Der Primat Der Aussenpolitik Ist Fur Die

Ideologie Des Deutschen Nationalstaats Des 19. Jahrhunderts Essay, Research Paper


collection of essays are united, as the title of the anthology suggests, by the

theme of the primacy of domestic politics in Wilhelmine Germany.? The thesis put forward by Kehr was that

domestic political concerns regarding the conflict of the industrialised

masses, the industrial middle classes and the agrarian East Elbian landowners

were the determining factor in German foreign policy.? Attacking Ranke?s thesis about the unofficial primacy of foreign

policy for Germany, Kehr claims that to see foreign considerations as the

dominant factor in foreign policy is as universally accepted, and yet as wrong

as the sixteenth century claim that ?die Erde sich um die Sonne drehe?

was.? Kehr rejects

the notion of a nation competing in a league of nations and the idea of the

development of armies in arms races that exist purely to compete with

rivals.? Kehr argues that the army is a

weapon of class conflict.? Serving to

protect the aristocracy against the lower echelons, then to protect the

bourgeois against the proletariate, Kehr sees the development of the armed

forces as a reaction of the two camps to agree on a compromise peace.? The Russian grain mountain threatened the

economic life of the agrarians, whilst the industrialised British threatened

the good life itself.? Equally, the

Tsarist regime of Russia appalled the liberal industrialists whilst British

economic muscle frightened them from allying with Great Britain. Kehr sees the

quasi-xeonophobia of the two parties as bringing the two together into a single

militarist camp.? Described by Zilch as

an expression of `the aggressive character of the bourgeoisie, allied with the

Junkers’ `reactionary and dangerous strivings,? a successful foreign policy

could stabilise the internal political and social position of the ruling

classes against the threat of social democracy. Although Paasche and Dewitz,

two National Liberal deputies for rural constituencies rescinded their? affiliation to the Army League, as the

agrarian league that backed them thought a bigger army to be too radical,

indicating a lack of agrarian support for the drive to rearm,? although his examples of Handelstag support

for the movement is persuasive from the other perspective. Attributing

the dual role of Chancellor as foreign secretary and home secretary

significance, as any Chancellor wishing to stay in power needs domestic support

and will therefore sideline foreign considerations in the interests of their



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