In the mid nineteenth century a process began that appears, from a present-day perspective, to have been the first wave of economic globalization. Within a few decades global economic integration reached a level that equaled, and in some respects surpassed, that of the present day. This book describes the interpenetration of the German economy with an emerging global economy before the First World War, while also demonstrating the huge challenge posed by globalization to the society and politics of the German Empire. The stakes for both the winners and losers of the intensifying world market played a major role in dividing German society into camps with conflicting socio-economic priorities. As foreign trade policy moved into the center stage of political debates, the German government found it increasingly difficult to pursue a successful policy that avoided harming German exports and consumer interests while also seeking to placate a growing protectionist movement.
Subjects: History, Economics
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