Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status, 1875-1919

Title

Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status, 1875-1919

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Description

The First World War marked the end point of a process of German globalization that began in the 1870s, well before Germany acquired a colonial empire or extensive overseas commercial interests. Structured around the figures of five influential economists who shaped the German political landscape, Learning Empire explores how their overseas experiences shaped public perceptions of the world and Germany's place in it. These men helped define a German liberal imperialism that came to influence the 'world policy' (Weltpolitik) of Kaiser Wilhelm, Chancellor Bülow, and Admiral Tirpitz. They devised naval propaganda, reshaped Reichstag politics, were involved in colonial and financial reforms, and helped define the debate over war aims in the First World War. Looking closely at German worldwide entanglements, Learning Empire recasts how we interpret German imperialism, the origins of the First World War, and the rise of Nazism, inviting reflection on the challenges of globalization in the current century.

ISBN

978-1108483827

Publication Date

Fall 9-26-2019

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Disciplines

Education

Comments

Review

'The history of Imperial Germany is currently being re-written, and Learning Empire is the most sustained and profound intervention yet: A magisterial tour-de-force that establishes Germany as a global player in the decades before World War I. Meticulously documented and driven by a strong vision, it reinstates the middle classes, and economic specialists in particular, as the driving forces behind Germany's global quest. Impressive!' Sebastian Conrad, Freie Universität Berlin 'Erik Grimmer-Solem's new book is a sustained tour de force of integrated intellectual and political history, whose impact will surely shift our perspectives on the complicated meanings of the 'German question' for the transnational instabilities of global politics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.' Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

Book Description

The First World War marked the end point of a process of German globalization that began in the 1870s. Learning Empire looks at German worldwide entanglements to recast how we interpret German imperialism, the origins of the First World War, and the rise of Nazism.

About the Author

Erik Grimmer-Solem is Professor in the Departments of History and German Studies at Wesleyan University, Connecticut. He is the author of numerous works including The Rise of Historical Economics and Social Reform in Germany (2003). He was a University of Chicago Harper Fellow and has received awards from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust, as well as two distinguished teaching prizes from Wesleyan University, Connecticut. His research on the Wehrmacht's involvement in the Holocaust was discussed in the newsweekly Der Spiegel, and debated in German parliament in 2014.

Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status, 1875-1919

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