Kira G asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

How was Germany so industrially strong if they had such a small empire before ww1?

I need to explain why Germany was so industrially strong when they had such a small empire leading up to world war 1, and how it could relate as a possible cause of WW1.

Or if anyone has any sites where I can get such information from please post them below.

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
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    You don't need an empire or even a large nation to build factories; you only need capital, labor, and an energy source. A lot of German cities were building substantial industrial plants in the 1830s and 40s as part of the second wave of European industrialization, imitating the factories in England. When the various states they belonged to joined the new Reich in 1870, these factories were already there.

  • 8 years ago

    The Germanic states constituted a large European Empire. Their industrial base required no input from foreign sources.

    As far as industrial strength was concerned, this was also the case with the UK. The iron and coal fields of South Wales made Britain the worlds major supplier of fuel for ships, and the production center for steel railway lines which made the trans-siberian railway, the Indian railways, and the railway systems of much of Africa.

  • 8 years ago

    I would argue that Germany did have a significant empire ie. one that stretched around the globe from Samoa to Namibia - and that it was a dominant nation in regard to its chemical industry.

    Germany had more railroads than France. Germany had the highest rate of literacy then in Europe, and Bismark had done much for German unification and building of the Empire. For example, Bismark did much work in Mexico to mop up the mess left by Napolean III. Germany was a bit late to the game of imperialism, but it did stretch around the world and established a navy that was qquite formidable even in comparison to the British fleet. Germany also has beaten France in War provoked by Napolean III. In the years just prior to WW1, Germany's economy was switched to a wartime economy.

    Germany really benefitted from Bismark's visionary leadership. While he is at the end of the political spectrum I usually oppose, he nevertheless had enough integrity to rise aboe the fray and do what was right. He represented a kind of Old Germany; his finance minister Bleischroeder represented a kind of New Germany. They counterbalanced each other well, and were effective in the development of Germany ie. railroads and foreign interests... They were in a sense like Lincoln and Seward or Jefferson Davis and Judah Benjamin. They were competent to the extreme whereas Napolean III,

    and Russia's Tsars and even Britain's constitutional monarchy was incompetent to an extreme.

    As Bismark was dying he saw Germany going down the same path of incompetance as France,Russia, Britain...and he saw the development of a new and blind militarism that was affecting as well the other powers of Europe...and he warned of a coming War...if Germany did not change course. Sadly, in WW2, Germany was led by Adolf Hitler who was projected to be a kind of new great leader like Bismark<Bismark's finance minister, Bleischroeder was jewish and Bismark was not like Hitler> and instead of getting a new strong creative Bismark , Germany got a wild eyed psychopath who lacked the cold sobriety and level headed humanity of a Bismark.

    Source(s): I forget the author's name but 'Gold And Iron' is a good book about Bismark and his finance minister Bleischroeder. I would have to say that Bismark was a highly competent, level headed and inspirational leader who set Germany on the right course. He also repeatedly warned Germany , as he was dying, about what he perceived as the dangers of a coming 'Great War.' Ironically, Friedrich Engels also shared the same worry too, as he also sensed a coming large War in Europe. Just saying that it's ironic because both men were visionaries from different ends of the political spectrum.
  • 8 years ago

    Because they were late

    There was no German nation before 1871 by which time most spare territories had been taken by other empires.

    After 1871 they increased their armaments to try to rival the British and French which set the scene for WW1

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