Effect of WW1 on Germany

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  • Created on: 07-06-13 19:26
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The Effect of WW1 on Germany...
Was evidently unity when war broke out ­ Burgfrieden pressed for unity
I know no parties anymore only Germans'
Even the party that was regarded as unpatriotic `enemies of the state' promised their
support for a defensive war
Did however seek some benefits
o Gain political recognition
o Become a democracy at the end of war
Doubts began to be expressed once the losses at Verdun and Somme in 1916
became apparent ­ 700,000 casualties both sides ­ war becoming more about
Silent dictatorship..
Kaiser exerted no real control over war ­ merely being a figure head
Military leadership came from Hindenburg and Ludendorff through the `silent
dictatorship' and their introduction of OHL
As a result of this many opportunities for peace negotiations were turned town
o E.g. Peace resolution passed under Erzerger 212 votes to 126 for promoted
peace without annexation of territory
o But ignored ­ instead Ludendorff work on his attack in 1918
o Fatherland Party formed ­ supported by Ludendorff and Tirpitz and by 1918 it
boasted 1.2 million members
The military government exacerbated/intensified political and social tensions
The imposition of the naval blockade by Britain
o Disruption of German banks
o Export industries
o Germany's capacity to produce enough to fee the population was limited
Raw materials department or KRA was created by Rathenau within the war ministry
o To distribute the most vital raw materials in the interests of the war effort
o Successfully prevented the looming munitions crisis
Creation of war boards was an attempt to prevent industrial unrest
Also attempts to control consumption by means of rationing ­ in the short term these
were successful however the military victory was not forthcoming in 19156
Economic weaknesses the government budget and the provision of food
Sold war bonds to help finance the war however only 16% of the war was met by
taxation the rest by inflation ­ however this proved to be heavily detrimental to them in
the near future
o Started inflation and further reduced the value of mark
Germany in dire shortage of good due to effects of the blockade conscription of
farmers reduced the grain supply and production

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December 1916 Auxiliary Service Law was set up as part of Hindenburg programme
aiming to achieve the mobilisation of the entire civilian population for war service
Concept of `total war' forced Germany to use state power as a means to mobilise its
economic potential
Germany used authoritarian means to ensure this instead of Britain who did it by
democratic means and was far more successful in doing so
Impact on home front severe
War dead by 1918 was 1.…read more


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