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In 1800 `Germany' was a loose collection of states about to be subject to devastating defeats and political reorganisation at the hands of Napoleonic France. Seventy years later most of Germany was unified into one state and occupied a defeated France. Less than fifty years after that Germany was once again defeated and part of her territory occupied by France. Accompanying these dramatic territorial and military transformations were equally radical and significant political, social, economic and cultural changes. Germany in 1800 was largely an agrarian economy and rural society; by 1918 industrial production and urban life dominated. Universal schooling and literacy had been achieved; mass politics had displaced the intrigues of courts; Germany's innovative contributions to music, painting, literature, science, technology, the art of warfare and much else were second to none. A republic was proclaimed at the end of 1918, bringing an end to a long history of monarchical rule in Germany.
It is extraordinarily difficult for any single historian to do justice to changes so varied, complex and controversial. Instead in this book an international team of distinguished scholars has collaborated to produce a comprehensive and accessible guide to the subject, organised along clearly chronological lines. The result is an innovative work, blending the basic guidance of a conventional textbook with analysis of central issues in political, social, economic, and cultural history by experts in their fields.
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This is an outstanding textbook. Truly immense fields are handled with real panache. (German History)
The best available introduction ... an excellent choice of contributors. (T.C.W. Blanning, Professor of History, University)
The 19th-century saw the creation of two major new states in western Europe: Italy and Germany. The precise shape and configuration of Germany, in particular, was not a forgone conclusion, nor of course were its subsequent patterns of development. However, it was clear at an early stage that whatever political arrangement was arrived at for these key lands of the Holy Roman Empire, their influence - intellectual, cultural, and artistic as well as social, economic, and political - would be formidable. Based on the first part of "Germany since 1800", this account has been revised and updated throughout and a new chapter on World War I added. It provides an introduction to the key issues of the period, informed by the latest research.
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