World War I

1914-1918 | Germany

Summary

The First World War was the bloodiest conflict that the world had ever seen. It had a devastating effect on the entire globe, but perhaps nowhere more than in Germany—particularly if we consider the longer-reaching consequences of the war and the rise of National Socialism in inter-war Germany.

Delegates in this committee will come together and represent various factions of German society in the early 20th century. They will be faced with difficult wartime decisions about invasions and peace treaties, but will also have to negotiate domestic politics. Delegates will learn about the major political tensions of the late German Empire. Imperial Germany was neither fully autocratic nor fully democratic, and competing factions within the state contributed greatly to the crises of the war. The question then remains: Will our committee be able to resolve these tensions and save Germany from crushing defeat? Or was Germany’s loss in the war inevitable for a state that was already so at war with itself?

Topics of Debate

1. The alliances between Germany and other states, including Austro-Hungary, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire.

2. Germany’s choice to invade Belgium.

3. The effect of intranational class relations on policy decisions made during the war.

4. The strength of the Chancellor and the effect of German political institutions on the stability of the Empire.

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