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Unit 3: Option D1 ­ From Kaiser To Führer 1900-45
Unit 1a: The Second Reich
Lesson 1: An Introduction to
Kaiser Wilhelm II
Lesson Objectives:
· Introduction to the
character of Wilhelm II
· Source Analysis skills
· Read Lynn Abrams
article on Wilhelm II…read more

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Key Words :
Grossdeutsch ­ `Large Germany' refers to basis of possible unification for
German states in the 1860s along the lines of Austria.
Kleinedeutsch ­ `Small Germany' refers to basis of possible unification for
German states in the 1860s along the lines of Prussia (the winning
Protectionism ­ The use of high tariffs on imported goods to protect
home industries. Begun in earnest in Germany after depression of
Reichsfeind ­ `Enemy of the Empire'. One group is held up as an enemy in
order to unite other groups against them in support of the state
(Bismark placed Socialists in this guise)
Sammlungspolitik ­ Having policies that are designed to have an equal
appeal to many different political interests in the Reichstag to create a
sense of unified purpose.
Weltpolitik ­ `World Politics', refers to Germany's policy of colonial
expansion begun by Bismark in his final years. The aim to be a `World
Burgfriede ­ `Castle Peace', the idea being a garrison of a sieged castle
will put aside their differences in the face of a common threat
(Germany and internal divisions that were `healed' at the outbreak of
war)…read more

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Final Thoughts...
The youth of the German nation state -
1871 : Germanic `nation' merely a Wartime
1892 : First National flag designed and adopted.
1900 : Codification of (acceptance and use of)
German civil law.
1918 : First National Anthem.
Germany as a stand alone state was in its infancy and had often been
overshadowed by the dominance of Prussia and its Conservative elites.
A nation that came together for war ­ social and economic
considerations were not so straight forward...…read more

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Overview of Unit 1a :
· Examine Germany before and during the
First World War.
· To understand the Wilhelmite Constitution
of the Second Reich and the relative powers
of the Kaiser, Chancellor and Reichstag.
· To be aware of social and political divisions
in the Second Reich at the beginning of the
20th Century.
· To be aware of the economic and social
changes of the years 1900-1914. In
particular how these changes affected
politics and political parties.
· The impact of the First World War will
concentrate upon the social and economic
impact of the disastrous war upon Germany.
From the Burgfried of 1914 to the increasing
polarisation of German society in 1917-18.…read more

Slide 5

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Wilhelm II :
Some see him as an Others see him as
ineffectual ruler loose cannon using
who his
wasted his powers excessive powers
and had little as Kaiser to
impact destabilise and
upon the Reichstag meddle in the
and the German modernisation of
people. Germany.
POWER CONSENSUS :- He possessed a degree of intelligence but
VACUUM squandered it on personal whims and desires…read more

Slide 6

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Task 1 : Using Sources to Assess Wilhelm -
Your task is to construct a brief supported argument
outlining your initial hypothesis about Wilhelm's role
in Wilhelmite Germany.
A "Loose Cannon" An "Ineffectual
who undermined leader" who had
the work of his little impact upon
government with the lives of the
whims and personal German people and
projects. Reichstag.
CONCLUSION…read more

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