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German revolution 1918 essay help

Apr 3, 2018

Postby Mad Zeppelin » 24 Feb 2009, 08:25

The revolution was started by accident:
1. The navy command decided that a "final battle" had to be fought in order to keep up the reputation of the service. They feared that in a post-war Germany the navy would not have the attention (and funds) it had had before the war if they didn't sail for a last "glorious action".
2. The sailors thought that the war was already lost and had no wish to die in a senseless battle. Thus they started a revolt.
3. For fear of punishment they had no other chance but to spread their revolt.
4. Whereever they went, the old order collapsed on first sight.
5. Now only did the political parties of left wing become involved.
The interesting point is not the revolt, but the fightless remise of the old order. The German people wanted the war to end, they believed in Wilson's 14 points. But that is not necessarily the reason why the old order collapsed so swiftly. Current researches think that the war had shown that the old order with all the princes and princlings was only ballast that easily could be thrown over board. Germany technically was already a modern mass democracy, one needed only to get rid of some ancient aristocrats, which had lost their legitimation because they were no longer leading the people.

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  1. Why has the question of "identity" been so central in German history?

    Unlike France or Great Britain, Germany did not achieve national political unity until 1871. It was thus forced to consider other (mostly cultural) factors as the basis for its national identity in order to compete with other European powers both economically and in terms of national pride and sense of entitlement.

  2. Why did the Revolution of 1848/1849 fail?

    There are several reasons for this failure. First and foremost, the various factions in the National Assembly could not agree on their political goals and hesitated far too long before they took action. Secondly, there was a clear rift between the working class and the bourgeoisie: the former demanded not only freedom of ideas and democratic reforms but also a redistribution of wealth and a national politics oriented along workers' rights and social welfare. This, however, was not in the interest of the developing middle class, which sought more political freedom vis-à-vis the aristocracy, but did not want to share its economic wealth with the lower classes. Finally, the aristocratic powers had not been defeated either militarily or ideologically and thus were able to recover quickly from their initial losses in the early stages of the Revolution.

  3. What is the role of Bismarck in Wilhelmine Germany?

    Bismarck was an extremely skilled politician able to consolidate the power of the aristocracy within the Second Reich and among other European powers. Although he made only a few concessions to the increasingly powerful party of the Social Democrats, he was able to enlist their support for the nationalist-imperialist goals of the empire. When he was dismissed in 1890, Germany was at the height of its power in Europe.

  4. Why was there widespread enthusiasm at the outbreak of the First World War?

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, European nationalism was at its peak, and the various nations each felt entitled to more power and was self-righteous in its "just" cause for war. But there was also an overall sense of cultural ennui and decadence, a feeling that the spirit of the previous century had not come to a definite close but was hanging on despite its vapidness and exhaustion. (There was no better symbol for this general feeling than the over eighty-year old Emperor Frans Josef of Austria, who seemed to belong to the previous rather than the coming century). Hence, World War I was regarded by many as an opportunity for radical change and a move away from the staleness of the atmosphere at the time.

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