The German Empire, its structure, its dynamic development between 1871 and 1918, and its legacy, have been the focus of lively international debate that is showing signs of further intensification as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Based on recent work and scholarly arguments about continuities and discontinuities in modern German history from Bismarck to Hitler, well-known experts broadly explore four themes: the positioning of the Bismarckian Empire in the course of German history; the relationships between society, politics and culture in a period of momentous transformations; the escalation of military violence in Germany's colonies before 1914 and later in two world wars; and finally the situation of Germany within the international system as a major political and economic player. The perspectives presented in this volume have already stimulated further argument and will be of interest to anyone looking for orientation in this field of research.
Sven Oliver Muller is a Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. His recent publications include Die Oper im Wandel der Gesellschaft: Kulturtransfers und Netzwerke des Musiktheaters im modernen Europa (Oldenbourg 2010; with Ther, Toelle, and Zur Nieden) and Deutsche Soldaten und ihre Feinde: Nationalismus an Front und Heimatfront im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Fischer 2007). Cornelius Torp is Lecturer at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Department of History and is currently Research Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. His publications include Die Herausforderung der Globalisierung. Wirtschaft und Politik in Deutschland 1860-1914 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2005). He is joint editor of European Review of History.
Introduction Cornelius Torp and Sven Oliver Muller PART I: THE PLACE OF IMPERIAL GERMANY IN GERMAN HISTORY Chapter 1. When the Sonderweg Debate Left Us Helmut Walser Smith Chapter 2. The Impossible Vanishing Point. Societal Differentiation in Imperial Germany Benjamin Ziemann Chapter 3. Was the German Empire an Sovereign State? Dieter Grimm Chapter 4. Theories of Nationalism and the Critical Approach to German History John Breuilly PART II: POLITICS, CULTURE AND SOCIETY Chapter 5. The Authoritarian State and the Political Mass Market James Retallack Chapter 6. Using Violence to Govern: The German Empire and the French Third Republic Heinz-Gerhard Haupt Chapter 7. Woman Suffrage and Antifeminism as Litmus Test of Modernising Societies. A Western European Comparison Ute Planert Chapter 8. Germany in the Age of Culture Wars Olaf Blaschke Chapter 9. Their Favourite Enemy. German Social Historians and the Prussian Nobility Stephan Malinowski Chapter 10. A Difficult Relationship. Social History and the Bourgeoisie Manfred Hettling Chapter 11. Cultural Nationalism and Beyond. Musical Performances in Imperial Germany Sven Oliver Muller PART III: WAR AND VIOLENCE Chapter 12. 1914-1945: A Second Thirty Years War? Advantages and Disadvantages of an Interpretive Category Jorg Echternkamp Chapter 13. The Enduring Charm of the Great War. Some Reflections on Methodological Issues Roger Chickering Chapter 14. The First World War and Military Culture: Continuity and Change in Germany and Italy MacGregor Knox Chapter 15. A German Way of War? Narratives of German Militarism and Maratime Warfare in World War I Dirk Bonker Chapter 16. German War Crimes 1914/1941: The Question of Continuity Alan Kramer PART IV: THE GERMAN EMPIRE IN THE WORLD Chapter 17. From the Periphery to the Centre. On the Significance of Colonialism for the German Empire Birthe Kundrus Chapter 18. The Kaiserreich as a Society of Migration Thomas Mergel Chapter 19. Wilhelmine Nationalism in Global Contexts. Mobility, Race, and Global Consciousness Sebastian Conrad Chapter 20. Imperial Germany under Globalization Cornelius Torp Chapter 21. German Industry and American Big Business, 1900-1914 Volker Berghahn Selected Bibliography