Germany's imperial era (1871-1918) continues to attract both scholars and the general public alike. The American historian Roger Chickering has referred to the historiography on the Kaiserreich as an 'extraordinary body of historical scholarship', whose quality and diversity stands comparison with that of any other episode in European history. This Companion is a significant addition to this body of scholarship with the emphasis very much on the present and future. Questions of continuity remain a vital and necessary line of historical enquiry and while it may have been short-lived, the Kaiserreich remains central to modern German and European history. The volume allows 25 experts, from across the globe, to write at length about the state of research in their own specialist fields, offering original insights as well as historiographical reflections, and rounded off with extensive suggestions for further reading. The chapters are grouped into five thematic sections, chosen to reflect the full range of research being undertaken on imperial German history today and together offer a comprehensive and authoritative reference resource. Overall this collection will provide scholars and students with a lively take on this fascinating period of German history, from the nation’s unification in 1871 right up until the end of World War I.
’This volume is an extraordinary achievement. Written by leading authorities in the field of modern German history, it provides a rich and up-to-date survey of the vast historiography of Imperial Germany. Without doubt, this latest Ashgate Companion will become an indispensable reference work for students and researchers alike.’ Stefan Goebel, University of Kent, UK ’What distinguished the German Second Empire from other nation-states and what does this mean for subsequent German history? Such concerns have stimulated innovative research and fierce debates. The contributors to this volume analyse this historiography in a wide-ranging, up-to-date and accessible way. This is a valuable resource for anyone studying this complex and dynamic period of German history.’ John Breuilly, London School of Economics, UK ’As Matthew Jefferies reminds us, German history remains as highly charged with relevance as ever. Students can find no better guide to current research, new departures, and grounds of debate than this comprehensive and carefully judged Companion.’ Geoff Eley, University of Michigan, USA ’This scintillating collection presents the state of the art on the German Empire - what made it tick, how it fits within the larger sweep of history, why scholars disagree about its problems and prospects. The chapters expand the limits of the genre, offering remarkable breadth and unique depth. With its vivid prose and judicious analysis, this book will be indispensable to novices and experts alike.’ James Retallack, University of Toronto, Canada
Contents: Introduction, Matthew Jefferies. Part I State and Monarchy: Imperial governance, Katharine Anne Lerman; Prussian governance, Hartwin Spenkuch; The German monarchies, Frank Lorenz MÃ¼ller. Part II Politics and Society: Elections, Thomas KÃ¼hne; Liberalism, Eric Kurlander; Conservatism, Oded Heilbronner; Nationalism, Mark Hewitson; Antisemitism, Lars Fischer; Political Catholicism, Jeffrey T. Zalar; Socialism, Stefan Berger and Stefan Braun. Part III Culture and Identity: Particularism and localism, Jennifer Jenkins; Popular culture, Kaspar Maase; Gender, Ann Taylor Allen; Religion, James E. Bjork; Class, Dennis Sweeney. Part IV Economy and Environment: Trade policy and globalization, Cornelius Torp; Agriculture labour, Simon Constantine; The environment and environmentalism, Thomas RohkrÃ¤mer; Population: demography and mobility, Steve Hochstadt. Part V International Relations, Militarism and War: International relations, Andreas Rose; Militarism, Benjamin Ziemann; The army, William Mulligan; The navy and the sea, Jan RÃ¼ger; Germany and the origins of the First World War, Annika Mombauer; Colonialism and genocide, JÃ¼rgen Zimmerer. Index.