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Week 3 - Society and Culture in Wilhelmine Germany

Kaiser Wilhelm II and his sons

Seminar Questions:

  • Was Wilhelmine Germany politically 'backward'? How did it compare with other nations in this period?
  • How did German society change between 1890 and 1914? What tensions did this produce and how did people respond?

Reading List:

Required Reading:

  • Helmut Walser Smith, 'Authoritarian State, Dynamic Society, Failed Imperialist Power, 1878–1914' in Helmut Walser Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (OUP, 2012)
  • Matthew Jeffries,'Lebensreform: A Middle-Class Antidote to Wilhelminism?' in Geoff Eley and James Retallack (eds.), Wilhelminism and its legacies : German modernities, Imperialism, and the meanings of reform, 1890-1930 : essays for Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann (Berghahn, 2003)

Primary Sources:

Further Reading:

  • Katharine A. Lerman, 'Wilhelmine Germany' in Mary Fulbrook (ed.) German History Since 1800 (Arnold, 1997)
  • Martin Kitchen, A History of Modern Germany: 1800 to the Present (2012), Chapter 9
  • Mark Hewitson, 'Wilhelmine Germany' in J. Retallack (ed.), Imperial Germany 1871-1918 (OUP, 2008), pp. 40-60
  • James Retallack, Germany in the Age of Kaiser Wilhelm II (Macmillan, 1996)
  • James Retallack, Germany's Second Reich: Portraits and Pathways (2015)

Wilhelm II

Wilhelmine Politics:

Society and Culture: