This chapter looks at pre-Nazi late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century expansionist ideas which informed and shaped Hitler’s understanding of Lebensraum imperialism, an ideology focused on gaining new ‘living space’for an expanding population, on colonizing that ‘space’ with settlers, and on ruthlessly thrusting aside the indigenous inhabitants. It examines the expansionist ideas of the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner (and his ‘frontier thesis’), the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel (and his notion of Lebensraum), and the German geopolitical theorist Karl Haushofer (and his geopolitical theories). It shows how the Turner-Ratzel transatlantic dialogue confirmed a shared genealogy between the classic American ‘frontier thesis’ and later German ideas of Lebensraum and how these Lebensraum imperialist ideas were transmitted to Nazi Party Leader Adolf Hitler.


American History German Nation German People Nazi Party Indigenous Inhabitant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Carroll P. Kakel, III 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carroll P. KakelIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins University Centre for Liberal ArtsUSA

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