2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
HIST2140 Imperial Germany 1871-1918
20 creditsClass Size: 28
Module manager: Prof Holger Afflerbach
Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable
Year running 2019/20
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryThe history of Imperial Germany ends where it started: in the "hall of mirrors" in Versailles. In January 1871 it was the place of Imperial coronation. In May 1919, defeated Germany, now a republic, had to sign the peace treaty of Versailles in the same place. Imperial Germany was a society with a double face: On one side it was an optimistic, quickly modernizing nation with an avant garde culture and phenomenal economic growth rates. On the other side, Germany was a state with a notoriously backward political system. This class will explore some of the facets of this state and society. It will deal with Bismarck and his ideas for a United Germany (or Greater Prussia). It will focus on his attempts to make the German nation-state compatible with the international order. It will deal with the German monarchy, especially with Wilhelm II, the last German emperor. It will deal with the contradicting trends in Germany society: Widespread militarism on one side, a growing welfare state on another side, and a rising political left, especially Social democracy, on the third side.We will study anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany. We will also study the writers of the epoch and the question of how the works of Theodor Fontane and Heinrich Mann influence our image of Imperial Germany. The class will end with the discussion of German responsibility for the outbreak of World War I and with the defeat and breakdown of the German monarchy in November 1918.
ObjectivesBy the conclusion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the basic political and social developments in Imperial Germany;
- see Imperial Germany as a radically modernizing state and society;
- understand also the very traditional power structures in Germany;
- evaluate the cultural life of this epoch;
- discuss Bismarck's and Wilhelm II's politics and Imperial Germany's place in Europe;
- see continuities and discontinuities between Imperial Germany, World War I, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich.
Enhances Common Skills listed below:
- High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
- Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
- Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
- Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
- Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
- Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.
Lesson 1 - Introduction: Bismarck's and Wilhelm II's Germany
Lesson 2 - From 1848 to 1871: The Creation of Imperial Germany
Lesson 3 - Imperial Germany: State and citizens
Lesson 4 - Bismarck's Germany: A divided society? Ethnic and religious minorities
Lesson 5 - Germany in Europe. Bismarck's foreign policy
Lesson 6 - From Bismarck to Wilhelm II.
Lesson 7 - Traditionalism and avantguarde: Culture, art and science in Imperial Germany
Lesson 8 - German Foreign policy 1890-1914
Lesson 9 - Germany and the Outbreak of World War I
Lesson 10 - Imperial Germany in World War I
Lesson 11 - Defeat, revolution, abdication: The Legacy of Imperial Germany and the Republic of Weimar.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||180.00|
|Total Contact hours||20.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private study- Exam preparation;
- researching, preparing, and writing assignments;
- undertaking set reading; and
- self-directed reading around the topic.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackContributions to class discussions, an assessed oral presentation, one assessed essay.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 x 3,500 word essay, due by 12 noon in exam week 1||60.00|
|Oral Presentation||Oral presentation to include a 1000-word paper.'||40.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Oral presentations can be re-sat with an alternative written exercise
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/04/2019
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