World War One

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  • Created on: 03-05-13 08:45
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  • World War One
    • FOOD
      • German war effort was bedevilled throughout by shortages of raw marterials and consumer basics
      • the submarine blockade of Britain (Febraury 1915) meant that Britain retaliated with the same upon Germany
        • all goods were seized that were meant to go to Germany
        • huge impact as Germany was no self-sufficient in food - in 1914 importing around 25% of what was consumed
      • January 1914 Imperial Grain Corporation set up by Bundesrat, administring rationing and distribution of grain
        • 1914 -- 27.1 million tons 1917 -- 14.6 millions tons [GRAIN]
        • State set up War Food Office [1916], but with chaos of bureocracy decisions made often counter productive
          • e.g. the killing of 9 million pigs, primarily because they were consumers of grain. BUT less pork and less fertiliser - damaging effect on food production
      • Burgfrieden
        • The Reichstag passed an anabling act, which was a concept based on shared suffering. it was essentially 'peace of the fortress'
        • Reichstag delegated all its poers to the Bundesrat - which was to home rule by emergency legislation.
          • However, 800 laws on throughout duration of war and nothing was changed
      • War ministry took over Beurocratic function of running the war - strengthening the hand of traditional democracy
        • despite this raft of bureaucratic initiatives, most enterprises stayed in private hands for duration of war
    • reactions to outbreak
      • The anticipation of war filled many Germans with dread.
        • Huge demonstrations were held on 28th & 29th July in Berlin (crowd 100,000 strong)
      • The govt then presented it as a defensive against slav aggression, and there was a general consensus to national duty
      • Even the Marxist SPD abandoned its internationalism to support the war effort.
      • From 1914-16 it was minimal.
        • small numbers of pacifists attempted to organise groups such as German peace league, but negligible impact.
        • August 1914 14 of 110 socialists argued against war credits. By end of 1914 one voted against.
        • Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (wanted peace through revolution) spent most time in prison
      • from 1917...
        • Growing opposition partly stemming from huge losses
          • from 1914-1918 13.2 million Germans mobilised to fight.
            • 6.2 million casualties
              • 2.05 million killed
              • 4.15 million injured
        • Russian Revolution (march 1917) provided an inspiration for discontented and those opposed to war
          • in Berlin alone over 300,000 workers demonstrated for food and end of war
          • Further Bread rationing produced a catalyst for widespread and largescale strikes
            • in Berlin alone over 300,000 workers demonstrated for food and end of war
        • Split in socialist party and creation of USPD was clear sign of growing polarisation. [USPD by 1918 had 100,000 members]
    • Social consequences
      • Urban Working Class resented state and bureaucratic controls, lack of food and Polonaise. Also hated black market (20-35% of food was sold)
      • Peasantry and other rural producers alienated by govt regulations. After 1917 hampered in work despite having 1m POWs working on the land. State prices low.
      • Middle Classes - enetr into an insecure world without servants and savings worth less and less. Mittelstand experienced greater insecurtity as war closed gap betwen salaried and not.
    • Military defeat
      • 29th September 1918 Ludendorff demanded govt to go into peace talks with allies
      • 4th October Prince Max of Baden chosen as Chancellor, forming a coalition govt with members of centre, SPD and progressives
        • Parliament now able to consider foreign and military affairs
        • Vote to Purssian Parliament was to be deomocratic
      • Prospect of defeat and peace sparked off mutiny in naval prots (29th Oct 1918) and Kiel (2nd Nov)
        • mutiny spread to other ports as sailors refused to go to sea for one last fist against Royal Navy
        • I(n Munich a revolt (8th Nove) Kurt Eisner led to proclamation of democratic & socialist republic in Bavaria
      • cost of war: £8,394 million
      • TREAY OF VERSAILLES. SO MUCH HATRED (stab in back myth)


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