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.
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
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 German Empire, its structure, its dynamic development between 1871 and 1918, and its legacy, have been the focus of lively international debate that is showing signs of further intensification as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Based on recent work and scholarly arguments about continuities and discontinuities in modern German history from Bismarck to Hitler, well-known experts broadly explore four themes: the positioning of the Bismarckian Empire in the course of German history; the relationships between society, politics and culture in a period of momentous transformations; the escalation of military violence in Germany's colonies before 1914 and later in two world wars; and finally the situation of Germany within the international system as a major political and economic player. The perspectives presented in this volume have already stimulated further argument and will be of interest to anyone looking for orientation in this field of research.
It is impossible to understand the history of modern Europe without some knowledge of the Weimar Republic. The brief fourteen-year period of democracy between the Treaty of Versailles and the advent of the Third Reich was marked by unstable government, economic crisis and hyperinflation and the rise of extremist political movements. At the same time, however, a vibrant cultural scene flourished, which continues to influence the international art world through the aesthetics of Expressionism and the Bauhaus movement. In the fields of art, literature, theatre, cinema, music and architecture – not to mention science – Germany became a world leader during the 1920s, while her perilous political and economic position ensured that no US or European statesman could afford to ignore her. Incorporating original research and a synthesis of the existing historiography, this book will provide students and a general readership with a clear and concise introduction to the history of the first German Republic.
Using detailed studies of fifteen exiled royal figures, the role of Exile in European Society and in the evolution of national cultures is examined. From the Jacobite court to the exiled Kings' of Hanover, the book provides an alternative history of monarchical power from the 16th to 20th century.
Jack Snyder's analysis of the attitudes of military planners in the years prior to the Great War offers new insight into the tragic miscalculations of that era and into their possible parallels in present-day war planning. By 1914, the European military powers had adopted offensive military strategies even though there was considerable evidence to support the notion that much greater advantage lay with defensive strategies. The author argues that organizational biases inherent in military strategists' attitudes make war more likely by encouraging offensive postures even when the motive is self-defense. Drawing on new historical evidence of the specific circumstances surrounding French, German, and Russian strategic policy, Snyder demonstrates that it is not only rational analysis that determines strategic doctrine, but also the attitudes of military planners. Snyder argues that the use of rational calculation often falls victim to the pursuit of organizational interests such as autonomy, prestige, growth, and wealth. Furthermore, efforts to justify the preferred policy bring biases into strategists' decisions—biases reflecting the influences of parochial interests and preconceptions, and those resulting from attempts to simplify unduly their analytical tasks. The frightening lesson here is that doctrines can be destabilizing even when weapons are not, because doctrine may be more responsive to the organizational needs of the military than to the implications of the prevailing weapons technology. By examining the historical failure of offensive doctrine, Jack Snyder makes a valuable contribution to the literature on the causes of war.
This is a powerful and original survey of German social democracy breaks new ground in covering the movement's full span, from its origins after the French Revolution, to the present day. Stefan Berger looks beyond narrow party political history to relate Social Democracy to other working class identities in the period and sets the German experience within its wider European context. This timely book considers both the background and long-term perspective on the current rethinking of Social Democratic ideas and values, not only in Germany but also in France, Britain and elsewhere.
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.
Over recent decades much has been written on the complexities of Imperial Germany. More is known today about the politics, society, economy and culture of the German Empire than ever before. However, the sheer volume of new scholarship makes it increasingly challenging to synthesize all the available information. This book provides an up-to-date and accessible guide to the diversity of current thinking about the German Empire, from unification in 1871 to collapse by the end of the First World War. It offers a historiographical overview, spanning more than a century of research and writing on the subject. Matthew Jefferies guides readers through the main schools of thought and approaches, and provides pointers for future developments in the field. The controversial historical reputations of Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II are explored, as are varying perspectives on gender, cultural history, foreign relations, colonialism, and war. Written in clear and concise language, "Contesting The German Empire" reflects the wide range of opinions on Imperial Germany held by historians today.
Especially useful to general readers and students who require a concise introduction to modern Germany. The first two chapters interpret the history of central Europe from antiquity through the 18th century providing the background for the 19th and 20th centuries, which are treated in the third and fourth chapters. Twelve original maps, a chronology, and a bibliographical essay are provided. In this updated revision, the final chapter and the chronology have been extended to provide coverage of developments since the mid-1970s and the bibliographical essay has been expanded to about twice its original length by the inclusion of material on the recent past, new publications on earlier German history, and a number of additional titles on German cultural history.
On 28 June 1914 the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in the Balkans. Five fateful weeks later the Great Powers of Europe were at war. Much time and ink has been spent ever since trying to identify the 'guilty' person or state responsible, or alternatively attempting to explain the underlying forces that 'inevitably' led to war in 1914. Unsatisfied with these explanations, Gordon Martel now goes back to the contemporary diplomatic, military, and political records to investigate the twists and turns of the crisis afresh, with the aim of establishing just how the catastrophe really unfurled. What emerges is the story of a terrible, unnecessary tragedy - one that can be understood only by retracing the steps taken by those who went down the road to war. With each passing day, we see how the personalities of leading figures such as Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor Franz Joseph, Tsar Nicholas II, Sir Edward Grey, and Raymond Poincaré were central to the unfolding crisis, how their hopes and fears intersected as events unfolded, and how each new decision produced a response that complicated or escalated matters to the point where they became almost impossible to contain. Devoting a chapter to each day of the infamous 'July Crisis', this gripping step by step account of the descent to war makes clear just how little the conflict was in fact premeditated, preordained, or even predictable. Almost every day it seemed possible that the crisis could be settled as so many had been over the previous decade; almost every day there was a new suggestion that gave statesmen hope that war could be avoided without abandoning vital interests. And yet, as the last month of peace ebbed away, the actions and reactions of the Great Powers disastrously escalated the situation. So much so that, by the beginning of August, what might have remained a minor Balkan problem had turned into the cataclysm of the First World War.
This collection brings together international scholars pursuing cutting-edge research on spatial identities under National Socialism. They demonstrate that the spatial identities of the Third Reich can be approached as a history of interrelated dimensions; Heimat, region and Empire were constantly reconstructed through this interrelationship.
At the end of the Second World War, the first unified German state collapsed, a disintegration with European and global ramifications. Ever since, historians have sought to explain what went wrong in German history. Many have focused on the violence which forged unification; others have highlighted the clash of authoritarian, anti-democratic, and anti-Semitic traditions with rapid industrialization and modernization. Germany, 1871-1945 presents a pragmatic interpretation of German history, from the unification to the end of the Nazi regime. This more open approach acknowledges the strong trend in German society towards modernization and democratization, particularly before 1914, while also highlighting the factors which propelled Germany toward World War I. The rise of the Nazis also demands a close analysis of the economic and political instability of the 1920s and early 1930s. Finally, a detailed assessment of the Third Reich explains how the regime's early successes fostered a loyalty and acceptance that remained hard to shake until disaster was obvious and unavoidable.
Searching examination of the influence of the pro-war Left on US foreign policy.