Mass Media In Imperial Germany

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Written word had a huge impact on the new German Empire in the 19th century. With illiteracy rates decreasing, written word continued to gain a large audience. According to Berghahn (2005) it seem like newspapers, books, journals, and pamphlets demonstrated that there was a “functioning public sphere” within Germany society that was not active previously. The authoritarian society that could censor media at will was no longer effective as before. However, the authorities still were eager to express its power to this civil society, a power up held under written constitution. Before this paper will explain how mass media changed the nature of political discourse, it is important to explain the various catalyst that contributed to the rise of …show more content…
Cities had a growing demand of industrial labour power. With the decline of the rural economy, factories had the labour they needed. Many people moved away from the countryside and “impoverished” rural town into cities which were “rapidly growing industrial centres” (Bonnell 2005). Most of the people who did move from the countryside and rural communities tended to be farmers, agricultural workers, and craftsmen. They left their homes in search of a better life. This rural town were plagued with poverty due to breakdown of feudal bonds and threat of pauperization through overpopulation of land. They believed that they these industrial centres could allow them to economic opportunities to support their family and themselves. This movement lead to a dynamic shift from traditional agriculture into industry. In 1907, only 28.6% of employee persons worked in agriculture which is a huge reduction of 1.5 people since 1882 (Bonnell 2005). However, industry and trade rapidly increased by gained about 10.3 million and 7.8 million respectively (Bonnell 2005). Additionally, the result of internal immigration was so great, cities were growing at an alarming rate. The amount people residing in cities, defined as towns with more than 5,000 inhabitants, increased from about 26 million in 1820 to 35 million by 1850 (Bonnell 2005). This rose exponentially to 45 million by 1880 to finally almost 65 million by 1910 (Bonnell 2005). That is a change of 23.7% of German citizen dwelling in small town while 4.8% of the total population living in one of the four German cities in 1871 (Bonnell 2005). This changes to 48.8% lived in mid-sized cities while 21.3% lived in a major city or its suburb in 1910 (Bonnell 2005). This made Berlin the fastest growing city in Germany. Alone, Berlin’s population skyrocketed from 198,000 in 1816 to 1.1 million by 1880 and 1.67 million in 1895, and finally over 2 million

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