Section 1: Germany before and during the First World War

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  • Section 1: Germany before and during the First World War
    • The Constitution
      • The Chancellors powers
        • He could shape Reich policy, appoint state secretaries, and was independant of the Reichstag
      • The Kaiser's powers
        • Commander in chief, Appointed and dismissed chancellors, directed foreign policy, could dissolve the Reichstag
      • The Reichstag's powers
        • They could debate and approve legislation
    • Economic and social changes 1900-1914
      • Industry growth
        • Industry made up 45% of Germanys GDP by 1914
        • Urbanisation
          • Marxism and socialism gained ground among workers
            • Union membership at 2.5 million by 1914
          • Overcrowding in many cities
        • Average annual economic growth was 4.5%
        • Growth in steel production fuelled expansion of the railways
        • In the Urban workforce real wages increased.
    • Germany during the First World War
      • Politics
        • Initial party cooperation under the Burgfriede of August 1914
          • The Reichstag unanimously votes to support the 'war credits'
        • A peace resolution was passed by the SDP and ZP in July 1917
          • The high command ignored it
        • October reforms and November revolution
        • Increasing polarisation of the parties
      • Economics
        • Labour
          • war boards set up of representative for labour
          • Auxilliary service law 1916
        • Production
          • Germany's capacity to produce enough food was limited
          • Attempts to control consumption through rationing and price controls
          • ability to import raw materials needed for production limited by blockade
        • Government finances
          • Only 16% of war costs met through taxation, the rest from war bonds and printing money
          • Rising inflation
      • Society
        • Black market flourished as goods became hard to come by
          • 'Ersatz goods'
        • 1.8 million war dead - low morale
        • Declining living standards on the home front
          • Civillian deaths from starvation and hypothermia increased by more than 100,000
            • Infant mortality increased by 50% during the war years
        • Discontent grew in the final two years of the war


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