To What Extent Did Economic Developments in Germany in the Period 1900-1914 Pose a Threat to the Power of the Elites?

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To what extent did economic developments in Germany in the period 1900-1914 pose a threat to the power of the elites? For Germany, the years leading up to the First World War were filled with extreme levels of progress. A lot of their main industries thrived such as the coal, iron, steel and chemical industry. The urbanisation of Germany stimulated a population boom and changed the structure of German society. The rapid growth of old and new industries led to a population migration from rural to urban areas. The agricultural industry was another of the industries that faced a lot of changes, mechanisation meant better yields which therefore meant that, less agricultural workers were needed. There is evidence to support and contradict whether or not those economic developments did in fact threaten the power of the elites. There is evidence to support the idea that the economic developments in Germany in the period 1900-1914 didn’t pose a threat to the power of the elites because economic growth and the opening up of new industries bring many benefits with them. While it has been argued that an exceptional economic growth caused some problems, the advantages that came with it, outweigh the negatives. Germany’s economic growth was exceptional, industries such as the production of coal and iron doubled in the years up to 1914. By 1900, Germany’s particularly strong steel industry had exceeded that of Britain’s and by the beginning of the first world war, Germany‘s share of trade in the world was equal to Britain’s. Therefore, the power of the elites was not being threatened, as the country was benefitting from the money that the economic growth had brought in, to a high extent. Germany led the way on Europe with the creation of new industries such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electrics and motor manufacture. By 1914, Germany had become the economic powerhouse
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