Germany before 1918

  • Created by: gabbyxoxo
  • Created on: 06-06-17 19:15

Germany before World War 1 was imperialistic, militarisitc and autoratic, a nation struggling to assert its place in the world. In 1914 - it had been a unified state for less than half a century. Prior to 1871, a cluster of 25 German-speaking states, city-states and duchies, between France, Russia and the North Sea coast. 

Nationalists (nationalism in Germany rose in the first half of the 1800s) dreamed of a united Germany, wanted at the vanguard (front) of this new Germany to be an army nd navy, a gift to the new nation from its most powerful state: Prussia. 

The process of unification began with the turmoil of 1848, when a series of revolutions swept through western Europe. Movements in Prussia, Bavaria, Baden and Saxony all demanded change and political transformation (one of which being unification). The nationalist movment grew and the final flashpoint for German nationalism was the short, but successful Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871. Peace negotiations after this six-month conflict were held at Versallies and there, Germany delegates (representatives), guided by Prussia statesman Bismarck, negotiated and formalised the long-awaited German unification. This heralded the birth of the 'Second Reich', under its new kaiser, Wilhelm I. This new Germany was given a constituionm a strange mix of authoritarian monarchial power and liberal individual rights. The emporer (kaiser) held a lot of power, over ministers and government decisions. 

Wilhelm I, despite his extensive powers, generally left matters of policy to Bismarck, his chancellor. For 17 years, Bismarck skilfully steered Germany through many tensions and…


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