Political agency through representation: Emperor William I as monarchical political actor

Gastbeitrag von Frederik Frank Sterkenburgh, The University of Warwick

Scholarly literature with regard to German Emperor William I shows an important discrepancy. On the one hand, William is considered politically feeble because of his chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s overbearing personality. According to this point of view, he grew, from 1871, an imperial figurehead, albeit an unwilling one. On the other hand, historians such as Andreas Biefang and Alexa Geisthövel have demonstrated that William consciously sought to craft his public image making use of the emerging mass printed media. From this angle, much greater agency appears to be ascribed to the monarch. Both perspectives follow a wider body of scholarship that sees monarchs in the second half of the 19th century as growing into symbolic figureheads with declining political powers, while also being forced to adapt to the changing media landscape. This begs the important question whether we need a more differentiated definition of political agency. A renewed look at the sources allows us to reconsider these arguments with regard to 19th century monarchs in general and William I in particular.

To develop a new definition of monarchical political agency, we can draw on cultural approaches to political history. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger has argued that all political entities depend on representation in order to become a political reality. Only through representation a political order can be mediated in a conceivable manner. To this end, all political representations depend on symbolic acts in order to emphasize the particular political order they seek to create and reaffirm. Andreas Biefang has defined symbolic acts as all forms that are connected with political communication, such as language, architecture and ceremonial. Importantly, such representations need to be perceived by and resonate with the intended audience in order to become effective. Defining political agency in this manner allows to establish which groups are deemed instrumental in upholding the political order. Such a definition is particularly applicable to William, for whom relying on institutional or geographical dominance was of little use to effectuate his political agency because of Bismarck’s dominant role in the governmental executive, on the one hand, and the persistence of other German states, dynasties and identities after 1871, on the other.

The Newspaper Department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin provides a rich corpus of contemporary material to subject this definition to scrutiny of the sources. In particular, the wide variety of newspapers with different political, regional and religious backgrounds offered a chance to consider in what manner and to which audiences William communicated the political order that he stood for, so as to make both his role as imperial figurehead and the monarchical form acceptable to as large a part of the population as possible. In addition, through the detailed descriptions of events that many 19th century newspapers provide, they fill in gaps in knowledge not provided by archival sources, such as about clothing or gestures. In the context of cultural history and cultural approaches to political history, these are important indicators of how power structures, political orders and the accompanying discourses are communicated.

An example drawn from newspaper accounts can make this clear. In 1876, the annual military manoeuvres were held for the first time outside Prussia, so as to include military units from other German states and contribute to the integration of the German Empire. William attended these military manoeuvres as they offered him a chance to acknowledge the other German states and dynasties. Newspaper accounts provide the details: He did this, amongst other things, by wearing the uniform or medals from the respective state he visited. As the Kreuzzeitung described the manoeuvres held in Saxony in 1876, ‘Se. Maj. der Kaiser und König, welcher durch Seine auch hier allgemein in Erstaunen setzende Frische und Rüstigkeit Freude in weitesten Kreisen und Jubel hervorrief, trug preußische große Generals-Uniform mit den Abzeichen eines General-Feldmarschalls, das lichtblaue schmal gelb geränderte große Band des K.sächsischen Militär-Heinrich-Ordens, die preußischen Kriegs-Orden und das Großkreuz des Heinrich-Ordens mit dem Lorbeerkranze, das einzige, welches mit diesem Schmucke vorhanden ist, und welches König Johann dem König Wilhelm am 9. October 1870 verliehen hat.’ Upon his departure from Leipzig after the military manoeuvres, William had published a letter to the mayor, written by either himself or the cabinet, which included his statement that ‘Mir ist hier, wo vor 63 Jahren der erste Schritt für die Vereinigung Deutschlands mit blutigen Opfern erkämpft wurde, überall eine so wohlthuende Darlegung der Sympathie für die Einigkeit Deutschlands, verbunden mit warmer und treuer Anhänglichkeit an den Landesherrn entgegengetreten, daß es Mir, ein wahres Herzensbedürfniß ist, Meiner freudigen Befriedigung hierüber Worte zu geben. Der Name der Stadt Leipzig ist bisher jederzeit unter den ersten genannt worden, wo es die Ehre und Größe Deutschlands galt.‘

Such newspaper accounts give insight into William’s political agency in two respects. First, they demonstrate how he acknowledged the dynastic-federalist nature of the German Empire. Through descriptions of the uniform he wore and the medals he had pinned on his uniform, it can be established that William used these symbols to acknowledge and underline the dynastic-federal character of the German Empire. Although the example quoted here applies to Saxony, we may assume that similar acts were carried out with regard to other German states. This suggests an active approach of William to the construction of the German Empire and challenges arguments about him as a Prussian king being a reluctant German Emperor.

The second point is the historical narrative provided by the letter William had handed to the mayor. Important here is the reference to the Napoleonic wars, and the battle of Leipzig in 1813 in particular, which is presented as a stepping stone towards eventual German unification in 1871. In this manner, William contributed to the construction of a historical narrative in which Prussia’s role in German history was underlined. Although such messages were readily relayed in private, they were written with the intention of being published in newspapers. There is a specific importance in the fact that these symbolic acts were noticed, both by the audience directly present and in newspaper coverage. Therefore, newspaper coverage provides a means to gauge to what extent William’s use of symbolic acts was circulated and popularized.

A further result of the research conducted in the Newspaper Department are much richer contours of how William framed his status and his monarchical power in relation to different geographical, religious and historical contexts. An example can illustrate this. In October 1880, William attended the dedication of the Cologne Cathedral. The Kölnische Zeitung wrote that ‘Wer immer seit zwei Mensenaltern ein Herz und einen guten Wunsch hatte für das deutsche Vaterland, der hatte auch ein Herz und eine Gabe für den Dom von Köln, und es war eine bedeutsame Fügung in dem Geschicke der Völker, das des deutschen Reiches Gründer auch des Kölner Domes Vollender sein sollte, dieses schicksalvollen Wunderwerkes, das wie kein zweites seit der ersten Grundsteinlegung bis zur Krönung seiner Türme ein Wahrzeichen und Symbol gewesen des deutschen Reiches und der Geschicke der deutschen Nation’. By contrast, the Frankfurter Zeitung wrote, more perceptively, that ‘Dieser Feier, die eine kirchliche sein soll, wohnte der Klerus nicht bei. Im Dom waren heute die zelebrierenden Priester zugegen und ein Weihbischof, welcher Kaiser Wilhelm empfing, im Uebrigen, zeigte sich weder in den Straßen, noch auf dem Festplatze ein Geistlicher. Zog man die große Menge aufgebotenen Militärs und die in Uniform erschienen Fürstlichkeiten in Betracht, so konne man eher an ein militärisches Fest glauben…’ Apart from such diverging appreciations, it is also telling that the Kölnische Zeitung spent several pages on its coverage, while the Frankfurter Zeitung’s comments come from the barely three columns on the bottom of its front page covering the event. This not only reflects these newspapers being of Catholic and of liberal orientation respectively, but also the one being a local and the other a national newspaper.

These divergences in treatment are significant in so far as they point to the workings of William’s political agency. The examples of the newspapers demonstrate that William’s symbolic acts were picked up by newspapers differently, contributing to them being circulated to a wider audience. As such, newspapers helped give contours to William’s imperial role, adapting it to different regions, social groups and confessional belongings. They helped shape perceptions of the monarchy, but it is not simply the case that newspapers forced the monarch to react. The examples demonstrate that William used this medium clearly to his own advantage. Newspapers thus extended the political leverage of the monarch, representing not just national audiences, but regional and local constituencies that could be related to and addressed. In this sense, newspapers form an important tool for analysing the political agency of nineteenth-century monarchs in general and William I in particular, because they became such important carriers of cultural meaning that went far beyond specific political decisions. As such they crafted a particular form of political influence based on dominating popular perception that a cultural approach to political history can reveal.


Primary sources

Frankfurter Zeitung, 17 October 1880.

Kölnische Zeitung, 15 October 1880.

Königlich Privilegirte Berlinische Zeitung von Staats- und Gelehrten Sachen. Vossische Zeitung, 9 September 1876.

Neue Preußische Zeitung / Kreuzzeitung, 17 September 1882.


Secondary literature

Biefang, Andreas, Die andere Seite der Macht. Reichstag und Öffentlichkeit im >>System Bismarck<< 1871-1890 (Düsseldorf 2009).

Biefang, Andreas, Michael Epkenhans and Klaus Tenfelde, ‘Das politische Zeremoniell im Deutschen Kaiserreich 1870-1918. Zur Einführung’ in: Andreas Biefang, Michael Epkenhans and Klaus Tenfelde, eds., Das politische Zeremoniell im Deutschen Kaiserreich 1871-1918 (Düsseldorf 2008) 11-28.

Clark, Christopher, Iron Kingdom. The rise and downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (Cambridge, Massachusetts 2006).

Geisthövel, Alexa, ‘Nahbare Herrscher. Die Selbstdarstellung preußischer Monarchen in Kurorten als Form politischer Kommunikation im 19. Jahrhundert’ in: Forschung an der Universität Bielefeld 24 (2002) 32-37.

Geisthövel, Alexa, ‘Den Monarchen im Blick. Wilhelm I. in der illustrierten Familienpresse’ in: Habbo Knoch and Daniel Morat eds., Kommunikation als Beobachtung. Medienwandel und Gesellschaftsbilder 1880-1960 (Munich 2003) 59-80.

Geisthövel, Alexa, ‘Wilhelm I. am ‘historischen Eckfenster’: Zur Sichtbarkeit des Monarchen in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts’ in: Jan Andres, Alexa Geisthövel and Matthias Schwengelbeck eds., Die Sinnlichkeit der Macht. Herrschaft und Representation seit der Frühen Neuzeit (Frankfurt am Main 2005) 163-185.

Stollberg-Rilinger, Barbara, ‘Was heißt Kulturgeschichte des Politischen?’ in: Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger ed., Was heißt Kulturgeschichte des Politischen? (Berlin 2005) 9-24.

Schwengelbeck, Matthias, ‘Monarchische Herrschaftsrepräsentationen zwischen Konsens und Konflikt: Zum Wandel des Huldigings- und Inthronisationszeremoniells im 19. Jahrhundert’ in: Jan Andres, Alexa Geisthövel and Matthias  Schwengelbeck eds., Die Sinnlichkeit der Macht. Herrschaft und Representation seit der Frühen Neuzeit (Frankfurt am Main 2005) 123-162.

Vogel, Jakob, ‘Rituals of the ‘Nations in Arms’: military festivals in Germany and France, 1871-1914’ in: Karin Friedrich ed., Festive culture in Germany and Europe from the sixteenth to the twentieth century (Lewiston 2000) 245-264.


Herr Frederik Frank Sterkenburgh, The University of Warwick, war im Rahmen des Stipendienprogramms der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz im Jahr 2016 als Stipendiat an der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Forschungsprojekt:“Monarchical rule and political culture in Imperial Germany: the reign of William I, 1870 – 1888”

Werkstattgespräch zu Wilhelm I. am 21. 6. 2016

Hänsel, Gretel und Zeitgeist. Werkstattgespräch zu Märchenopern am 20.10.

Hänsel, Gretel und Zeitgeist. Märchenopern als Spiegel ihrer Entstehungszeit
Werkstattgespräch mit Dr. Beata Kornatowska, Adam-Mickiewicz-Universität Poznań, Polen,
2015 Stipendiatin im Stipendienprogramm der SPK
Donnerstag 20. Oktober 2016
18.15 Uhr
Schulungsraum im Lesesaal, Haus Potsdamer Straße
Treffpunkt in der Eingangshalle (I-Punkt)
Eintritt frei, Anmeldung erbeten


Oper bevorzugt bekannte Stoffe, daher stellen Märchen für sie ein dankbares Objekt dar. Oft beschränken sich die Verfasser von Adaptionen, Librettisten und Komponisten nicht auf die bloße Anpassung der Vorlage an die spezifischen Anforderungen der Opernform, sondern benutzen sie als Projektionsfläche für aktuelle oder persönlich relevante Inhalte. So entstehen Interpretationen, die vom Zeitgeist und von künstlerischer Individualität geprägt sind: Dieselbe Märchenvorlage erscheint z.B. einmal im Gewand des dämonischen Pathos (Undine von E. T. A. Hoffmann), ein anderes Mal in biedermeierlicher Alltagskleidung (Undine von Albert Lortzing). An einigen Beispielen aus der deutschen Operngeschichte (Werke von E. T. A. Hoffmann, Albert Lortzing, Engelbert Humperdinck, Siegfried Wagner, Alexander von Zemlinsky) wird im Vortrag gezeigt, wie sich geistige und ästhetische Tendenzen der Entstehungszeit in den Opernwerken spiegeln, wie Märchenstoffe und Märchenfiguren gleich Schiefertafeln neu beschrieben, mit einer komischen, ironischen, psychologischen oder zeitkritischen Dimension versehen werden.


Alle Veranstaltungen der Wissenswerkstatt

Stipendienprogramm der SPK an der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Fig. 1. Humboldt’s “Naturgemälde der Anden” (1807). It was originally published in 1805 as the “Tableau physique des Andes et pays voisins” with the "Essai sur la géographie des plantes". Source: Wikimedia.

Vertical Thinking in the Time of Humboldt

Gastbeitrag von Patrick Anthony, Vanderbilt University

The Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt has long been celebrated for his representations of mountains. The most recognizable among them is the “Tableau physique des Andes” (or “Naturgemälde der Anden”), which depicts the botanical geography of the Ecuadorian Volcano Mt. Chimborazo (Fig. 1). But mountains were only part of the picture – or rather, the Naturgemälde (literally meaning “nature-painting”). Humboldt’s life was framed by two other vertical discoveries: that of the subterranean, around the time of his birth in 1769, and that of the submarine, in the decades preceding his death in 1859. These were not discoveries in any traditional scientific sense (e.g. the discovery of a new species or planet) but in a broader conceptual sense – discoveries of natural spaces as destinations and objects of study. Humboldt acted as a red thread between them, linking mines, mountains, and oceans.

Humboldt’s early life was marked by both an intellectual and a professional interest in the subterranean. He attended the Bergakademie in Freiberg and served as a mining official in Franconia in a time of unprecedented mobility through the cavernous underground. Beginning in the 1760s, a new wave of literature arose in which mines and caves were described by and for travellers. Franz Ludwig Cancrin, for instance, wrote his Beschreibung der vorzüglichsten Bergwerke  (1767) “in order to give dilettantes and travellers a taste of the mines” before venturing down themselves. Later, in 1793, Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder described the aim of his travels as “coming to know Nature over and under the earth.” Those with an eye for natural history, like Goethe, observed how geognostic phenomena “expose themselves as much through nature as through the hands of men.” Humboldt himself laid “the groundwork for a subterraneous meteorology” after discovering in the mines “the most exquisite fungi and lichen…and an entire subterraneous Creation of animals [Thierschöpfung].” At the same time, he partook in a flourishing visual culture in which mining officials and surveyors sought to depict mines, dams, land plots, geological layers, and technical apparatuses from vertical perspectives (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. Representation of a water capstan (Wassergöpel) in a Freiberg mineshaft by J. C. Zeller (1820). Source: Sächsisches Staatsarchiv – Bergarchiv Freiberg, 40010 Bergamt Freiberg, Nr. 3100.

What the late eighteenth century had been for the subterranean, the mid-nineteenth century was for the ocean. This was particularly true in England and America, but also to a lesser extent in German lands. Above the waves, as Helen Rozwadowski and Michael Reidy have written, “the ocean transformed from highway to destination.” Below them, oceanographers like Matthew Fontaine Maury (Director of the U.S. Naval Observatory) believed their sounding leads had revealed a “telegraphic plateau” where a cable might be laid to connect the Old and New Continents. From Berlin in 1856, Humboldt read in the National Intelligencer  that the bottom of the Atlantic had been “found of down-like softness” over which “our beautiful ocean river glides along…as gently as the current of time.” Moreover, even the deepest parts of the ocean were found to contain a variety of “life-forms [Lebensformen].” As Humboldt’s protégé Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg proclaimed before the Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften in 1856, “animal life…lifted 16,200 feet out of the depths” now made it impossible “to take the form-rich ocean bed for dead” (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3. “Drawings of Brooke’s Deep-sea Sounding Apparatus, for bringing up specimens from the bottom.” Source: Matthew Fontaine Maury, “Physical Geography of the Sea”, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1855.

Evidence suggests that Humboldt and his contemporaries also conceptualized the subterranean and the submarine in similar ways, employing mountains as measuring rods with which to imagine spaces hidden beneath the surface of the earth and its oceans. In Kosmos,  for example, Humboldt calculated “a vertical distance of about 48,000 feet…from the highest pinnacles of the Himalayas to the lowest basins containing the vegetation of an earlier world, sunk as far below the surface of the sea as Chimborazo is elevated above it.” Similarly, in the documents Humboldt kept in his “Sea and Depths” folder, we see how mountains could be used to reckon the depths of the ocean. On one note (Fig. 4) Humboldt observed how British naval officer James Clark Ross described the deepest point of the ocean as being “beneath its surface very little short of the elevation of Mount Blanc above it.” Beside this note is a letter from the Irish astronomer Edward Sabine, who in 1853 wrote to Humboldt “of a successful attempt which has been made by Captain Denham of the Royal Navy … to reach the bottom of the sea at a depth much exceeding that of the highest summits of the Himalaya.” Humboldt’s notes on the summits of the Himalaya illustrate the same method in reverse, now using the depths of the ocean to take stock of the heights of mountains. When in 1849 Joseph Dalton Hooker sent Humboldt the latest measurements of Tibet’s tallest peaks, the latter compared them not only with Chimborazo and Montblanc, but also with “sea soundings [by] Ross” (Fig. 5).

Fig. 4. (Left) Humboldt’s notes on James Ross’s A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions (1847). Notice especially: “Tiefe des Meeres wie Montblanc James Ross T. I p. 26.” Fig. 5. (Right) Humboldt’s notes on personal letters from Joseph Dalton Hooker. In the center of the page, below Mt. Ararat, are the words “Sonde Meer Roß 25990 par[iser] F[uss].” Source: SBB-PK, Nachl. Alexander von Humboldt, gr. Kasten 11, Nr. 72, Blatt 7r and gr. Kasten 8, Nr. 48a, Blatt 4r. Nutzungsbedingungen:

Fig. 4. (Left) Humboldt’s notes on James Ross’s “A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions” (1847). Notice especially: “Tiefe des Meeres wie Montblanc James Ross T. I p. 26.” Fig. 5. (Right) Humboldt’s notes on personal letters from Joseph Dalton Hooker. In the center of the page, below Mt. Ararat, are the words “Sonde Meer Roß 25990 par[iser] F[uss].” Source: SBB-PK, Nachl. Alexander von Humboldt, gr. Kasten 11, Nr. 72, Blatt 7r and gr. Kasten 8, Nr. 48a, Blatt 4r. Nutzungsbedingungen:

In this way, Humboldt’s Nachlass at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin reveals the final decades of his life as a period in which the observable world seemed to expand ever more along nature’s vertical axis. In the same years that estimations of the ocean’s deepest point descended from the 4,600 fathoms sounded by Ross to the 7,000 probed by Denham, the roof of the world grew from Chimborazo, measured by Humboldt himself at 20,100 Paris feet, to Kinchinjunga, reported by Hooker at 26,400 (Fig. 6). It was during this dynamic period that Humboldt, Ross, and Sabine had learned to use one aspect of nature to make sense of another: mountains became the means of a depth-epistemology.

Fig. 6. Joseph Dalton Hooker’s letter of 26 April 1849 to Humboldt, containing a sketch of the Himalaya and “Plains of India.” It shows his route in red and the snow line in blue. Source: SBB-PK Nachl. Alexander von Humboldt, gr. Kasten 8, Nr. 41b, Blatt 10 r. Nutzungsbedingungen:

In a 1799 publication on “species of gas” in mines, Humboldt proclaimed “Nature knows no over- and underground.” His aim was not to dissolve the barrier between the terrestrial and the subterrestrial, but to acknowledge the equal significance of scientific inquiry in both realms. In 1853, he made a related conceptual maneuver while communicating Sabine’s letter to the Königliche Akademie – or rather, while assimilating Denham’s soundings into an interpretive framework animated by his quest for a totalizing “physical description of the earth.” After reporting that the ocean’s deepest point was beyond earth’s tallest measuring rod—“nearly 17,000 Paris feet greater than the heights of Kintschinjunga”—Humboldt argued that “only once we view the earth like the moon, without its liquid shroud, will the mountain-masses and peaks, indeed the entire surface of the earth, appear in their true form.” By acknowledging the equal significance of geography above and below the surface of the sea, Humboldt’s conception of islands as the peaks of submerged mountains had taken on a global significance.

Fig. 7. “Vertical Section – North Atlantic” from Matthew Fontaine Maury’s “Physical Geography of the Sea” (1855). By David Rumsey; Source: Nutzungsbedingungen:

Humboldt’s historical legacy is bound to that of Mt. Chimborazo, and rightly so. Matthew Fontaine Maury, who self-consciously used Humboldt’s phrase in the title of his book Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), also took part in the Chimborazo legacy while introducing his vertical profile-map of the North Atlantic (Fig. 7). “From the top of Chimborazo to the bottom of the Atlantic,” Maury wrote, “the distance in a straight line, is nine miles.” Four years earlier, in 1851, Maury had written to Humboldt about his plans “to present a vertical section of the Atlantic basin and compare it with a vertical section of this continent between the same parallels.” Maury’s nature, too, knew no over and under. And if in 1809 Humboldt wrote of his endeavor “to represent whole countries after a method, which until now has only been applied in mining and canal projects” – that is, by depicting landscapes from aerial and vertical perspectives (Fig. 8) – Maury now represented whole oceans as such.

Fig. 8. A multiple perspective depiction (Grund- und Durchschnittsriss) of a mine-reservoir dam near Freiberg by August Friedrich Bollner (1796). Source: Sächsisches Staatsarchiv – Bergarchiv Freiberg, 40010 Bergamt Freiberg, Nr. 2927.

Humboldt and Maury were respectively interested in extracting metal ore from the depths of the earth and laying telegraphic cables along those of the ocean. But metals—in their ore and cable forms – were not the only things circulating above and below nature’s horizontal axis. Humboldt yielded from the mines a way of thinking about, describing, and representing nature that Maury transposed into the sea. It is fitting, then, that perhaps the most apt verses to describe this way of thinking are found on the bell in St. Peter’s Tower in Freiberg, whose tolling once sounded the daily rhythm of the miners:

Auf, Auf, zur Grube ruf’ ich Euch,

ich die ich oben steh;

so offt Ihr in die Tiefe fahrt,

so dencket in die Höh.

 [“Up, up, to the mines, I call you / I, who stand above / So often as you go into the depths / Think up to the heights.”]

How true indeed this rings for Humboldt and the vertical thinkers of his time.



Archival Sources

  • Nachlass Alexander von Humboldt, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Sächsisches Staatsarchiv – Bergarchiv Freiberg
  • Stadt- und Bergbaumuseum Freiberg

Primary Sources in Print

  • Alexander von Humboldt, Die Jugendbriefe Alexander von Humboldts, 1787-1799, herausgegeben von Ilse Jahn und Fritz G. Lange, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1973.
  • Alexander von Humboldt, Kosmos. Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung, Stuttgart und Tübingen, J.C. Cotta’scher Verlag, 1845.
  • Alexander von Humboldt, Versuch über den politischen Zustand des Königreichs Neu-Spanien, Tübingen: J. G. Gotta’schen Buchhandlung, 1809.
  • Captain Sir James Ross, A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, During the Years 1839-43, London: 1847.
  • Franz Ludwig Cancrinus, Beschreibung der vorzüglichsten Bergwerke, Frankfurth an dem Main, 1767.
  • Friedrich Alexander von Humboldt, Ueber die unterirdischen Gasarten und die Mittel, ihren Nachtheil zu vermindern: Ein Beytrag zur Physik der praktischen Bergbaukunde, Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg, 1799.
  • Ingo Schwarz (Hg.), Alexander von Humboldt und die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika. Beiträge zur Alexander-von-Humboldt-Forschung, 19. Briefwechsel, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2004.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Sämtliche Werke, Band 12. Zur Naturwissenschaft überhaupt, herausgegeben von Hans J. Becker, Gerhard H. Müller, John Neubauer und Peter Schmidt, München: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1989.
  • Matthew Fontaine Maury, Physical Geography of the Sea, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1855.
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Reisebriefe, herausgegeben von Heinrich Höhn, Berlin, 1938.

Secondary Sources

  • Ingo Schwarz und Gerhard Kortum, “Alexander von Humboldt and Matthew Fontaine Maury—two pioneers of marine sciences,” Historisch-Meereskundliches Jahrbuch. Band 10, Straslund, Germany: Deutsches Meeresmuseum, 2003/4, 157-185.
  • Michael S. Reidy and Helen M. Rozwadowski, “The Spaces in Between: Science, Ocean, Empire,” Isis 105, no. 2 (2014): 338-351.


Herr Patrick Anthony, Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), war im Rahmen des Stipendienprogramms der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz im Jahr 2016 als Stipendiat an der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Forschungsprojekt: “Alexander von Humboldt’s First Journey: Learning Weltbürgertum from Georg Forster”