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Summaries Of Articles: German Bourgeoisie (Essay Sample)


The following is the Project Assignment. It involves reading two specific articles on major topics in Western Social History. Your assignment is to write reasonably-detailed summaries of the articles and, in doing so, incorporate answers to the associated questions. Avoid simply paraphrasing the author's arguments. Explain things in your own words so that I can assess your understanding of the issues presented.

This should be written in prose, like an essay, and typed. I do not have a particular length requirement, but these are profound and detailed sources of scholarship so your efforts should reflect this.

A) The first article discusses the nature of the German Bourgeoisie in the 19th Century. This is an important topic because modern society is still shaped primarily by "bourgeois" values and aspirations and ways of life, at least for the moment. The article is from a book called, The German Bourgeoisie, edited by D. Blackbourn and R.J. Evans (London: Routledge, 1997).

1. What main characteristics define and identify the German Bourgeoisie?

2. What were the main political and social goals of this class in Germany?

3. What are the main features of Bourgeois family life and cultural interests?

B) The second article discusses the struggle faced by women in achieving independence and equality in modern society. This topic is important because women are about one-half of the human species. The source of the reading is A History of Women in the West: V. Toward a Cultural Identity in the Twentieth Century, Francoise Thebaud, editor (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press, 1996).

1. What does the author mean by "supervised emancipation”?

2. In what ways does the economic system affect the struggle for equality of women

3. What choices does a woman face (though rarely do men) in terms of career and personal life?


Summaries of Articles
Summaries of Articles
Article One: German Bourgeoisie
The German Bourgeoisie was a middle-class group comprised of businessmen, academics, officials and independent master craftsmen. The academics and officials identified themselves with their level of education and state service respectively and were mostly involved in the provision of membership to reading clubs. The businessmen and craftsmen identified themselves with the production of goods and services, and their dealings were mostly on cash and goods. These middle-class was different from the nobles because they worked, although their work did not involve tiling the land like the peasants. This means that their work did not involve soiling their hands, but was what is currently known as the white-collar jobs. This group valued reading and education so much such that it led to the emergence of state bureaucrats who were very powerful and were not selected based on birth, but on merit and qualification. They prided themselves in their expertise and qualifications which explains why they worked hard to maintain their status as professionals. The German Bourgeoisie was economically empowered and had the necessary economic resources required to lead a quality life.
The German Bourgeoisie used education to penetrate the state in high numbers. They gained positions as state administrators, professors, and other prestigious professions. As such, they were able to acquire a social status that was viewed as prestigious in Germany. However, they lacked a say politically and were not involved in any decision making. Their main political goal was to have a political voice and have a unified state that would promote progress in the country. They worried about losing their status after the long inflation and the Depression in the early 1900s which had some negative effects on business and employment. The German Bourgeoisie wanted to protect their status and wealth and that is why they engaged in political activism. They believed that their situation was fuelled by the poor political system in the country. More so, the German Bourgeoisie had a hard time getting domestic servants, which in turn had an effect on their social life. All these issues gave them the need to have greater political influence over matters, and they, therefore, supported the idea of a unified movement which was spearheaded by the Nazis.
The German Bourgeoisie preferred to intermarry with people from their own class, that is, the academics married their own and the business people married their own. The Bourgeois family was characterized by a stay at home mother who took care of the children. The availability of servants also enabled the families to undertake cultural activities and have time to play with the children. In addition, they knew well not to bring work to home as the home was viewed as a place to relax after a hard day at work. Women and children came second after the man of the house, and the woman was responsible for ensuring the continuity of culture from one generation to another. Culturally, the Germ

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