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Your question implies that empire building was something unique to Germany. German empire building was no different than that in any other major nation. Fact is Germany was surrounded by huge empires - France, Britain and Russia. These three imperial nations ruled about half the worlds land surface and some 40% of its people at their peaks (1890 to 1940). Otherwise, like with any other nation, Germany had a desire to improve the life of her people. This would entail gathering more Natural Resources, more territory, reduction of her enemies power, etc..........all similar to the empire building of the Russians or British. Germany was united as a nation a few decades too late to get into the great land grabs such as those run by those other three powers (not to mention the USA). As such, by the time Germany had enough power to start gathering colonies and territory, the other powers already had occupied the best areas. The natural resources issue is of particular importance since, as noted, the three large powers surrounding Germany had most of the worlds resources, and would trade them only in limited amounts. Colonies in those days were used as places to ship industrial goods at inflated prices and then to pillage the locals out of their timber, bauxite, copper, whatever by paying coolie wages to locals and no royalties to native governments. It is not wonder that most of these nations have nationalized and appropriated the various mines and plantations the imperial powers built. Thus Germany, with the second largest industrial economy in the world was continuously hamstrung by sweetheart deals perpetrated by London and Paris. It didn't matter if German goods were cheaper or better, they couldn't be sold. Likewise, Germany was forced to pay much higher prices for raw materials than their counterparts in France or Russia or America. The idea that a great power needed a vast empire was an irrational obsession in the period from about 1880-1940.

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โˆ™ 2007-04-08 21:50:29
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Q: What were the main causes of empire building in Germany?
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