WW1 increased rather than narrowed political divisions

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WW1 increased rather than narrowed
Germany's political divisions
PARAGRAPH 1 ~ BURGFRIEDEN
At first divisions were limited but this was only short lived
`I no longer see parties I only see Germans'
4th August Reichstag sat full square behind the decision to go to war
Enabling act conferred Bundesrat almost unlimited powers to control and mobilise the
economy
Peace/Burgfrieden signalled the end of all divisiveness and party fights within the Reichstag
1915 HOWEVER began to break down in 1915 and public criticism largely came from the
left
o Within a year of war Burgfrieden was already having ­ve effects
Not break down because of powers within Bundesrat more the case of OHL and the left
believing that Germany had lost its way
o Instead of a preventative war ­ preventing Germany against Slavic aggression ­
seemed they wanted hegemony over Europe
o ANNEXATION
PARAGRAPH 2 ~ SUPPORT OF THE SPD
Just like Burgfrieden there was a narrowing of political divisions at the start but this was only
temporary
Support for war was not unanimous but socialist wings were behind the government
Social imperialism paid off but to ignore the general consensus for war would be at the
party's peril
o BUT they did expect recompense for their support ­ removal of 3 tier voting
system for example
By 1915 ­ heavy casualties and military stalemate stirred up pronounced plans for
annexation amongst Germany's elites which exceeded those in BH's September
programme
December 1915 antiannexation motion passed opposing any Belgian annexation
o 20 deputies also then voted against war credits
Divisions between the SPD ­ far left under Luxemburg and Liebknecht set into splinter
party
o Old pre war divisions of the party between revolutionaries and reformists reopened
o April 1917 USPD independent SPD formed
PARAGRAPH 3 ~ OHL
1916 civilian government replaced by OHL the military dictatorship by Hindenburg and
Ludendorff
Widened the gulf between absolutism and democracy ­ could now do anything in order to
win the war
Formation had come out of military failures by Falkenhayn where he had failed to bleed the
French dry at Verdun ­ still 700,000 casualties on both sides

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Determined full mobilisation ­ Auxiliary Labour Law making men ages 1760 go to work
for the war ­ choosing also where they workers
o HOWEVER did fail to send large amounts of men to work
Therefore increased political divisions ­ without regarding to the SPD to what they should
do
PARAGRAPH 4 ~ EXTREME PARTIES
Demonstrated rise in extreme arties both USDP and DNVP came into existence in 1917
USPD ~ antiwar party, did not wasn't to cooperate with annexationist war policies ­
believing that…read more

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