What do you think about the german Sonderweg theory? (represantative historians: Winkler, Dahrendorf, Wehler)
It states that Germany, unlike other Western countries, was successfully industrialized, but was still ruled by absolutistic rulers (German Empire), which caused German foreign politics to be ruthless and is a cause for the Great war. This also lead to anti-democratic tendencies in the Weimer republic, which was then replaced by Nazi-Germany.
Discuss and share your thoughts
Thats a common and valid argument against this theory.
However the thing which seperates Germany from the UK, France and the US is the astonishing success of industrialization which happened in a socially backward country. In coutries with comparable systems like Russia, industrialization wasnt even remotely successful.
A case could be made that it's a Sonderweg compared to other western countries. France, Britain and the Low Countries all had significant parliamentary and republican influences starting in the late middle Ages and the Renaissance which never really took root in Germany until after 1848.
>In coutries with comparable systems like Russia, industrialization wasnt even remotely successful.
I'd see that as more a consequence of geography than philosophy. Russia has always been a difficult land to manage. Germany, simply by virtue of being smaller and therefore more logistically capable, was able to more readily benefit from advances in technology, which caused a compounding effect.
>In what way was Germany socially backward?
Where did I imply that? Germany never had a powerful parliament like in the UK or the Netherlands to keep government power in check. It was always ruled by the top down, just look at the concept of enlightened absolutism where the ruler is supposed to keep himself in check.
In 1848 the first German Parliament got wrecked as well by the German Monarchs preventing a transition like had happened in other western countries from taking place. Because of this there was simply no democratic tradition which is why Weimar Republic failed with both the right and left (Comminist party & NSDAP) doing their utmost best to destroy it.
But that seems to arbitrarily pick similarities between the Western nations over differences with the Germans; why is the UK's path to constitutional monarchy closer to, say, France's path to Republicanism than it is to Germany's path to oligarchic constitutional monarchy?