Broadening Brightness: The Rise Of German Industrialism

1670 words - 7 pages

Between the years of 1750 and 1850, Great Britain took the initiative to become the first major European country to reach out to the rest of the world and find new ways to broaden its roots. Not only did they expand technologically, but militarily and geographically as well. Until 1815, they ruled the empire independently as no one else looked to become their next contender. However, when Germany gained confidence and began to see the potential they had to become a major player in the world, their industrialization commenced. Quickly, they surpassed England, became the new world leader, and kept the other countries on their toes at all times. Inspired by the idea of becoming a cultural “power house,” the Germans used the thought of rising above the rest to motivate themselves to industrialize quicker than the other countries who claimed to be a threat before World War I.
Prior to the start of Germany’s industrialization, the country was no different from the others although it flourished in potential. From the British Isles to Continental Europe and North America, the Industrial Revolution greatly increased the number of advantages the Western powers possessed. They had the upper hand in manufacturing capacity and could not be stopped in war-like battles. Although they did have the ability to run roughshod over the rest of the world, they preferred to strengthen political rivalries and economic competition between the different European powers. In the first half of the nineteenth century, Britain was a naval superiority who was left to dominate overseas trade and empire building on their own. By the end of that time, other countries began to leave their mark on the globe; Belgium, France, and especially Germany. With a larger role, these powers began to challenge Britain’s industrial supremacy (Schwartz). This “...structural change caused by industrialization and urbanization occurred relatively rapidly" (Linden and Rojahn 248), however, Germany was tough and ready for change.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Germany was motivated to leave its prominent mark on the world. Its industrialism was the fastest in the world during that time. Between 1880 and 1913, coal production increased four-hundred percent from the previous years. Some other rapidly expanding industries included steel, chemicals, engineering, and armaments. In thirty years, their international trade amount had nearly quadrupled (“Germany in 1914”). The accumulation of capital pre-World War I, was responsible for large-scale project loans such as railroads, coal mines, and iron works. These long term loans allowed entrepreneurs to start up new modern businesses (Brophy 149). What played a major role in the quick spread of advancements was from 1870 until 1910, when Germany's population increased from twenty-four million to sixty-five million people. Of that percentage, over forty percent were employed in industry. The other thirty-five percent remained working in...

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