2003 DBQ Actual Student Response
Question: describe and analyze changing views toward the concept of a “civil peace” (Burgfrieden) in Germany 1914-1918.
In August of 1914, the German Reichstag made two major decisions. First, it began mobilization for World War I. Also it declared (Burgfrieden, or “civil peace” in which all previous issues and parties would be st aside for the duration of the war. As the years progressed, the peoples opinions changed in regards to this policy. In 1914, at the announcement, there was awe and happiness. By the middle of the war, in the years 1915 and 1916, people began to ignore the policy, as they were tired of the war. By 1918, opinion was divided, mostly between supporters and dissenters of the war. These views show how the progress of World War I affected the German population.
In a speech on August 1, 1914, Emperor Wilhelm II beseeched the German people to stand together “like brothers” to unite the country (doc. 1). The speech was surely biased, as the emperor needed support in his declaration of war. A photograph of his speech (doc. 2) suggests that the people did support the emperor, as the people appear to be waving their hats and cheering. This was a time of nationalism and the people shown most likely felt certain they would win. Many women were in support of the policy because it meant that they, who were already fighting for rights such as suffrage and equality, would be allowed to take part. This idea is supported by doc. 4, in which a women’s rights advocate describes the euphoria they felt at being allowed to help. Also in 1914 and 1915 there were people who, though in shock, knew they must be supportive. This shock is described in doc.5 as a columnist wrote of it leaving silence in the streets. S. Jobs, the writer was liberal and may have been against the war, which could have affected the way he viewed people’s reactions. The social Democratic Party printed an article...
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