A Tour of the World Around 1900- Week 4

From the first half of the lecture on Wednesday, the guest professor talked mainly about Germany in the 1900s. He specifically referred to the Rhinelands and Ruhr Valley region of Germany. These parts of Germany were the farmland region but became the steel region in the early 1900s. This area now becoming the steel region, began shaping the rest of Europe because some of the most industrialized companies were located in this region.  Germany was not a main force in the world or in Europe prior to the beginning of the 18th century, then became a powerful force shortly after. Germany became a powerful country from 1871-1918 and pretty much stayed powerful for most of their history. I think this is interesting, because Germany went from being a mainly agricultural country to an industrial one when they realized they had the resources and potential to become a force in the world.  If they did not realize this when they did, they may not have ever became as powerful as they were and are today. In Germany iron ore and coal was plentiful, which was very beneficial for them to start a steel industry there. Without these two natural resources it would have been extremely difficult for Germany to become as successful as they did. However, since these two resources were plentiful, it allowed Germany to emerge as a foremost industrial power of Europe. This growth of power produced enormous wealth, created social dislocation, new political conflicts and a new German role in the world. This new role in the world lead Germany to believe they needed more arms in their military, especially the navy in order to compete with Great Britain; and more colonies/territories in order to expand German rule. All of these factors turned Germany into a powerful force in Europe which lead to them being one of the main countries on the Central Powers side in WWI.

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