• John Breuilly
Part of the New Perspectives in German Studies book series (NPG)


Germany’s first unification occurred well over a century ago, the second a little more than a decade ago. Conventional wisdom suggests that the passage of time stabilises understanding and that we would expect more agreement concerning the first unification than the second.


German History National Unification Liberal Optimism European Union Politics Restruc Turing 
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  1. 1.
    The views argued in this condusion have been strongly influenced by the recent book by Konrad Jarausch and Michael Geyer, Shattered Past: Reconstructing German Histories (Princeton/Oxford 2003).Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See Klaus Plonien, ‘Mauersprunge gegen Unkenrufe: Peter Schneider und die Rolle der Intellektuellen in Zeiten deutscher Einheit’, in Ursula E. Beitter (ed.), Literatur und Identitat. Deutsch-deutsche Befindlichkeiten und die inultikulturelle Gesellschaft (New York 2000), pp. 195–207. See also the essays by Butler and Ross in this volume.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    ‘Der Schof3 ist fruchtbar noch, aus dem das kroch’, Bertolt Brecht, Grofle kommentierte Berliner und Frankfurter Ausgabe, Stiicke 7 (Berlin/Frankfurt a. M. 1991), p. 112. This, the dosing line of Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui, is perhaps the best-known formulation of the Communist assertion that fascism is the natural child of capitalism.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    The classic triumphalist expression of this is Francis Fukuyama, The End of Histon,/and the Last Man (London 1992). For its detailed application to German history see Heinrich August Winlder, Der lange Weg nach Westen. Deutsche Geschichte 1806–1990, 2 vols (München 2001). The very title of this book implies that ‘progress’ has been reduced to joining the ‘west’.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    There were around 150,000 deaths in the war of 1866 and over 700,000 in that of 1870–71. See Raymond Pearson (ed.), The Longman Companion to European Nationalism, 1789–1920 (London 1994), p. 245.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    See Charles Maier, ‘German war, German peace’, in Mary Fulbrook (ed.), German Histonj since 1800 (London 1997), pp. 539–55.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    For the emergence of a political culture oriented on mass politics, see Margaret L. Anderson, Practicing democracy: elections and political culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton, NJ 2000).Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Total government expenditure in 1872 was around 7.5 per cent of GNP and had roughly doubled by 1913; see Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte 1849–1914 (Munchen 1995), p. 887. By the late 20th century government expenditure in social democratic states like Germany typically fluctuates around 50 per cent of GNP.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    See Peter Hübner (ed.), Eliten im Sozialismus. Beiträge zur Sozialgeschichte der DDR (Köln 1999) and the brief comments in Jarausch and Geyer, Shattered Past, pp. 193–96.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    See the various essays in Karl Eckart and Konrad Scherf (eds), Deutschland auf dem Weg zur inneren Einheit (Berlin 2004) which in many ways contradict the implication of the book title that there is a unifying process at work.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    On continuities or changes in attitudes see Jorn Leonhard and Lothar Funk (eds), Ten Years of German Unification: Transfer, Transformation, Incorporation? (Birmingham 2002), especially the chapters by Jonathan Grix, ‘Revolution and Transformation in East Germany: Revisiting the Dominant Paradigms’, pp. 56–68, and Arnd Bauerkamper, ‘The Incorporation of a Fragmented Society: Historical Roots of Values in Individuals’ Choices after 1989’, pp. 81–97.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    For some interesting comparisons and reflections on revolution, although unfortunately it does not include the first unification, see Jorn Leonhard, ‘Anatomies of Failure? Revolutions in German History: 1848/49, 1918 and 1989/90’, in Leonhard and Funk (eds), Ten years of German Unification, pp. 21–55.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • John Breuilly

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