This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

“To What Extent Was Rapid Economic Growth The Cause Of Social Tensions In Wilhelmine Germany?”

1952 words - 8 pages

“To what extent was rapid economic growth the cause of social tensions in Wilhelmine Germany?”

In Wilhelmine Germany, an industrial revolution was taking place. By 1910, Germany had almost caught up with Britain on the production of industries such as coal and steel, with the rate of growth overwhelmingly surpassing that of the Britons. Germany was also home to new industries, like that of chemicals, which quickly saw 90% of the world’s hair dye exported from Germany alone. However, the impact of a healthy economy was not entirely positive. Rapid economic growth brought an increase in class divisions, as the traditional system came under threat as a result of changing methods. Further, ...view middle of the document...

The Junkers were considered the traditional rich, landowning social force. However, between 1871 and 1910, coal production increased more than fivefold, and steel production nearly nine fold. Consequently, agriculture was in relative decline, and those who did not employ modern methods were likely to decrease their financial standing. The Junkers were desperate to maintain their social superiority, and looked to keep the German Army officer corps under their control; to the point where they actually rejected an expansion of the army in case it diluted their power. The Industrial bourgeoisie, who managed the industrial side of Germany, posed a threat to the supremacy. Despite the Industrial bourgeoisie, according to research, wanting to ‘copy’ the Junkers rather than replace them, tensions between the two stood firm. The lower middle classes (Mittelstand) contained skilled workers and small traders who felt the blow of the industrial growth, as it took away a lot of business; as a result, the majority looked towards the pre-Industrial age as a golden era, and became attracted to extreme right-wing parties who promised a return to the times in which they prospered. Class tensions within Germany were especially dangerous because the country was still under the official control of the Kaiser, meaning that it was near impossible for Wilhelm II to pass policies that would please the entire population. Therefore, tensions were uneasy to be rid of, due to the unavoidable circumstance that the matter was one of many different opinions. Henceforth, class divisions were not only a cause for tensions, but also helped to maintain them.

Another product of German economic growth was urbanisation. By 1910, 60% of the population were living in towns of over 2000 people, as opposed to just 36.1% in 1871. Cities became hugely overcrowded, which meant that living conditions fell, in 1871, there were 774,498 people living in Berlin, by 1910, there were 2,017,907. The fall in living conditions saw the supply of clean water reduced, leading to an outbreak of disease. In Hamburg in 1892, 8,600 people died from Cholera over a ten week period. Although employment rates were very good and unemployment only rose above 3% in one year between 1900 and 1914, the discontent over living conditions saw a rise in trade union membership over these years; in 1890, just 357,000 people were part of German trade unions, by 1913, that figure was over 3,000,000. For the majority of people at the time, urbanisation had led to a working life that was divided over long hours in unhealthy workplaces. Nonetheless, being that the average wage increased by 25% between 1895 and 1913, and that work was readily available, people decided to stay in the cities, and urbanisation continued. It is clear that people felt more obliged than willing to relocate to the cities, because of the fact that they put up with the poor standard of living, that in itself would have created a tense atmosphere, not...

Other Essays Like “to What Extent Was Rapid Economic Growth the Cause of Social Tensions in Wilhelmine Germany?”

To What Extent Do You Agree That a Free Market Economy Is the Only Approach to Bringing About Economic Growth

2716 words - 11 pages To what extent do you agree with the view that only a free market approach to running the economy can bring about sustainable high levels of economic growth and development? The basic economic problem is that we, as consumers, have unlimited wants and scarce resources. (Anderton, 2008, p.1) Due to this, the questions of what shall be produced, how it will be produced, and who gets the product, arise. (Sandford, 1977, p.42) Therefore

How Accurate Is It to Suggest That Treaty of Versailles Was Mainly Responsible for the Political and Economic Instability in Germany in the Years 1919-1923?

1384 words - 6 pages the treaty, forcing the new government to have no choice but to cede to Allied demands. This caused a huge explosion in social tensions, especially for ex-soldiers and created the opinion that the war had not been lost due to Germany’s own weakness, but rather that it was ‘betrayed’ by weak politicians, forming the ‘stab in the back’ myth. The treaty was notably created under a ‘diktat’, as Germany were not invited to any of the negotiations

Discuss the extent to which economic growth may benefit an economy

620 words - 3 pages Economic growth can be defined as the rise in the output of an economy or a rise in national income over a given period of time. Economic growth can be beneficial to the economy but needs to be managed as so to not incur opportunity costs. This essay will discuss whether the benefits out weigh the costs of economic growth, or whether the costs exceed the benefits. An advantage of economic growth is that it is likely to cause a rise in living

To What Extent Do You Agree That a Revolution Happened in Germany at the End of World War I

671 words - 3 pages To what extent do you agree that a revolution happened in Germany at the end of World War I In Germany between 1918 and 1919 there were major political changes. They went from being an autocracy to a democracy. A revolution is defined as a forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new system. It was called a revolution for numerous reasons. On October 29th 1919, a mutiny started to spread near Kiel because sailors refused

To What Extent Have Gender Inequalities Been Reinforced, Rather Than Reduced by Social Policy in Germany and Sweden

4666 words - 19 pages To what extent have gender inequalities been reinforced, rather than reduced, by social policy in Germany and Sweden? Social policy in the modern western world is constantly developing in terms of equality, especially in the promotion of gender equality in society. Radical improvements such as the right for women to work, to vote and the equal opportunities available in terms of education; has radically improved the position of women

To What Extent Is Germany Responsible For The Start Of World War One?

2282 words - 10 pages in between countries, created competition, soured international relations and was met with hostility. Other powers began to see Germany as a potential threat to peace. The historian Geiss claims that the dominant cause of the war was a German desire for Weltpolitik, which eventually made tensions run so high that peace became impossible to uphold. The 1908 Bosnian crisis, when Austria Hungary annexed Bosnia Herzegovina and angered the Tsar, soured

To What Extent Was the Impact of the First World War Responsible for the Downfall of Tsarism in March 1917?

1720 words - 7 pages To what extent was the impact of the First World War responsible for the downfall of Tsarism in March 1917? In March 1917, Nicholas II abdicated and brought Tsarist’s three hundred year reign to an end. The issue of the Tsar’s downfall divides historians with two different viewpoints. The first perspective is that Russia was making progress, however it was solely undermined by the First World War in which the war caused massive losses, poor

To What Extent Was the British Commitment of Massive Resources to the Campaign in North Africa and the Mediterranean, in the Years 1940 to 1944, a Strategic Mistake?

931 words - 4 pages prove to the USSR and USA that it was committed to a land based attack on a second front after the disasters at Dunkirk and Norway and due to the fact Stalin felt he was fighting most of the war in the east losing hundreds of thousands. This was because Churchill believed an invasion of France would be unnecessary if allied forces could advance up the ‘soft underbelly’ of Fascist Italy and to attack Germany from the south. This would seem to

Q: to What Extent Were the Financial Difficulties of the Government the Cause of the French Revolution

1287 words - 6 pages History - Year 10 Assessment Activity: Essay on French Revolution By Debajyoti Chaudhuri KM10 Q: To what extent were the financial difficulties of the government the cause of the French Revolution To a large extent, the financial difficulties of the government were the cause of the French Revolution. A major cause was the economic crisis and financial debt accumulated by the French Government which brought national unrest leading to

To What Extent Hong Kong Was Modernized at the End of the 20th Century?

573 words - 3 pages To a large extent, Hong Kong was modernized at the end of the 20th century. I would like to explain my answer in economic, political, social and cultural aspects of Hong Kong. In political aspect, first, there was the democratic development at the local level. In 1968, the City District Office Scheme was introduced. All government department set up various consultative committees to collect public opinions. In 1973, all the Urban Council

To What Extent Was the Rwanda Genocide and Example of Root-and-Branch Genocide?

1606 words - 7 pages To what extent was the Rwanda genocide an example of root-and-branch genocide? To what extent was the Rwanda genocide and example of root-and-branch genocide? Plan of the Investigation: While seeking for my Internal Assessment topic I came across the topic Rwandan Genocide and immediately became interested. The term genocide is a term formally used to describe the act of violence towards members of a national, ethical, racial or religious

Related Papers

Explain The Factors That Have Led To Rapid Economic Growth In The Gulf States?

543 words - 3 pages Explain the factors that have led to rapid economic growth in the Gulf States? When we speak of the Gulf States we instantly associate itself with their vast wealth in the oil sector. Through oil and gas the money generated, much of it is transferred into sovereign wealth funds to invest in projects around the world, which has increased the wealth of the Gulf States by having chunks of business and industry worldwide. This wealth has also

To What Extent Was The Effective Government Of Germany In The Years 1919 – 1933 Handicapped By The Nature Of The Weimar Constitution?

1022 words - 5 pages that the constitution wanted to do difficult. The Treaty of Versailles also handicapped the government of Germany as many Germans blamed the democratic politicians for the loss of the war. This lead to the ‘stab in the back’ myth which falsely portrayed the cause of the German defeat in the war. When the treaty was signed, this caused outrage throughout Germany and was widely reviled a dictated peace because as part of the treaty, Germany had to

To What Extent Was Market Maturity The Cause Of Caterpillar Restructuring? Critically Examine The Extent The New Strategy Transformed Market, Productive And Financial Performance

2481 words - 10 pages To what extent was market maturity the cause of Caterpillar’s restructuring? Critically examine the extent the new strategy transformed market, productive and financial performance. During the late 1980s and the early 1990s Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), a $30 billion colossal in the earth-moving equipment (EME), engines and power systems, underwent a significant restructure. This was because in 1982 CAT posted its first annual lost of its 50-years

To What Extent Was Economic Reasons The Main Reason For The Two Countries' Separation?

756 words - 4 pages To what extent was economic differences the main reason for separation? I disagree to a large extent that economic differences were the main reasons for separation between Singapore and Malaysia. Political differences between the 2 countries instead, were a more predominant factor as it led to social unrest in these countries. Economic differences, on the other hand, played a less subtle role in separating the 2 countries, even though it did