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Revolution of 1848-demand for free elections, first parliament failed-no support of Prussia or Austria.
1862-Otto von Bismarck becomes Minister President of Prussia.
1870-German Unification-goaded France into War. The Constitution of the Second Reich (1871): January 1st 1871-German Empire comes into existence, King Wilhelm I of Prussia became emperor and Bismarck Chancellor. 3 levels of Government/Reich: 1. Kaiser
2. Bundersrat-assembly of state ambassadors.
3. Reichstag-Parliament elected by German people. March 1888-Kaiser Wilhelm I dies and is replaced by son Frederich, but only reigned for short time. Kaiser Wilhelm II to throne. Federal State-25 states, each own constitution. Kaiser Always to be Prussian King (Prussia's dominance)
Full control of foreign and diploma policy-could make alliances/treaties etc. Was commander and chief of armed forces in war.
Appointed and dismissed Chancellor and could dissolve the Reichstag.
Oversaw implementation of federal laww.
Guardian of Constitution. Chancellor directly responsible by Kaiser.
Chief minister of Reich
appointment and dismiss state secretaries.
could ignore resolutions reichstag. Bundersrat Upper house of federal parliament.
58 members-nominated by state assembly. Part of law making process and in theory could change constitution.
Created by Bismarck as a barrier to radical legislation. Could veto if 14 or more members voted against bill. Prussian Dominance of Bundersrat assured by fact it held 17 of 58 seats in Bundersrat, no legislation passed without consent of Prussian deputy's. three class franchise voters categorized into 3 bands.
voters who paid more tax counted for more votes than those who paid less.
Conservative dominance. Reichstag Lower house of Parliament.
joint legislative power with Bundersrat.
influence over financial affairs and banking system.
most significant power was control over defence budget, Bismarck recognised the potential lever that this might give the Reichstag.
1874-Bismarck persuaded them to vote the Septennial Act, which meant they only voted the defence budget every 7 years.
even though it could be dissolved by Kaiser it could not be dismissed proper.
limited powers to initiate legislation-primary role to debate and accept or reject legislation.
Reichstag members could not be members of the Government.
Chancellor was not accountable to Reichstag.
The military not accountable to Reichstag.
Members of Reichstag not paid-keep lower class out. The Army: Lay out of constitution no- tying its hands by defining role.
Directly responsible to Kaiser.
The Kaiser appointed the military cabinet (senior military figures)
The military cabinet advised and chose the General Staff.
General Staff organised all military affairs. Social and Economic Developments Heavy industries were involved in the first industrial revolution of Germany.
this took place between unification and the outbreak of WW1. By 1914 Germany was economic powerhouse.
From 1880's-Germany had technological revolution in new industries such as steel, engineering and chemicals. Steel
New process of manufacturing Steel (the Thomas Gilchrist process) in 1879 made possible the use of phosphoric ores.
Krupp of Essen
Fueled expansion of other companies such as armaments and railways. Chemicals:
Stimulated by demand for explosives from the military and dye. Also by research and training.
Badische Anilin and Soda Fabrik.
By 1914, Britain imported 80% of chemical dyes, mostly from Germany.
Led the way in pharmaceuticals.
Film company AGFA. Other Industries:
1897-Rudolf Diesel-oil based engine.
1886-Gottlieb Daimler-high speed petrol engine.
1900-first airship-Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
rapid growth of industries stimulated the change of Germany's society's structure.
overcrowding -poor sanitary-outbreak of disease. Spurred building of a sewage system.
Better hygiene and medicine improved infant mortality.
tramways-escape slum conditions-live in suburbs.
1896-wages increased for the urban workforce-rising standard of living.
number of industrial workers doubled between 1882 and 1907-homelessness. Agriculture:
Strengths-Bismarcks Tariff law (1879), protected peasantry . Extreme demand for agricultural produce due to urbanisation. Improvements in chemicals industries-fertilisers-improved efficiency of agriculture.
Weaknesses-importation of meat from US-refrigerated ships. There was significant migration to cities, recruiting foreign labour instead. Debt on large estates. Pressure Groups Highlighted Tensions and divisions in Germany. Nationalist pressure groups:-pressured for German colonial expansion and assertion of German interests.
The German Colonial League-founded in 1882-concerned with acquisition of German colonies. took part in ruling colonies for Germany.
The Pan German League-founded in 1890-acquisition of colonies and German dominance in Europe. Supported by political establishment.
The Navy League-founded in 1898-highly popular. Promoted Naval expansion. Economic pressure groups:
The Central Association of German Industrialists-founded in 1886-to protect industrial interests. considered most powerful pressure group in Germany.
The Agrarian League-founded in 1893-protect agrarian interests. Junker led. pushed for protectionism and subsidies for agriculture. Use the table construct a graph showing the developments in voting and the fortunes of political parties from 1898 to 1912. Changing election results 1898-1912 PRESSURE: Weltpolitik (think about what this pressure was but also whether it increased/decreased 1900-14) Weltpolitik is the colonial/global expansion of Germany to extend Germany's influence.
Limit to how this could be done as other nations had already taken territory. Pressure to do so by pressure groups. Herero Uprising:
Created a political crisis in Germany in 1906.
January 1904-the indigenous people of German South west Africa (Herero) -rose in revolt against Germany.
Defeated in the battle of Waterberg Aug 1904.
Herero people subjected to policy of genocide, concentration camps etc.
Herero population 15,000 in 1911 compared to 80,00 beforehand.
Centre party disgusted by this.
Highlighted two issues:
lack of parliamentary power over the army.
greater need for parliamentary financial control of colonial affairs. PRESSURE: Social reform Von Bulow, with the help of the Interior Minister, Count Arthur von Posadowsky, reforms created to pacify liberals and socialists. Reforms:
The old age and invalidity law-amended in june 1899-to increase old age pensions and extend compulsory insurance to new groups.
1900-accident insurance extended to other occupations.
December 1902-new tariff law introduced. the Caprivis treaties of mid-1890's expired. Higher food prices. General election of 1903 saw a general shift towards social democrats.
April 1903-sickness insurance Law-amended to give longer and more generous help to workers in ill health, 26 weeks rather than 13.
late 1908-law passed to restrict factory work hours to be carried out by young people. PRESSURE: Constitutional Reform Aggressive Foreign policy-big pressure from those who wanted more aggressive foreign policy.
The demand for constitutional reform-Liberals wanted this and strengthening of power of Reichstag. Divide and rule.
The demand for social reform-Socialist wanted social reform. october 1878-Anti-socialist law. Naval Laws 1898 - 1906 (significance) 1898-Tirpitz-first naval law through Reichstag. Larger fleet necessary for protection of great colonies and be seen as a great power.
Strategy of Tirpitz to build big enough army, so that others would not consider attacking Germany.
1900-a second navy law-build 38 battleships over next 20 years. Steel industries flourished as a result.
May 1906-third navy law-added 6 battle-cruisers to building programme and widened Kiel canal to allow passage of Dreadnought ships from Germany's main naval bases to North Sea.
Could be seen to soak up pressure from within Germany by focusing on patriotism and nationalism. Tariff Policy Changes 1902 Introduced because Caprivi's treaties of mid-1890's had expired.
Shows influence of Agrarian League, due to the Tariff Law restoring a higher duty on importation, resulting in higher food prices. Budget Problems 1905 Hottentot Election 1907 Hottentot=slang name used to describe Khoikhoi people of Southern Africa. 26th May 1906-centre party joined the SPD in voting down government plans for new railway in South West Africa. The Reichstag was subsequently dissolved.
Von Bulow entered 1907 election to dissolve the threat of Socialist and centre party. He succeeded in frightening the voters that a red-black (socialist and Catholic) would be devastating. Daily Telegraph Affair 1908 Events were triggered by a growing financial deficit in Germany.
Bulow proposed a property tax or extension of the inheritance tax.
This broke down the Bulow-bloc, resulting in conservative parties siding with the centre party to oppose this. October 1908-the Kaiser gave an interview to a British newspaper (daily telegraph), in which he gave the impression he wanted an alliance with Britain.
The Reichstag objected stating that the Kaiser had made foreign policy without consultation.
Kaiser blamed Bulow for failing to censor the interview.
The Kaiser lost confidence in Bulow as Chancellor.
Bulow chancellorship came to end later though, in summer of 1909 when his budget was defeated. 1912 election SPD polled 4,250,000 votes and became the largest party with 110 deputies in the Reichstag.
This improvement in vote was due to the alliance with the Progressive Liberals.
Philipp Schiedemann of SPD party became Vice-President of the Reichstag. Zabern Affair 1913 On November of 1913 a young German Army officer, second lieutenant von Forstner, stationed in the Alsation town of Zabern, made some derogatory remarks about the locals to his troops, which were printed in the local press. The governor of Alsace-Lorraine (Karl von Wedel), requested that the army officer be transported away, and did this to the local garrison commander (Colonel von Reuter), this was refused. When von Forstner appeared on the streets of Zabern, he was jeered at, Reuter imprisoned some of the towns people and a state of siege was over the city. The Kaiser ordered military reinforcements into town, but remained un alarmed by the incident. The Kaiser forbade Bethmann-Holweg from sharing the fact that the Kaiser sent in the military to Zabern. Impact:
The Reichstag vote of no confidence was simply ignored by the Chancellor, responsible only to Kaiser.
von Wedel resigned and was replaced.
political parties not strong-took a week for vote of no confidence. Constitutional boundaries-Urban seats remained the same despite the growth in urban population. Elections were not decided on popular vote.
The Kaiser-Afraid of being seen as the unpatriotic party, no political party would challenge the monarchy.
Parties as interest groups-Conservatives protected interests of landowners, SPD-workers etc. Collaboration between parties difficult. Sammlungspolitik Means the politics of concentration. Bulow aimed to make an alliance of conservative interests in the Reich, between liberals and conservatives, junker and industrialist, against socialism. Was Wilhelmine Germany an Entrenched Authoritarian State? Controversy: to what extent was Germany responsible for the outbreak of the First World War in 1914? The alliance system German victory in the Franco-Prussian war immediately followed the creation of alliances to protect unified Germany, by otto von Bismarck. (revanche (French Revenge) Dreikaiserbund (1881)-the league of three emperors-understanding of peace between Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia.
Triple Alliance (1882)-between Austria-Hungary, Italy and Germany. March 1890-Kaiser embarked on 'new course'-refused to renew the Reassurance Treaty between Germany and Russia, which guaranteed that the countries would not attack one another. Schliefflen-head of General Staff (1891-1905)-composed Schliefflen plan. This was the idea that Germany would attack the low countries and northern France before encircling Paris. In Alsace-Lorraine, the French would maintain a defensive stance. The french were expected to mobilise in 6 weeks, and once fallen, the Germans would attack the Russians on the eastern front. The plan relied on slow mobilisation by both France and Russia. Britain-alliance with Japan (1902) and entente agreements with France (1904) and Russia (1907). Britain made attempts for an alliance with Germany in 1901, however Germany refused. Weltpolitik and the Navy Flottenpolitik and the series of naval laws were a direct challenge to Britain. This sparked a naval race between the two countries. In 1906, Britain launched the dreadnought, for which Germany responded by trying to outdo the British. Weltpolitik:
Germany did not achieve much in terms of territory.
In 1897-German involvement in China resulted in gaining a lease on the port Kiaochow.
1898-Germany bought the Pacific islands of the Carolines and Marianas from Spain.
1899-an agreement with Britain resulted in Germany taking some of eastern Samoan islands.
Despite involvment in Constantinople to Baghdad railway, these gains did not deliver Germany a 'place in the sun' (term used to describe the desire to have the same number of colonies as Britain and France. The naval race with Britain and worsening relations German foreign policy was based around the fact that the rivalries between Britain and France in Africa and Britain and Russia in Asia, would mean that Germany would have a chance to divide and dominate other countries. Increasingly, this was not the case. In 1907, Russia and Britain signed an entente to put their differences over Asia behind them. The naval race between Britain and Germany continued, despite Bulow and bethmann Holweg trying to persuade the Kaiser to stop. In 1909, the British governement set aside a budget too build 9 dreadnoughts in a year. Relations between Britain and Germany further strained by the German support of the Boers in the Boer war (1899-1902). The Haldane Mission (Feb 1912):
Lord Haldane traveled to Berlin to improve relations.
The German's agreed to limit fleet expansion only if the British agreed to neutrality in a future European land war.
The Kaiser and Tirpitz were committed to increasing navy size-March 1912-Germans published a new Naval Bill, proposing further expansion. The Haldane Mission failed. The evolution of the Schlieffen plan and the arms race with Russia and France The crisis of 1905-1911 1905-First Moroccan Crisis
Kaiser Wilhelm II made trip to Tangier in Morocco, which was within the French sphere of influence.
Germany had economic interest in Morocco.
Germans demanded international conference to discuss the future of Morocco, hoping to drive a wedge between Britain and France, the opposite happened.
An attempt was also made to threaten the friendship between Russia and France-Treaty of Bjorko signed in July 1905 between Kaiser and Tsar.
At the Algeciras conference and act morroco was confirmed as French, strengthening the entente.
Humiliated the Germans-head of foreign ministry-Friedrich von Holstein forced to resign.
Germany feared encirclment-though this did strengthen bond with Austria-Hungary as they supported the Germans. Second Moroccan crisis-1911
In February 1909, the french and German governments signed an agreement to respect each others interest in Morocco.
Disturbances in the town of Fez in April 1911 led to military intervention by French.
Germany complained this went against the Algeciras Act-sent German gunboat (panther) to agadir.
Germany tried to persuade France to give them congo in exchange for the giving up of interest in Morocco.
German got two strips of the congo and accepted french control of Morocco. The Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 The first Balkans war 1912:
The Balkan league was formed due to the attack by Italy on the Ottoman empire in 1911. The Balkan league consisted of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro.
In October of 1912, the Balkan League launched an attack on the Ottomans.
Austrians were horrified, especially when serbia invaded albania.
Nov 1912-Austria demanded the creation of an independent Albania.
The serbs, with the support of Russia, ignored the Austrians, and Germans pressed for Habsburgs to make their point.
This was such a crisis to the Kaiser that he called a council of military advisers to meet on the 8th of dec.
two days later, the kaiser spoke to the swiss ambassador about how 'racial war, the war of slavdom against germandom' was unavoidable.
The Treaty of London (1913) ended the first Balkans war.
Increased feeling of encirclement by the Germans. Impact:
Army bill of June 1913-increasing Germans army size by 170,000 troops. France and Russia responded by increase service.
A brief second Balkans war between the countries of the Balkan league saw Serbia emerge stronger. In the summer of 1913 Serbian troops entered Albania and in october Germany supported Austria in an ultimatum against Serbia. Sarajevo and the blank cheque On 6 July, Wilhelm II & his Imperial Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, telegrammed Berchtold that Austria-Hungary could rely that Germany would support whatever action was necessary to deal with Serbia - in effect offering von Berchtold a 'blank cheque.' Sarajevo-where on 28th June 1914, heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, shot by Gavril Princip. War by timetable July-August 1914 Serbian terrorist organisation 'The black hand' responsible for assassination. 23rd July-Austria issue Serbia and ultimatum
25th July-Russia came out in favour of Serbia.
26th July-the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey proposed a conference to deal with issue. Austria refused to take part.
28th July-Austria declared war on Serbia.
29th July-Bethmann Hollweg urged the resumption of Austro-Russian negotiations and failed to persuade British into neutrality. Wilhelm contacted Nicholas II, resulting in the Tsar downgrading to partial mobilisation.
30th July-Russians now mobilising, schliefflen plan in action. German ultimatum to Russia giving 12 hours to cease war preparations. Germany refused to respect Belgium neutrality.
31st July-Tsar changed his mind on partial mobilization.
1st August-France and Germany mobilised. germany declared war on Russia.
2nd August-Germany invaded Luxembourg and demanded Belgium access granted. it was refused. British gave France assurance of support.
3rd August-Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France.
4th August-Britain declared war on Germany in protection of Belgium neutrality as had been agreed in 1839.
6th August-Austria declared war on Russia. The Historical debate (Fischer controversy) Germany's War aims, 'War Council' 1912, primat der Innenpolitik. Did Germany pursue a war of agression and conquest? Role of Austria The Impact of the First World War The outbreak of war + Burgfried 1914 Many dreaded war.
huge demonstrations against war 28th and 29th of July in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany.
Once war had broken out and was seen as a defensive strategy, national duty.
Burgfrieden- 4th August 1914-Reichstag passed an enabling act, known as the Burgfrieden-national unity based on shared suffering, defenders putting differences aside in the name of war. The terms of this enabaling act were to reinforce pre-war institutional structures, however some changes. The Reichstag delegated all of its legislative power to the bundersrat, which was to rule homefront by emergency legilsation.
The War minister took over bureacratic function of running war and corporations were set up under the control of war materials section war ministry. Overview timeline of war 1914-1918 (5 key points on key events) On the night of 4th of August 1914, the Germans unleashed the schliefflen plan. througout August Germany made strong progress, advancing through Berlin, with fierce resistance from Britain. However supplies ran down.
In the east, German armies, under Hindenburg and Ludendorff, won two battles at Tannenburg and the Masurian lakes.
The first battle of Marne (sept) the German army was halted within shelling distance of Paris. Stalemate. Social impact of War Food shortages
4th feb 1915-German government announced a submarine blockade of GB. GB responded by immediately order Royal Navy to seize all goods destined for Germany.
Germany imported 25% of what was consumed.
In jan 1915-the Imperial Grain corporation was set up by the bundersrat to ration and distribut grain.
War food office set up in 1916.
The mobilisation in 1914, drained of labour force-impacting grain production.
conservative nature meant that women not conscripted to work, however were used in labour
jan 1915-rationing of bread.
Ersatz goods used instead. Economic Impact of War Political Impact of War the political opposition during WW1 was small. Majority of SPD were helping with war effort. Aug 1914-14of 110 socialists in Reichstag argued against war.
handful of radicals (Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Luxemburg) argued the only way to peace was through revolution. Impact limited as most of the war they spent in prison.
small numbers of pacifists attempted to organise in groups such as German Peace League, highly marginal and non-important. Political Polarisation 1917 Growth of opposition in the war 1914-1918 The German army in 1918 Ludendorff's motivations for creating a parliamentary monarchy The Ludendorff Offensive
transfer half a million troops from Eastern to Western Front. Th aim of this offensive was to deliver such a blow to to the allies that they would withdraw from war. On the 21st March 1918 the Germans launched their attack, pushing allies significant distances. The allies counterattacked and German were beaten. 8th of August-according to Ludendorff 'the blackest day of the German army'.
In september general ludendorff demanded armistice talks. The involvement of war by america in April 1917 was important in polariasing politics, due to those in germany who liked democracy, they were not natural enemies. The peasantry and other rural produce were alienated by government regulations. resentment of Junkers, who took their tax privelges until 1916 and city war profiteers who continued to profit in the war.
Urban working class-resented state and bureacrates, the lack of food (polonaise). They also resented black market-blamed mc, jews and speculators. frustration (occasional violence)
The middle classes-insecure without servants and savings-less on less. The lower middle class (Mittelstand) gap closed between salaried and those not. Also a scarcedy of food. Overview timeline of October/ 9th November 1918 1918 - revolution from above 1918 - revolution from below The German 'Revolution' - 10th November - 19th Jan 1919 Ludendorff resigned as commander on 27th october 1918.
Mutiny was sparked on naval ports with the prospect of defeat-29th october 1918 and kiel on 2nd nov.
In Munich, a revolt on nov 8th headed by socialist Kurt Eisner led to a proclamation of democratic and socialist republic in Bavaria.
10th of November-Kaiser went to Holland and abdication announced.
Prince max's government not supported by SPD. The German 'Revolution' - How far did it go? Early years of Weimar Democracy 1919-1923 Spartakist Uprising 1st January 1919-members of sparticust union held first congress in Berlin. With support of left wing, they formed communist party KPD and revolutionary uprising begin 5th Jan.
newspaper offices seized.
uprising poor planning and easily crushed by army and freikorp.
15th jan 1919-Horse guards division murder-Karl liebnicht and Rosa Luxemburg. Red Bavaria Feb 1919-Kurt Eisner, USPD leader in Bavaria assassinated by right-wing student. Triggered revolution in Bavaria. 6th April 1919-Bavarian Soiet republic declared. Led by Eugene Levine. He raised 'Red army' of wrokers who soon round up right wingers and executed. early may 1919-army and freikorps crushed Red bavaria. Political Spectrum / Overview of Parties SPD:
strength in Prussia, workers.
leaders-friedrich ebert, schiedemann, gustav bauer and muller.
supported foreign policy. Independent socialists (USPD) January 1919 Election trumph for those who supported parliamentary democracy.