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The 1848 Revolution, the Second Reich, and the First World War - Essay Example

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The 1848 Revolution, the Second Reich, and the First World War Many significant changes took place in Germany between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the end of World War I. Germany was growing from being a rural society to an industrial one…
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The 1848 Revolution, the Second Reich, and the First World War
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Download file to see previous pages In 1848 Europe saw a series of revolution starting from France and which later drew Germany in. Numerous groups were involved in the revolution that demanded the restoration of the old forms of administration, liberal constitution, economic freedom, and the nationalist demands for the consolidation of Germany. The pressure was being exerted by various different forces and each had a different objective. By 1849 all revolutionary endeavors had halted and during the 1850s the German economy grew as production of coal, iron and textile started. During the Wilhelmine period Germany saw a brisk industrialization. A series of changes occurring between 1871 and 1914, Germany transformed its role. Industrialization took place throughout as the population grew and economic instability rose. The working class people of Germany faced a transition from living in the countryside to dwelling in cities. During the “restoration” period, the German territories grew in regional power due to improved power, enhancement in government, and centralization of state power. In particular Prussia grew stronger not only population wise but also territorially and economically. In terms of demographics it was now equivalent to Austria even though both had conservative regimes (Fulbrook, 105). With only slight variations, the social, economical and legal reforms still remained the same as they were in Napoleonic period. In the years following 1815 a number of student bodies were formed and after the reaction by conservatives on the murder of an anti-liberal playwright these bodies were disbanded (Fulbrook, 7). Liberals grew in power who wanted to limit the powers held by the rulers and wanted to establish a new establishment. Reforms in education resulted in an educational growth and hence a more educated workforce (Fulbrook, 109). Economic production, changes in the political groundwork, and socio-economic changes spurred political turbulence (Fulbrook, 114). Following a revolution in France various groups within Germany also revolted each having a different aim. The demands included restoration of the old estates, a liberal constitution, economic freedom, and unification of Germany. The liberals took advantage of the political upheaval to demand changes nationwide and the unification of Germany (Fulbrook, 117). In Austria the conservative government was replaced by liberals. In Prussia due to a misunderstanding of the king’s orders by the soldiers resulted in a fight. In order to avoid a civil war, the king himself wore revolutionary clothes and rode throughout Berlin. It was easy to demand for a unified Germany however it was difficult to define a border. By May 1849 the revolution had ended. The implications of the revolution were various including dissolution of a feudal system on lands and economical advancement. After the decline of the revolution, a conservative constitution was regained. Despite this a rapid economical progress took place in Germany. With the start of production in coal, iron, and textile, more and more people started being employed into the workforce (Fulbrook, 122). Cultural unity was being promoted through festivals, contests, and other events. The spread of cultural and educational institutions encouraged cultural and educational progress particularly in science (Fulbrook, 123). In the 1871 “unification” of Germany was a result of the Prussian expansion and colonialism of non-Prussian lands. Bismarck organized the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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