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From the about 1890 onwards there was much resentment among many Germans that their country wasn't a 'world power'. What was usually meant by this was that (despite some colonies) Germany was essentially a European power without much influence worldwide. They contrasted themselves with Britain - with wasn't a major European military power, but which had a vast overseas empire and considerable influence in the world. Many German intellectuals saw Germany with its outstanding and widely imitated education system and, above all.its much admired universities as the guardian of education... When comparing themselves with Britain, many German intellectuals were (in some sense) angered by the fact that, in their eyes, Britain had done nothing to deserve its success in the world. It seemed to them to be the result of pure good luck. They saw themselves as much more deserving amd regarded the situation as wickedly unfair. This outlook was naive and unrealistic, but it encouraged a sense of boundless narcissistic (not Nazi) 'entitlement'. In all fairness, Germany had many remarkable achievements, but this sense of deserving something much better in the world was unrealistic and set them on a collision course with most other European powers. Moreover, this amazing sense of 'entitlement' encouraged racism: after all, it was above all the notion of German 'superiority' that supported this illusion. (International affairs don't operate on 'merit'). Envy of 'undeserving','uneducated'Britain led to futile rivalry in the form of the naval arms race (1897 onwards) and attempts to woo the Ottoman Empire as an ally in order to threaten communications between Britain and India. Catching up with and overtaking Britain was a key aim. At the same time - and much more realistically - Germany consolidated its already strong position in Europe as leader of a German-dominated Central Europe. There were a handful of German thinkers who saw this - a very powerfulMitteleuropaextending into theBalkans and the Near Eastas a viable substitute for world power status. This answer is only concerned with foreign policy. At some stage I may be able to add something on domestic policy. Joncey

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โˆ™ 2007-06-07 12:16:44
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Q: What goals did Germany have before World War 1?
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