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

To what extent was Germany economically modern but politically backward by 1914?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was Germany economically "modern" but politically backward by 1914? By 1914 Germany was an industrial powerhouse. Providing one third of the world's output of electricity they were a great manufacturing nation. In spite of this the impact was lessened due to the disillusioned authoritarian government, this was the downfall of Germany's economic growth. Germany had a strong identity, their rapidly expanding economic position provided them with an excellent education system; an ever growing population; capital was at its highest and all this combined with a good transport system meant that Germany's economy was second only to the USA's. Nonetheless their strong sense of nationalism did not mean Germany was entirely united. A nation of 25 states, many of which were hostile to Prussia which was the dominant state, resisted assimilation into a national Germanic culture. ...read more.


The rise of the Social Democrats was the major political occurrence. Between 1890 to 1912 they gained 70 seats, many of which posed a threat by wanting to demolish the capitalist system, while others strived for social reform. By 1914 Germany had the largest trade union movement in Europe. Even with the presence of pressure groups, others embraced a whole range of ultra-nationalist and expansionist demands. Germany's economy was expanding at a rate of knots, though their Kaiser, now Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd; the Grandson of Wilhelm 1st, whom was appointed in 1888, was the one to slow down all progress. Wilhelm 2nd was an unpopular Kaiser during his reign. It was his character, due to popular belief, that was responsible for the 30 years of misfortune Germany endured. ...read more.


After converting his views on the SPD, he now stood as an anti-socialist leader. For many years Wilhelm 2nd was the most decisive figure in the government. He dictated most aspects of policy. Conversely his efforts to take firm anti-socialist action met with little success. Germany's ruling seemed disorientated with a leader who was more interested in the social scene; whose policies were not driven and who had little public support. Under Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd reign, politically there was no growth. Even with Germany's elite industrial stronghold, it was still seen as an authoritarian monarchy. It seemed that the Kaiser was oblivious to his abhorrence; he made no attempt to allow the country to make progress. It therefore fell behind the forever advancing worldwide political state and it wasn't until 1918 when Germany became a republic that they began to move forward. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hannah Griffiths ...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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Stalin transformed the Soviet Unionfrom a backward country into a strong state

    In Stalin's period of control between 1928 and 1941, there was the most increase in all major materials such as grain, steel, iron ore, coal and oil. Conversely, removing the objective view of what Stalin achieved through his methods, the results of his work seem appalling.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    be recaptured by the hypnotic effect of thousands of men marching in perfect order, the music of the massed bands, the forest of standards and flags, the vast perspectives of the stadium, the smoking torches, the dome of searchlights. The sense of power, of force and unity was irresistible, and

  1. "Kaiser Wilhelm II used to the full his authority as Kaiser of the German ...

    This decision brought him one step closer achieving personal rule, by removing a very opinionated Chancellor, so that Wilhelm could replace him with someone more puppet-like. When Caprivi took over, he dropped the anti-socialist laws, as was the Kaiser's wish.

  2. How Successfully in the period 1870 to 1914 did the ruling elites of Germany ...

    The Prussian Junkers in particular felt threatened by these social changes (due to the decreasing role of agriculture in the economy), but as noted above, Bismarck took a change in direction to economic protectionism in an attempt to preserve their position.

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