HIST 342 Lecture Notes.docx - HIST 342 I The Prussian...

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HIST 342 9/27/17 I. The Prussian constitutional crisis of 1862 The Revolution of 1848: a first attempt at national unification -Popular uprisings driven by… 1. Optimistic ideologies of reform, revolution, nationality 2. Social misery of 1840s: hunger, pauperization -1848 Frankfurt Parliament *St. Paul’s Church: a missed opportunity to create a parliamentary democracy? *Results… 1. Failure of spontaneous democratic revolutions from below 2. Uncoupling of nationalism from progressive assumptions 3. Opens the door to a different solution to national unity: from above, Prussian-directed. The politics of Prussia’s constitutional crisis *William I (Wilhelm I) (r. 1858/1861-1888)- Prussian King -Trained in the Prussian army -Fought and commanded troops to carry out repression -Independence of army was very important to Wilhelm I *Albrecht von Roon- war minister von Roon’s Army Reform Bill (1860) Old army friend of Wilhelm, they aimed to… -Increase size of army -Increase length of service from 2 to 3 years -Demote the status of reserve militias *In response, new political party is formed: Progressive Party (liberal, with democratic leanings) founded in 1861 -Standoff over the Army Bill between William I and army supporters vs. Progressive Party. Prussian constitutional crisis Otto von Bismarck —appointed Prussian chancellor 1862 solution: rule by emergency decree (Notrecht). Suspends constitution to allow *Outcome of the above events… -In 1871 founding of the German Empire (Kaiserreich) -Austria excluded from German affairs -Germany was then united under Prussian dominance -European balance of power transformed II. What was Prussia? The Allies officially abolished Prussia after WWII (seen as being responsible for the “German Problem”) Prussia (Brandenburg-Prussian) steady expansion since 1600s *Hohenzollern dynasty: -Long series of strong, long-lived rulers (reality and mythology) -Army/Prussian militarism
-But also “enlightened despotism” (Berlin University) *Junkers: the Prussian nobility -Owned large landed estates in east -Worked by landless laborers; relatively low-yield agriculture (“rye”, potatoes, sugar beets) *Prussian Landtag (lower house of representatives) -Universal manhood suffrage 25+ -Landtag has power of the purse, but… > Ministers not accountable to parliamentary majorities > Army is outside the constitution-except for funding! > Prussian 3-class suffrage 9/29/17 Brief recap: Q: the politics of German unification who sets the agenda? -The solution emerges out of the Prussian constitutional crisis of 1862 III. Economic development and the resurgence of liberalism n.b. Tipton has a very good account of the economic upswing in Chapter 4-and in general, very good coverage of economics An economic takeoff in Central Europe -1845-1873 Germany’s first wave of industrial revolution The character of German industry -Railways as the leading sector -‘Producer goods’: coal, pig iron and steel, mechanical engineering -Large investments of capital to make this possible e.g. Bessemer converter to make steel -Large firms e.g. Krupp, in Essen (Ruhr district) -Centralized industrial plant focused in key region

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