The German Empire was founded in January 1871 not only on the basis of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's 'blood and iron' policy but also with the support of liberal nationalists. Under Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany became the dynamo of Europe. Its economic and military power were pre-eminent; its science and technology, education, and municipal administration were the envy of the world; and its avant-garde artists reflected the ferment in European culture. But Germany also played a decisive role in tipping Europe's fragile balance of power over the brink and into the cataclysm of the First World War, eventually leading to the empire's collapse in military defeat and revolution in November 1918. With contributions from an international team of twelve experts in the field, this volume offers an ideal introduction to this crucial era, taking care to situate Imperial Germany in the larger sweep of modern German history, without suggesting that Nazism or the Holocaust were inevitable endpoints to the developments charted here.
An international team of twelve expert contributors provides both an introduction to and an interpretation of the key themes in German history from the foundation of the Reich in 1871 to the end of the First World War in 1918.
The German Empire was founded in January 1871 not only on the basis of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's 'blood and iron' policy but also with the support of liberal nationalists. Under Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany became the dynamo of Europe. Its economic and military power were pre-eminent; its science and technology, education, and municipal administration were the envy of the world; and its avant-garde artists reflected the ferment in European culture. But Germany also played a decisive role in tipping Europe's fragile balance of power over the brink and into the cataclysm of the First World War, eventually leading to the empire's collapse in military defeat and revolution in November 1918. With contributions from an international team of twelve experts in the field, this volume offers an ideal introduction to this crucial era, taking care to situate Imperial Germany in the larger sweep of modern German history, without suggesting that Nazism or the Holocaust were inevitable endpoints to the developments charted here.
The purpose of this book is to provide a one-volume resource for collectors and historians with an Imperial German army interest. The more we researched, the more we found there were more stories, myths and misunderstandings about Imperial Germany than there were facts. Different authors addressed different aspects: collectors, historians and educators all had their own area of expertise, but there was no readily available resource to give a general overview of Imperial Germany. Though it is convenient to call it "Germany," at the start of the First World War, there was still no united Germany, no German army, and no German officer corps. At 333 pages with 183 pictures and over 670 footnotes, this is an attempt to explain the intricacies of how the country worked -- militarily, politically and socially.
The years 1800-1870 were a crucial formative phase of modern German history. In 1800, the country was a patchwork quilt of principalities still formally under the authority of the Holy Roman Empire and increasingly subject to French domination. By 1870, under the dominating influence of Prussia, the country was in the midst of a victorious war against France, which would lead to its unification.
In a book that is at once a major contribution to modern European history and a cautionary tale for today, Isabel V. Hull argues that the routines and practices of the Imperial German Army, unchecked by effective civilian institutions, increasingly sought the absolute destruction of its enemies as the only guarantee of the nation's security. So deeply embedded were the assumptions and procedures of this distinctively German military culture that the Army, in its drive to annihilate the enemy military, did not shrink from the utter destruction of civilian property and lives. Carried to its extreme, the logic of "military necessity" found real security only in extremities of destruction, in the "silence of the graveyard." Hull begins with a dramatic account, based on fresh archival work, of the German Army's slide from administrative murder to genocide in German Southwest Africa (1904-7). The author then moves back to 1870 and the war that inaugurated the Imperial era in German history, and analyzes the genesis and nature of this specifically German military culture and its operations in colonial warfare. In the First World War the routines perfected in the colonies were visited upon European populations. Hull focuses on one set of cases (Belgium and northern France) in which the transition to total destruction was checked (if barely) and on another (Armenia) in which "military necessity" caused Germany to accept its ally's genocidal policies even after these became militarily counterproductive. She then turns to the Endkampf (1918), the German General Staff's plan to achieve victory in the Great War even if the homeland were destroyed in the process-a seemingly insane campaign that completes the logic of this deeply institutionalized set of military routines and practices. Hull concludes by speculating on the role of this distinctive military culture in National Socialism's military and racial policies. Absolute Destruction has serious implications for the nature of warmaking in any modern power. At its heart is a warning about the blindness of bureaucratic routines, especially when those bureaucracies command the instruments of mass death.
It has often ben suggested that artists and writers in Germany's imperial era shunned social engagement, preferring instead apolitical introspection. However, as Matthew Jefferies reveals, whether one looks at the painters, poets and architects who helped to create an official imperial identity after 1871; the cultural critics and reformers of the later nineteenth century; or the new generation of cultural producers that emerged in the years around 1900, the social, political and cultural were never far apart. In this attractively illustrated book, Jefferies provides a lively introduction to the principal movements in German high culture between 1871 and 1918, in the context of imperial society and politics. He not only demonstrates that Germany's 'Imperial culture' was every bit as fascinating as the much better known 'Weimar culture' of the 1920s, but argues that much of what came later has origins in the imperial period. Filling a significant gap in the current historiography, this study will appeal to all those with an interest in the rich and diverse culture of Imperial Germany.
The first German women’s movement embraced the belief in a demographic surplus of unwed women, known as the Frauenüberschuß, as a central leitmotif in the campaign for reform. Proponents of the female surplus held that the advances of industry and urbanization had upset traditional marriage patterns and left too many bourgeois women without a husband. This book explores the ways in which the realms of literature, sexology, demography, socialism, and female activism addressed the perceived plight of unwed women. Case studies of reformers, including Lily Braun, Ruth Bré, Elisabeth Gnauck-Kühne, Helene Lange, Alice Salomon, Helene Stöcker, and Clara Zetkin, demonstrate the expansive influence of the discourse surrounding a female surfeit. By combining the approaches of cultural, social, and gender history, The Surplus Woman provides the first sustained analysis of the ways in which imperial Germans conceptualized anxiety about female marital status as both a product and a reflection of changing times.
A comprehensive history of German society in this period, providing a broad survey of its development. The volume is thematically organized and designed to give easy access to the major topics and issues of the Bismarkian and Wilhelmine eras. The statistical appendix contains a wide range of social, economic and political data. Written with the English-speaking student in mind, this book is likely to become a widely used text for this period, incorporating as it does twenty years of further research on the German Empire since the appearance of Hans-Ulrich Wehler's classic work.
Red Saxony throws new light on the reciprocal relationship between political modernization and authoritarianism in Germany over the span of six decades. Election battles were fought so fiercely in Imperial Germany because they reflected two kinds of democratization. Social democratization could not be stopped, but political democratization was opposed by many members of the German bourgeoisie. Frightened by the electoral success of the Social Democrats after 1871, anti-democrats deployed many strategies that flew in the face of electoral fairness. They battled socialists, liberals, and Jews at election time, but they also strove to rewrite the electoral rules of the game. Using a regional lens to rethink older assumptions about Germany's changing political culture, this volume focuses as much on contemporary Germans' perceptions of electoral fairness as on their experiences of voting. It devotes special attention to various semi-democratic voting systems whereby a general and equal suffrage (for the Reichstag) was combined with limited and unequal ones for local and regional parliaments. For the first time, democratization at all three tiers of governance and their reciprocal effects are considered together. Although the bourgeois face of German authoritarianism was nowhere more evident than in the Kingdom of Saxony, Red Saxony illustrates how other Germans grew to fear the spectre of democracy. Although twists and turns lay ahead, that fear made it easier for Hitler and the Nazis to win elections in the 1920s and to entomb German democracy in 1933.
AQA approved Enhance and expand your students' knowledge and understanding of their AQA breadth study through expert narrative, progressive skills development and bespoke essays from leading historians on key debates. - Builds students' understanding of the events and issues of the period with authoritative, well-researched narrative that covers the specification content - Introduces the key concepts of change, continuity, cause and consequence, encouraging students to make comparisons across time as they advance through the course - Improves students' skills in tackling interpretation questions and essay writing by providing clear guidance and practice activities - Boosts students' interpretative skills and interest in history through extended reading opportunities consisting of specially commissioned essays from practising historians on relevant debates - Cements understanding of the broad issues underpinning the period with overviews of the key questions, end-of-chapter summaries and diagrams that double up as handy revision aids
Against the backdrop of one of the great transformations of our century, the sudden and unexpected fall of communism as a ruling system, Charles Maier recounts the history and demise of East Germany. Dissolution is his poignant, analytically provocative account of the decline and fall of the late German Democratic Republic. This book explains the powerful causes for the disintegration of German communism as it constructs the complex history of the GDR. Maier looks at the turning points in East Germany's forty-year history and at the mix of coercion and consent by which the regime functioned. He analyzes the GDR as it evolved from the purges of the 1950s to the peace movements and emerging youth culture of the 1980s, and then turns his attention to charges of Stasi collaboration that surfaced after 1989. In the context of describing the larger collapse of communism, Maier analyzes German elements that had counterparts throughout the Soviet bloc, including its systemic and eventually terminal economic crisis, corruption and privilege in the SED, the influence of the Stasi and the plight of intellectuals and writers, and the slow loss of confidence on the part of the ruling elite. He then discusses the mass protests and proliferation of dissident groups in 1989, the collapse of the ruling party, and the troubled aftermath of unification. Dissolution is the first book that spans the communist collapse and the ensuing process of unification, and that draws on newly available archival documents from the last phases of the GDR, including Stasi reports, transcripts of Politburo and Central Committee debates, and papers from the Economic Planning Commission, the Council of Ministers, and the office files of key party officials. This book is further bolstered by Maier's extensive knowledge of European history and the Cold War, his personal observations and conversations with East Germans during the country's dramatic transition, and memoirs and other eyewitness accounts published during the four-decade history of the GDR.
Germany's imperial era (1871-1918) continues to attract both scholars and the general public alike. The American historian Roger Chickering has referred to the historiography on the Kaiserreich as an 'extraordinary body of historical scholarship', whose quality and diversity stands comparison with that of any other episode in European history. This Companion is a significant addition to this body of scholarship with the emphasis very much on the present and future. Questions of continuity remain a vital and necessary line of historical enquiry and while it may have been short-lived, the Kaiserreich remains central to modern German and European history. The volume allows 25 experts, from across the globe, to write at length about the state of research in their own specialist fields, offering original insights as well as historiographical reflections, and rounded off with extensive suggestions for further reading. The chapters are grouped into five thematic sections, chosen to reflect the full range of research being undertaken on imperial German history today and together offer a comprehensive and authoritative reference resource. Overall this collection will provide scholars and students with a lively take on this fascinating period of German history, from the nation’s unification in 1871 right up until the end of World War I.
The studies in this book are the harvest of more than 20 years intensive research into the history of the German Empire by one of Germany's leading historians. Taken together, they offer a cogent analysis of the main developments and issues in a formative and portentous period of Germany's history.
A History of the German Language Through Texts examines the evolution of German, from the Early Medieval period to the present day. Written in a lively and accessible style, the book looks at the history of German through a wide range of texts, from medical, legal and scientific writing to literature, everyday newspapers and adverts. All texts are translated and accompanied by commentaries. The book also offers a glossary of technical terms and abbreviations, a summary of the main changes in each historical period, a guide to reference material, and suggestions for further reading. A History of the German Language Through Texts is essential reading for students of German, Linguistics or Philology.
Imperial Germany focuses on the domestic political developments of the period, putting them into context through a balanced guide to the economic and social background, culture and foreign policy. This important study explores the tensions caused within an empire which was formed through war, against the prevailing liberal spirit of the age and poses many questions among them: * Was the desire to unify Germany the cause of the aggressive foreign policy leading to the First World War? * To what extent was Bismarck's Second Reich the forerunner of Hitler's Third? * Did Bismarck's authoritarian rule permanently hinder the political development of Germany? Recent debates raised by German scholarship are made accessible to English speaking readers, and the book summarises the important controversies and competing interpretations of imperial German history.
The Weimar Republic was born out of Germany's defeat in the First World War and ended with the coming to power of Hitler and his Nazi Party in 1933. In many ways, it is a wonder that Weimar lasted as long as it did. Besieged from the outset by hostile forces, the young republic was threatened by revolution from the left and coups d'états from the right. Plagued early on by a wave of high-profile political assassinations and a period of devastating hyper-inflation, its later years were dominated by the onset of the Great Depression. And yet, for a period from the mid-1920s it looked as if the Weimar system would not only survive but even flourish, with the return of economic stability and the gradual reintegration of the country into the international community. With contributions from an international team of ten experts, this volume in the Short Oxford History of Germany series offers an ideal introduction to Weimar Germany, challenging the reader to rethink preconceived ideas of the republic and throwing new light on important areas, such as military ideas for reshaping society after the First World War, constitutional and social reform, Jewish life, gender, and culture.
This engaging textbook provides a broad survey of modern German history from 1800-2000, and situates Germany’s fragmented past within its full context. Kitchen: Provides readers a long view of German history, allowing them to see continuities and changes Covers the unification of Germany, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the Federal Republic, the collapse of Communism, and the re-unification Examines cultural history as well as political and economic history Includes coverage of regional history rather than focusing on the dominant role of Prussia
Publisher description: This lively and concise book uses a dual approach to introduce students and non-specialists to Wilhelmine Germany (1888-1918). It surveys social, economic, political, cultural and diplomatic developments in an age of tumultuous upheaval. It also explains why historians have so often reversed the interpretative 'switches' guiding research on this period. By highlighting the breadth of historical change under Wilhelm II and the evolution of opposing viewpoints about its significance, this book provides easy access to an epoch - and a debate - characterised more by controversy than consensus.

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