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From unification to integration: the German North Sea ports' absorption into Imperial Germany, 1866–1914

Kuhlmann, Henning 2016. From unification to integration: the German North Sea ports' absorption into Imperial Germany, 1866–1914. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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a major share of the German Empire’s total overseas trade. However, at the time of the foundation of the Kaiserreich, the cities’ roles within the Empire and the new German nation-state were not yet fully defined. Initially, Hamburg and Bremen insisted upon their traditional role as independent city-states and remained outside the Empire’s customs union. Emden, meanwhile, had welcomed outright annexation by Prussia in 1866. After centuries of economic stagnation, the city had great difficulties competing with Hamburg and Bremen and was hoping for Prussian support. This thesis examines how it was possible to integrate these port cities on an economic and on an underlying level of civic mentalities and local identities. Existing studies have often overlooked the importance that Bismarck attributed to the cultural or indeed the ideological re-alignment of Hamburg and Bremen. Therefore, this study will look at the way the people of Hamburg and Bremen traditionally defined their (liberal) identity and the way this changed during the 1870s and 1880s. It will also investigate the role of the acquisition of colonies during the process of Hamburg and Bremen’s accession. In Hamburg in particular, the agreement to join the customs union had a significant impact on the merchants’ stance on colonialism. With regard to Emden, focus will be laid on its economic integration, which largely revolved around Prussia proper rather than the (Prussian-led) German Empire. While Emden got off to a slow start after 1866 and was never really able to compete successfully with Hamburg or Bremen, it did achieve genuine progress under Prussian rule.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 April 2017
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2022 15:58

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