Election battles were fought ferociously in pre-World War One Germany, when most middle-class Germans still opposed formal democracy. Anti-democrats deployed many exclusionary strategies that flew in the face of electoral fairness. They battled socialists, liberals, and Jews at election time, and they repeatedly rewrote the rules of the electoral game. With a regional case study, Retallack explores why so many Germans opposed the principle of “one man, one vote” and how they made it easier for Hitler and the Nazis to inter German democracy after 1933.
About James Retallack
James Retallack teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and supervises Ph.D. field preparation in European history from 1770 to 1945. After studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford he received his D.Phil. in 1983 and joined the University of Toronto in 1987. His research interests (1830-1918) include German regional history, nationalism, anti-semitism, electoral politics, and historiography. He has authored or edited fourteen books, including Imperial Germany 1871-1918: The Short Oxford History of Germany and, most recently, Germany's Second Reich: Portraits and Pathways. His volume of on-line documents and images on Bismarckian Germany, edited for the German Historical Institute, Washington DC, reaches a world-wide audience.
Retallack has held grants, fellowships, and research prizes from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Gerda Henkel Foundation, among others: these have allowed him to take up visiting professorships at the Free University Berlin and the University of Göttingen. He is General Editor of Oxford Studies in Modern European History. In November 2011 Retallack was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Video of "Democracy in Disappearing Ink"
More Info on Pre-WWI Germany by James Retallack
- The German Right, 1860-1920: Political Limits of the Authoritarian Imagination, University of Toronto Press (2006).
- Germany's Second Reich: Portraits and Pathways, University of Toronto Press (2015).
- “‘What is to Be Done?’ The Red Specter, Franchise Questions, and the Crisis of Conservative Hegemony in Saxony, 1896-1909,” Central European History 23 (December 1990), pp. 271-312 [published 1992].
- 2nd revised edition of Forging an Empire: Bismarckian Germany (1866-1890) / Reichsgründung: Bismarcks Deutschland (1866-1890), ed. James Retallack. Published online in English and German as Volume 4 of a 10-volume project, German History in Documents and Images / Deutsche Geschichte in Dokumenten und Bildern. German Historical Institute, Washington, DC. 2ndedition commissioned 2016, in progress.
- “Ideas into Politics: Meanings of ‘Stasis’ in Wilhelmine Germany,” in Wilhelminism and Its Legacies, ed. Eley and Retallack (2003), pp. 235-252.
- Imperial Germany 1871-1918. (Short Oxford History of Germany), ed. James Retallack. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Cloth and paperback. 2008. Pp. xv, 328. (Table of Contents) (Introduction) (Looking forward) “Essential” (CHOICE). (Opinion)