Development of the German National Idea in 1908—1909
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Development of the German National Idea in 1908—1909
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Alexey Sindeev 
Affiliation: Institute of Europe RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The end of the 19th — early 20th Century is the time of the growing up of the German Reich. That is the time when the German Reich entered into competition with the other states and nations. This is also the time when one tried to find the basis for the ongoing development of the national idea. In the author's opinion, the sustainable functioning of a state is linked to the existence of the mechanisms of content filling and the reproduction of the national idea. Sustainability also depends on adapting these mechanisms to solve current problems and overcoming current difficulties. Since the author places particular emphasis on historical factors and the work of the elites when interpreting the national idea, the dispute about the national idea as an outdated phenomenon can be disregarded. The chronological framework can be explained for four reasons. At that time, Kaiser Wilhelm II became completely familiar with the power and its possibilities: Chancellors were changed, important political decisions were made. The party political system, as is emphasized again and again in historiography, had advanced intensively on the “way to the national state”. Two events (the “Daily Telegraph” affair and the crisis over Bosnia and Herzegovina came together, so that some contemporaries, fascinated by the reaction, thought they were watching the awakening of the German Empire. The conference in The Hague was concluded in 1907. The participating States missed the opportunity to regulate cooperation between the major states on the basis of multilateralism and international law. The events of the two years 1908 and 1909 clearly show how and in which direction domestic and foreign policy parts of the national idea could have been changed. After C. Clark [Clark. 2008] the author of the paper submitted his hypothesis about “the normality of the German Empire”. Alternatives in the country's development were highlighted. The paper has a discussion character. Because of the dissatisfaction with the Vatican in 1910, the question of confessions in the German Reich was not mentioned.

German Empire, German national idea, Wilhelm II, Bülow, Bethmann-Hollweg, Reichstag, Bosnian crisis
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