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Was Germany a nation by 1914?

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Introduction

Was Germany a nation by 1914? In 1914 Germany started the Great War by violating Belgian neutrality in an attempt to conquer France quickly before the Russians could mobilise; this was part of the infamous Von Schlieffen plan. However it would be hard to say whether the peoples who declared war were united - this group could have declared war in an attempt to clarify their presence as a nation. One way to judge if Germany could have been called a nation was to decide whether it acted like other countries of the time. After looking at the abuse of the Reichstag (seemingly the only democratic body in the system) via censure by King William II one would find it hard to say that it was united. William's dominant personality had been one of the reasons why he decided that the Reichstag could be overlooked (for example his discussions over the building of the navy would not be halted by the Reichstag's concerns over the bill), he had also built up a dislike for any non Prussians shown in his comments declaring that his 18 army corps would make short work of the south German trouble makers. ...read more.

Middle

An cause for dispute and unrest would have been that the business men of the nation were very prosperous at the time, a term which could not be used for the lower classes who's income's did not rise at the same rate as their masters and who's living standards did not change significantly either. The government did nothing to stop the upper classes exploiting the rights of the proletariat; this period saw the growth of cartels, price fixing organisations which could control large parts of the economy and by monitoring supply could fix high prices. There are even sources which show possible tactics to make the SPD as unpopular as possible by creating strikes, this deliberate sabotage on a fellow political party would have been considered horrendous and shows that neither the government nor the King acted in a responsible way or in a decent manner. The King tried in 1899 to pass legislation which Posadowsky said would have 'throttled the Social Democracy' but failed because he did not have public support; the fact that the public were strongly opposed to their ...read more.

Conclusion

like the Germans had. Despite the Kaiser's desire for autocratic control, he was controlled by the constitution - at one point he is quoted as saying 'the Emperor hardly has any rights'. Despite the Kaiser's wishes the SPD continued to grow which in itself is a sign of liberalism. This nation (which was declared in 1871) was colonialising, after all like every empire it had a destiny and a place in the sun. The economic boom had meant that the population was rising to such an extent that war was the only option. It would mean more land. Victory was of course considered inevitable, the Germans as a race felt superior (social Darwinism). After looking at both sides I would say that Germany was a nation in 1914. It was clearly not entirely united and was not efficient in the least but realistically has any country ever been able to claim to have been. It was a thriving economy which realised the need for war, a war would provide the needed territory, add to trade and would unite the country not by hostility towards minorities with Germany which would be unsettling but by fighting against a separate kind of enemy. ...read more.

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