Describe and analyze the changing views toward the concept of a “civil peace.” (Burgfrieden) in Germany from 1914 to 1918.
During the year 1914, Germany’s Reichstaf, or parliament, was putting forth two major efforts: mobilizing German troops into was as well as declaring Burgfrieden (civil peace) in an attempt to convert Germany into a powerful, unified nation with a forcible grip on this war. Throughout the duration of the Great War, 1914 to 1918, the overall attitude of the German people in response to this civil peace changed along with Germany’s status in the war- worse. In 1914, the first year of WWI and that the Burgfrieden was put into action, the German people reacted to the civil peace with nothing short of exuberance, throwing all of their energy into it and the war effort. As 1915 and 1916 drew forth, the war was still in full swing and Germany had fallen under the weight of the Triple Entente. Because of this, the view of the civil peace became far less excited, for the German people began to tire of the Great War. By the time the war was ending, from 1917 into 1918, the German population was split into people who were still willing to support the Fatherland’s fight and the civil peace and those who opposed. Though the Great War initially brought adrenaline and a sense of nationalism to Germany, the garish reality of war’s hardships began to settle in, gradually altering the opinions if the German people towards a policy of civil peace.
In 1914, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany addressed a jilted crowd of his people, urging them to “stand together like brothers, and then God will guide the German sword to victory!” (Doc. 1). This quotation is a direct parallel of the sense of unity the government was hoping would result from the Burgfrieden. It is easy to assume Wilhelm II’s speech was very biased, being that he was emperor at the time. His position as a political powerhouse was dependent on his country’s...