Flashcards in 1890-1918: The Kaiser Deck (21)
Who ruled Germany between 1890 and 1918?
Kaiser Wilhelm II
When did several independent states join together to form the united country of Germany?
1871 (after victory in the Franco-Prussian War)
Why was Prussia so powerful in Germany?
It was the largest state with two-thirds of the territory and half the population. It had a very proud and large army that sure an oath to the Kaiser. Some other states felt powerless to influence German policy.
What was the political structure of the German Empire?
Kaiser (emperor) appoints Chancellor Chancellor (prime minister) has power over policies and appointments Reichstag (parliament) limited power and could be ignored by Chancellor and Kaiser All men over 25 can vote for members of the Reichstag
As chancellor in the 1870s and 1890s what did Bismark do to unify Germany?
- national coinage - postal service - laws - railway - army - assimilated ethnic groups (Poles, Danes, French)
Why was Wilhelm II's character unsuitable in his position as an active and ambitious Kaiser?
- unstable mood - violent rages - aware as commander-in-chief of the armed forces that he had a withered left hand - lacked the ability to govern effectively
What does WELTPOLITIK mean?
World policy (focus on international policy and status)
What was the 'Scramble for Africa'?
European powers seized colonies in Africa to build overseas empires
How did Germany's industry grow under Wilhelm II?
- Twice as much steel as Britain - 1/3 of the world's electrical goods - Most advanced telephone system - World leaders in chemical and steel industries - Siemens and Bosch
How did Germany's population change between 1871 and 1914?
40 million (1871) to 68 million (1914)
What was the advantage of population growth?
It provided manpower for growing industries, allowing huge industrialisation to occur
What was the disadvantage of population growth?
-More workers in industrial cities, so less in agriculture leading to demand for food produce from abroad -huge increase in the labour force meant a growing demand for socialism and workers rights - threat of communism
What were the Naval Laws?
A series of laws passed by Wilhelm II with the support of Admiral Von Tirpitz to expand the German army and rival the British Royal Navy
What and when was the First Naval Law?
In 1898: 7 new battleships (to add to current 12) so that Germany could help gain and protect a global empire.
What and when was the Second Naval Law?
In 1900: Doubled size of the fleet to 38 battleships to compete with Britain
Why did Germans believe they would win the war?
The Naval Laws meant they could compete with Britain - Strong sense of patriotism meant Germans saw it as their duty to win the war for the nation - Industrialisation - Propaganda
What was the impact of the First World War on Germany?
-German army was defeated -Germany was virtually bankrupt -Huge famine and people were dying from starvation -Industrial production decreased by 1/3
What happened at Kiel?
In November 1918, the German navy rebelled and caused a mutiny in the port of Kiel. They refused to go to war because of the conditions they were forced to work.
When did the Kaiser abdicate?
9th November 1918 - he fled to the Netherlands
When was the armistice signed?
11th November 1918 by the new government quickly set up the previous day