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Terms in this set (69)

1900: Hohenlohe replaced by Bulow due to resignation
• Main interest was foreign policy
• Wanted to reduce the conflicting interests on domestic front by rallying support for Weltpolitik
• HOWEVER: had difficulty in maintaining support from the Reichstag
Social Reform
• Bulow tried to revive "new course" initiated by Caprivi
• Aim was to expand social welfare provision in order to pacify the WC
• New measures introduced: extension of prohibition of child labour, extension of accident insurance (1900)
• Landowning classes opposed Caprivi's commercial treaties- demanded imposition of higher tariffs to protect agriculture
• SPD and Left Liberals called for lower tariffs to reduce price of bread → benefit WC
• Compromised in the Tariff Law 1902 : restored tariffs to pre-1892 level (support of Free Conservatives (Junkers), ZP & National Liberals)
• Endorsed Reichstag election result of 1903- ZP majority
• SPD saw popular vote increase and n.o. seats rise from 56 to 81.
• Conservative bloc saw decline in votes

• Maintenance of army, naval expansion and running the empire created a deficit on the budget
• If Weltpolitik were to be maintained then tax increases would have to be introduced
• Bulow: knew this could cause political storm
• 1905: Suggested the introduction of an increase in indirect taxes and inheritance tax
• Former votes down by SPD due to effect on WC
• Latter weakened by conservatives and elites as to make them financially insignificant
• Deficit continued to grow

The Herero Uprising
• Note: SPD stood against imperialistic ventures as reform needed in Germany (unlike Blue-Black Bloc who until 1906 were content w/ Bulow politics)
• German involvement in Africa- Army created conditions for political crisis (1906)
• 1904: Herero people rose against colonial repressor
• Defeated in Battle of Waterberg (Aug 1904)
• Natives were subjected to deliberate policy of genocide through execution, incarceration and forced migration (population fell from 80,000 to 15,000)
• Affair highlighted: lack of parliamentary accountability for colonial services and the army
• The need for better financial control of colonial affairs (cost 456 million marks)

The Hottentot Election 1907
• May 1906: ZP joined SPD in voting down govt plans for new railway in SW Africa (where HU took place)
• Public awareness of brutality, corruption and incompetence in administration of colony after HU
• ZP (who were normally in support of Bulow) attitude against colonial policy led to Reichstag beinf dissolved
• Election played on the nationalist values of the Africa campaign in addition to anti-socialist ideas (Bulow said it was an election about Socialism)
• Result: encouraging for Bulow (Germans frightened into voting for him)
• Social Democracy seats halved and Bulow gained support of strengthening right (referred to as "Bulow bloc"
The Daily Telegraph Affair
• Kaiser expressed wished for closer relations with Britain
• Criticism: important statement of foreign policy when there were demands in Reichstag for constitutional limitations on Kaiser (Bulow had cleared article- bureaucracy)
• Impact: Bulow sided with demands of Reichstag
• Kaiser's trust in Chancellor weakened
• 1909: Bulow's budget rejected → Kaiser took opportunity to secure Bulow's resignation
The Reichstag
• Collapse of Bulow bloc → Bethmann support base narrow (conservative views)
• 1910: attempted to reform Prussian voting system → failed due to conservative opposition → seized polish estates as rectification
• Any attempt to appeal to centre or left would offend conservative and right wing supporters
• 1912 Election: distinct shift to the left (SPD became largest party w/ 35% of vote & 110 seats)
• Conservative-Centre alliance could no longer dominate Reichstag
• Created deadlock in parliament

Military Spending 1912-13
• Second Moroccan Crisis: army and navy both submitted plans involving major increases in expenditure
• Inheritance tax brought up as a main method of gaining funds → Bethmann feared hostile political reaction from conservatives and elites
• However: inheritance tax accepted after second army bill proposed 1913 (to increase army strength to 800,000 men)
• Worsening int. situation and increasing vocal demands of nationalists in defence of German interests
• Conservatives: supported army spending BUT against inheritance tax
• SPD vice-versa

The Zabern Affair 1913
• Friction between French inhabitants and German soldiers in Zabern → led to series of disturbances
• November 1913: officers ordered locals to clear the streets
• 28 citizens arrested and detained (cobbler)

• Impact: widespread protests beyond Alsace
• Many thought officers had acted above the law and overridden civilian authorities and the courts
• Army had too much power and infringed the liberty of citizens
• Army claimed they were accountable to the Kaiser → Wilhelm condoned action w/ support of Bethmann
• Unpopular in Reichstag- received vote of no confidence

• Overall: emphasised divisions in German politics and society
• Individualist: showed how up until 1914 Kaiserreich still dominated by actions and demands of the Kaiser and his supporters (highlighted by Bethmann's continuation despite vote of no confidence).
• Structuralist: Wilhelm II was a shadow Kaiser as a front for elitist policy in order to preserve their privileged positions
• Example of how army was able to impose its authority and maintain its status
• Social: huge outcry against army's actions with Kaiser's support → pressure movements gaining strength → impending change
The Breakdown of the Schlieffen Plan
• Devised as a means of defending an attack on both western and eastern fronts
• Did not provide any guarantee of success → failure would draw Germany into war with a doubtful outcome
• Sept 1914: Russia had mobilised faster than expected → Moltke transferred additional army units to the eastern front
• Belgian resistance was tougher than expected → invasion led to the arrival of British Expeditionary Forces
• Germany forced to retreat in the Battle of the Marne (Sept 1914)

The Failure of Alternative Strategies
• Had to LR strategy to overcome military stalemate
• Allies had seized German colonies
• Britain had imposed naval blockade → limited GER ability to import food and raw materials

Submarine Warfare and US Entry into War
• Hindenburg and Ludendorff unable to offer any new military strategies
• No way out of Western front deadlock
• Military pushed for reintroduction of unrestricted submarine warfare to try and defeat Britain
• Jan 1917: Bethmann increasingly unpopular and politically isolated → could not oppose plan → campaign launched
• Failure: by 1918 it was clear that Germans were losing submarine war
• Strained Germany militarily, politically and economically

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918)
• Germany gained Poland, Lithuania and Latvia from Russia
• Estonia and Ukraine became German spheres of influence & Russia had to pay 3 billion roubles
• Provided a window of opportunity for Germany leadership → boosted civilian and military morale → freed Germany from two front war
• HOWEVER: Germany subject to increasing numbers of US troops on Western front → unable to maintain momentum
• Germany faced possibility of invasion and allies faced imminent collapse
• 29th Sept: Hindenburg and Ludendorff advised Kaiser to request an armistice
Imposition of blockade by The Allies and demands of prolonged war created economic strains:
• German banks and export industries badly disrupted
• Germany's productive capacity in terms of food was limited
• Difficult to import raw materials (vital for arms production)

• Walter Rathenau (owner of AEG) worked to create the KRA (War Raw Materials Department)
• Oversaw a range of companies whose job it was to acquire, store and distribute raw materials
• Most clearly shown over use of nitrates to make explosives

• Human capital severely affected by conscription
• Creation of War Boards: attempt to prevent industrial unrest
• Also attempts to control consumption through rationing and price controls
• Economic policies to regulate war economy were successful in SR
• However LR weaknesses lay in govt budget and provision of food
• Auxiliary Service Law 1916: aimed to achieve the mobilisation of the entire civilian population for war service → inadequate measures

• Debt massively increased during war
• Sale of war bonds only effort to prevent situation from worsening
• Increase in income and industrial taxes rejected on political grounds
• Overall only 16% of cost of war met through taxation
• Remainder of cost met from war bonds and printing money
• Started domestic inflation and devalued mark internationally

• Effects of blockade and conscription led to a decrease in supply of farmers and consequent decrease in overall domestic production
• Attempts to establish govt control over landowning elites was unsuccessful
• War Nutrition Office opposed by elites → unsuccessful
• Turnip Winter 1917: 293,000 people died
• Discontent exemplified by strikes and protests
• Jan 1918: half of all Berlin workers on strike