How did WW1 affect the tensions of the Second Reich?
Demand for Social reform
- Socialists supported the war once it was declared one of defensive means, rather than consequest and voted for war credits in 1914.
- Opposition from the SPD was minimal in 1914, thus their isolation ended and they were no longer mistrusted.
- There were lone voices who were against the war, including one SPD deputy voting against the war credits at the end of 1914 (Liebknecht) and 20 others at the end of 1915.
- In 1915, following the German annoucement of a submarine blockade of Great Britain, the British government responded by ordering the Royal Navy to seize all goods destined for Germany.
- The government's response was to assume control for the regulation and distribution of food.
- The Imperial German Corporation January 1915 was set up for the administer and distribution of grain.
- This was a bureaucratic nightmare. To try and solve it, the War Food Office was set up. However, it did not have the power to control all organisations. This chaos meant it was counter-productive, therefore in 1915 a handful of radicals argued that the only way to achieve peace wass through revolution.
- One of these radicals…