Putting German foreign Policy in perspective:
Germany harnessing talent in University = become a leader in second industrial revolution
o 2 industrial revolution was lead by Germany, involved renewed industrial revolution, key component:
application of science to new technologies
prior to this the two were kept separate
Engineers got a science education starting in Germany due to the industries being developed such as
chemistry and electronics. (brought Science and Technology together)
transformed knowledge base of our economices
prior was knowledge was of “wooden ships” etc. which relied on experience, not mathematics and
science! This developed later in Germany (look up date)
2 ndtransformed this by directly applying science to technology, transformed by Chemistry because
you need an understanding of science to develop scientific theories which would help you advance the
technology. This emerged out of Germany NOT Britian
o Why? Because Britian was based on muddling through. Resulted economy market driven technology
advancement = no real advancement
o Germany had a highly centralized, more advanced system
o Britian was first to electrify, but the hardware required was not built by a British country, built by
o British biggest bank was a German one
o Germany was growing extremely rapidly in 1880‟s-90‟s and becoming leading producer of technical
goods that were science based (chemicals, steel, electrification etc).
o What went wrong? Why didn‟t‟ they dominate?
need to understand the approach taken as an economic power after WWI (which was devastating)
in 1880‟s they worked to expand military, (unification of the german army), the perception by German
elites was to become a global power need to expand Navy, so end of 1880‟s spent a lot on sea power
expanding their Navy, sea power seen as essential to projecting power globally like Britian. Continued
o 1890‟s German on good terms with Great Britian (they wre giving them tech for electrictity), because
Britian was still rivials with France and engage in territorial disputes with them, so trying to contain enemy
o Russia was enemy #2 due to territory as well
o So Germany was irrelevant to them, and the German ships had Biritsh protection on seas, but with
expantsion of Navy threatened Britain so Britain started seeing them as a threat to their power o Great Britian had obsticals to forming alliences with France and Russia, but the alliance took place
nevertheless. 1907 they were in alliances with them. IN 1903 had allied with Japan = Had Germany
encircled. What could Germany do? Their Allies were tiny and weak (Austria-Hungary, Ottoman emipire
had limited capacity and usefulness and was waracked with secular elements in their empire). So Germany
found itself encircled and locked in (cuz of lack of allies), they couldn‟t challenge Britain, France had them
blocked out of Mediterainian, so they were stuck up Nroth. Even with development of U-Boats they were
screwed because antagonized USA which could have been an ally (but wasn‟t cuz of the Uboats).
o Germany had most powerful Army and Navy but lost the war in spite of always winning the battles.
Global Strategy: it‟s paradoxical in nature (sometimes more is less and less is more). German defeat was
NOT inevidtable and they COULD have prevailed by 1920, however to achieve this they had to take a
different strategic route
best route? Sell off Navy preferably to Russia to balance power. And Reduce size of Military to defensive
capacity just enough to defend borders which would have resulted in crumbling of alliance. Only thing
bringing France, Britian and Russia together was fear of rising Germany. Russia would have crumbled 1 .
Germany would not be militarily dominant, but would have been economically dominant which is more
important in terms of global stability for keeping power.
Why didn‟t they do this?
Had Kaiser Whilhelm the 2 announced demilitarization, the German military would likely have staged a
Coup. It was a dominant institution and very powerful. The Prussians loved their military and were
fascinated by it, AND an industirial military complex had been developed. Military was very dominant in all
aspects of society.
to suggest that the military can‟t grow is absured, growth of military essential to rest of society
Lack of control over oceans allowed Allies to block off goods to Germany like food.
o Since Germany was “undermined by domestic forces” not defeated militarily, this is how elites saw it
which influenced WWII. Military advancements, (economy) and weakness of adversaries stuck in great
depression, but this didn‟t change how they saw things and did things militarily! They wound up Land
locked again (WWII, lack of oil = demise a forgone conclusion). They didn‟t‟ learn from their mistakes.
Perception of failure of it was seen as requiring adjustments of German institutions in a number of
o 1920‟s Seen as establishing one of the most democratic systems on the planet. Regional system
eliminated in favor of unitary model. Parliamentary model instituted. This lead to problems: proportional
representation (while purest form of democracy) has problems: it has a tendency to generate a lot of
parties, starting with split of Communist party and social democratic party) (this differs from Canada
where parties try to stick together), there was a centrifugal force in each party that made parties split
smaller and smaller which made it harder and harder to form a ruling party! The multiplicity of parties
competing and forming unstable coalition parties (weren‟t figuring out how to deal with problems, rather
figuring out how to stick together, also when they disagreed and a coalition partner left you had to have ANOTHER election to get new gov‟t. most only lasted 2 months so people got tired of the elections and
not having a stable gov‟t).
o The German military reduced at end of WWI, meant that could maintain stability at home but not
project power. But the insitutions and peole in them weren‟t changed over, and they saw democratic gov‟t
as problematic, which doesn‟t bode well for democracry where a key element is the support of the officer
core (need the military to support it or they will crush the civilians trying to control gov‟t rather than
protecting them! (the military would take over).
o Judicarcy are essential for establishing of Democracy, they weren‟t changed over after WWI, and were
inclined to view the democratic system imposed on Germany as a result of Versailles treaty with
skepticism. Were inclined like all other insitutions to protect the institutions from the Left, but not the
Rigth (not as suspicious of them) so would try the Left??, this illustrates threat the Judic. Weren‟t firmly
committed to democracy
Collapse in 1933.
o In 1932 there were 6 elections, by beginning of 1933 Nazi party became largest party (but not majority),
the Presidency of Germany was more symbolic and saw no choice to apt Hitler as chancellor. He
manipulated things to create a greater crisis. Such as the burning down of the Parliamentary building
which was blamed on a Dutch communist though it was likely Nazis who set the fire, either way created
enough of a crisis to put forward enabling act: created a situation of national emergency and was the
decisive end of the Bismarck Republic in Germany (no more democracy), and since blamed on
communists they were rounded up and sent to exile or concentration camps. Thus began the disaster of
Nazi rule: at first wasn‟t disaster had created policies to boost economy(state intervention to get the
1/3 unemployed, employed! Printed money to get employment to zero by employing unemployed ppls
(esp those that were part of Nazi party wich provided incentive), funneling money into rearmament
factories, autobahn??, etc. So economny growing leaps and Bounds esp compared to rest of Europe and
NA which was in great depression). The success of economy brought them support of Public, even
amongst those at first suspect of Nazi‟s which allowed them to consolidate their control in a totalitarian
o In Nazi Germany Nazi‟s organized “CORPORTAISM”: MEANT looking at society in an organismal view
(society is l