1L The quest for political stability: Germany, 1871–1991
This option allows students to study in breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through the following key questions:
- How was Germany governed and how did political authority change and develop?
- How effective was opposition?
- How and with what results did the economy develop and change?
- What was the extent of social and cultural change?
- How important were ideas and ideology?
- How important was the role of key individuals and groups and how were they affected by developments?
Part one: Empire to democracy, 1871–1929
The Kaiserreich, 1871–1914
- Political authority: the extent and make-up of the German Empire in 1871; the 1871 constitution; the role of Emperor and Chancellor; political groupings and parties and their ideologies
- Government and opposition: Kaiser Wilhelm I and government under Bismarck; their personalities and policies; the role of the Reichstag; the struggle between autocracy and democracy; the development of parties and political opposition
- Government and opposition: Kaiser Wilhelm II and his chancellors; personalities and policies; the place of the Reichstag; the struggle between autocracy and democracy; the development of parties and political opposition
- Economic developments: industrial expansion; old and new industries; trade and wealth
- Social developments: the class hierarchy; elitism and the culture of militarism; the condition of the working people
- The political, economic and social condition of Germany by 1914
Empire to democracy, 1914–1929
- Political authority: the political impact of the First World War on Germany; political change and breakdown by 1918; the 1918 revolution; the establishment of democratic government in the Weimar constitution
- Government and opposition to 1924: post-war political problems; attempted coups and the opposition of left and right; the occupation of the Ruhr; the working of Weimar government; its strengths and weaknesses
- Government and opposition 1924–1929: the impact of the Ruhr invasion and the leadership of Stresemann; degree of governmental change; degree of opposition
- Economic developments: the impact of war; post-war economic problems and policies; reparations; hyperinflation; Dawes and Young Plans and foreign loans; industrial growth; agriculture
- Social developments: the effect of war on German society; social and cultural changes in Weimar Germany
- The political, economic and social condition of Germany by 1929
Part two: the impact of Nazism, war and division, 1929–1991 (A-level only)
The Nazi experiment, 1929–1949 (A-level only)
- Political authority 1929–1945: the collapse of Weimar democracy and the establishment of the one-party authoritarian Nazi State; the roles of Hindenburg and Hitler
- Government and opposition to 1945: Nazism as an ideology and in practice; Hitler's style of government; the Terror State; opposition and resistance; key Nazi leaders; the effect of war
- Political authority and government 1945–1949: post-war occupation and division; the issue of Berlin and the blockade; the division of Germany
- Economic developments: the impact of the Depression; recovery and development under Nazis in peace and war; the post-war economy
- Social developments and tensions; Nazi social policies including volksgemeinschaft and the racial state; Nazi culture; postwar German society and the legacy of Nazism
- The political, economic and social condition of Germany by 1949
Division to unity: the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949–1991 (A-level only)
- Political authority: Adenauer as Chancellor and establishment of democracy in Western Germany; the constitution, checks and balances; the state of German democracy
- Government and opposition: governments; parties and policies; chancellors after Adenauer and coalition governments under the three party system; the search for consensus
- Extra-parliamentary opposition and pressure: student protest; urban terrorism and the Baader-Meinhof gang; environmentalism
- Economic developments: the growth of the West German economy; the economic miracle and its aftermath; participation in the EEC/EU; impact of the oil crisis
- Social developments: the effect of the Nazi legacy; standards of living; changes to the position of women, youth, unemployment; social tensions; modern culture
- The political, economic and social condition of reunified Germany by 1991: Kohl and the drive to reunification; strengths and problems of reunification