The German Economy during the Nineteenth Century

The German Economy during the Nineteenth Century

The German Economy during the Nineteenth Century

The German Economy during the Nineteenth Century

Synopsis

In the 19thCentury, economic growth was accompanied by large-scale structural change, known as industrialization, which fundamentally affected western societies. Even though industrialization is on the wane in some advanced economies and we are experiencing substantial structural changes again, the causes and consequences of these changes are inextricably linked with earlier industrialization. This means that understanding 19thCentury industrialization helps us understand problems of contemporary economic growth. There is no recent study on economic developments in 19thCentury Germany. So this concise volume, written specifically with students of German and economic history in mind, will prove to be most valuable, not least because of its wealth of statistical data.

Toni Pierenkemper is Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Cologne.

Richard Tilly is Emeritus Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Münster.

Excerpt

Every book has its own history, and this one involves two sets of experience. The initial impulse came from Toni Pierenkemper while he was a Konrad Adenauer Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., during the academic year 1993–94. In the course of a series of lectures and seminars on nineteenth-century German economic history, he discovered English-language literature on this subject matter to be either lacking or dated, in strong contrast to the existing literature on twentieth-century German economic history. Pierenkemper opted to put together his own set of teaching material, aided by his research assistant, Robert Daguillard, which became the first rough outline of this book. As the book began to take shape, however, Pierenkemper realized, first, that a non-native speaker faces great difficulties in writing a readable text and, second, that some of the more recent research was less accessible to him than he had thought.

Pierenkemper thus called on Richard Tilly, at one stage his academic mentor, who has been institutionally anchored in Germany for over thirty years, but was born and educated in the U.S. Tilly, who had written a short German-language book on nineteenthcentury German economic history, had long entertained the idea of publishing an English-language version on roughly the same subject, but academic obligations served as a recurring hindrance to such plans. In 1998, however, his new status as emeritus professor offered him this possibility, happily in the form of a joint venture together with Pierenkemper, his former student.

This book thus combines the differing research and teaching histories of an American, on the one hand, interested in summing up some of the fruits of his thirty years of experience in Germany . . .

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