bourgeois Citizen in Nineteenth-Century France: Gender, Sociability and the Uses of Emulation (Oxford, 1999). For studies in the British context, see R. J. Morris, ‘Voluntary Societies and British Urban Elites, 1780–1870: An Analysis’, Historical Journal, 24 (1982), pp. 95–118; Morris, Class, Sect and Party: The Making of the British Middle Class: Leeds, 1820–50 (Manchester, 1990). For more general accounts see Nancy Bermeo and Philip Nord (eds), Civil Society before Democracy: Lessons from Nineteenth-Century Europe (New York, 2000), and Graeme Morton and R. J. Morris (eds), Civil Society, Associations, and Urban Places: Class, Nation, and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Aldershot, 2006). 9 A recent forum in this journal provides an excellent frame for understanding what it calls ‘the contours of the political’. See Forum: ‘The Contours of the Political’, German History, 33, 2 (2015), pp. 255–73. For the emphasis on the post-revolutionary period in the development of political culture see, for example, Christopher Clark, ‘After 1848: The European Revolution in Government’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 22 (2012), pp. 171–97, and Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947 (London, 2007), particularly pp. 312–44. For conceptualizations of the nation see, for example, Mark Hewitson, Nationalism in Germany, 1848–1866 (London, 2010). For a complete overview of the current decline in research on the nineteenth century, see David Blackbourn, ‘Honey I Shrunk German History’, German Studies Association Newsletter, 38, 2 (2013/14), pp. 44–53. A further exploration of this shift can be found in Andrew I. Port, ‘Central European History since 1989: Historiographical Trends and Post-Wende “Turns”‘, Central European History, 48, 2 (2015), pp. 238–48. 10 For the role of associations and the development of political culture in the Vormärz see James M. Brophy, Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 (Cambridge, 2007). 11 For conceptualizations of the nation see, for example, Hewitson, Nationalism in Germany. 12 In recent years, the history of the post-revolutionary period has been witnessing a revival, particularly in Christopher Clark’s work on the transformation of government. See for example, Clark, ‘After 1848’. 13 For the 1940s, see Peter Viereck, Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind (New York, 1941). For a more recent example see Rudy Koshar, Social Life, Local Politics, and Nazism: Marburg, 1880–1935 (Chapel Hill, 2014). 14 See, for example, Michael Hau, Performance Anxiety: Sport and Work in Germany from the Empire to Nazism (Toronto, 2017); Michael Krüger, ‘The History of German Sports Clubs: Between Integration and Emigration’, International Journal of the History of Sport, 30, 14 (2013), pp. 1586–1603. For further information on the role of the gymnastics movement in workers’ education see Stefan Berger, Social Democracy and the Working Class in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany (New York, 2014). One exception here is Svenja Goltermann’s insightful work on the gymnastics movement, which offers a thorough exploration the movement’s ideals of unity, discipline and morality and the relationship between these concepts and nationalism beginning in the 1860s, particularly in terms of masculinity and discipline; Goltermann, Körper der Nation: Habitusformierung und die Politik des Turnens 1860–1890 (Göttingen, 1998). For a recent treatment of the connection between gymnastics and Nazism see Marion Kant, ‘German Gymnastics, Modern German Dance, and Nazi Aesthetics’, Dance Research Journal, 48, 2 (2016), pp. 3–25. 15 Krüger, ‘History of German Sports Clubs’, p. 1593. 16 Jonathan Sperber, ‘Echoes of the French Revolution in the Rhineland, 1830–1849’, Central European History, 22 (1989), pp. 216–17. Sperber argues that the French Revolution created two groups in the Rhineland, those who used it to justify violence and those that borrowed its political ideals. See also Sperber, Rhineland Radicals: The Democratic Movement and the Revolution of 1848–1849 (Princeton, 1992), pp. 53–91. For a further depiction of violence in the region see James Brophy, ‘Violence between Civilians and State Authorities in the Prussian Rhineland, 1830–1846’, German History, 22, 1 (2004), pp. 1–35. 17 For literature on cultural forms of oppositional discourses, see, for example, Brophy, Popular Culture; Brophy, ‘The Politicization of Traditional Festivals in Germany, 1815–1848’, in Karin Friedrich (ed.), Festival Culture in Germany and Europe from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century (Lampeter, 2000), pp. 73–106; and Brophy, ‘Carnival and Citizenship: The Politics of Carnival Culture in the Prussian Rhineland, 1823–1848’, Journal of Social History, 30 (1997), pp. 874–904. 18 ‘Satzungen des Deutschen Turnerbundes’ (Hannover, 1850), henceforth SDTb, Hauptstaatsarchiv Düsseldorf (HstAD), Regierung Düsseldorf (RD) 859: ‘Die politische Parteinahme der Turngemeinde soll als solcher ausgeschlossen sein.’ 19 SDTb. My emphasis. 20 Verordnung über die Verhütung eines die gesetzliche Freiheit und Ordnung gefährdenden Mißbrauchs des Versammlungs- und Vereinigungsrechtes vom 11. März 1850 (Berlin, 1850). Commonly referred to as the Vereinsgesetz (Law of Association), the law established limitations on public assemblies and associations. 21 Adolph May, 75 Jahre Organisation der Düsseldorfer Buchdrucker 1849–1924 (Düsseldorf, 1925), pp. 36–7. In 1853, for instance, the Düsseldorf Buchdrucker-Verein (publishers’ association) was called to dissolve itself because of its inability to abide by the unpolitical existence the state was demanding. One year after its re-establishment, in 1853 the police director submitted a petition for its dissolution, arguing that the association had been a Zweiverein as it had continued to express social-democratic tendencies tied to the Guttenberg Federations in Berlin, Breslau, Magdeburg, Hannover and Schwerin. The police director argued that through such connections, the Düsseldorf association was inherently linked to political exiles. By failing to keep its distance from formal politics, the association was exposed to the state and therefore subjected to increased surveillance as well as facing potential dissolution. 22 See, for example, ‘Satzungen des Barmer Turnvereins’ (1846), henceforth SBTv; ‘Satzungen der Elberfelder Turngemeinde’ (1847), henceforth SETg; ‘Statuten des Turnvereins in Rheydt’ (1847), henceforth SRTv. The statutes submitted to the authorities ahead of the Turntag in Bückenburg remained unchanged from their Vormärz versions. 23 HstAD 859; File no. 128. Indexed for 1852, 8 Jan. 1852; Final Report from Koblenz about the Turntag in Bückenburg. 24 See for example the reports on the gymnastic associations, HStAD RD Pb Nr. 859, pp. 96–141; HstAD 862, pp. 3–77. 25 See for example: HstAD RD 859, including SETg; SBTv; SRTv. 26 SETg; SBTv; SRTv. 27 SBTv. ‘Der Zweck des Vereins ist: Gemeinschaftliches Betreiben von Körperlichen Uebungen.’ 28 SRTv. My emphasis. ‘Der Turnverein ist eine Gesellschaft von Männern, welche zusammengetreten ist, zur Entwicklung und Kräftigung der körperlichen und geistigen Anlagen.’ 29 SETg. ‘Der Zweck der Elberfelder Turngemeinde ist demnach, ihre Mitglieder zu geistig und leiblich rüstigen, sittlich tüchtigen Männern heranzubilden, den Brudersinn unter denselben zu fördern, und dadurch für die Entwickelung wahrer Menschlichkeit, und im Verein mit allen Turngemeinden des deutschen Turnerbundes für die Kräftigung, Einheit und Freiheit des deutschen Volkes thätig zu sein.’ 30 See Hoffmann, Geselligkeit und Demokratie, pp. 56–73. Hoffmann refers to associations as schools for democracy. 31 See ibid., esp. pp. 56–73. See also Stefan Ludwig Hoffmann, ‘Democracy and Associations in the Long Nineteenth Century: Toward a Transnational Perspective’, Journal of Modern History, 75, 2 (2003), esp. p. 270. 32 See, for example, Henry Metzner, History of the American Turners (4th rev. edn, Louisville, Ky., 1989; 1st edn, 1911). 33 Deutscher Turner-Bund, ‘Geschichte’, http://www.dtb-online.de/portal/verband/struktur-fakten/daten-fakten/geschichte/dtb-gruendungsgeschichte.html, accessed 27 July 2015. The German Gymnastics Federation attempted to include the Democratic Gymnastics Federation in an amalgamated General German Gymnastics Federation but was unsuccessful as the Democratic Gymnastic Federation was unwilling to reconsider the role of politics in the association. 34 For more information on the ban, see ibid. 35 Brophy, Popular Culture, pp. 108–9. 36 SBTv; SETg; SRTv. The practice of nominating a member was established in the Vormärz period. Members who recommended someone to join an association were often held accountable for the new member’s behaviour. 37 SETg. 38 SBTv; SETg. 39 Frank Möller, Bürgerliche Herrschaft in Augsburg 1790–1880 (Munich, 1999), pp. 59–60. Manfred Hettling and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann argue that independence was what brought the bürgerliche worldview together; see Hettling and Hoffmann (eds), Der bürgerliche Wertehimmel: Innenansichten des 19. Jahrhunderts (Göttingen, 2000), p. 339. Independence was limited regardless of what it was used to denote. Susanne Kill illustrates that the term was kept vague to the point that the boundary between the independent and the not independent was difficult to explicitly define; Kill, Das Bürgertum in Münster 1770–1870: bürgerliche Selbstbestimmung im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Staat (Oldenbourg, 2001), pp. 236–7. For instance, women who were self-employed and enjoyed some degree of financial independence still failed to meet the requirements of independence; see Kill, Das Bürgertum in Münster, pp. 121–2. Concepts of independence and maturity were essential for the development of the Stadtbürgertum. Age was also considered to determine an individual’s level of cultural maturity. See, for example, von Rotteck, ‘Bildung’, pp. 726–7. 40 For insight into the contemporary understanding of the connection between Bildung, independence and Bürgerlichkeit see von Rotteck, ‘Bildung’, pp. 726–7. The emphasis on male domination of the Bürgertum is highlighted by an assessment of women’s belonging in civil society made by the Centralverein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen (Central association for the well-being of the working classes) at the end of the post-revolutionary period: ‘as a long as the participation of males in places remains tepid and insignificant, we maintain that any agitation for the right of women to become members of the association is untimely’, Centralverein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen, Die Handwerker-, Arbeiter-und ähnlichen Vereine in Preußen (Berlin, 1867), p. 45. 41 See, for example, SBTv. 42 SETg. 43 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses, trans. G. D. H. Cole (London, 1913), pp. 8–9. Here, Rousseau’s conceptualization of the social contract is invoked: ‘The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone and remain as free as before.’ This is the fundamental problem for which the Social Contract provides the solution. 44 See, for example, SRTv. 45 SRTv. 46 SETg. For more information on the Turnplatz and the establishment of an image of discipline for gymnasts, see Goltermann, Körper der Nation, pp. 75–8, and pp. 290–324 for how it developed into an image of military discipline and masculinity. 47 Wilhelm Stieber Wermuth, Die Communisten-Verschwörungen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts: Im amtlichen Auftrage zur Benutzung der Polizei-Behörden der sämmtlichen deutschen Bundesstaaten auf Grund der betreffenden gerichtlichen und polizeilichen Acten (Berlin, 1853), particularly, p. 58. 48 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York, 1979), pp. 195–230. Here, I am referring to Foucault’s notion of panopticism, which identifies that the person being watched is also being subjected to a power relationship. The panoptic design is used for any group that requires observation. Those who are being watched are less likely to act beyond accepted norms. Therefore, the risk of disorder is limited. As members of an association are constantly visible, the likelihood that they would risk losing membership by misbehaving is lessened. Such behaviour allowed associations to affect the behaviour of their members. 49 See, for example, membership lists contained in SDTv; SRTv. 50 Mittmeier, ‘Bürger’, ‘Bürgerstand’, ‘Bürgertugend’, p. 223. 51 J. G. Hoffmann, Darstellung der bevölkerungs-, geburts-, ehe- und sterblichkeits-verhältnisse, welche im preussischen staate in den 15 Jahren 1820 bis mit 1834 beständen: auf den Grund der ämtlich für das statistische büreau zu Berlin aufgenommen Tabellen für siebenzig besondere abtheilungen des ganzen staats zusammengetragen, berechnet und mit einem erläuternden Vorworte versehen (Berlin, 1843), pp. 106–7. 52 Brophy, Popular Culture, p. 169. 53 Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Practicing Democracy: Elections and Political Culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton, 2000). Anderson identifies that people learn to be democratic through practice and that Germans used the limited democratic institutions to which they had access to increase their ability to negotiate their way through politics by means of elections. 54 James Brophy pays particular attention to the role that associations played as a form of communication in the Vormärz, and I am applying his findings here to the post-revolutionary period. See Brophy, Popular Culture, pp. 180–97. 55 Historians have long contended that the late 1850s, particularly 1858, marked a turning point in post-revolutionary Germany, as the political climate largely cooled and the question of nationhood slowly trickled back into the conversation. For general discussions of the New Era, see Theodore S. Hamerow, Social Foundations of German Unification, 1858–1871, vol. 2: Struggles and Accomplishments (Princeton, 1969), pp. 3–48; James J. Sheehan, German History, 1770–1866 (Oxford, 1989), pp. 869–87. 56 Ausschusses der Deutschen Turnvereine, Statistisches Jahrbuch der Turnvereine Deutschlands, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1865), pp. 155–8. 57 Ibid., pp. 155–8. 58 Ibid. 59 Elberfelder Zeitung, no. 154 (2nd edn, 7 June 1863). ‘Nur turnen um zu turnen’. 60 Friedrich A. Lange, Die Turnvereine und das Vereinsgesetz: eine Erörterung der Tragweite der Allerh. Verordnung vom 11. März 1850, mit besonderer Beziehung auf die Turnvereine Rheinlands und Westphalens (Duisburg, 1861). 61 Ibid., p. 3. 62 Ibid., pp. 6–7. 63 Ibid., pp. 9–16. 64 Ibid., p. 17. 65 Ibid., p. 20. 66 Ausschusses der Deutschen Turnvereine, Statistisches Jahrbuch (1865), pp. 155–8. 67 Ibid. 68 Geoff Eley, in Forum: ‘Surveillance and German History’, p. 294. 69 Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow, Contentious Politics (Oxford, 2007), p. 11. Tilly and Tarrow describe contentious performances as familiar, standardized ways of making claims, such as demonstrations and petitions, and contentious repertoires as the array of performances known and used by a particular set of actors. 70 Lange, Die Turnvereine und das Vereinsgesetzt. For mechanisms see Tilly and Tarrow, Contentious Politics, p. 29. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the German History Society. All rights reserved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png German History Oxford University Press

Contesting Surveillance: The German Gymnastics Movement and the Prussian State, 1850–1864

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Abstract

Abstract While the history of the Bürgertum (the German middle class) post-1848/49 has focused on the inherently political nature of a reform-oriented group of citizens concerned with progress and modernization, the Bürgertum’s explicit understanding of the political has largely remained on the periphery of research, overshadowed by nationalism and its shift to the right post-unification. This article focuses on the immediate post-revolutionary period. Using a case study, it depicts how members of German gymnastics societies relied on cultural strategies to negotiate an oppositional existence in the post-revolutionary security state. It contends that between 1850 and 1864, associations acted as a mediator between the Prussian state and its citizens in insisting upon the state’s adherence to legally defined norms. It illustrates that throughout the period, gymnastics societies across the Rhine-Ruhr region engaged in a political process of contestation to question the Prussia state’s justification of its power. After nearly a decade of playing by the rules of the surveillance game, the Bürgertum lost its trust in the state and began to demand that the laws the state had created to monitor voluntary associations also be used to guarantee their rights. By refusing to accept the state’s authority, the Bürgertum developed a form of contentious politics that required pamphlets rather than revolutionary barricades. I: Introduction The balance between citizens’ rights to privacy and the state’s need for surveillance has come under significant scrutiny in recent years as governments draw on new technology to provide repertoires of surveillance that use cloak-and-dagger data mining of private emails, web browsing, online chatter and social media activity to track citizens.1 Such research often laments that a lack of historical memory facilitates post-Orwellian surveillance that surpasses the imagination of 1984.2 Germany’s historical trajectory, rife with exemplary surveillance states, has not been immune from this interest. In particular, the subject has attracted significant attention since a series of panels at the annual German Studies Association conference held in Kansas City in 2014, the association’s subsequent special issue of German Studies Review (2015) and a roundtable forum in German History (2015) drew attention to surveillance across the various Germanys.3 This article continues the discussion, moving it away from exemplary German surveillance states—the Metternich era of Restoration, the Third Reich and the German Democratic Republic—to the often-overlooked period of reaction between 1850 and 1864. It examines state surveillance through the lens of the German gymnastics movement’s negotiation of survival in the post-revolutionary period, as the movement, in its interactions with the Prussian Law of Association and Assembly of March 1850, carved out a space where members could experience the rights of citizenship they had attempted to realize in 1848/49. It was not until it became increasingly clear that the Prussian state was more interested in upholding its perceived need for surveillance than in expanding the rights of citizenship that members, as this article contends, used the gymnastics movement as a medium to contest post-revolutionary surveillance and express dissatisfaction with the pre-1848 status quo. A historical analysis of the German gymnastics movement straddles two fields of scholarly inquiry: first, the world of voluntary associations with normative expectations defined through social contracts and pseudo-democratic structures; and second, the multi-dimensional realm of sport, where participants’ bodies and minds were disciplined as part of leisure-sport activities.4 Founded in Berlin in 1811 by the so-called father of gymnastics, Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, in response to the Napoleonic occupation of Germany, the popular sports-nationalist gymnastics movement was originally conceptualized as a means to cultivate male bodies and minds in preparation for a unified and free Germany.5 By design, Jahn’s voluntary movement actively communicated itself as part of a revolutionary undercurrent in society that sought to make individuals into citizens eager to support the state as agents of freedom and catalysts of nationhood. Following the German-language historiographical tradition established by the Bielefeld and Frankfurt schools’ Bürgertum projects, this article explores the nineteenth-century German Bürger (citizen) beyond mere legal or economic status.6 Instead, the term is used here to denote a social and cultural praxis evoked to differentiate Bürger from the largely lower-class Others through Bürgerlichkeit, a nebulous concept related to a belief in independence, discipline and rationality, loyalty and a respect for freedom.7 The concept Bürger also connoted the potential that all individuals could become Bürger, provided Bürgerlichkeit was realized through Bildung, that is, cultivation.8 This article revisits the conceptualization of Bürgertum as a social and cultural praxis against the background of the recent interest amongst historians of Germany in the ‘contours of the political’ in order to explore how Bürger negotiated such contours after 1848/49.9 As historians have convincingly argued that the oft-cited power of the Bürgertum was found in symbolic political practices in both the Vormärz and Wilhelmine periods, this article explores the survival of one of the largest middle-class voluntary associations in the immediate post-revolutionary period.10 To date, historical treatment of the period has largely been confined to the context of nationalism and the conceptualization of Germany as a nation state.11 This article seeks to contribute to the reconstruction of the various transformations that happened after 1848, paving the way for Germany’s political sphere(s) after unification.12 Moreover, this article contributes to the historiography of the gymnastics movement, which continues to be associated with the Sonderweg narrative of exclusionary nationalism that prepared German society for the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.13 The movement’s connection to the Bürgertum’s cultivation of political culture in the decades leading up to unification has been left largely unexplored in favour of narratives that depict how, beginning in the 1860s, the movement focused on cultivating working-class male bodies into Germans through indoctrination based on unity, discipline and morality.14 On the eve of unification, as Michael Krüger recently put it in a summary that echoes the Sonderweg thesis, the ‘aim of a strong German nation state become more important than the liberal and democratic ideas of the “Achtundvierziger” (Forty-Eighters)’.15 That the Prussian state permitted a movement that had been so clearly aligned with the political desires of the Forty-Eighters to survive into the post-revolutionary period requires its own treatment distinct from consideration of the development of nationalism prior to unification. This article therefore seeks to resituate the historiography of the gymnastics movement by exploring how such survival was rendered, tracing how the movement negotiated its continued existence while also contesting the state in general and surveillance in particular. For its analysis, this article looks at the area between the Rhine and its eastern tributary the Ruhr as a case study. Bordered by Dortmund and Düsseldorf in the north and south respectively, the Rhine-Ruhr region includes major cities such as Barmen, Bochum, Krefeld, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Elberfeld and Essen. Historians, particularly James Brophy, Michael Rowe and Jonathan Sperber, have documented the area’s Vormärz political culture, which was characterized by the duality of ‘revolutionary reminiscence’ and a Bürgertum determined to increase its political power through the associational sphere.16 Moreover, the Rhine-Ruhr region provides a window on situations that directly affected the contours of the political in the post-revolutionary period: the memory of the upheavals of 1815 and 1848/49; a substantial legacy of revolutionary turmoil particularly in Elberfeld and Barmen; prior experience with the surveillance state; and the interplay of larger transnational currents in the form of rapid industrialization and urbanization.17 Against this backdrop, a clearer image will emerge of how the gymnastics movement navigated the murky waters of a dual associational existence that on the one hand promoted exercises such as gymnastics, walking, running, jumping and swinging, and on the other hand relied on discrete forms of discipline in an attempt to define the perfect German citizen in light of behaviour and decorum. II: Negotiating Survival On 31 March 1850, the German Gymnastic Federation declared, ‘Political partisanship is to be excluded as such from the gymnastics movement.’18 This addition to the national federation’s official statutes was meant to prescribe the national body and all member associations’ movement away from the political ideals that had been pursued in the Vormärz and revolutionary periods. Marked by an asterisk, the statement was strategically inserted immediately following the associational purpose, §1 of the statutes, which declared that the national federation was to act as the central body for the gymnastics-oriented activities of individual gymnastics societies.19 While the movement’s new dedication to gymnastics alone was meant to mark its post-revolutionary politics-free purpose, this declaration should not be understood as an apolitical position. Instead, it signalled a new beginning: the gymnastics movement’s entangled negotiations for survival in the post-revolutionary period. Such survival required an ability to manoeuvre within the new reality that had been framed by the Prussian Law of Association and Assembly of March 1850, which placed associations at the mercy of the Prussian surveillance state.20 The law established the tenets of the Prussian state’s post-revolutionary surveillance of associations: the right to access statutes and membership lists, restrictions on associational networks across Prussia, and, most importantly, participatory surveillance that required that associations inform authorities about their actions and secure state approval for any public gatherings. Post-revolutionary associations, accordingly, had to carefully negotiate the realm of permissibility, finding a way between the right to assemble and labelling, and banning, as a threat to public welfare and security. Failure to play by the rules ran the risk of accusations of being a Zweiverein, a two-faced association that served to unite individuals who shared common interests under the umbrella of socialization but continued to promote the Vormärz oppositional discourses that had motivated revolution.21 The post-revolutionary surveillance of associations was not a covert operation. The Law of Association made it clear that all associations would be monitored and that any failure to abide by the surveillance state’s demands could lead to a legal prohibition on their pursuing their goals in public space. By forcing associations to participate in their own surveillance, the state achieved two distinct goals. First, it established power over each association by using its internal documentation to assess the threat it posed—hence the national federation’s addition of a politics-free purpose to its statutes in the 1850s. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the law ensured that the state was informed of all associational gatherings and could send representatives to attend them without notice. The threat of surveillance thus limited the associations’ ability to elude the state’s gaze. It forced associations to supply legitimate records and deterred subversive tactics such as falsifying statutes, which put at risk the association’s legal right to exist. The first test of the gymnastics movement’s negotiations with the surveillance state came at the first post-revolutionary gymnastics festival, held in March/April 1850, an annual event that the national federation had begun in 1848. At this meeting, in recognition of the rules established by the Prussian Law of Association, the national federation’s statutes were formalized for the new post-revolutionary reality and direct reference to the federation’s move away from politics was included. With the revision of the national federation’s statutes, member associations were able to retain statutes they had established during the revolution, as their membership in the national federation underscored their desire to pursue gymnastics as a sport rather than a political movement.22 Records from the following year’s festival suggest that this tactic was largely successful. In 1851, more than fifty associations came together to continue the tradition that had begun during the revolution. Two thousand gymnasts and 1,000 friends of gymnasts were permitted by the Prussian state to gather in Bückenburg to celebrate the existence of a movement that only two years earlier had participated in a revolution against that state.23 Getting to Bückenburg took a concerted effort, however. In preparation for the 1851 festival, member associations had to willingly participate in their own surveillance. All fifty gymnastics societies not only registered their intended participation in the festival with the organizing association but also provided Prussian authorities with copies of their statutes, membership lists and other pertinent information about their activities. The final report by the regional authorities in Koblenz responsible for the Rhine-Ruhr region not only references the member associations of the Lower Rhine/Westphalian societies, such as those from Barmen, Bochum, Krefeld, Duisburg and Elberfeld, but also contains information on associations beyond the region, including the number of members for places like Erfurt, Hamburg and Kiel.24 The regional authorities were therefore able to draw on the information that had been supplied not only to their offices but also to other Prussian authorities in order to gain an understanding of the gymnastics movement as a whole, from resources that included local and regional goals, membership requirements and, most importantly, current membership lists that identified local leaders.25 While such information might appear mundane, once it was in the hands of the surveillance state, Prussian authorities had significant knowledge of how associational goals were institutionalized and upheld by members.26 For some of the Rhine-Ruhr gymnastics societies, their goals corresponded to the straightforward gymnastics-oriented purpose, such as the Barmer Turnverein’s ‘collective practice of physical exercise’.27 Other associations, however, risked drawing further attention from the state by continuing to refer to a dual purpose for the association: Rheydt’s society, for example, was for men who came together to ‘develop and strengthen physical and mental facilities’.28 The Elberfeld Turngemeinde—despite the revolutionary significance of its location—continued to reference the larger purpose that had served as the impetus for Jahn’s founding of gymnastics in the early nineteenth century; its goal was to vigorously support members both mentally and physically to be moral and virtuous men united in brotherhood as part of the development of true humanity in connection with every association of the German Gymnastics Federation, for the strengthening of the unity and freedom of the German people.29 If such objectives could be understood as the strategic plans of individual associations, providing information on those goals to authorities gave the state knowledge of what the association hoped to achieve, and how. Furthermore, membership in an association implied support for its purpose. In cases such as the Barmen society, this likely did not give much cause for concern. In other cases, however, such as the Rheydt or Elberfeld associations, belonging to the association could draw the state’s gaze, as the statutes explicitly referred to major social concerns of the post-revolutionary period: unity, freedom and brotherhood. Such gymnastics societies were explicitly connected to ‘progress’, which for many had meant only three years prior to the Bückenburg festival a united—and democratic—German nation, tied to the idea of a better life: gymnastics could serve to develop the physical body and cultivate the mind by creating a brotherhood of moral and virtuous men that would later form the people of a united and democratic German nation. The statutes included with the police report from Koblenz also underscore the degree to which even early in the post-revolutionary period gymnastics societies continued to exist as democrat mini-parliaments, more inclusive and more democratic than Prussia itself. Gymnastic societies offered a space for members to rehearse what it meant to be part of, and to have a voice in, a movement. Despite the federation’s reinvention in the image of apoliticalness at the Eisenach festival in 1850, it had nevertheless maintained Jahn’s vision of a training ground for both citizenship and the political sphere.30 There was no need for divisive partisan politics: all members were united under the banner of the association’s goals, and the association acted as a community of peers navigating civil society together. Despite the risks of belonging to a society linked to such dangerous ideals, members ensured that each association remained within the legal realm the Law of Association had established. Accordingly, gymnastics societies were able to continue to engage in dialogue with the oppositional position the Prussian state was trying to limit: democracy.31 Both the state and the associations used the 1850 law to frame their actions: on one hand, the state ensured that associations were kept under its surveillance, while on the other, the gymnastics societies participated in their own surveillance by providing necessary documentation to the state, exposing both associations and their members to the state’s gaze, with the recognition that the laws also provided a framework within which associations could continue to operate. The German Gymnastics Federation understood perhaps better than other associations the degree to which survival in the post-revolutionary period required working within the established legal framework. During the revolution, the partisanship stemming from the divisive question of republic or monarchy was the catalyst for a split among gymnasts, just as many other associations were also divided. The disagreement led to the formation of a competing national association, the Democratic Gymnastics Federation, which explicitly advocated the creation of a German republic. Only one federation survived the revolution: the German Gymnastics Federation, with its purpose revised so that its concern was gymnastics, rather than being a political movement. This shift can in part be explained by Prussia’s crackdown on ‘radical Germans’ and the subsequent immigration of revolutionary Turners to the United States.32 The Democratic Gymnastics Federation and its members’ insistence on continuing to refer to the ideals of the French Revolution—equality, freedom and brotherhood—and refusal to play by the rules of the surveillance state also likely played a role.33 Credit must also be given, however, to the willingness and ability of the German Gymnastics Federation to manoeuvre itself within the new realities of the post-revolutionary period. Although the federation was subjected to increased surveillance, under the banner of the German Gymnastics Federation the gymnastics movement continued to grow throughout Prussia. While the negotiation of survival was not without difficulties—the regional association in the Lower Rhine region was banned for a short period beginning in 1851—member associations were nonetheless able to continue to pursue gymnastics as Jahn had intended, for both physical and mental purposes.34 III: Negotiating Citizenship In the context of the Vormärz, James Brophy has illustrated the degree to which public space acted as ‘not just a site, but a medium for subjects to contest an imposed social order and thus articulate their citizenship claims’.35 In the post-revolutionary period, the Bürgertum used associations such as gymnastics associations to articulate (revised) conceptions of citizenship through clear definitions of the right to and responsibilities of membership. By disciplining the bodies and minds of gymnasts, gymnastics societies shaped not only behaviour connected to belonging to the association but also the ideals of what constituted a Bürger in the post-revolutionary period. Obtaining membership—or citizenship—in the association followed a regulated and tedious protocol. To apply, an individual required a connection to the society, which for many gymnastics societies meant that prospective members had to be recommended by an existing member.36 Once an individual was nominated for membership, his name was placed on public display, to determine his suitability. In Elberfeld the name was displayed for eight days, after which, provided no member saw any reason why the person should not be admitted, the individual was granted membership. By contrast, if a member objected to the individual’s inclusion—such objections were to be made in secret to the association’s executive—the applicant was given the opportunity to withdraw his request to join; if he declined, admission was decided upon by majority vote of the entire association at a special meeting.37 In addition to requiring social standing and connections to the community, membership for some individuals was simply not possible. Those unable to pay the membership fee or fulfil the requirements of the discourse of belonging remained the Other. The classification ‘member’ was defined in vague terms that implied some degree of independence based on four exclusionary characteristics: financial standing, gender, age and social status. The Rheydt Turnverein, for instance, limited membership to males over the age of sixteen, while the Barmen and Elberfeld societies restricted membership to those over the age of eighteen and nineteen respectively.38 Women and children were not considered for membership. The gymnastics movement’s understanding of membership paralleled what Frank Möller has identified as the tenets of the Bürgertum’s conceptualization of citizenship: first, a Bürger was male; second, a Bürger was independent; and third, a Bürger was an influential member of urban civil society.39 These conceptualizations of a ‘member’ reflected the post-revolutionary emphasis on independence and maturity for entry into civil society and, inherently, the right to be considered a Bürger. Carl von Rotteck and Carl Welcker’s Staats-Lexikon—the bible of nineteenth-century German liberalism—related these two values to the cultural development of individuals defined in terms of Bildung, an individual’s level of cultivation. Age and gender were both considered particularly important factors in an individual’s ability to understand cultural norms and explicitly excluded youth and women not only from becoming members but also from envisioning themselves as—or as becoming—Bürger.40 In granting and refusing membership, gymnastics societies could control the associational discourse of belonging. Through the threat of revoking membership, the movement maintained discipline. Once an individual met the standard of belonging, that is, he was granted entry into the club, he was also required to continue his Bürgerlichkeit by upholding the terms of membership and fully committing to the association’s purpose. In some gymnastics societies, new members were required to sign the statutes, thereby contractually agreeing to the formal processes and procedures they outlined.41 Failure to uphold the terms of membership could be punished, In Elberfeld, for instance, if a member showed himself to be ‘unworthy’—grounds for such a designation included an indecent lifestyle, repeated inappropriate conduct, incompatibility with the association or failure to respect the terms outlined by the statutes including the financial requirements in the form of membership dues—his status as member could be rescinded.42 Membership therefore not only risked exposure to the state; it also entailed acknowledgement of a social contract: individuals joined an association upon agreement that their personal freedom would be subjected to the authority of the association in exchange for the experience of belonging.43 As such, members had to find a balance between their understanding of the rights of citizenship and the Prussian state’s surveillance demands, but they were also trapped by power struggles with other members. Gymnasts were disciplined by a series of rules: gymnastic exercises could only begin when the Turnwart (the gymnastics leader) gave the order ‘zum Turnen’ (begin exercises); gymnasts could only attempt the exercise if the ‘Bahnfrei’ (lane clear) order had been given; and members had to understand the decorum of the Turnplatz (gymnasium) by paying attention to the exercises taking place on the floor rather than talking and joking with peers.44 Other forms of discipline were also required. For instance, the Rheydt statutes outline that while gymnasts were not permitted to go into the stands during the exercises, smoking was not permitted on the floor, which effectively banned smoking during physical training. Thus membership required both mental and physical discipline, dictating matters as simple as when and where members could smoke. Members had to commit fully to the association and the gymnastic exercises and exhibit self-control.45 Discipline was not limited to the Turnplatz. Members were also forbidden from gathering outside regular meeting times, symbolic of the power of the gymnasium in the establishment of discipline and the Bürgertum’s use of that space to communicate its leadership in civil society. Furthermore, any meeting beyond the official space that might be construed as linked to the gymnastics movement required prior approval from the Vorstand (executive), which structured power relationships within the association. Upon review, the leaders of the association could—paralleling the Prussian Law of Association—attend such gatherings, establish regulations for them or forbid them entirely.46 During the post-revolutionary period, being a gymnast was dangerous in itself, as the gymnastics movement remained on Prussia’s watch-list. Simply belonging to such an organization could connect a member to what the state perceived to be a looming threat. For example, an instructional book from 1853 for the Prussian police on the ‘Communist conspiracy’ underscored that gymnastics societies could quickly fall under the radical influence of organizing Communists.47 Adding to power constructions, the right to discipline members beyond the Turnplatz was likely tied to the exposure membership in gymnastics societies required. As a member’s name was publicly associated with the movement, his behaviour was expected to uphold the orderly image of the gymnast, to avoid drawing the state’s gaze not only on himself but also on the association to which he belonged. Members had to be willing to risk such exposure, a commitment worth noting for an era when reaction against oppositional forces was expected. The exclusive nature of the gymnastics movement, evident in barriers to associational membership, ensured that only those who could handle the pressures of membership, only ‘capable citizens’, were admitted. The membership selection process facilitated the differentiation that came with belonging. Conditions focused on independence as well as further membership requirements ensured that members fitted a specific image of what a member ought to be. Protecting the association from the potential threat of disorder meant limiting membership, a direct reflection of the Bürgertum’s general fear and mistrust of the Volk, or lower classes, which restricted the associations’ ability to be inclusive. The exclusiveness of the gymnastics movement was strategic, intended to ensure survival in the post-revolutionary period; it served as a means for the movement to define itself as a community of cultivated, mature, independent and, most importantly, orderly citizens in the face of a state that wanted to see it as anything but. Accordingly, associational life in the post-revolutionary period mirrored the Bürgertum’s post-1848/49 dilemma: how could the Volk be improved if they could not be trusted sufficiently to be able to receive the benefits of sociability? For the gymnastics movement, this dilemma was expressed in its function as an organized panopticon; just as both Bürger and Bürgerlichkeit were considered fluid conceptualizations, membership restrictions were not envisioned as constants.48 Membership was eventually to be expanded, and accepted members were never beyond observation; membership was granted, but it was never permanent. On one hand, this facilitated the movement’s survival in the post-revolutionary period, as membership required a willingness to play by the rules established by the state and to adhere to the intricacies of the association’s statutes. On the other hand, this also served to mould members in the image of the Bürgertum: gymnasts largely had met—or would foreseeably meet within a short time—the nebulous criteria of being Bürger before they were permitted to call themselves gymnasts.49 For the post-revolutionary gymnastics movement, narratives of Otherness were not necessarily used to reinforce exclusivity; instead, conditions of membership acted as forms of communication not only with the Prussian state but also with (prospective) members, as part of a larger negotiation of survival and the tenets of citizenship. Membership was exclusively offered to those who had been afforded the status of Bürger, which implied, first, an understanding of responsibility to civil society and only then the right to participate in it.50 The exclusion of young and seemingly disorderly males from the association served as a particular form of communication with the Prussian state in a region which, as young males migrated to the area to fulfil labour needs resulting from heavy industrial growth, was increasingly characterized by its youthful and unmarried population.51 In its communication with the state, the gymnastics movement underscored its attempts to protect not only the movement, from becoming a source of disorder, but also Prussia, from organized disorder in an ordered post-revolutionary surveillance state. IV: Negotiating Surveillance In the immediate post-revolutionary period, therefore, the gymnastics movement found itself in a mutually beneficial relationship with Prussian authorities. By operating in light of accepted discourse and according to state regulations, gymnastics societies avoided reaction despite the state’s gaze, which provided opportunities for the development of micro-civil societies governed by norms of behaviour motivated by a desire to foster the well-being of civil society in general. Post-revolutionary gymnastics societies can accordingly be considered part of what Brophy refers to for the Vormärz as the ‘relocation of power’, with ever-growing counter-space influenced by and representing an alternative to the Prussian state. 52 In this role, associations served several functions in the public sphere. First, they acted as regulated entities whereby specific norms were institutionalized and governed by a constitution in the form of the association’s statutes. Second, they defined membership in terms of behaviour, in a model that saw individuals formed in the image of the Bürgertum and its Bürgerlichkeit. Finally, as this section illustrates for the gymnastics movement, associations defined participation in line with the idea that a Bürger was a political actor who was constitutionally connected to the state and maintained associational standards in working within legal channels to avoid direct confrontation with the state; at the same time he was a medium for the expression of a desire for social, economic, cultural and—importantly—political progress. By mirroring society and providing a concrete image of how politics ought to be, the leaders of the gymnastics movement had hoped it would be rewarded for showing the Prussian state how increasingly democratic practices could be incorporated without the threat of disorder. Gymnastic associations’ willingness to adhere to the state’s demands for surveillance and transparency reiterated the importance of working within accepted and legal boundaries as a daily-life practice. As micro-democracies and informal political spheres, associations provided a domain where, to borrow a phrase from Margaret Lavinia Anderson, participants could not only practise democracy, but also live it.53 As both the medium and the message, gymnastics associations communicated that it was possible to exist in the realm of the political and maintain order, despite the state’s misgivings.54 At the dawn of the New Era, gymnastics societies found their message was falling on deaf ears.55 Rather than opening up civil society and providing the Bürgertum with increased freedom to experiment with democracy, Prussia seemed determined to stick to its old reactive ways. As such, the gymnastics movement expanded throughout Prussian territories and began to test the realm of the permissible. It extended its membership to include more workers, and by 1864, almost 60 per cent were young craftsmen who were considered capable of reaching the Bürgertum’s desired level of independence on their way to becoming masters of their trade.56 As workers were also experiencing self-development by participating in the associations, socialist-oriented gymnasts became increasingly vocal about the need for further integration of the working classes to circumvent the connection between education and power that was held as an unassailable truth by the leadership of the movement.57 In Elberfeld, for example, a second gymnastics society, the Elberfeld Allgemeiner Turnverein, was formed in 1860 with a predominantly craftsman membership base.58 The reason for the split was made public in 1863, when, in a letter to the Elberfelder Zeitung, the leaders of the new association accused their fellow Bürger of forsaking the goal of the overall development of man by turning the gymnastics movement into a sports association that had lost its larger purpose.59 For many of the gymnasts who had experienced the turmoil of 1848/49, extending the membership base to include more workers was considered too much, too soon. This was further complicated by the omnipresent state surveillance machine’s continued linking of workers’ participation in civil society with a direct Communist threat. With the emergence of an increasing number of working class–oriented gymnastics associations in urban spaces like Elberfeld and Barmen, in the 1860s the Bürgertum began a negotiation with the state about the movement’s association with politics and the need for continued surveillance. A pertinent example of the Bürgertum’s contestation of the state’s gaze appeared in the Rhine-Ruhr region in the mid 1860s, in the form of a pamphlet written by one of the socialist-oriented gymnasts, the editor of the Rhein- und Ruhrzeitung, Friedrich Lange. Lange’s polemic reflects the contours of the political the Bürgertum used to contest the mutual benefit of the relationship between Prussia and its citizens in the later post-revolutionary period. First, it overtly questions Prussia’s legal authority for surveillance of associations, focusing on the gymnastics movement and the application of the Law of Association.60 Secondly, it argues that despite the fact that gymnastics societies in the region had tried to adhere to the Law of Association, they were finding it increasingly difficult to manoeuvre within the state’s legal framework. Finally, Lange’s pamphlet highlights the fear that despite its best efforts, the gymnastics movement in the Rhine-Ruhr region was under threat, as Prussia was failing to act in the best interests of its citizens for it was unable—or refused—to distinguish politics from civil interests. Lange positioned his pamphlet as a dialogue with the state that could ensure that ‘the trust between the people and authorities, which we need so badly, could grow’.61 Lange begins his pamphlet with the premise that it had become increasingly difficult to follow the Law of Association as Prussian authorities were becoming overzealous in its application. As Prussia had formulated the law in a manner that created uncertainties about its purpose, associations were never certain whether they would be subjected to police intervention and whether their legal standing would be retained even if they did continue to play by the rules.62 Furthermore, Lange lamented the troubling presence of the surveillance state even though the gymnastics movement had appropriately removed politics from member associations and had accordingly proven itself not to be a threat to public order. The premise was simple for Lange: if an association defined in its statutes that it was not political, by forcing surveillance on the movement Prussia was overextending its reach. While expecting associations to refrain from politics, the state had failed to develop a clear distinction between formal politics in the form of political action and scholarly discussion of politically oriented ideals.63 For Lange, formal politics required common organized action, while an association concerned with scholarly discourse sought understanding and debate and pursued a rational and practical goal.64 As such, being political required a specific plan for what the state should become and the aspiration to do something about it. In contrast, voluntary associations, such as gymnastics societies, sought to catalyse progress to a better life with neither an explicit method to force the realization of their goals nor a concrete understanding of what a ‘better’ life even meant.65 For Lange and the gymnastics movement, Prussia’s legal framework that served to define the rights and responsibilities of its citizens was detrimentally vague. Lacking clear accountability, citizens found it increasingly difficult to pursue their legal rights in public space. As the Prussian authorities continued to force their gaze upon gymnastics societies, the March 1850 declaration of a politics-free associational sphere became increasingly meaningless. The gymnastics movement had done its part: it had remained in the realm of informal politics, providing the cultivation and practice needed to prepare for the eventual deepening of the formal political sphere, and had proven itself relatively harmless—if not beneficial—to the state. In response, Prussian authorities had treated it as though it was continuing to engage in formal politics and a quest for equality, freedom and brotherhood in the spirit of the French Revolution. The gymnastics movement saw its value in gymnastic exercises, vocal training and presentations about hygiene and the like, all of which it held to be connected to the development of a sphere that existed beyond the state but also to retain the potential to enact change in society and teach people what it meant to be citizens with a voice in their own governance. The state, however, constantly held the movement’s role in civil society at its mercy. In its attempts to define what historians have come to refer to as the ‘political’, the gymnastics movement saw itself at odds with Prussia and no longer able to commit to the precarious balance it had maintained in the immediate post-revolutionary period. The gymnastics movement’s attempt to work with, rather than against, the state wavered as Prussian authorities appeared less interested in balance than in control. By contrast, the desire to extend the political resulted in exponential growth in the number of gymnasts across the Rhine-Ruhr region, with the establishment of multiple gymnastics societies within urban centres, repeating a similar pattern of the revolutionary era.66 In cities where multiple associations were founded in response to disillusionment with the movement’s slow pace of change that was a result of a desire to remain within the state’s framework, a clear line was drawn between those associations that sought to include workers and those that sought to educate them. As a result, cities with two associations often had one predominantly middle-class association and one predominantly working-class association. For the German gymnastics movement, the increase in associations in the post-revolutionary period was a direct result of dissenting voices, raised as the dominant discourse met with opposition.67 The emergence of contestation was also, therefore, a direct result of the Bürgertum’s strategy in the post-revolutionary period: as it sought to play by the rules, it increasingly isolated dissenting views and contested identities. For this reason, in Rhine-Ruhr gymnastics societies a culture of democracy developed independent citizens who not only participated in but also contested the public sphere. V: Conclusion The Prussian authorities’ suspicions about the latent politicalness of associations in the post-revolutionary period was not unfounded. It was, however, likely misdirected. As a result of its focus on gymnastics societies for harbouring revolutionaries and, more particularly in the post-revolutionary period, a Communist threat, the state failed to see the movement’s focus on developing and contesting the political. In contrast to the Law of Association, gymnastics societies used their statutes to form a social contract between the association and its members and between Prussia and the Bürgertum. For the Bürgertum, associations symbolically underscored how a community comprising mature, well-behaved (male) individuals could encourage the creation of competent political citizens who acted on behalf of the greater good. Gymnastics societies, for example, adhered to the legal framework defined by the Law of Association and even willingly participating in their own surveillance by providing local, regional and Prussian authorities with copies of statutes and membership lists. At the same time, such associations expected to be rewarded for being a community of ‘good citizens’ and to be allowed to continue to pursue their common goals in public space without Prussian interference. Furthermore, the gymnastics movement’s trajectory of contestation from survival to citizenship and then to surveillance also sheds light on how the legitimacy of the Prussian state’s surveillance was questioned—not in terms of whether its gaze should be turned towards its citizens but instead about the degree to which the gaze should be placed on ‘good citizens’. As Geoff Eley reflected in this journal’s forum on surveillance, historians must also consider this arena of beliefs and expectations—the realm and justification for participatory surveillance. For the gymnastics movement, this balance proved difficult to maintain.68 It was not until it became increasingly clear in the New Era that this utopian equilibrium would not be achieved that the Bürgertum became increasingly mistrustful of the state and used associational discourses to express their distrust, by expanding their membership and directly calling into question the legitimacy of the state’s surveillance. That associational life could become a medium for ‘contentious performances’ and ‘contentious repertoires’ exemplifies the degree to which the Bürgertum was able to contest the surveillance state in the post-revolutionary period.69 By refusing to accept the state’s refusal to abide by its own rules, German gymnasts were indeed partaking in politics. Their participation, as defined by Lange, involved not formal politics, but thinking about what could be done to prepare effectively for the realization of future political channels.70 The gymnastics movement was political insofar as the political was understood as a multidimensional act that involved the communication of information, messages and structures that defined what constituted a citizen and in so doing offered an opportunity to rehearse political skills. Unlike the Prussian state, the gymnastics movement maintained its accountability to its members, a contour of the political identity it had hoped the state would adopt once civil society developed rather than hold true to the Vormärzian status quo. Footnotes * An early draft of this paper was presented at the German Studies Association’s annual conference in October 2014 as part of a panel series, ‘Surveillance and German Studies’, organized by Andrew Zimmerman and Jonathan Wiesen. The research presented in this paper was funded by the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and draws on my doctoral dissertation, completed at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. I would like to thank the organizers and participants in the series as well the Department of History at Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, particularly Andreas Fahrmeir, who supervised my doctoral thesis, and the peer reviewers for their constructive feedback on the work in progress, which improved the draft substantially. 1 For an overview see David Barnard-Willis’s recent research on surveillance in the United Kingdom and the link between new technology and new surveillance: Barnard-Willis, Surveillance and Identity: Discourse, Subjectivity and the State (London and New York, 2016). 2 See, for example, Henry A. Giroux, ‘Totalitarian Paranoia in the Post-Orwellian Surveillance State’, Cultural Studies, 29, 2 (2015), pp. 108–40; David Lyon, ‘The Snowden Stakes: Challenges for Understanding Surveillance Today’, Surveillance & Society, 13, 2 (2015), pp. 139–52. 3 Forum: ‘Surveillance and German History’, German History, 34, 2 (2016), pp. 293–314; ‘Surveillance and German Studies’, special issue, German Studies Review, 38, 2 (2015). 4 Sport as a category of historical investigation has been acknowledged but remains underrepresented in German historiography. For an overview of sports history in the German context see the excellent rallying call for more sport history, Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, ‘The History and Historiography of Sport in Germany: Social, Cultural and Political Perspectives’, German History, 27, 3 (2009), pp. 313–30. 5 Jahn’s manifesto was published in Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and Ernst Wilhelm Bernhard Eiselen, Deutsche Turnkunst (Berlin, 1816), see in particular Jahn’s self-history of establishing the gymnastic movement, including a quite lengthy discussion of the development of the movement’s language, pp. iii–xlvii. 6 In the late 1980s and 1990s extensive research on the German middle class came out of the Bielefeld and Frankfurt Bürgertum projects, under the direction of Jürgen Kocka and Lothar Gall, respectively. For the Bielefeld school see Jürgen Kocka, Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert: Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich (Munich, 1995). For the Frankfurt school see Lothar Gall, Bürgertum in Deutschland (Berlin, 1989); and Gall, Bürgertum und bürgerlich-liberale Bewegung in Mitteleuropa seit dem 18. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1997). With very few of the works produced by these research projects translated into English, Jonathan Sperber’s ‘Bürger, Bürgertum, Bürgerlichkeit, Bürgerliche Gesellschaft: Studies of the German (Upper) Middle Class and Its Sociocultural World’, Journal of Modern History, 69 (1997), pp. 272–97, provides an excellent English-language summary of the two projects. In nineteenth-century sources, there is a clear distinction between Bürger as a legal concept of citizen defined by the state and the local concept of the Bürger, which was primarily socially and culturally defined alongside both political rights and responsibilities. For further discussion of the Bürgertum’s conceptualization of the term, see for example the three main articles on the Bürgertum, ‘Bürger’, ‘Bürgerstand’, ‘Bürgertugend’, by Carl Joseph Anton Mittmeier, in Carl von Rotteck and Carl Welcker (eds), Das Staats-Lexikon: Encyklopädie der sämmtlichen Staatswissenschaften für alle Stände, vol. 3 (3rd edn, Altona, 1858; 1st edn. 1836), pp. 220–34. 7 While the two schools’ conceptualizations of Bürgerlichkeit differed, they largely shared an understanding of such common values. See, for example, the Bielefeld approach to Bürgerlichkeit in Jürgen Kocka (ed.), Bürger und Bürgerlichkeit im 19. Jahrhundert (Göttingen, 1987). For an overview of the tenets of Bürgerlichkeit in the Frankfurt school, which emphasized a Bürgertum that made up more than a quarter of Germany’s urban society driven by notions of freedom and the desire for self-governance, see, for example, Lothar Gall (ed.), Stadt und Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert (Munich, 1990). 8 For a discussion of Bildung see Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Einleitung—zur anthropologischen und semantischen Strukturen der Bildung’, in Reinhart Kosseleck (ed.), Bildungsbürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert, vol. 2 (Stuttgart, 1985), pp. 13–15, which argues that Bildung is largely untranslatable and lacks an English equivalent. Here, the English ‘cultivation’ is used rather than ‘education’, in line with the emphasis placed on development in contemporary nineteenth-century sources. See for example, Carl von Rotteck, ‘Bildung, Erziehung, Bildungsstufen, Bildungsanstalten’, in Rotteck and Welcker, Staats-Lexikon, vol. 2, pp. 725–35. Historians provide ample evidence of a common approach to educating individuals into citizens in nineteenth-century Europe. See, for example, Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, Geselligkeit und Demokratie: Vereine und zivile Gesellschaft im transnationalen Vergleich, 1750–1914 (Göttingen, 2003). For the French context, see Carol E. Harrison, The Bourgeois Citizen in Nineteenth-Century France: Gender, Sociability and the Uses of Emulation (Oxford, 1999). For studies in the British context, see R. J. Morris, ‘Voluntary Societies and British Urban Elites, 1780–1870: An Analysis’, Historical Journal, 24 (1982), pp. 95–118; Morris, Class, Sect and Party: The Making of the British Middle Class: Leeds, 1820–50 (Manchester, 1990). For more general accounts see Nancy Bermeo and Philip Nord (eds), Civil Society before Democracy: Lessons from Nineteenth-Century Europe (New York, 2000), and Graeme Morton and R. J. Morris (eds), Civil Society, Associations, and Urban Places: Class, Nation, and Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Aldershot, 2006). 9 A recent forum in this journal provides an excellent frame for understanding what it calls ‘the contours of the political’. See Forum: ‘The Contours of the Political’, German History, 33, 2 (2015), pp. 255–73. For the emphasis on the post-revolutionary period in the development of political culture see, for example, Christopher Clark, ‘After 1848: The European Revolution in Government’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 22 (2012), pp. 171–97, and Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947 (London, 2007), particularly pp. 312–44. For conceptualizations of the nation see, for example, Mark Hewitson, Nationalism in Germany, 1848–1866 (London, 2010). For a complete overview of the current decline in research on the nineteenth century, see David Blackbourn, ‘Honey I Shrunk German History’, German Studies Association Newsletter, 38, 2 (2013/14), pp. 44–53. A further exploration of this shift can be found in Andrew I. Port, ‘Central European History since 1989: Historiographical Trends and Post-Wende “Turns”‘, Central European History, 48, 2 (2015), pp. 238–48. 10 For the role of associations and the development of political culture in the Vormärz see James M. Brophy, Popular Culture and the Public Sphere in the Rhineland, 1800–1850 (Cambridge, 2007). 11 For conceptualizations of the nation see, for example, Hewitson, Nationalism in Germany. 12 In recent years, the history of the post-revolutionary period has been witnessing a revival, particularly in Christopher Clark’s work on the transformation of government. See for example, Clark, ‘After 1848’. 13 For the 1940s, see Peter Viereck, Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind (New York, 1941). For a more recent example see Rudy Koshar, Social Life, Local Politics, and Nazism: Marburg, 1880–1935 (Chapel Hill, 2014). 14 See, for example, Michael Hau, Performance Anxiety: Sport and Work in Germany from the Empire to Nazism (Toronto, 2017); Michael Krüger, ‘The History of German Sports Clubs: Between Integration and Emigration’, International Journal of the History of Sport, 30, 14 (2013), pp. 1586–1603. For further information on the role of the gymnastics movement in workers’ education see Stefan Berger, Social Democracy and the Working Class in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany (New York, 2014). One exception here is Svenja Goltermann’s insightful work on the gymnastics movement, which offers a thorough exploration the movement’s ideals of unity, discipline and morality and the relationship between these concepts and nationalism beginning in the 1860s, particularly in terms of masculinity and discipline; Goltermann, Körper der Nation: Habitusformierung und die Politik des Turnens 1860–1890 (Göttingen, 1998). For a recent treatment of the connection between gymnastics and Nazism see Marion Kant, ‘German Gymnastics, Modern German Dance, and Nazi Aesthetics’, Dance Research Journal, 48, 2 (2016), pp. 3–25. 15 Krüger, ‘History of German Sports Clubs’, p. 1593. 16 Jonathan Sperber, ‘Echoes of the French Revolution in the Rhineland, 1830–1849’, Central European History, 22 (1989), pp. 216–17. Sperber argues that the French Revolution created two groups in the Rhineland, those who used it to justify violence and those that borrowed its political ideals. See also Sperber, Rhineland Radicals: The Democratic Movement and the Revolution of 1848–1849 (Princeton, 1992), pp. 53–91. For a further depiction of violence in the region see James Brophy, ‘Violence between Civilians and State Authorities in the Prussian Rhineland, 1830–1846’, German History, 22, 1 (2004), pp. 1–35. 17 For literature on cultural forms of oppositional discourses, see, for example, Brophy, Popular Culture; Brophy, ‘The Politicization of Traditional Festivals in Germany, 1815–1848’, in Karin Friedrich (ed.), Festival Culture in Germany and Europe from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century (Lampeter, 2000), pp. 73–106; and Brophy, ‘Carnival and Citizenship: The Politics of Carnival Culture in the Prussian Rhineland, 1823–1848’, Journal of Social History, 30 (1997), pp. 874–904. 18 ‘Satzungen des Deutschen Turnerbundes’ (Hannover, 1850), henceforth SDTb, Hauptstaatsarchiv Düsseldorf (HstAD), Regierung Düsseldorf (RD) 859: ‘Die politische Parteinahme der Turngemeinde soll als solcher ausgeschlossen sein.’ 19 SDTb. My emphasis. 20 Verordnung über die Verhütung eines die gesetzliche Freiheit und Ordnung gefährdenden Mißbrauchs des Versammlungs- und Vereinigungsrechtes vom 11. März 1850 (Berlin, 1850). Commonly referred to as the Vereinsgesetz (Law of Association), the law established limitations on public assemblies and associations. 21 Adolph May, 75 Jahre Organisation der Düsseldorfer Buchdrucker 1849–1924 (Düsseldorf, 1925), pp. 36–7. In 1853, for instance, the Düsseldorf Buchdrucker-Verein (publishers’ association) was called to dissolve itself because of its inability to abide by the unpolitical existence the state was demanding. One year after its re-establishment, in 1853 the police director submitted a petition for its dissolution, arguing that the association had been a Zweiverein as it had continued to express social-democratic tendencies tied to the Guttenberg Federations in Berlin, Breslau, Magdeburg, Hannover and Schwerin. The police director argued that through such connections, the Düsseldorf association was inherently linked to political exiles. By failing to keep its distance from formal politics, the association was exposed to the state and therefore subjected to increased surveillance as well as facing potential dissolution. 22 See, for example, ‘Satzungen des Barmer Turnvereins’ (1846), henceforth SBTv; ‘Satzungen der Elberfelder Turngemeinde’ (1847), henceforth SETg; ‘Statuten des Turnvereins in Rheydt’ (1847), henceforth SRTv. The statutes submitted to the authorities ahead of the Turntag in Bückenburg remained unchanged from their Vormärz versions. 23 HstAD 859; File no. 128. Indexed for 1852, 8 Jan. 1852; Final Report from Koblenz about the Turntag in Bückenburg. 24 See for example the reports on the gymnastic associations, HStAD RD Pb Nr. 859, pp. 96–141; HstAD 862, pp. 3–77. 25 See for example: HstAD RD 859, including SETg; SBTv; SRTv. 26 SETg; SBTv; SRTv. 27 SBTv. ‘Der Zweck des Vereins ist: Gemeinschaftliches Betreiben von Körperlichen Uebungen.’ 28 SRTv. My emphasis. ‘Der Turnverein ist eine Gesellschaft von Männern, welche zusammengetreten ist, zur Entwicklung und Kräftigung der körperlichen und geistigen Anlagen.’ 29 SETg. ‘Der Zweck der Elberfelder Turngemeinde ist demnach, ihre Mitglieder zu geistig und leiblich rüstigen, sittlich tüchtigen Männern heranzubilden, den Brudersinn unter denselben zu fördern, und dadurch für die Entwickelung wahrer Menschlichkeit, und im Verein mit allen Turngemeinden des deutschen Turnerbundes für die Kräftigung, Einheit und Freiheit des deutschen Volkes thätig zu sein.’ 30 See Hoffmann, Geselligkeit und Demokratie, pp. 56–73. Hoffmann refers to associations as schools for democracy. 31 See ibid., esp. pp. 56–73. See also Stefan Ludwig Hoffmann, ‘Democracy and Associations in the Long Nineteenth Century: Toward a Transnational Perspective’, Journal of Modern History, 75, 2 (2003), esp. p. 270. 32 See, for example, Henry Metzner, History of the American Turners (4th rev. edn, Louisville, Ky., 1989; 1st edn, 1911). 33 Deutscher Turner-Bund, ‘Geschichte’, http://www.dtb-online.de/portal/verband/struktur-fakten/daten-fakten/geschichte/dtb-gruendungsgeschichte.html, accessed 27 July 2015. The German Gymnastics Federation attempted to include the Democratic Gymnastics Federation in an amalgamated General German Gymnastics Federation but was unsuccessful as the Democratic Gymnastic Federation was unwilling to reconsider the role of politics in the association. 34 For more information on the ban, see ibid. 35 Brophy, Popular Culture, pp. 108–9. 36 SBTv; SETg; SRTv. The practice of nominating a member was established in the Vormärz period. Members who recommended someone to join an association were often held accountable for the new member’s behaviour. 37 SETg. 38 SBTv; SETg. 39 Frank Möller, Bürgerliche Herrschaft in Augsburg 1790–1880 (Munich, 1999), pp. 59–60. Manfred Hettling and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann argue that independence was what brought the bürgerliche worldview together; see Hettling and Hoffmann (eds), Der bürgerliche Wertehimmel: Innenansichten des 19. Jahrhunderts (Göttingen, 2000), p. 339. Independence was limited regardless of what it was used to denote. Susanne Kill illustrates that the term was kept vague to the point that the boundary between the independent and the not independent was difficult to explicitly define; Kill, Das Bürgertum in Münster 1770–1870: bürgerliche Selbstbestimmung im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Staat (Oldenbourg, 2001), pp. 236–7. For instance, women who were self-employed and enjoyed some degree of financial independence still failed to meet the requirements of independence; see Kill, Das Bürgertum in Münster, pp. 121–2. Concepts of independence and maturity were essential for the development of the Stadtbürgertum. Age was also considered to determine an individual’s level of cultural maturity. See, for example, von Rotteck, ‘Bildung’, pp. 726–7. 40 For insight into the contemporary understanding of the connection between Bildung, independence and Bürgerlichkeit see von Rotteck, ‘Bildung’, pp. 726–7. The emphasis on male domination of the Bürgertum is highlighted by an assessment of women’s belonging in civil society made by the Centralverein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen (Central association for the well-being of the working classes) at the end of the post-revolutionary period: ‘as a long as the participation of males in places remains tepid and insignificant, we maintain that any agitation for the right of women to become members of the association is untimely’, Centralverein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen, Die Handwerker-, Arbeiter-und ähnlichen Vereine in Preußen (Berlin, 1867), p. 45. 41 See, for example, SBTv. 42 SETg. 43 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses, trans. G. D. H. Cole (London, 1913), pp. 8–9. Here, Rousseau’s conceptualization of the social contract is invoked: ‘The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone and remain as free as before.’ This is the fundamental problem for which the Social Contract provides the solution. 44 See, for example, SRTv. 45 SRTv. 46 SETg. For more information on the Turnplatz and the establishment of an image of discipline for gymnasts, see Goltermann, Körper der Nation, pp. 75–8, and pp. 290–324 for how it developed into an image of military discipline and masculinity. 47 Wilhelm Stieber Wermuth, Die Communisten-Verschwörungen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts: Im amtlichen Auftrage zur Benutzung der Polizei-Behörden der sämmtlichen deutschen Bundesstaaten auf Grund der betreffenden gerichtlichen und polizeilichen Acten (Berlin, 1853), particularly, p. 58. 48 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York, 1979), pp. 195–230. Here, I am referring to Foucault’s notion of panopticism, which identifies that the person being watched is also being subjected to a power relationship. The panoptic design is used for any group that requires observation. Those who are being watched are less likely to act beyond accepted norms. Therefore, the risk of disorder is limited. As members of an association are constantly visible, the likelihood that they would risk losing membership by misbehaving is lessened. Such behaviour allowed associations to affect the behaviour of their members. 49 See, for example, membership lists contained in SDTv; SRTv. 50 Mittmeier, ‘Bürger’, ‘Bürgerstand’, ‘Bürgertugend’, p. 223. 51 J. G. Hoffmann, Darstellung der bevölkerungs-, geburts-, ehe- und sterblichkeits-verhältnisse, welche im preussischen staate in den 15 Jahren 1820 bis mit 1834 beständen: auf den Grund der ämtlich für das statistische büreau zu Berlin aufgenommen Tabellen für siebenzig besondere abtheilungen des ganzen staats zusammengetragen, berechnet und mit einem erläuternden Vorworte versehen (Berlin, 1843), pp. 106–7. 52 Brophy, Popular Culture, p. 169. 53 Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Practicing Democracy: Elections and Political Culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton, 2000). Anderson identifies that people learn to be democratic through practice and that Germans used the limited democratic institutions to which they had access to increase their ability to negotiate their way through politics by means of elections. 54 James Brophy pays particular attention to the role that associations played as a form of communication in the Vormärz, and I am applying his findings here to the post-revolutionary period. See Brophy, Popular Culture, pp. 180–97. 55 Historians have long contended that the late 1850s, particularly 1858, marked a turning point in post-revolutionary Germany, as the political climate largely cooled and the question of nationhood slowly trickled back into the conversation. For general discussions of the New Era, see Theodore S. Hamerow, Social Foundations of German Unification, 1858–1871, vol. 2: Struggles and Accomplishments (Princeton, 1969), pp. 3–48; James J. Sheehan, German History, 1770–1866 (Oxford, 1989), pp. 869–87. 56 Ausschusses der Deutschen Turnvereine, Statistisches Jahrbuch der Turnvereine Deutschlands, vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1865), pp. 155–8. 57 Ibid., pp. 155–8. 58 Ibid. 59 Elberfelder Zeitung, no. 154 (2nd edn, 7 June 1863). ‘Nur turnen um zu turnen’. 60 Friedrich A. Lange, Die Turnvereine und das Vereinsgesetz: eine Erörterung der Tragweite der Allerh. Verordnung vom 11. März 1850, mit besonderer Beziehung auf die Turnvereine Rheinlands und Westphalens (Duisburg, 1861). 61 Ibid., p. 3. 62 Ibid., pp. 6–7. 63 Ibid., pp. 9–16. 64 Ibid., p. 17. 65 Ibid., p. 20. 66 Ausschusses der Deutschen Turnvereine, Statistisches Jahrbuch (1865), pp. 155–8. 67 Ibid. 68 Geoff Eley, in Forum: ‘Surveillance and German History’, p. 294. 69 Charles Tilly and Sidney Tarrow, Contentious Politics (Oxford, 2007), p. 11. Tilly and Tarrow describe contentious performances as familiar, standardized ways of making claims, such as demonstrations and petitions, and contentious repertoires as the array of performances known and used by a particular set of actors. 70 Lange, Die Turnvereine und das Vereinsgesetzt. For mechanisms see Tilly and Tarrow, Contentious Politics, p. 29. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the German History Society. All rights reserved.

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German HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

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