By Bernd Widdig
For lots of Germans the hyperinflation of 1922 to 1923 used to be the most decisive studies of the 20th century. In his unique and authoritative examine, Bernd Widdig investigates the results of that inflation on German tradition in the course of the Weimar Republic. He argues that inflation, with its dynamics of massification, devaluation, and the speedy move of cash, is an essential component of contemporary tradition and intensifies and condenses the event of modernity in a tense approach.
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Extra resources for Culture and Inflation in Weimar Germany (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism)
Law had to ﬂee the country, and he died a poor man in Venice in 1729. The second important inﬂation in France coincided with the Revolution. During the entire eighteenth century, the French state had been amassing a huge ﬁnancial debt. In 1786, the yearly deﬁcit had reached 200 million livres, with an annual tax revenue of only 357 million livres. The desperation over the royal ﬁnances led to the convocation and consultation of the General Estates on May 5, 1789 —a date that would later mark the beginning of the French Revolution.
The gatherer’s social position is that of a solitary, yet not lonely, socially unattached and independent ﬁgure whose roaming does not follow the order of an authority. The “hunter” versus “gatherer” typology evokes differences in perspective that are at the core of discussions on methodology in many ﬁelds of the humanities and social sciences. It reappears, for example, in social history in the debate between historische Sozialwissenschaft and Alltagsgeschichte. The former, which takes a macrohistorical approach and emphasizes structure and a general model of modernization, is still the dominant tradition in Germany.
2 trillion marks. The uneven and sometimes erratic course of the inﬂation can be explained by a number of political events and economic decisions that either strengthened or weakened trust in the German economy and the young republic. From the viewpoint of historical analysis, inﬂation was only one possible ﬁnancial reaction to a whole range of political problems. During its ten-year course, the inﬂation was part of different political strategies and changing interests. Political and ﬁnancial leaders were not completely uninformed about the dangers of currency devaluation, yet they downplayed or even denied the potential for a complete meltdown of the ﬁnancial system.