The impact of the First World War merely heightened existing social and political tensions which had divided Germany before 1914. How far do you agree with this judgement?

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‘The impact of the First World War merely heightened existing social and political tensions which had divided Germany before 1914.’ How far do you agree with this judgement?

Germany’s certain tensions politically and socially before 1914 can be seen in forms of the strikes that were taking place to deter the government and the military leaders away from the war, essentially the opposition to go to war. So, this would almost keep the tensions consistent as it was already relatively high. Other political tensions prior to the 1914 mark included the Zabern Affair in 1913 which increased tensions of the Reich as it was a political crisis. However, the tensions could have seen to differ after the war especially with growing opposition. As the Second Reich had a lot of issues already so the ‘tensions’ themselves were already in full effect and could be seen to only get worse with events such as starting a war that was preventable.

Social tensions were as the statement suggests were present before WW1 in Germany. Pressure groups highlighted the divisions and tensions in Germany despite them usually focusing on single issues yet after the economic and social changes they emerged due to these changes. Although, it is seen to be that some social effects just didn’t affect the tension in Germany.

The ‘silent dictatorship’ also stemmed tensions as in 1916 Bethmann called off submarine warfare he then wanted to support by means of Hindenburg and Ludendorff which was a major turning point as they proved more popular than the Kaiser and Chancellor, in which they started to take control and that led to the idea of political powers that were in theory sidelined. The tensions then stemmed from this and so is clear further that Germany had certain tensions in Germany and so to help compare to the tensions they had after the war.

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The political tensions that were present before WWI included the divisions of the political parties, which saw increasing tensions due to the differences in opinions in how the country should be run. This in turn changes the social tensions as they have the choice it shows that it is a democracy- as opposed to something that the Kaiser wanted as an autocracy. The tensions increased with further political events as the constitution wasn’t clear in terms of their political structure, which was dominated by the conservative elites.

Another political tension that occurred before the war includes the Zabern affair ...

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This response focuses well on the question and the author gives careful consideration to pre-war tensions but the counter-argument (ie. the effects of the war) is less well developed. Some grammatical problems. 4 out of 5 stars.