The Wilhelmine period is a crucial period of German history and the focus of great historical controversy; greater understanding of this period is also vital to explain the rise of the Third Reich. The authors focus on Germany's role as a major military and imperial power, industrialiastion and the economy, the crucial effects of the war years and the disturbing evidence that Germany's response to Hitler is to be found in the Wilhelmine era.
Part 1 The background: the historiography of Wilhelmine Germany; the house that Bismarck built. Part 2 Narration and analysis: domestic politics 1890-1914 - the road to personal rule 1890-1897, the ascendancy of Bulow 1897-1909, governing from issue to issue 1909-1914; social and economic developments - Germany as an industrial power, a divided society?, the treatment of minorities; the armed forces - the army, Tirpitz and the navy; foreign and colonial policy 1890-1914 - the quest for world power status, the failure of German diplomacy 1890-1914, the miscalculated risk of 1914; the test of war 1914-1918 - domestic politics and the supremacy of the General Staff, war aims, defeat and revolution. Part 3 Assessment. Part 4 Documents.
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