Germany Paper

This essay has a total of 1375 words and 6 pages.


Germany





The essays which this paper is based on, "Liberalism and society: The Feminist Movement
and Social Change", "The Politics of Demagogy in Imperial Germany", "The Mythology of the
Sonderweg", and "A Bonapartist Dictatorship" were enlightening, but tended to repeat a
central theme, the unwillingness of the Junkers of Germany to give up even the smallest
bit of their power over the lower classes. I suppose there will always be many opinions on
what influenced the formation of Germany, but it really can be laid at the feet of Otto
von Bismarck. He ran Germany from Prussia in the way he saw fit, through the eyes of a
Junker.

Junkers and heavy industry are what controlled Germany during its formation years and the
Industrial Revolution, trying to keep independence while Bismarck tried to bind the many
city-states together. The Junkers had the money and the power and were not willing to give
up their vast influence. This meant they were naturally conservative, giving the
government more influence in the running of the regions would mean less power and money in
their pockets. Each Junker in every small province wanted to keep their independence and
traditional way of life. They felt the need to keep the power over the poor and
uneducated.

The three party voting system helped to insure that the rich elite would keep their power.
This system divided the population into three sections; the poor bourgeoisie, Junkers and
industry, and the elite. With the votes being even for each faction, the rich, with two
thirds of the vote, would always have the advantage over the poor. This sammlung of
Junkers and heavy industry feared government socialism, which would take away from their
power, and did all they could to block any democratic reform, which would give the poor
more power in the form of voting ability as well.

As far as women having an added influence in Germany at this time, I believe they were
only slightly influential. Prior to the advent of the industrial revolution, the only
place for a woman in Germany was in charitable positions on the bare fringes of public
life. Their lot was to tend to the home and family. With the coming of the industrial
revolution to Eastern Europe, there were more jobs available outside the home, and women
joined the workforce more and more. They were needed and necessary in the workforce, but
their effect in bringing about democratic reform was minimal. The Feminist Movement itself
was reasonably effected by the new middle class and not so much the lower.

Even with the rising rate of women in the workforce, the conditions of work were extremely
restrictive. While being indispensable to the growing industries and service jobs that
were now appearing, women could never hope to teach at a boy’s school, and to teach in any
case, they had to be single and prepared to resign if they got married. These movements
were more conservative as well, and tended to not indulge in politics, with the exception
of trying to break into the medical professions and to try and get better education in the
girl’s schools. More women found jobs in the growing roles of secretaries or line workers
in newly industrialized factories.

The Woman’s Movement, while having some parallels with the suffrage movement in America,
was a lot slower. Making a comparison between the suffrage movements in Germany and
America is not exactly a fair evaluation though, since the roles of women in these two
cultures differed so completely. The women in Germany did eventually get the right to
vote, and petitioned for equal pay for equal work as well as attempt to get a more equal
education for young girls.

It has been proposed that because of the votes of women in Germany, Hitler eventually came
to power. I give this proposition little credence, for the actions of Bismarck and
following Chancellors paved the way for the eventual rise of Nazism. The militarization of
the bourgeoisie did more to bring about a greater acceptance of socialism and Nazism than
anything the Woman’s Movement could have done.

Basically, I do believe that these essays coincide with each other, with just a few areas
where they do not quite meet. No matter what the poor did, no matter the opinions of the
growing Women’s Movement or feelings of the new middle class, Junkers would still control
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