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Germany - The First World War, 1914-18

4. The Home Front

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In this module, we look at how the First World War was experienced on the German Home Front, focusing on: (i) how struggles over food production and distribution transformed relations between the German people and the government; (ii) the deepening divide between urban and rural populations caused by shortages of housing, fuel, and food; (iii) the response by the government to food riots, protests, and demonstrations; and (iv) how the dire situation on the Home Front led some Germans to welcome military takeover in 1916.


In this course, Professor Belinda Davis (Rutgers University) looks at Germany during the First World War. In the first module, we consider why Germany went to war, and who wanted war. In the second module, we outline the basic elements of the First World War, including its unprecedented violence, the divisions it caused within German society, and the hardship that it brought upon Germany. In the third module, we turn to consider the concept of “Total War” and how it applied to Germany during the First World War, and in the fourth we look at the German Home Front. In the fifth and final module, we look at the immediate legacies of the First World War.


Professor Belinda Davis is a Professor at Rutgers University. Her research interests lie in modern Germany and Europe, especially food, popular politics, and gender history. Her recent publications include The Internal Life of Politics: Extraparliamentary Opposition in West Germany, 1962-1983 (2019), Changing the World, Changing Oneself: Political Protest and Transnational Identities in 1960s/70s, West Germany and the U.S (2010, editor), and Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin (2000).

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APA style

Davis, B. (2022, September 01). Germany - The First World War, 1914-18 - The Home Front [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Davis, B. "Germany - The First World War, 1914-18 – The Home Front." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 01 Sep 2022,

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