Modern values ruin traditional marriages
The German Empire
Apl. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kruse, born in 1957, is an academic senior counselor and adjunct professor in the field of Modern German and European History at the Historical Institute of the Distance University in Hagen. His main research interests include the history of the First World War, the history of the French Revolution, the history of the German and international labor movement and the history of the political cult of the dead. Von Kruse has published: Wolfgang Kruse: The First World War, Darmstadt 2009 (history compact of the WBG).
|Population and urban development in Prussia / Germany 1816-1910|
|year||Total number of inhabitants absolute (in 1000)||of which urban population||of whom lived in communities with ...- thousand inhabitants (in%)|
|under 2||2 to 5||5 to 20||20 to 100||over 100|
|based on: Jürgen Reulecke, History of Urbanization in Germany, Frankfurt / M. (Suhrkamp) 1985, p. 202.|
The economist Gustav Schmoller on the development of the large enterprise and the formation of social classes (1892)
The intimate, purely private character of the old small businesses has disappeared because the economic existence of whole groups of different families depends on the large businesses. There are the leading personalities, then the shareholders, silent partners, other interested parties and creditors, and finally the foremen and workers; but not only do they know the company and have an interest in it; No, there are hundreds and thousands of customers who follow the business from near and far, then numerous dealers, suppliers, competitors, finally the neighbors, the whole city, the district, the province, who are interested in the ups and downs The decline of the big business. The location, the structural facilities, the good or bad traffic conditions of every large enterprise are just as much a community and district matter as its repercussions on the school system, taxation, population increase or decrease, prosperity and impoverishment of the whole area, type of settlement and real estate distribution touches the furthest circles. It is true, then, that large-scale enterprises are transforming the national economy more and more into a social process, with private and general interests becoming more and more complicatedly linked and intertwined. The individual large enterprise, whatever legal constitution it may have in detail, becomes something in the middle between a private and a public budget; even where the private entrepreneur remains at the top, he can no longer have the same position as in a family business; general interests, elements of public organization, slide into large-scale operations. (...)
The practical implementation of the truth, however, that all large-scale operations take on a kind of public character, is an extremely difficult one, because the business with 10-17,000 workers, such as the Mansfeld copper works or the Krupp steel works, and our big mines as well 1000 and more workers have clearly achieved this type, because, however, the vast majority of large businesses with 10 and 20, even with 50 and 100 workers, still bear much of the older type of family business. There is also the fact that all these things are in flux, that there is an undoubted tendency towards increasing large-scale business, but that on the other hand the idea that all of our business life in all its parts would soon succumb to large-scale operations is entirely wrong . It seems to me as if in some respects we would soon have reached the limit of this tendency, as if the point would soon be reached in many places at which the clumsiness and the costs of large-scale operations of cheaper and technical improvement would be balanced . In any case, for the sober observer there can be no doubt that the greater part of the handicrafts, the arts and lodging, the small trade will not, or only partially, abandon the old form of medium-sized and smaller businesses. (...)
From: German history in sources and representations 8, p. 99f.
Economic crises and phases of development
The social liberal Friedrich Naumann in 1906 on "Organization" as a sign of the times
Often this pride is mixed with a painful review of times when the individual was something for himself. But what does it do? Even the farmer begins to organize. Everyone feels that they must do their business together, that isolation is the economic death penalty. This change in our present is one of the most interesting experiences. It comes unexpectedly to all of us, because the watchword of the spiritual movement that preceded the present was the independence of the individual. (…) The old associations and guilds were broken up in order to set the individual free, and the state was required to do nothing other than protect property and let the individual move. This news of the victory of individualism was heard and passed on with a great deal of genuine idealism. And yet today everything is full of motives of a different kind. All parts of the people approach the state with demands. The demands of the socialists and land reformers, which amount to public regulation of production, housing and mortgage systems, find willing listeners. The state and the associations become economic factors that are believed to be necessary. This is how the crowd grows ...
In other words, this means that the management of the economy is taken out of the hands of the producers and is transferred partly to the associations and partly to the state. The number of economically managerial people is getting smaller and smaller. Often the line is only a sham. Despite formal freedom, a small businessman has to do exactly what his point of sale demands of him. He pays the rent that is customary in his street, carries the goods that are standardized by the manufacturers' associations or by his sales association, and in the degree of his independence is slowly approaching the situation of the employees of the consumer associations. The animal breeder has to deliver marketable goods and finds their price in the newspaper. A spirit of attachment to a dark whole that surrounds us all spreads. Not that particular talents cannot escape commitment, but the conditions of existence are fixed for the average person. He can try to improve it as a member of his group, but not as a personal self. That is why he pays contributions for his group representation.
From: Deutsche Sozialgeschichte 1870-1914, p. 32f
Report of the Association for Social Policy on the activities of a Berlin tram driver in 1902
With the busy car and pedestrian traffic in the main streets of Berlin, which time-resp. If it is so tight in places that it cannot be increased at all, it requires nervous attention and tension to watch out for all obstacles, especially since the carriage cannot evade because of its connection to the rails. The guide is in constant danger of colliding with other vehicles or even running over people. On the other hand, he mustn't be afraid either, because otherwise he wouldn't move at all in the crowd of cars. It is understandable to everyone that such a strenuous service ruins one's nerves. Also the driver has the mentioned on the occasion of the cab service, in § 316 of the penal code resp. To face the penalties specified in the law of December 27th. It is requested by the employees that signal guards are set up at dangerous points.
The guide is completely exposed to wind and weather. Even in the pouring thunderstorm, he is not allowed to leave his post. In spite of the fact that he is often soaked to the skin, he has to do his job until late at night, shivering from the cold. (...) All these moments lead us to the conviction that the service of the motor vehicle driver is one of the most stressful activities mentally, mentally and physically. You work with eyes, ears and both hands. They stand with one foot on the signal bell and the other in prison or half in the grave. We would like to emphasize once again that it is precisely the enormous mass traffic in the Reich capital that makes driving much more difficult than in any other city.
From: Deutsche Sozialgeschichte 1870-1914, p. 54
The industrial class society
Report on a visit to the Wertheim department store in Berlin, 1903
That's when I got to know the Louvre in Berlin. First I had to buy a "collector's book" at one of the main cash registers; the tills were crowded, but after a little half an hour I had my book and was ready to go. But I did not move. First of all, I tried to orient myself. I am not entirely without resourcefulness; here, however, any topographical talent left me. The streaming crowd pushed me back and forth; I wanted to go to the perfumes and got to the haberdashery, and suddenly I was standing in front of a lady who showed me handkerchiefs, and half a minute later I was in the middle of the enamel dishes. Now I thought of leaving the perfume to the last and turning to the basketry, where I wanted to buy a triumphal chair as the highest triumph of the Madonna della Sedia. But then I had to go to the third floor. One of the official guides, a gentleman who looked like a legation secretary, told me to use the elevator or the slide. The thought of the slide attracted me; I actually only knew something like this from fairs or the Hasenhaide; Up to now, sliding was not common in Berlin shops. The Wertheim slide is a pavement roulant; if you have a head for heights you can confidently confide in him.
I did that too; but I did not get to the basketry; I don't know where it came from - I suddenly found myself in a painting exhibition. There were all sorts of pretty things to see, just no triumphal chair. Now anger took hold of me; I decided to look for the wicker, whatever the cost. I ventured into the mountains, climbed lofty heights, unexpectedly got caught in a tangle of people that surrounded the photographic equipment, and then saw myself again surrounded by flowing veils, colored ribbons, lace and frills. A gentleman who looked like a privy councilor from the Ministry of Culture wanted to notice my embarrassment and asked what I wanted. "Upstairs," he said with a smile and pointed to the elevator. But I hadn't paid attention: the elevator didn't go up, but down - and when I looked around I was in a splendid hall with lapis lazuli columns and heard a fountain rushing. I was really tired now. I strolled on with heavy steps, came to a palm garden and a buffet, where a cute girl served me a glass of lemonade, then came to a tangle of children's linen, shirts, panties and skirts, then to the phonograph and finally to the longed for Perfumes.
Thank God - that's how far I was! But I noticed that we are all of the family of Tantalus. I felt the scent of the perfume and saw the yellow, green, red, amaranth-colored and saffron-yellow bottles - but I couldn't get near them. Whole circles of people clustered around the sales tables; I calculated that about five quarters of an hour would elapse before it was my turn. It took me too long, and since my wife had also ordered me to have my picture taken on postcards and printed thirty-six times, I meanwhile wanted to go to the house's photographic studio. A gentleman who looked like a Rittmeister in civilian clothes indicated to me: for this purpose I had to buy a "number" at a certain till, and called a lady who was to show me to this till. The young lady was pretty, which I also told her, to which she replied: "Sir, I have no time for something like that" - an expression that initially alienated me, but which also seemed worth thinking about.
From: Deutsche Sozialgeschichte 1870-1914, pp. 198f.
Technization, social change and social modernization
Around the turn of the century, especially in the cities, new types of conditions emerged, increasingly characterized by the mechanization of all areas of life. On the one hand, they brought with them a variety of environmental problems such as the pollution of water, air and soil, but also a variety of forward-looking innovations. Municipal water, gas and electricity companies provided artificial light and running water not only in public life, but soon also in the private sector, and electric trams accelerated local public transport. Subways were added to the big cities, and the first automobiles began to liven up the streets. The technological metropolitan culture became the basis for diverse visions optimistic about progress, but also for loss experiences in natural life contexts and for novel clinical pictures. The nerves of many people seemed to be no longer able to cope with the increasing speed, the noise and the hectic pace of industrialized society, the nervous disease neurasthenia spread and became the hallmark of an "age of nervousness" (Joachim Radkau).
H. Klose, On the Change in the Industrial Landscape (1919)
Four hours of work in the classroom create hungry stomachs, and lunch was better for that than going outside, which used to take three-quarters, often an entire hour. But the bailiff was of the opinion that movement in fresh and, if possible, clean air was just as necessary for young people as learning in school, and that is why he led us, his growing children, through the midday sun that was still unpaved, even then black Oststraße down towards the brewing community. That was the name of the neighboring community before it adopted the more distinguished name of Bismarck.
On the right-hand side was the old Schulten to Monekinck farm, which had been converted into an inn, next to which a chapel hall served as a modest gymnasium for the high school of the flourishing industrial town after he had finished his spiritual profession. To the left were the remains of what was once a stately forest, in which Friedrich Grillo, the successful founder, had built his house years ago and which now, as usual, belonged to a garden tavern. Then came industrial plants: part of the large wire rod mill, then the ring furnace and the high winding tower of the Consolidation II colliery with its funny turning conveyor wheels and opposite the quieter ironworks. We continued where the Sophienau colliery began with its monotonous, boring two- and four-family houses, following a siding, along the plank fence of the large pit lumber yard, past a high dump of rubble ... - and then one was in the open. The green meadows and pastures alternated with potato fields and cornfields, from which one could more or less carefully pull out some cornflowers or leaves. In this open area you could hike as long as you wanted, because it stretched almost continuously to the Emscher river and beyond to the great Herten forest. To reach those delightful and almost undisturbed woodlands, of course, the lunchtime was not enough (...)
The daily path of the trampoline club, as malicious classmates called it, did not offer much beautiful nature, in the actual meaning of the word. Even then, long rows of houses narrowed the horizon in the east and west; the heaps, chimneys, and buildings of the coal and iron works contrasted gloomily against the sky, and gray-black plumes of smoke hung in the wind. But you weren't spoiled and after all you had been outside the streets and houses for half an hour, seeing some green and blue skies. On free afternoons and on Sundays, you could hike on (...) to the Emscherschleuse, from whose creek the crows fetched large live river mussels. At that time people still bathed here, although it was life-threatening and strictly forbidden. The bans have now been obsolete for years, because no one voluntarily sticks a finger into the water of this river. The areas on both sides of the bank were almost free of settlements; only a few mines were located on the north side of the Münsterland, separated by forest and field and separated by hours from each other. (…) You could camp in the field and forest with impunity without blackening yourself backwards, and climb the trees without getting pitch-black knees. But if you went to the attractive rural area of the neighboring western community of Hessler, where our father's official duties often called, there were also vast areas there, where urban and industrial development had temporarily halted. Clean farms of Lower Saxony design, made of half-timbered houses with a large entrance gate, in the midst of friendly oak ridges. lay scattered between meadows and cornfields; The spirals smelled of the brook and ditch, and lilies of the valley could be found in some woods. (...)
We did not realize that all this could have an end. Certainly there were already some back then who saw the future more sharply than we, who we loved to be captivated by the size of the industry, the ingenuity and gigantic nature of the diverse work of mankind, and who looked at us in the future factories, streets and houses of nature in forest and field. We were with a certain right to be proud of the American development of the hometown and its neighborhood and felt that we were members of a determined community full of hard work and creativity. Even when the poisonous fumes from the coking plant turned the nearby wood into ruins, we accepted it as inevitable; hardly that a regret was ever audible anywhere. (...)
It was only at the end of the century that one began to see that the destruction of nature had made immeasurable progress and that one should speak of its remains as natural monuments. The term Heimatschutz did not appear in the classroom during our school days; The insight that grew out of necessity at the turn of the century created him too. Without even thinking about it, we saw the horizon of our midday journey narrowing in the nineties. Rows of houses penetrated into the field; three-story detached houses with ugly fire gables rose up suddenly; a few cemeteries with poor wooden crosses and tasteless grave decorations pushed in; high school buildings and steepled churches rose up; Discharge channels furrowed the flat terrain. The narrow pathways widened into black ash paths, and some of them were planted with armor, the trees that fight with the plane trees for the honor of most tenaciously defying the wine effects of the industry. These changes became more and more noticeable. The change to the state of the present took place ceaselessly. And gradually, when we had already taken off our children's shoes, we got an inkling of the terrible tragedy that rests on a landscape doomed to fall. In autumn we were not so depressed by the weary dying of the variegated deciduous forest, after all the passing was followed by the resurrection of spring; here the native nature died without hope. After years in the fourth autumn of war (1918, WK) I went the old path of the trampling club, which had long since dispersed to the wind. At least I tried to walk him. Whole sections were blocked and inaccessible, and little reminded of the time twenty-five years ago. Except for a number of pastures, everything appealing had disappeared. Behind neglected fences or hedge remnants lay attachments made from runkels, cabbage and potatoes. Goats grazed on the sparse strips of grass along the paths and ditch embankments, which the local humor calls miner's cows. All the running water was ink black. In the bare land there were still a few farms, their once yellowish-white half-timbered fields looked dirty gray between the black timbers. Only a few trees remained. (…) The plumes of smoke were lowering towards the earth, and the air was filled with that tar-like smell that has become peculiar to many parts of the area. The overcast sky, however, was hazy and cloudy than it looks elsewhere on rainy days. I have also taken other routes through the hometown communities that have long since become part of the big city and have been able to make many comparisons between the past and the now. I encountered the most profound changes at every turn, and it was often difficult for me to rediscover entire parts of my home. What I finally recognized looked like a stranger in a different environment and no longer fit into it. What was left of the former nature, former rurality, seemed out of date and made us sad. But even these last remnants have fallen into ruin.
What will remain then should not be drawn in here. In contrast, there are people who try to put the picturesque, romantic showpieces of industry in the foreground.Certainly the iron lines of the headframe stand out wonderfully against the sulfur-yellow western sky; Listening to the roaring rolling mill with its polyphonic work songs is a pleasure of its own, and the roaring flames of the Bessermer pears, the fiery snakes of the wire mill, the bright clouds of steam flowing around the red-yellow glowing coke wall always captivate the nocturnal observer anew. But all of that is a different matter. One can enthusiastically agree and yet it will inexorably have to state that large parts of the industrialized country are impoverished for all the magnificence of their works and work and an infinite amount of things that cannot be dispensed with without harming body and soul. (...)
From: H. Klose, The Westphalian industrial area and the preservation of nature, Berlin 1919, pp. 3-8.
Selected literature:Born, Karl Erich: Economic and Social History of the German Empire, Stuttgart 1985
Brüggemeier, Franz-Josef: The endless sea of the air. Air pollution, industrialization and risk debates in the 19th century, Essen 1996
Condrau, Flurin: Industrialization in Germany, Darmstadt 2005
Fischer, Wolfram: Economy and Society in the Age of Industrialization, Göttingen 1972
Henning, Friedrich-Wilhelm: Industrialization in Germany 1800-1914, Paderborn 1973
Hentschel, Volker: Economy and Economic Policy in Wilhelmine Germany. Organized Capitalism and Intervention State, Stuttgart 1978
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