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a classroom reverie by a blow on the ear and looked up to see his father glowering over him." That particular day, his father's pastoral duties had included the role of school inspector—a person assigned to monitor the students in order to maintain discipline and to make sure that the classroom was being run properly—and the elder Wundt had observed his son misbehaving. The perception of his father as someone other than the loving person he thought he knew probably influenced Wundt negatively. Seeing his father as a source of pain might have led the young Wundt, who had identified so wholly with his father, to distrust himself.
Wundt also recalled two other public events that had had a great impact on him. The first memory was described by his biographer as follows,
In Heidelsheim, on the afternoon of the final day of his first year's schooling, he watched from his doorstep as a crowd of peasants erected a "freedom tree" in the public square. Then he saw the burgomaster's house set ablaze by the demonstrators and later—while the local bailiff paced up and down inside the Wundt cottage—he saw them dispersed by a squadron of dragoons (soldiers armed with short muskets for the purpose of persecution).
When Wundt was not yet 17, three years after his father's death, the Republic of Baden was established. In June, Wundt witnessed the flashes of cannon fire in the distance, as Prussian army troops set out to suppress the young republic's independence. During the 1860s, Wundt became actively involved in the Workers' Educational League and served as a member of the Baden diet, or governing body, probably due to the influence of these experiences.
Upon his father's death, his maternal uncles assumed a prominent role in Wundt's education. His mother's two brothers, Johann Wilhelm and Philipp Friedrich, had both studied medicine at Heidelberg, and they had also begun to teach at the university. His uncle Friedrich had an especially illustrative career as an anatomy and physiology professor, and his influence secured Wundt a position at Heidelberg in 1858.
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