History UsefulNotes / ImperialGermany

20th Sep '17 1:57:02 PM JulianLapostat
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[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It all ended very badly]].

Important note: Imperial Germany have a lot of things in common with Nazis. And many Nazis began their careers in Imperial Germany. There are indeed, very strong continuities between Imperial Germany, the Kaizerreich, and Nazi Germany. But, there are also continuities between Imperial Germany, and the Weimar Republic, and generally people ''do'' distinguish between the Weimar and Nazi eras after all. Likewise, one can trace proto-Nazi ideas across German history, and even European history as a whole. Imperial Germany was anti-democratic, German supremacist, and belligerent by nature and design. It did share the goal of expanding into Eastern Europe that ultimately formed one of the major engines of UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust. Imperial Germany was an authoritarian state run by the Prussian warrior-caste nobility and they also perpetrated genocide against the Herero people in German South-West Africa.

There were also important differences of course. Bismarck did strive to maintain a facade of liberal institutions and civic society, so Imperial Germany did not impose a single nationalistic ideology. Opposition political parties such as the Social Democrats, the Marxists and others were allowed to run and operate albeit a SidekickGlassCeiling was strongly maintained to prevent them from being truly effective, and the Reichstag had no say in foreign or domestic policies. While the Kaiserreich did have anti-semitism, and the Kaiser ''was'' anti-semitic, the militant ethnic hatred of the Nazis didn't take effect yet. Wilhelm II, despite remaining a reactionary, intolerant, and somewhat bonkers gentleman till the end, [[EveryoneHasStandards strongly condemned the violent Nazi persecution of Jews (despite being viciously anti-Semitic himself)]], and he died in 1941 some months before Germany invaded the Soviet Union and began exterminating her civilians. It is plausible to argue that Imperial Germany wasn't exceptional as both society and government in both domestic and international policy from Anglo-Saxon nations. After all, UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire was a racist, expansionist, colonialist empire where suffrage was smaller than in Wilhelmine Germany, and America had Jim Crow laws during the nadir of race relations. It would [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade be inexact]] to say they were just like the Nazis, but [[HistoricalVillainDowngrade it would be equally inexact]] to claim they were exceptionally different from their darker imperialist descendants.

Post-World War II German historians (such as Fritz Fischer, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Hans Mommsen among others) argue that Imperial Germany was the nation most responsible for the outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, arguing by citing the existence of long-term political plans and a cabinet meeting with the Kaiser and his generals prove that they knowingly escalated the Balkan situation (which was merely one of many and if handled correctly could have been a non-issue) to opportunistically launch a war to maintain German hegemony in the face of what they saw as Russia eventually exceeding its productivity once it completed industrialization. After the War, Imperial German nationalists and others cunningly exploited the unexpected sympathy it enjoyed in the global Anglophone by doctoring and or destroying documents in its archives, and patronizing friendly and sympathetic historians to argue that Imperial Germany was either no different from other nations (i.e. collective guilt) or that it was a victim of TallPoppySyndrome from neighbouring superpowers who were jealous of its prosperity. The success of this counter-propaganda can be seen in such instances as UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, writing in ''The Gathering Storm'' in 1948 concluded that Germany (and the world) would have been far better off keeping the Hohenzollerns under a true constitutional monarchy than the troubled republic of UsefulNotes/WeimarGermany, which pleased Churchill's general imperialist and bellicose nostalgia and his belief that democracy was only common to Anglo-Saxon nations and its people and not to others.

The Imperial flag of Black-White-Red is used as [[NoSwastikas an alternative to their banned symbols]] by Neo-Nazis, but monarchists universally condemn this, and people who know anything about history point out that the Neo-Nazis are grasping on to a symbol they have only a minimal connection to[[note]]The original Nazis considered Imperial Germany to be a a failure that squandered its power.[[/note]] in order to circumvent German hate-speech laws and try (and fail) to gain some measure of legitimacy.

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[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI It all ended very badly]].

Important note:
Imperial Germany have a lot of things in common with Nazis. And the Nazis and many Nazis began their careers in Imperial Germany. There are indeed, very strong continuities between Imperial Germany, the Kaizerreich, Germany and Nazi Germany. But, Germany but, there are also continuities between Imperial Germany, Germany and the Weimar Republic, and generally people ''do'' distinguish between the Weimar and Nazi eras after all. Likewise, one can trace proto-Nazi ideas across German history, and even European history as a whole. Imperial Germany was anti-democratic, German supremacist, and belligerent by nature and design. It did share the goal of expanding into Eastern Europe that ultimately formed one of the major engines of UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust. Imperial Germany was an authoritarian state run by the Prussian warrior-caste nobility and they also perpetrated genocide against the Herero people in German South-West Africa.

There were also important key differences of course. however. Bismarck did strive to maintain a facade of liberal institutions and civic society, so Imperial Germany did not impose a single nationalistic ideology.ideology outside of Prussian hegemony and loyalty to the Kaiser. Opposition political parties such as the Social Democrats, the Marxists and others were allowed to run and operate albeit a SidekickGlassCeiling was strongly maintained to prevent them from being truly effective, and the Reichstag had no say in foreign or domestic policies. While the Kaiserreich did have anti-semitism, and the Kaiser ''was'' anti-semitic, the militant ethnic hatred of the Nazis didn't take effect yet. Wilhelm II, despite remaining a reactionary, intolerant, and somewhat bonkers gentleman till the end, [[EveryoneHasStandards strongly condemned the violent Nazi persecution of Jews (despite being viciously anti-Semitic himself)]], and he died in 1941 some months before Germany invaded the Soviet Union and began exterminating her civilians. It is plausible to argue that Imperial Germany wasn't exceptional as both society and government in both domestic and international policy from Anglo-Saxon nations. After all, UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire was a racist, expansionist, colonialist empire where suffrage was smaller than in Wilhelmine Germany, and America had Jim Crow laws during the nadir of race relations. It would [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade be inexact]] to say they were just like the Nazis, but [[HistoricalVillainDowngrade it would be equally inexact]] to claim they were exceptionally different from their darker imperialist descendants.

Post-World War II German historians (such as Fritz Fischer, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Hans Mommsen among others) argue that Imperial Germany was the nation most responsible for the outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, arguing by citing the existence of long-term political plans and a cabinet meeting with the Kaiser and his generals prove that they knowingly escalated the Balkan situation (which was merely one of many and if handled correctly could have been a non-issue) to opportunistically launch a war to maintain German hegemony in the face of what they saw as Russia eventually exceeding its productivity once it completed industrialization. After the War, Imperial German nationalists and others cunningly exploited the unexpected sympathy it enjoyed in the global Anglophone by doctoring and or destroying documents in its archives, and patronizing friendly and sympathetic historians to argue that Imperial Germany was either no different from other nations (i.e. collective guilt) or that it was a victim of TallPoppySyndrome from neighbouring superpowers who were jealous of its prosperity. The success of this counter-propaganda (which has a startling resemblance to [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the Lost Cause of the Confederacy]]) can be seen in such instances as UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, writing in ''The Gathering Storm'' in 1948 concluded that Germany (and the world) would have been far better off keeping the Hohenzollerns under a true constitutional monarchy than the troubled republic of UsefulNotes/WeimarGermany, which pleased Churchill's general imperialist and bellicose nostalgia and his belief that democracy was only common to Anglo-Saxon nations and its people and not to others.

The Imperial flag of Black-White-Red is used as [[NoSwastikas an alternative to their banned symbols]] by Neo-Nazis, but monarchists universally condemn this, and people who know anything about history point out that the Neo-Nazis are grasping on to a symbol they have only a minimal connection to[[note]]The original Nazis considered Imperial Germany to be a a failure that squandered its power.[[/note]] power because they were too moderate and not imperialist enough[[/note]] in order to circumvent German hate-speech laws and try (and fail) to gain some measure of legitimacy.
20th Sep '17 1:47:16 PM JulianLapostat
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Important note: never confuse Imperial Germany with the Nazis. People with any knowledge of German history (well, okay, {{nerd}}s, but it's pretty much the same around here) scream and writhe when they hear this. And this wiki is full of nerds.

Imperial Germany has relatively few fans today, but it's generally agreed that they deserve some credit for not being the Nazis - though they were still rather unpleasant, what with doing things like their genocide of the Herero people in German South-West Africa[[note]]Then again, their European rivals could hardly be said to better in this regard, nor could [[UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans the United States]][[/note]]. UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, writing in ''The Gathering Storm'' in 1948 concluded that Germany (and the world) would have been far better off keeping the Hohenzollerns under a true constitutional monarchy than the troubled republic of UsefulNotes/WeimarGermany, and a lot of facts seem to stand up for this. Wilhelm II, despite remaining a reactionary, intolerant, and somewhat bonkers gentleman till the end, [[EveryoneHasStandards strongly condemned the violent Nazi persecution of Jews (despite being viciously anti-Semitic himself)]], and he died in 1941 some months before Germany invaded the Soviet Union and began exterminating her civilians. Monarchism was strong in the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic but today very few people support monarchism.

to:

Important note: never confuse Imperial Germany have a lot of things in common with the Nazis. People with any knowledge of And many Nazis began their careers in Imperial Germany. There are indeed, very strong continuities between Imperial Germany, the Kaizerreich, and Nazi Germany. But, there are also continuities between Imperial Germany, and the Weimar Republic, and generally people ''do'' distinguish between the Weimar and Nazi eras after all. Likewise, one can trace proto-Nazi ideas across German history, and even European history (well, okay, {{nerd}}s, but it's pretty much the same around here) scream and writhe when they hear this. And this wiki is full of nerds.

as a whole. Imperial Germany has relatively few fans today, but it's generally agreed was anti-democratic, German supremacist, and belligerent by nature and design. It did share the goal of expanding into Eastern Europe that ultimately formed one of the major engines of UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust. Imperial Germany was an authoritarian state run by the Prussian warrior-caste nobility and they deserve some credit for not being the Nazis - though they were still rather unpleasant, what with doing things like their also perpetrated genocide of against the Herero people in German South-West Africa[[note]]Then again, their European rivals could hardly be said Africa.

There were also important differences of course. Bismarck did strive
to better in this regard, nor could [[UsefulNotes/NativeAmericans the United States]][[/note]]. UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, writing in ''The Gathering Storm'' in 1948 concluded that maintain a facade of liberal institutions and civic society, so Imperial Germany (and did not impose a single nationalistic ideology. Opposition political parties such as the world) would Social Democrats, the Marxists and others were allowed to run and operate albeit a SidekickGlassCeiling was strongly maintained to prevent them from being truly effective, and the Reichstag had no say in foreign or domestic policies. While the Kaiserreich did have been far better off keeping anti-semitism, and the Hohenzollerns under a true constitutional monarchy than Kaiser ''was'' anti-semitic, the troubled republic militant ethnic hatred of UsefulNotes/WeimarGermany, and a lot of facts seem to stand up for this.the Nazis didn't take effect yet. Wilhelm II, despite remaining a reactionary, intolerant, and somewhat bonkers gentleman till the end, [[EveryoneHasStandards strongly condemned the violent Nazi persecution of Jews (despite being viciously anti-Semitic himself)]], and he died in 1941 some months before Germany invaded the Soviet Union and began exterminating her civilians. Monarchism It is plausible to argue that Imperial Germany wasn't exceptional as both society and government in both domestic and international policy from Anglo-Saxon nations. After all, UsefulNotes/TheBritishEmpire was strong a racist, expansionist, colonialist empire where suffrage was smaller than in Wilhelmine Germany, and America had Jim Crow laws during the nadir of race relations. It would [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade be inexact]] to say they were just like the Nazis, but [[HistoricalVillainDowngrade it would be equally inexact]] to claim they were exceptionally different from their darker imperialist descendants.

Post-World War II German historians (such as Fritz Fischer, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Hans Mommsen among others) argue that Imperial Germany was the nation most responsible for the outbreak of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, arguing by citing the existence of long-term political plans and a cabinet meeting with the Kaiser and his generals prove that they knowingly escalated the Balkan situation (which was merely one of many and if handled correctly could have been a non-issue) to opportunistically launch a war to maintain German hegemony
in the UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic but today very few face of what they saw as Russia eventually exceeding its productivity once it completed industrialization. After the War, Imperial German nationalists and others cunningly exploited the unexpected sympathy it enjoyed in the global Anglophone by doctoring and or destroying documents in its archives, and patronizing friendly and sympathetic historians to argue that Imperial Germany was either no different from other nations (i.e. collective guilt) or that it was a victim of TallPoppySyndrome from neighbouring superpowers who were jealous of its prosperity. The success of this counter-propaganda can be seen in such instances as UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill, writing in ''The Gathering Storm'' in 1948 concluded that Germany (and the world) would have been far better off keeping the Hohenzollerns under a true constitutional monarchy than the troubled republic of UsefulNotes/WeimarGermany, which pleased Churchill's general imperialist and bellicose nostalgia and his belief that democracy was only common to Anglo-Saxon nations and its people support monarchism.
and not to others.
18th Sep '17 5:34:07 PM BatmanKalEl
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A full third larger than modern Germany, it incorporated a large part of modern Poland[[note]]at the time Poland was still partitioned between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Prussia with Russia ultimately getting most of it[[/note]] (which itself lost all of its eastern territories to the Soviet Union after World War II and was compensated by territories taken from eastern Germany), Alsace-Lorraine[[note]]it was called "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen", but technically the "Lorraine" part was only Moselle, which is only one department (roughly one fourth) of Lorraine, the other departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges and Meuse remained French[[/note]] (part of modern France), small slices of Lithuania. Belgium and Denmark, and what is now the Kaliningrad exclave of the Russian Federation. All had German populations at a time but in some places, primarily the Duchy of Posen (today Poznan in Poland) they were not a majority or "German in sentiment". [[InternetBackdraft Be very careful when you talk about this. It may spontaneously combust, and not only with Germans.]] Germans were kicked out of many places after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and far more after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but in Germany and these places [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom it's considered polite not to mention this.]]

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A full third larger than modern Germany, it incorporated a large part of modern Poland[[note]]at the time Poland was still partitioned between Austria-Hungary, Russia and Prussia with Russia ultimately getting most of it[[/note]] (which itself lost all of its eastern territories to the Soviet Union after World War II and was compensated by territories taken from eastern Germany), Alsace-Lorraine[[note]]it was called "Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen", but technically the "Lorraine" part was only Moselle, which is only one department (roughly one fourth) of Lorraine, the other departments, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vosges and Meuse remained French[[/note]] (part of modern France), small slices of Lithuania. Belgium and Denmark, and what is now the Kaliningrad exclave of the Russian Federation. All had German populations at a time but in some places, primarily the Duchy of Posen (today Poznan in Poland) they were not a majority or "German in sentiment". [[InternetBackdraft [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement Be very careful when you talk about this. It may spontaneously combust, and not only with Germans.]] Germans were kicked out of many places after UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and far more after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, but in Germany and these places [[ElephantInTheLivingRoom it's considered polite not to mention this.]]
7th Sep '17 8:32:12 PM PaulA
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* Creator/HPLovecraft's 1920 story "The Temple", an example of some of the rather rabidly jingoistic material Lovecraft wrote during and after the First World War. Set in 1917, it concerns the crew of a U-boat in the Imperial Navy sinking a British freighter and murdering the survivors (perhaps a reference to the RealLife incident in 1918 where the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed by a U-boat and its survivors machine-gunned in their lifeboats.) This being a Lovecraft story, the crew gradually kill each other off being driven mad by the supernatural force emanating from the sunken ruins of Atlantis in the waters far below them. The story relies heavily on the rabidly anti-German sentiment that was widely pervasive in the Allied countries during and shortly after the war, portraying the Germans as arrogant, casually brutal and fully convinced of their own superiority.

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* Creator/HPLovecraft's 1920 story "The Temple", "Literature/TheTemple", an example of some of the rather rabidly jingoistic material Lovecraft wrote during and after the First World War. Set in 1917, it concerns the crew of a U-boat in the Imperial Navy sinking a British freighter and murdering the survivors (perhaps a reference to the RealLife incident in 1918 where the Canadian hospital ship HMHS Llandovery Castle was torpedoed by a U-boat and its survivors machine-gunned in their lifeboats.) This being a Lovecraft story, the crew gradually kill each other off being driven mad by the supernatural force emanating from the sunken ruins of Atlantis in the waters far below them. The story relies heavily on the rabidly anti-German sentiment that was widely pervasive in the Allied countries during and shortly after the war, portraying the Germans as arrogant, casually brutal and fully convinced of their own superiority.
16th May '17 9:31:26 AM nombretomado
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Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men). Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy.

to:

Imperial Germany was a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament, the ''Reichstag,'' and while in the United Kingdom around 50% of men failed to meet qualifications to vote, Imperial Germany had universal suffrage (though still only for men). Furthermore, Bismarck introduced an advanced welfare system for the sick, the old, and the infirm. And yet while it was technically governed by rule of law, its constitution was weak, and a great deal of influence was in the hands of generals, landowners, and industrialists. While parliament had the power to pass bills, all laws had to be approved by the Chancellor, who was not elected but personally appointed by the Emperor, and was responsible only to him. Thus the true power lay not with the people, but the Kaiser. Although not a full-on autocracy like pre-1906 TsaristRussia, UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia, none of this added up to democracy.
30th Mar '17 8:35:28 PM ElSquibbonator
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* StartOfDarkness: World War One, for the German nation.

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* StartOfDarkness: World War One, for the German nation. Gave them a reputation they wouldn't shave off for a ''very'' long time.




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* In ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' the King of Town's "Old Timey" counterpart is "The Kaiser", who looks like a stereotypical World War I-era German caricature, complete with a Pickelhaube. He lives in Hell, where he rules over "the Demon" (aka the Old-Timey version of The Poopsmith).



** Kaiser Wilhelm II appeared as a zombie in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode, working with several Old West zombie outlaws to terrorize Springfield. He was even called [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler the scariest German who ever lived]].

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** Kaiser Wilhelm II appeared as a zombie in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode, working with several Old West zombie outlaws to terrorize Springfield. He was even called [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler the scariest German who ever lived]]. [[DontExplainTheJoke The joke, of course, being that Hitler (whom most people would pick for that title) was technically Austrian.]]
30th Mar '17 2:48:51 PM m.crumpet
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* D.H.Lawrence's 1914 short story "The Prussian Officer" concerns an aide to a German army captain who is routinely physically and mentally abused by his superior officer. The officer privately both regards his aide with pseudo-sexual desire, at the same time as being consumed with an obsession with forcing him to conform to a hyper-rigid ideal military discipline, until the aide eventually snaps, murders him, wanders into a nearby forest and dies of thirst and exhaustion from being dehydrated and over-marched.

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* D.H.Lawrence's 1914 short story "The Prussian Officer" concerns an aide to a German army captain who is routinely physically and mentally abused by his superior officer. The officer privately both regards his aide with pseudo-sexual desire, at the same time as being consumed with an obsession with forcing him to conform to a hyper-rigid ideal military discipline, until the aide eventually snaps, murders him, wanders into a nearby forest and dies of thirst and exhaustion from being dehydrated and over-marched. \n (As a story written by an Englishman on the eve of the First World War, its view of the German military and by extension of Prussian militarization of German society at large is..less than kind, but not entirely unrealistic given the German army's reputation at the time for rather draconian punishments for enlisted men.)
30th Mar '17 2:44:38 PM m.crumpet
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* Despite being set in a fantasy World War Two, the PuttingOnTheReich Germanian Empire from Izetta:TheLastWitch invites some comparison to Imperial Germany by virtue of being a monarchy rather than a one-party dictatorship.

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* Despite being set in a fantasy World War Two, the PuttingOnTheReich Germanian Empire from Izetta:TheLastWitch IzettaTheLastWitch invites some comparison to Imperial Germany by virtue of being a monarchy rather than a one-party dictatorship.
30th Mar '17 2:43:51 PM m.crumpet
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* The anime version of YoujoSenki sets the story in a rather obvious FantasyCounterpartCulture to the Kaiserreich during a parallel-universe version of World War One (as opposed to the manga which was more obviously inspired by World War Two) complete with largely period-accurate uniforms and weapons.
*Despite being set in a fantasy World War Two, the PuttingOnTheReich Germanian Empire from Izetta:TheLastWitch invites some comparison to Imperial Germany by virtue of being a monarchy rather than a one-party dictatorship.
30th Mar '17 2:36:34 PM m.crumpet
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* D.H.Lawrence's 1914 short story "The Prussian Officer" concerns an aide to a German army captain who is routinely physically and mentally abused by his superior officer. The officer privately both regards his aide with pseudo-sexual desire, at the same time as being consumed with an obsession with forcing him to conform to a hyper-rigid ideal military discipline, until the aide eventually snaps, murders him, wanders into a nearby forest and dies of thirst and exhaustion from being dehydrated and over-marched.
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