The Great Disorder: Politics, Economics, and Society in the German Inflation, 1914-1924

The Great Disorder: Politics, Economics, and Society in the German Inflation, 1914-1924

Gerald D. Feldman

Language: English

Pages: 1040

ISBN: 0195101146

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book presents a comprehensive study of the most famous and spectacular instance of inflation in modern industrial society--that in Germany during and following World War I. A broad, probing narrative, this book studies inflation as a strategy of social pacification and economic reconstruction and as a mechanism for escaping domestic and international indebtedness. The Great Disorder is a study of German society under the tension of inflation and hyperinflation, and it explores the ways in which Germany's hyperinflation and stabilization were linked to the Great Depression and the rise of National Socialism. This wide-ranging study sets German inflation within the broader issues of maintaining economic stability, social peace, and democracy and thus contributes to the general history of the twentieth century and has important implications for existing and emerging market economies facing the temptation or reality of inflation.

Toward a Post-Market Society (Business Economics in a Rapidly-Changing World)

Mapping the Markets: A Guide to Stock Market Analysis

Why Australia Prospered: The Shifting Sources of Economic Growth (Princeton Economic History of the Western World)

Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises





















explains why the government was prepared to act against the great iron and steel concerns by setting up the Iron Trades Federation and why many manufacturers agreed that compulsory measures were essential.96 It should come as no surprise that the parlous state of the German economy, the mounting deficit, the depreciation of the mark abroad, and the rising prices at home would all be laid at the door of the government. Throughout the fall and winter there were rumors of impending state

of propagandistic manipulation or preindustrial sentiment—which is not to deny all role to these factors—but rather of direct experience and conflict in which the poorer farmers and peasants were often put upon the most. As the Ratzdorf Control Commission noted in an attempt to justify its actions: “We cannot make a distinction between poor and rich in our investigations and will not even do so in the future. The big farmer says that the small ones profiteers, and the small farmer says that the

relative stabilization. Hirsch estimated that about a billion paper marks’ worth of goods per month had flowed into Germany between April and August 1921 as a result of the sanctions, thereby exacerbating an already serious balance-of-trade deficit. He felt this reflected a real contradiction between Allied financial and commercial demands: “[O]nly two things are possible: either we give our money for champagne… or we make reparations payments.”3 While these imports drained Germany of needed

expenditures of the governments at all levels and upon the social system which was associated with the growth of an increasingly disliked civil service. Ironically, as Mayor Lohmeyer of Künigsberg pointed out, his city even needed an increased staff to collect municipal taxes despite the fact that the bulk of taxation now lay in the hands of the Reich, and this was not all. There was “the Labor Exchange Office, the Unemployment Support Office, the War Disabled Office, the Widows and Orphans

less convinced by their sanguine expectations of a large loan from the United States. In Havenstein’s view, Germany would need her foreign exchange to import vital necessities and could not simply abandon exchange controls. He glumly pointed out that “most of the problems would solve themselves” if Germany could count on a war indemnity, but this was not the case. While he appreciated the international connections of the exporters and bankers, he reminded them that no loan would be large enough

Download sample