This is a study of the rise of Hegelian thought throughout the intellectual world and in Germany in the first half of the nineteenth century. The book has three interrelated purposes. First, it constitutes the first synthetic description and comprehensive reconstruction of the historical genesis and humanist transformation of Hegelian ideology. Secondly, the study addresses the problem of recurrent patterns of hope and disillusionment in the successive phases of dialectical thought. Finally, the book is concerned with ideological responses to the experience of communal and religious disintegration.