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How strong was Germany in 1900?

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´╗┐How strong was Germany in 1900? Germany in 1900 was under the influence of the Second Reich with reforms made economically, socially and politically. Economically, there were drawbacks but also a whirlwind boom period with the introduction of Kartels, which protected a German association of manufacturers or suppliers maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition. In politics there were a number of factors which resulted in a major realignment. Society in Imperial Germany had made advances but there were also tensions by 1900, where class divisions were prominent and social mobility could be seen as stagnant. Imperial Germany was a place where economic development, social change, and cultural achievement were unmatched. By 1900, Germany had the largest economy in Europe. One important factor in German economic growth was Kartels. German industry reacted to increased foreign competition by demanding protection and forming Kartels, controlling prices and working conditions. Kartels were of enormous importance in the German economy as they were able to take control of the economies of scales and by 1900 there were over 275 Kartels. ...read more.


The Kaiser, Wilhelm II, tried to be involved in the busy new pace of politics and the central issues that divided the country. His interventions into political affairs signalled a determination to preserve or extend his autocratic powers at the expense of the democratic national parliament, even as social groups ? farmers, employers, Catholics, workers, and ethnic minorities ? mobilized in defence of their own interests. However, there were also positives to Germany?s political structure. Despite, Prussia?s dominant rule, each state retained control over education, justice, agriculture, direct tax and local government. Germany was also a multi party state. The restrictions on the power of the Reichstag still allowed mass political parties to flourish because of the introduction of the universal male suffrage. Wilhelmine Germany was also not a state where there was censorship or limitations to express political opinions freely. There was a free press that could be strongly critical of the government with newspapers and satirical magazines being published daily e.g. Simplicissimuss. Pressure groups also flourished as it was virtually impossible to achieve reform through party politics and they sought to influence the parties in the Reichstag to adopt their policies however, they made the political system even more confusing. ...read more.


The growing German population migrated to towns where industrialisation expanded to working and middle classes, which led to higher wages for workers. The middle class was also becoming more numerous and in greater demand. The German working class was also able to form their own tight knit subculture which made cultural and educational provision for supporters. Women were also allowed to participate in work and labour where women worked in domestic industries and by 1900 30% of the workforce was female. There were encouraging aspects to German society; however, Germany was ruled by the Conservative Elites, with social status being essential to maintain the values of German society and the working class, women and minorities suffering. In conclusion, Germany was the economic powerhouse of continental Europe and excelled in foreign industries with German society and politics having significant advances but still a lot of segregation regarding class and social status existed. Imperial Germany's constitutional structure remained autocratic in critical respects, while the country's ruling class, the landed Prussian nobility, not only dominated the army and councils of state, but also left its imprint on broader values and attitudes, as the country underwent its economic and social modernization. Medha Pal S6KW ...read more.

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