By Martin Kitchen
This attractive textbook offers a large survey of recent German historical past from 1800-2000, and situates Germany’s fragmented previous inside its complete context. Kitchen:
- Provides readers a protracted view of German background, letting them see continuities and adjustments
- Covers the unification of Germany, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the 3rd Reich, the Federal Republic, the cave in of Communism, and the re-unification
- Examines cultural background in addition to political and monetary background
- Includes assurance of neighborhood background instead of concentrating on the dominant function of Prussia
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Additional resources for A History of Modern Germany 1800 - 2000
In 1811 and 1812 a one time income tax with a marginal rate of five percent was introduced, but this occasioned frantic protest by the wealthy against the violation of the private sphere by the state and the malicious assault on private property rights. In 1820 a “class tax” was introduced which combined a poll tax with a sort of income tax. This, combined with the remaining forms of indirect taxation, was a particularly heavy burden on the poor, and contributed to the growing disparities of wealth and income.
Society was to be freed from the restrictions and inequalities of the old order, and there was to be full equality before the law, thus unleashing the creative power of the people in the service of a common cause. So much for the lofty ideals; reality was somewhat different. There was considerable resistance to reform in some quarters, particularly at court and among conservative aristocrats. There were also many differences between the reformers themselves. Baron vom Stein, who was principal minister from 1807 until his dismissal at Napoleon’s command in the following year, was the initiator of the reform movement.
His objections were swept aside and his fears soon proved to be unfounded. A conservative institution like the Prussian officer corps could never be so radically reformed. Old prejudices in favor of the traditional aristocratic families who had served the state for generations were too deeply entrenched. Many young aristocrats were men of considerable talent, and had little difficulty in passing the rigorous examinations required to gain a commission and climb the ladder of promotion. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau might have been bourgeois, but Clausewitz and Boyen came from distinguished old families.
A History of Modern Germany 1800 - 2000 by Martin Kitchen