Finance from Kaiser to Feuhrer: Budget Politics in Germany, 1912-1934


Germany's ability to support its war machine financially has long puzzled scholars. The young nation had exhausted itself paying for its loss in the First World War, had suffered a hyperinflation in the early 1920s, and had ended the 1920s with a terrible economic depression. This is the first book in any language to examine the budget policies of the middle years of the Weimar Republic and to look at how these policies changed the politics of the time. It is also the first work to support the government's aggressive use of deficit spending and fiscal stimuli to promote economic growth. Some findings even indicate that the German government could have used creative financial solutions to avoid the worst of the Depression and to avert the Nazi regime.

Clingan explores the changes and continuities in fiscal policy and budget-making politics, beginning in the last years of the Wilhelmine Empire and continuing into the 1930s. Although this is a story about money, it is also a story about men. Very few in Nazi Germany understood the intricacies of fiscal policy and budget making, and political parties tended to follow the lead of those who did. Clingan combines their personal stories with the tale of a country still growing into its economic power and still trying to learn both its limits and its strengths.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 2001


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