Wednesday, November 30, 2011
In the short- run, WWI had a massive impact on Germany's Economy, what was once the most powerful European economy became on of the most impoverished nations of the continent in less than 5 years. The first thing that affected German economy was the amount of money spent on the cost of war, mobilising troops, building equipment, clothing for the troops, food for the troops and appropriate shelter for the troops. Economist's estimate that the amount of money spent by the Germany government would equal 37, 775, 000, 000 in US dollars of the time As well as the cost for war, Germany also say a lot money gone in actually maintaining the country itself. With many of Germany's established skilled labourers gone to fight in the war, most of the jobs performed by those laborours were performed by women and children, that led to even lower wages thanwhat they would pay the skilled labourers.
In the long- run, the effects WWI had on Germany were even greater than the short run effects. After the end of the war and during the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, all the Allied Forces agreed that the cause of the war was Germany and her selfish agendas and that was what led to one of the most deadly conflicts in the World. Therefore Germany, who had no representation during the Treaty, were order to pay for all the damaged during and after the War and they were also to give back Alsace- Lorraine to the French. These payments that Germany were ordered to do were estimated to be around $31.5 billion, which was a lot of money in the time period of the war. This caused the national German currency, the Gold Marks, to hyper inflate and by 1923 it was reduced to 1 million millionth of its original value. The hyperinflation of the currency also was one of the main arguments the Nazi's used to seize power in Germany in order to make it a prosperous nation, which automatically plunged Germany into another World War. The German State only finished paying their debt for the war in October 2010.
Additionally many historians believe, including famous British economist John Maynard Keynes, that the Treaty of Versailles was a truly crippling blow to Germany's financial system and it didn't benefit the world in any bit, all it did was pave the way for another more epic World War between the same perpetrating nations with the same end, Nationalistic hunger for power. However, it may also be true that the payments were a way of Europe crippling Germany so it was no longer able to finance any war for a long time, thus the enormous debt.
World War I was arguably one of the most important and deadly conflicts in history of modern civilisation. This conflict was caused by the incompetence of most of the leaders involved in the war as well as the need for countries to compete against each other to demonstrate who is more powerful in the struggle for land. In this deadly conflict. men, women and children alike lost their lives and of their loved ones, fighting for their countries for their own nationalistic beliefs. Germany was one of the countries that was affected the most by this conflict as it was one of the main conspirators in the war and had a major role in the disagreements that escalated to war.
Before World War I Germany, being a recently developed superpower, had a good economical and industrial infrastructure and had a good amount of money produced. Before the 1800's, Germany had a very agriculturally based economy with little to no industrial power compared to other European countries such as Great Britain and France however, by the 1850's, Germany started to industrialise heavily and its economy underwent a rapid change from agricultural to industrial and by 1900 Germany had the largest economy among its European counterparts. Historians and economists alike believe that what helped Germany develop so quickly economically was the fact that it was the largest steel producing nation in the late 1800's, steel being one of the most important resources at the time.
With the power that great economical stability gave Germany, it also gave them some hunger for more power and more money therefore leading them to try to expand their territory, even if it meant plunging into war with one of the continents superpowers. During this period of self- importance, which was from 1870- 1910, the Germans fought against France and gained a very instrumental part of their territory called Alsace- Lorraine, which remained in their power until the end of World War I in 1918. With the resources from Alsace- Lorraine, as it had ample supplies of iron, Germany was able to develop its economy further, which led to them gaining more self- importance. This also led to Germany moving on to a much bigger target at the time, Britain, which was considered the most powerful country in Europe. The Germanic administrative staff had various altercations with Britain as they believe that Britain held too much territory in Africa and the rest of the New World and that Britain had to share its territories. This led to escalated tensions between both countries which, ultimately, led to World War I.