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The German Empire Between Two Wars - A Study of the Political and Social Development of the Nation Between 1871 and 1914 Robert Harndon Fife

The German Empire Between Two Wars - A Study of the Political and Social Development of the Nation Between 1871 and 1914

Robert Harndon Fife

Published April, 1916. TO MY FATHER AND MOTHER IN LOVE AND HONOR PREFACE No political development in the past half-century has been so striking as the growth of the German empire. Such a statement is the merest platitude to-day when the world is being rocked to its foundation
ISBN : 9781406708332
Paperback
408 pages
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 About the Book 

THE GERMAN EMPIRE BETWEEN TWO WARS A STUDY OF THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATION BETWEEN 1871 AND 1914 BY ROBERT HERNDON FIFE, JR. PROFESSOR IN WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY Nefo f otfc THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1918 All right By THE MACMILLANMoreTHE GERMAN EMPIRE BETWEEN TWO WARS A STUDY OF THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATION BETWEEN 1871 AND 1914 BY ROBERT HERNDON FIFE, JR. PROFESSOR IN WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY Nefo f otfc THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1918 All right By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY, Set up Md electrotyped Published April, 1916. TO MY FATHER AND MOTHER IN LOVE AND HONOR PREFACE No political development in the past half-century has been so striking as the growth of the German empire. Such a statement is the merest platitude to-day when the world is being rocked to its foundation by the fright ful readjustment which may be traced mainly to this cause. It is, perhaps, equally trite to say that hand in hand with this growth there has gone forward an evolu tion within the empire which is just as striking. Year after year as the nation went on adding to its population and piling up matchless resources in industry and com merce and still greater possibilities in the training of its scientists and men of affairs it also added tremendously to its burdens and problems. To the growing dangers without there were added dangers within, caused by the ever sharpening strife between feudalism and democ racy, agriculture and commerce, industry and labor. The unstable equilibrium thus caused might long since have toppled to a fall had not the rise in power without been accompanied by a growing devotion to national unity and national ambitions. Out of the turmoil of Germanys foreign and domestic struggles there has stood forth more and more clearly a great contrast, the contrast between the progress of the nation along economic lines and its arrest in political and social development. It was this contrast, which has struck theattention of so many observers, that sug gested the present work. To an American committed to the principles of democracy it was of the greatest interest to learn why a people that has shown itself so viu PREFACE hospitable to every new idea in science should have put off so long the liberalizing of its chief public institu tions. In a period that saw the political evolution of so many lands from Portugal to China what was it that made a nation standing at the apex of modern culture tolerate so much that is reactionary in political and social life Upon closer study, several things became at once clear. First, that the causes underlying Germanys ap parent lack of inner development are closely inter woven with the foreign relations of the empire. It also appeared that much of Germanys conservatism is only apparent and that the same ultra-modern and radical attitude exists in many sides of the political and social life of the nation as has made itself so notice able in its economic life. Lastly, it was seen that the nations political progress in recent years has by no means been so slow as it has seemed and that there exist many liberal and democratic tendencies that only await a favorable moment to come to the surface. This book is the result of these studies and is an attempt to bring American readers nearer to an under standing of present-day Germany, as it has appeared to the writer. It has been necessary, first of all, to sketch the history of the nations foreign relations since the treaty of Frankfort. Here the author makes no claim to originality he has merely sought to tell as fairly as possible the well-known story of the growth of the empire amid friendly and hostile neighborsand to show how national unity and ambition grew with power and prestige. The second part has then been devoted to a study of the imperial government in its relation to the emperor and the parties...