Essay about The World War Was The Collapse Of The Hohenzollern Regime

Essay about The World War Was The Collapse Of The Hohenzollern Regime

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Ryder argues ‘the shock of defeat [in the First World War] caused the collapse of the Hohenzollern regime, which hitherto had appeared almost impregnable. The collapse made the German revolution possible’ as it placed Germany into an isolated position lasting until the signing of the peace treaty. The collapse of the German empire was not as inevitable as that of Russia or Austria-Hungary; nationalism was not as serious a problem, with ninety two percent of citizens speaking German as of the 1900 census and a strong economy following rapid industrialisation in the 1850s. Without the war the empire was still likely to have fallen, it was difficult for an empire to survive in a modernising world and questions were already being raised about Germany’s political model, as Mombauer presents ‘the history of the Kaiserreich ended in 1914’. However, the war was the main reason for the empire’s collapse as the economic hardships reawakened working class radicalism. The German economy was destroyed by the war, which was characterised by food shortages and high rates of inflation, with money losing two thirds of its value, prompting strike action by workers. The war can be seen to have caused the collapse of the empire as it was a naval mutiny at Kiel that triggered the revolution. War weariness in the face of defeats, such as the German attack in Warsaw ‘we were not numerically strong enough, nor were our troops good enough in quality, to pin down the Russian forces in the bend of the Vistula’ damaged moral and lost faith in the Kaiser and his officials. However, whilst the war devastated Germany preceding events paint the image of an already unsettled country on the verge of social uprising. The leadership of Kaiser Wilhelm had placed...


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... demise as it worsened the industrial situation, creating tension, and the loss of monarchic legitimacy provided opportunity for action. The Russian revolution acted as an example for those fighting for independence from the State, as it had shown ‘not only that dynasties could be overthrown, but that the territorial map of Eastern Europe was bound to be redrawn.’

In conclusion, the three empires would all have eventually fallen, as the system of empire and absolute monarchy could not survive the modernisation of the 20th century, particularly against rising proto-nationalist ideas. However, the war acted to weaken the states and leave the leaders vulnerable to uprising, as they lacked the funds or forces to prevent them. The war had the greatest influence over the German revolution, but played a significant role in hastening the inevitable collapse of the empires.

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