Contested Cities in the Modern West by A. C. Hepburn (auth.)

By A. C. Hepburn (auth.)

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Some found a balance between the two parts of their identity. Others reacted so fiercely against imperial German attitudes that they became militant Polish nationalists …. [But] social advancement in the rapidly expanding economy was largely dependent on the acceptance of a German identity’ (Davies & Moorhouse:295, 302). The re-creation of a Polish state in 1919 weakened Polishness in Breslau, siphoning off possible immigrants to work and study in Polish cities, while the Versailles settlement was a provocation and stimulus to German nationalism in the city.

As the industrialisation of Barcelona developed and the city grew, immigration from southern Spain became increasingly important. Whereas only 5 per cent of Catalonia’s population was from outside the region in 1910, this changed quite dramatically from the 1920s onwards, so that by 1970 48 per cent of the province were incomers. Many of them lived in accommodation on the fringes of Barcelona and other centres, often purpose-built but of poor quality. Sometimes the location of these buildings was deliberately marginal, to keep the incomers insulated from mainstream city life.

This is further evidence of the city’s continuing role in assimilating migrants to the dominant culture – which in the case of Pressburg, because of its proximity to Vienna, was German as well as Hungarian. Pressburg is therefore a city where national consciousness followed political independence rather than led it. As Glettler argues (1992:319), ‘a comparison of the two cities [Bratislava and Budapest] shows that it was not until after the First World War, when they were separated by political borders, that a decisive change … took place’.

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