At home at the Rhine and in America

Subjects and citizens

French times
Napoleon at the borders
French troops at the Rhine, Grand Duchy of Berg. Louisiana purchase.
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Fort McHenry 1814
British-American War
Napoleon's wars in Europe, President Madison's war against England.
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Napoleon
Catastrophe in Russia
The Bergmann brothers
Niklas and Heinrich in Napoleon's Grande Armée.
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The Bergmanns leave
The Bergmann leave
Hunger and despair in the Grand-Duchy of Berg. Mass emigrations begins.
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Transatlantic Cousins
Transatlantic cousins
The Bergmanns arrive in America and are warmly received.
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Mountain men
"Mountain Men"
Both brothers build up new lives for themselves and
find happiness.
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No times for books
No time for books
Great need in Germany.
Many emigrant children are illiterate.
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Bodmer, Indian Village
The "frontier"
The United States push their border, further and ever further westwards
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'Stübchen' in winter
Germany - a Winters Tale
Jean of the German family smuggles Heine's book to Niklas in the USA.
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Lorenz 1848
Revolution 1848/49
In Germany, revolution fails, Lorenz Bergmann must flee.
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Niklas was thoughtful.
"Not only the issues," he said, "above all the people. Now I live as a free man in a free country, in a state that is supported by its citizens. Where do these citizens come from, and what do they contribute?
We must write all this down, and continue what your Great Aunt Betty has begun."

From the Napoleonic Era to the Civil War, Niklas

Our second chronicler is Niklas Bergmann. After the Napoleonic Wars, hunger and hardship prevail. As their farm could not produce enough to feed all of them, he, his brother and mother emigrate to live with distant relatives in the USA. Yet, time and again their thoughts go back to the old homeland, where many people live in dire poverty.

In 1848/49, revolution breaks out in Germany, but eventually it fails. The revolutionaries must flee - among them Carl Schurz, who became a great statement in the USA, and also the Bergmann brothers' nephew Lorenz. While at the Potomac the new capital came into being, no stone remained unturned in Europe. The French Revolution shattered Europe's monarchies, soon war broke out.