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History   >   Germany - Before the War, 1871-1918

What was Germany like in 1914?

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Germany - Before the War, 1871-1918

In this course, Professor Matthew Jefferies (University of Manchester) looks at Germany during the period before the First World War. In the first module, we explore what Germany was like in 1914, particularly how the country was geographically and socially structured. In the second module, we consider whether Germany, in 1914, was an unfinished Nation State, before in the third module turning to look at how Imperial Germany was governed. In the fourth module, we debate the extent to which Kaiser Wilhelm II succeeded in establishing personal rule, looking at his character, sexuality, nationality, and personal entourage. In the fifth and final module, we look at how the German Empire is viewed today, in particular discussing the debates surrounding German monuments and the historical legacies that are maintained.

What was Germany like in 1914?

In this module, we think about what Germany was like in 1914, focusing on: (i) how the German Empire was structured geographically, in particular its system of Kingdoms, Grand Duchies, Duchies, Principalities, and Free cities; (ii) what the social structure of the German Empire was, and how the German nobility was ordered; (iii) what powers were possessed by the Kaiser; (iv) how important Prussia was, as the largest, most populous German state; (v) how the German Empire developed, from its foundation in 1871 to the end of the First World War in 1918; and (vi) how industrialisation and urbanisation progressed during the lifetime of the German Empire.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jefferies, M. (2022, September 22). Germany - Before the War, 1871-1918 - What was Germany like in 1914? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jefferies, M. "Germany - Before the War, 1871-1918 – What was Germany like in 1914?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Sep 2022,

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Prof.  Matthew Jefferies

Prof. Matthew Jefferies

Manchester University