Please could you mark my A-level History essay

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jisakat
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Hi, was wondering whether anyone could mark my ocr a-level history essay and provide me with any kind of feedback. Thanks.

‘Warfare divided Germany more than it united it’. How far do you agree with this view of the period from 1789 to 1919?
Warfare did not divide Germany as much as it united it, as especially after 1866, it did nothing but unite Germany. Warfare’s capability to unite Germany is can be clearly seen through its impact on bringing economic German unity, through processes such as industrialisation. Although warfare’s impact on political and cultural developments could suggest it brought relative division as suggested through the consequences of the Austro-Prussian War, it was ultimately less significant than the unity it would in driving Germany towards unification.

Economically, warfare can be seen clearly to bring more unity rather than division to Germany through driving and speeding up the rate of industrialisation. Historians have suggested that Prussia had always planned for a possible war with Austria due to the resentment of Austrian dominance which is evidenced through the Agreement of Olmutz in 1850, which showed how Prussia disliked Austrian leadership of the German Confederation. Thus, it is suggested that Prussia believed the most practical way in order to establish its dominance over ‘Germany’ would be to become economically dominant and expand the rate of industrialisation in the Prussian Rhineland. This greatly benefitted industrialists like Krupps and subsequently led to a stronger desire for more economic unity due the economic growth and benefits many north German states were receiving, as industrialisation led to an increase in income and jobs in factories which improved the standard of living and improved the Germanic people’s pride in the ‘German’ economy. Thus, warfare’s impact on economic developments would significantly contribute to uniting Germany as it would considerably aid Prussia’s success in the wars of unification in the 1860s due the development of new weapons such as the Dreyse needle gun, and thus allow for the dominance of Prussia in creating a Kleinsdeutschland.

Nevertheless, warfare’s impact on political developments could suggest it caused divisions more than it united Germany. Despite the SPD voting for war credits in 1914 showing a rare political union in German politics, the polarisation of the German politics following the First World War suggests this political union was short-lived and that war instead created more division. Furthermore, the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 would also suggest that warfare created divisions rather than unity as it demolished the possibility of a Grossdeutschland and established a Prussian led Kleindesutschland, which resulted in many pro-Austrian Germans having resentment towards Prussia and thus a decline in support for the establishment of the Empire in 1871 as many felt alienated by Prussia’s actions. However, as early as 1813, warfare could eb seen to create unity amongst the Germanic people as the War of Liberation would lead to dualism and the establishment of the German Confederation, thus suggesting a first step towards political unity and the unification of Germany with 36 states, which greatly contrasted the highly fragmented nature of the former Holy Roman Empire. Also, warfare offers more significant evidence of leading to considerable increases in political unity, most notably seen through the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 which ultimately led to German unification, the establishment of one Kaiser, once chancellor and one Imperial Constitution. This was hugely supported by the German populace as seen through the Germans parade through France in January 1871, as political unity and a single constitution had been a goal of many nationalists and liberals as early as 1848 in the Frankfurt Parliament. Hence, without the presence of warfare, long lasting German unification would not have been achieved.

Similarly, cultural developments could also offer some evidence of warfare dividing Germany more than it united it, as it brought to light cultural differences. The Austro-Prussian war of 1866 would bring to light significant cultural and religious differences as the south German states decided to ally with Austria against Prussia. This showed how warfare brought about a major division as the war would see ‘Germans fighting Germans’, revealing how cultural differences provided an obstacle to the unification of Germany. Furthermore, despite the establishment of the Empire in 1871, Bismarck’s pressure to pursue negative integration policies such as the Kulturkampf in the 1870s conveys how prominent an issue cultural divides were in the new Reich and consequently exacerbated the existing divides by increasing particularism amongst the Catholic South German states and ethnic minority regions, thus leading to an increased disassociation with the ‘common German identity’ and presenting more divisions. However, following French occupation between 1806 and 1813, this led to the development of Francophobia which would significantly contribute to the unification of Germany by creating a common enemy amongst the German people who desire to unite together to fight against French oppression. This was most clearly seen in the Franco-Prussian war where Germans united together to deter the possibility of French oppression and ultimately led to the unification of Germany. Also, the existence of anti-French sentiment and xenophobia would drive cultural unity as German nationalism would become a mass movement amongst all Germans in 1914 following the announcement of war. Therefore, this shows that warfare created a great sense of unity amongst the populace despite any cultural or ethnic differences.

Overall, it is clear that warfare did not divide Germany as much as it united it as it paved the way for German unification and united the German people for a common cause, most clearly seen in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. Although, warfare’s impact on cultural and political developments does offer some suggestion of the creation of divides, they were not as great as the amount of unity it created amongst the populace which would culminate in the long lasting establishment of the German Empire in January 1871.
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jisakat
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its out of 25 by the way.
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redmeercat
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(Original post by jisakat)
its out of 25 by the way.
which board are you on? OCR?
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ageshallnot
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What happened after 1914?
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jisakat
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(Original post by redmeercat)
which board are you on? OCR?
yes I am on OCR
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jisakat
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
What happened after 1914?
True, I am now seeing that I didn't make any clear references to the impact warfare had after 1914
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by jisakat)
True, I am now seeing that I didn't make any clear references to the impact warfare had after 1914
To lob more hand grenades in your general direction...

What do you mean by "Germany"? (Bavaria and Prussia, for example, had a markedly different history up to 1866 yet both are "German".)

What about the difference between victorious and unsuccessful warfare?

Do you need to look more at changes over time rather than themes? (Pre-unification vs post-unification; 1914 war fever vs 1919 disillusionment and virtual civil war, etc)
Last edited by ageshallnot; 4 weeks ago
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jisakat
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
To lob more hand grenades in your general direction...

What do you mean by "Germany"? (Bavaria and Prussia, for example, had a markedly different history up to 1866 yet both are "German".)

What about the difference between victorious and unsuccessful warfare?

Do you need to look more at changes over time rather than themes? (Pre-unification vs post-unification; 1914 war fever vs 1919 disillusionment and virtual civil war, etc)
I try my best to remember to write 'Germany' instead of Germany when talking about the German states pre-1871, but sometimes I forget.

I believe its more about comparison of unity versus division but looking at warfare's impact on both. By looking at it thematically (economically, socially or others make choose to look at specific wars) rather than a chronological approach.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by jisakat)
I try my best to remember to write 'Germany' instead of Germany when talking about the German states pre-1871, but sometimes I forget.

I believe its more about comparison of unity versus division but looking at warfare's impact on both. By looking at it thematically (economically, socially or others make choose to look at specific wars) rather than a chronological approach.
Germany can certainly be seen as a state formed and united by wars, mainly those of 1866 and 1870-71. However, at certain points in time warfare can be seen to have had the opposite effect, eg 1919. While maintaining your thematic approach, can you work this into your argument? Particularly in the political dimension.

One minor point. If you're going to mention the Dreyse you should really bring in Krupp, particularly if you are talking about the economy.
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jisakat
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Germany can certainly be seen as a state formed and united by wars, mainly those of 1866 and 1870-71. However, at certain points in time warfare can be seen to have had the opposite effect, eg 1919. While maintaining your thematic approach, can you work this into your argument? Particularly in the political dimension.

One minor point. If you're going to mention the Dreyse you should really bring in Krupp, particularly if you are talking about the economy.
Thanks for the feedback. Roughly out of 25 what would you give this so I can possibly check the mark scheme as see what I need to improve on to get into the higher level
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by jisakat)
Thanks for the feedback. Roughly out of 25 what would you give this so I can possibly check the mark scheme as see what I need to improve on to get into the higher level
I'm afraid that the passage of time since I did A-level history has been almost as long as the German Empire lasted, so I'm in no position to give it a mark.*

I think that you have definitely come down on the right side of the argument. The key fact is that without warfare, the German state would not even have existed.

I do find the back and forth nature of some of your arguments difficult to follow. For example, the paragraph about political unity starts with the point that war could create division. The first piece of evidence you produce, however, is the SPD war credits vote in 1914, which is clearly pro war creating unity. You then hop around to 1919 (anti unity), 1866/1871 (anti), 1813 (pro), 1870/71 (pro). The story - and your own argument - could be clearer.

I'd be interested to see what mark you get, so that I have a benchmark for any future comments.

* You might want to reconsider your use of the phrase "long lasting" in the final sentence of your third and final paragraphs - 47 years isn't really a long time!
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Muttley79
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(Original post by jisakat)
its out of 25 by the way.
Only a qualified History teacher can give proper feedback - why not ask yours?
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