This master thesis aims to portray the early beginnings of the national differentiation and the emergence of national categories of identity in a cohabitating and collaborating population during the period between 1848 and 1861. The local example of Maribor / Marburg, which was considered a German island within a Slovene surrounding, will be discussed. Although the last decades of the Habsburg monarchy were characterized by questions of nationality it was only in 1848 that this issue first appeared. The citizens of Marburg established a National Guard and with this came the issue of which flag colors to use, thereby raising the question of nationality. However, the revolutionary year 1848 was mainly shaped by social issues and political demands. In the era of Neoabsolutism, national questions seemed to play no role at all. Small national movements in particular, such as the Slovene one, tended to organize their political agendas around demands related to language policy. Therefore one main focus is on the school system in Marburg, and especially on the k. k. Gymnasium, because the issue of higher education is crucial to any national movement. One of the key players at this time was the Church, which had supervised the schools ever since the Concordat in 1855. Furthermore, with the transfer of the seat of the Lavant bishopric to Marburg in 1859, the spotlight shifted to Marburg. Between 1848 and 1861 there were no irreconcilable national differences, nor nationality conflicts or struggles; the common regional Styrian identity was still a strong cohesive force. German national agitation or Besitzstandsicherung didn?t exist yet, and the Slovene national movement was still in a very early stage of development. However, German language and culture was unquestionably primary in the public life of Marburg, while the Slovene element was in a weaker and inferior position. The thesis? findings are based on archival material, remembrance literature and print media.