Alsace Lorraine Document Based Question Essay

639 words - 3 pages

The region of Alsace-Lorraine has historically produced conflict between France and Germany. As a result of the Alsace-Lorraine provincial boundary changes, the people within the area had and still withhold individual national and cultural identities. These unique identities emanate from French, as well as German traditions. As time progressed so did the sentiment of the Alsatians. In 1871, when Prussia annexed Alsace-Lorraine, its citizens objected German rule. Conversely, in 1919 when France reclaimed the territory, the people in it began to yearn for the formally loathed German rule. The national and cultural identity of Alsace-Lorraine fluctuated inversely with its territorial ...view middle of the document...

Preiss asserted that the “Germanization” of Alsace-Lorraine was futile, because of a lack of a compromise between the Alsatians and the German government; consequently Germany couldn’t, “win the heart and soul of the people.” as addressed in Document 7.
German forces gradually, and forcefully imposed their will on the Alsatians until, they were, eventually accepted. Initially, the German government saw portions of Alsace-Lorraine as “hotbeds of disaffection” (Document 1), that required “weaning…from the French” (Document 3) and revision towards German ideals. The coercion of German culture was applied imperiously, through severe ultimatums, which forced Alsatians to choose their loyalty to French or their homes (Document 8). Additionally, the intimidation of Alsatians was used to drive German conformity. These tactics included acts such as, German officials writing up Alsatian businesses with signs printed in French (Document 10). German officials expected the reform would suffice for the “unhappy” Alsatians, and bring their favor to Germany (Document 4). Resultant of necessity, by...

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