In Search of Peace and Prosperity

New German Settlements in Eighteenth-Century Europe and America

Edited by Hartmut Lehmann, Hermann Wellenreuther, Renate Wilson

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 January 2000

Length of book:

344 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271019291

This volume brings together essays by leading German and American historians on the subject of the eighteenth-century German emigration. Scholars have traditionally studied the nineteenth century, when the overwhelming majority of German emigrants came to the New World. In this book, contributors focus on an earlier period, when Germans were moving to a variety of destinations: Russia, Prussian Lithuania, and various other German territories as well as North America.

What drove men and women from different regional and social backgrounds to leave their homes during this time? Some migrations were forced, as for the Mennonites, the Salzburger emigrants, and the French Huguenots; some were voluntary and determined by the wish for one's own land and greater social and economic opportunity. In all groups, religion was a prominent motivator and primary element of social identification and cohesion. Inevitably, migrants carried with them traditional skills and other indispensable cultural "baggage." A key strength of this book is that contributors emphasize the mutual exchanges that occurred among cultures.

In Search of Peace and Prosperity grew out of a conference at Penn State University under the sponsorship of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D. C. Contributors are Rosalind J. Beiler, Jon Butler, Andreas Gestrich, Mark Häberlein, Thomas Klingebiel, Hartmut Lehmann, Thomas Müller-Bahlke, A. Gregg Roeber, Mack Walker, Hermann Wellenreuther, Carola Wessel, Renate Wilson, and Marianne S. Wokeck.

“The fourteen essays in this collection offer a fresh perspective not only on the history of the eighteenth-century patterns of German migration, but also on the larger question of migration patterns in the early modern Atlantic world. . . . This edited volume provides a splendid example of the potential insights to be gained from considering the history of German migration in comparative context. . . . Considered together, these essays represent an important and innovative contribution to early American scholarship.”

—Jon Parmenter, Canadian Journal of History