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Empire's Economy, 1848-1948 - Detailseite

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Veranstaltungsart Seminar Veranstaltungsnummer 02181258
Semester SoSe 2016 SWS 2
Rhythmus jedes Semester Moodle-Link  
Veranstaltungsstatus Freigegeben für Vorlesungsverzeichnis  Freigegeben  Sprache englisch
Belegungsfrist Es findet keine Online-Belegung über AGNES statt!
Veranstaltungsformat Präsenz


Gruppe 1
Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Raum-
Lehrperson Status Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer
Do. 18:00 bis 20:00 c.t. wöch 21.04.2016 bis 21.07.2016  Institutsgebäude - 0323-26 Hausvogteiplatz 5-7 (HV 5) - (Unterrichtsraum)   findet statt     25
Gruppe 1:

Zugeordnete Person
Zugeordnete Person Zuständigkeit
Effertz, Julia , Dr. begleitend
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Universitätsverwaltung, Studienabteilung (I), Administration Qualitätspakt Lehre, bologna.lab

Language requirements: min. English B2.

This course surveys German economic history from a social and cultural perspective from 1848 to 1948. Based on Berlin and other case studies, we will analyze how businesspersons and state officials interacted and regulated markets for goods, capital, and work between planned and free market on local, national, and global levels.

We will start our course from a Western European perspective and assess the structural changes brought about by the processes of industrialisation since the late 18th century. In the German lands, the steadily increasing railway network functioned as a motor of cross-border trade and fuelled the exploitation of coal and iron ore during the first phase of ‘heavy’ industrialisation. As they grew richer, an elite of property owners and public office holders pushed for economic integration, political rights, and a German nation-state. After the failure to create a democratic and unified Germany in 1848, the liberal-nationalist movement traded freedoms for national unity to the conservative Prussian authority under Bismarck, which eventually led to the creation of the German Empire in 1871.

This peculiar coalition of authoritarian and liberal forces continued empire-building internally. It standardised, centralised, and regulated market activities creating a national yet globally integrated German market. This double integration set the stage for an unprecedented boom during the second (chemical and electrical) industrialisation, which propelled the German economy into the top three in terms of GDP and trade volume since the 1890s. This first phase of economic globalization ended in August 1914. German military command assumed de facto dictatorial leadership over Germany and instituted the first system of planned economy to wage total war.

After the Great War, the German economy suffered less under reparations payment than from inflation due to a credit-financed war effort. Nonetheless, the German economy, in particular under Streseman’s leadership, recovered with the help of US credit starting in 1924. Due to the global chain reaction of the Great Depression, industrialized economies, however, collapsed in the early 1930s. After the Germans elected Hitler, the economy was subordinate to the Nazis’ “race war” in conquer Eastern Europe: First, the Nazi elite planned the economy to generate enough income to rearm. Then, having triggered the war in Europe, they siphoned off resources of occupied territories to finance the continued war effort and genocide.

In 1945, Allied occupation forces as well as the Germans themselves broke with their past. After an initial hope for a third way between capitalism and communism, politicians between Washington and Bonn opted for the free market in Western zones of Germany. They traded national unity for integration into the Western bloc, (en)forcing the East German elite’s decision to form their own state. They consolidated the planned economy in the GDR and integrated the second new Germany economically into Comecon. A comparison of regulation, performance, and popular acceptance of those two economic systems in East and West concludes this course.

We will take a ‘hands on’ approach to history through visits to museums and sights in Berlin. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to debate core economic themes and critically analyze both primary and secondary sources.


Students should have a medium to good command of English (min. B2). We will work on holding parts of the sessions in German as the course progresses. Students of all disciplines are welcome, no prior knowledge of either history or economics is required.

This is a discussion-based course. I expect you first and foremost to actively contribute to class, which is reflected in the high percentage for this part of your grade (50%). Participation means working though the assigned readings for each session (c. 40 pages). Furthermore, you are required to give a presentation. You should then be able to discuss information given in these secondary and primary sources, ask questions about them, and present these texts, orally both individually and small croups as well as in writing (pop quizzes).

You also have to hand in a 3000 word term paper (50%).

You are required to observe Berlin Perspectives’ attendance policy and academic honor code.


Brophy, James M., The End of the Economic Old Order: The Great Transition, 1750-1860, Walser Smith, Helmut ed. The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, OUP 2011, 169-194.

Pierenkemper, Toni and Richard Tilly, The German Economy during the Nineteenth Century, Berghahn Books 2004.

Conrad, Sebastian, Globalisation and the Nation in Imperial Germany, CUP 2010.

Torp, Cornelius, The Coalition of ‘Rye and Iron’ under the Pressure of Globalization: A Reinterpretation of Germany's Political Economy before 1914, Central European History (2010) 43:3, 401-427.

Conrad, Sebastian, German Colonialism: A Short History, CUP 2012.

Torp, Cornelius, The Great Transformation: German Economy and Society, 1850-1914, in H. Walser Smith eds., The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, OUP 2011, 346- 354.

Cramer, Tobias, Building the ‘World's Pharmacy:’ The Rise of the German Pharmaceutical Industry 1871-1914, Business History Review (2015) 89:1, pp. 43-73.]

Rueger, Jan, The Great Naval Game: Britain and Germany in the Age of Empire, CUP 2007, 50-139.

Ritschel, Albrecht, The Pity of Peace: Germany's Economy at War, 1914-1918 and beyond, Stephen Broadberry and Mark Harrison, eds. The Economics of World War I, CUP 2005, 41-76.

Tooze, Adam, The German National Economy in an Era of Crisis and War 1917-1945, in H. Walser Smith eds., The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, OUP 2011, 400-410.

Fulbrook, Mary, A History of Germany 1918-2008: The Divided Nation, 3 ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2009.

Balderston, Theo. Economics and Politics in the Weimar Republic. Cambridge, New York: CUP, 2002, 61-76 .

James, Harold, The Weimar Economy, in McElligott, Anthony, ed. Weimar Germany, The Short Oxford History of Germany. Oxford: OUP, 2009, 102-126.

Tooze, Adam, The German national economy in an era of crisis and war 1917-1945, in H. Walser Smith eds., The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, OUP 2011, 411-419.

Mazower, Mark, Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century, London: Penguin 1998.

Tooze, Adam, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, Viking 2006.

Klemann, Hein, and Sergei Kudryashov. Occupied Economies: An Economic History of Nazi-Occupied Europe 1939-1945, Berg 2012.

Fulbrook, Mary, A History of Germany 1918-2008: The Divided Nation, 3 ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2009.

Jarausch, Konrad H., After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995, OUP 2006.

Steiner, Berghoff, H. and U. A. Balbier (2013). The East German Economy 1945-2010: Falling Behind or Catching up?, CUP, 17-27


For international incoming students who enroll in the Berlin Perspectives module.

Application via Berlin Perspectives ONLY: BP module application

No registration via Agnes.


Internationale Programmstudierende.

International Incoming Students.


Keine Einordnung ins Vorlesungsverzeichnis vorhanden. Veranstaltung ist aus dem Semester SoSe 2016. Aktuelles Semester: WiSe 2020/21.
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