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Seminar Three (Week 7) - Militarism and Social Imperialism

  • How pervasive was German militarism within state and society?
  • Does Wehler’s theory of ‘social imperialism’ hold water?
  • How important were domestic factors in the German origins of the First World War?
Background reading


D. Blackbourn The Fontana History of Germany: The Long Nineteenth Century, pp. 370-85 & 441-59

V. Berghahn * Militarism: The History of an International Debate 
E.D. Brose The Kaiser's Army: The Politics of Military Technology in Germany during the Machine Age, 1870-1918
A. Bucholz Moltke and the German Wars 1864-1871
M.S. Coetzee The German Army League 
G. Craig The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945 
K. Demeter The German Officer Corps in Society and State 
B.E. Dencker, 'Popular Gymnastics and the Military Spirit in Germany, 1848-71', Central Euro Hist 2001, 503-30
G. Eley * ‘Army, State and Civil Society: Revisiting the Problem of German Militarism’, in ibid., From Unification to Nazism
________ ‘Re-shaping the Right: Radical Nationalism and the German Navy League 1898-1908’, Hist. Journal, 1978
________ ‘Some Thoughts on German Militarism’, in K.-J. Müller/E. Opitz, Militär und Militarismus in der Weimarer Republik 
N. Elias The Germans 
U. Frevert ‘Bourgeois Honour: Middle-class Duellists in Germany’, in Blackbourn/Evans (eds.), The German Bourgeoisie 
________ Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel on order
________ * A Nation in Barracks: Modern Germany, Military Conscription and Civil Society
P. Fritzsche A Nation of Fliers 
D. Hughes ‘Occupational Origins of Prussia’s Generals, 1871-1914’, Central European History, 1980
N.H. Jones Hitler’s Heralds. The Story of the Freikorps 1918-23
M. Kitchen The German Officer Corps 1890-1914
________ The Silent Dictatorship 
K. Liebknecht Militarism and Anti-Militarism
K. McAleer* Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siècle Germany 
T. Nevin Ernst Juenger and Germany: Into the Abyss, 1914-1945
G.A. Ritter The Sword and the Scepter: The Problem of Militarism in Germany
D. Schoenbaum Zabern 1913. Consensus Politics in Imperial Germany 
D. Showalter ‘Army and Society in Imperial Germany: The Pains of Modernization’, JCH 1983
N. Stargardt The German Idea of Militarism: Radical and Socialist Critics 1866-1914 
G. de Syon, Zeppelin! Germany and the Airship, 1900-1939
C. Treiblmayr, 'Militarism Revisited: Masculinity and Conscription in Germany', JCH 2004, 649-56
J. Verhey The Spirit of 1914: Militarism, Myth and Mobilization in Germany
Novels: H. Mann, Man of Straw; E. Jünger, The Storm of Steel; E.M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (also borrowable as a film from the SRC section of the Library)
Play: C. Zuckmayer, The Captain of Köpenick (very funny!)

German Colonialism, Social Imperialism and Weltpolitik

R.A. Berman Enlightenment or Empire: Colonial Discourse in German Culture
H. Drechsler, Let Us Die Fighting: The Struggle of the Herero and Nama against German Imperialism (an East German take)
G. Eley, 'Defining Social Imperialism: Use and Abuse of an Idea', Social History 1976, 265-90
I.D. Forbes, 'Social Imperialism and Wilhelmine Germany', Historical Journal 1979, 331-50
S. Friedrichsmeyer et al. (eds), The Imperialist Imagination: German Colonialism and its Legacy
H. Herwig The German Naval Officer Corps 
________ 'Luxury' Fleet: The Imperial German Navy, 1888-1918H. Stoecker (ed.), German Imperialism in Africa
S. Steinberg, 'The Tirpitz Plan', Historical Journal 1973, 196-204
H.-U. Wehler The German Empire, ch. 6

The Origins of the First World War

V. Berghahn* Germany and the Approach of War in 1914 
D. Calleo The German Problem Reconsidered, ch. 3
G.A. Craig Germany 1866-1945, part IX
N. Ferguson 'Germany and the Origins of the First World War', Historical Journal 1992, 725-52
F. Fischer* World Power or Decline 
________ From Kaiserreich to Third Reich, ch. 2
I. Geiss July 1914
M.R. Gordon 'Domestic Conflict and the Origins of the First World War', Journal of Modern History 1974, 191-226
J. Joll The Origins of the First World War, esp. ch. 2
D.E. Kaiser ‘Germany and the Origins of the First World War’, Journal of Modern History, 1983
P. Kennedy The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism
________ The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, ch. 5
H.W. Koch The Origins of the First World War: Great Power Rivalry and German War Aims 
A. Mombauer Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War
W.J. Mommsen 'Domestic Factors in German Foreign Policy before 1914', Central Euro Hist 1973, 3-43
J. Moses (ed)* The Politics of Illusion: The Fischer Controversy in German Historiography
J. Röhl 1914: Delusion or Design? 
P.v Strandmann ‘Germany and the Coming of war’, in R.J.W. Evans/ibid. (eds), The Coming of the First World War