• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In 1914, imperial Germany appeared stable, united and strong. Why then had the imperial regime collapsed in revolution by the end of 1918?

Extracts from this document...


In 1914, imperial Germany appeared stable, united and strong. Why then had the imperial regime collapsed in revolution by the end of 1918? Germany in 1914 did appear strong, stable and united. By 1914, it overhauled Britain as Europe's foremost industrial power. Her population of 66million in 1913 was second only to Russia. She mined 277Million tons of coal in 1914, second only to Britain. She milled more steel than Britain, France and Russia combined. Giant German kartels like Seimens and AEG dominated Europe's electrical market. Her chemical industry produced most of the worlds dye's and industrial acids. Finally, Germany exported nearly as much as Britain's. Moreover, German industry was served by the excellent rail networks, canal systems and a huge merchant navy, all essential to a war time economy. Germanys economic strength translated easily into military strength. The high seas fleet possessed 29 battle ships, including 13 dreadnoughts, a force so large it had compelled Britain to withdraw all her capital ships in the North Sea. Furthermore, Germany could mobilise and equip millions of reservists and due to their better training, deploy them on the front lines, which France and Russia could not. German also benefited from superior staff training, fast mobilisation and advanced technology (especially grenades and field artillery). ...read more.


The losses for Germany were particularly heavy. It wasn't long before the German army became disillusioned and tired of the fighting. The source shows German soldiers resting in a trench near Ypres in Flanders. Picture made in the beginning of the trench warfare. Approximately 2.4 million people were killed with even more wounded and permanently disabled. The shortage of food and imports became especially serious in 1917. This was partly because of the growing success of the British naval blockade and partly because of a cold winter in 1916-17 and a poor harvest in the summer of 1917. In 1918 civilian deaths alone totalled 293,000 (partly due to poor diets which led to disease and death). The German economy was dislocated through its deprivation of vital imports of raw materials and food. There was no alternative but to undergo total mobilisation to enable the military to try to break through the strategic stalemate on the western front. This was one of the significant factors, which contributed to the eventual collapse of the regime and revolution in Germany. The army's intrusions into Germany economy, politics and even civilian lives, was seen as particularly unacceptable, especially since it was mainly the working classes which were having to suffer. At first the army's total mobilisation was only confined to the economic sector, with the establishment of the Raw Materials Department (KRA), which was responsible for distribution of key raw materials to where they were needed the most. ...read more.


The military leaders realised that they wouldn't be able to win the war and a revolution emerged. A German military victory would almost certainly have defused the crisis and in so doing retarded the process of political reform for a generation or more. Instead, four years of total war culminating in defeat brought the Kaiser to his knees, forcing him to eventually flee and bring the end of the second Reich. The political system of the imperial regime was based around the Kaiser and when the Kaiser was eliminated from the equation, with him went his Reich, as it could not function without him. The war also massively dislocated the economy, wrecking the already parlous government finances, which in turn initiated run-away monetary inflation. Although many industrialists had benefited from the war, a lot more did not. The government had promised an expansion in the economic market (due to the reparations, which Germany would receive had it been victorious, from the allies), when it did not hold to its word, it lost the support of many industrialists, for whom the government was no longer beneficial. Furthermore, the war was the cause of serious social tensions, which accentuated class differences. And it exacerbated the polarisation of politics of the Kaiserreich. The pre-war Germany there had been constitutional instability and occasional political crises. By the autumn of 1918 however, Germany found itself in a revolutionary situation. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * The League had no army; it had to rely on member countries declaring war on countries that broke the Covenant. * But the real problem faced by the League was the determination of dictators to ignore it. There was little that could be done about that.

  2. How far was Germany responsible for the outbreak of war in 1914?

    This was obviously a very aggressive plan by Germany. It was their method for attacking the Triple Entente and it worked on the assumption that France could be neutralised within six weeks. Then the German forces could move to the Eastern Front to combat the Russians. The presupposition was that the Russian forces would take much longer to mobilise

  1. How Stable Was the Tsarist Autocracy in 1914?

    This is in stark contrast to the liberals who have pointed out that after the immediate pressure was relieved by the abolition of redemption dues and the introduction of several tax breaks, the proposed land reforms would create a smooth path for sustained growth in agricultural productivity.

  2. Is There Still an Imperial Presidency?

    During Nixon's time in office the Supreme Court and congress placed checks on him as he was exceeding his presidential boundaries. In the name of protecting national security, Nixon wanted to be able to wiretap without approval of a judge. In this case, which was known as, united states v.

  1. 'British failure at Gallipoli contributed to the collapse of Imperial Russia'.

    Britain, France and Russia joined together and issued an ultimatum to the Turkish government, this remained unanswered and forced official hostilities to begin on the 31st October 1914. The problem for Britain was that the trench lines run from the North sea to Switzerland, so it would be unlikely on

  2. What factors have prompted democratisation in Argentina?

    The fact that this policy had now become so completely institutionalised meant that the victims and their families were left with no legal procedures. This totalitarian regime aimed, through control of the media, and terror, to control the very thoughts of the populace.

  1. The home front (source based work) 1914 - 1918.

    published and read my hundreds of people in fear of a bad reputation. The evidence in source C does not supports the evidence in Source B about women's work during the First World War. Source B is part of a book written by Sylvia Pankhurst (a suffragette)

  2. History of the United States

    At the same time the elimination of French rule in North America lifted the burden of fear of that power from the colonists, inducing them to be more independent-minded. The war effort itself had contributed to a new sense of pride and confidence in their own military prowess.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work