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Ancient German Economy – A Complete Guide

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  • Post last modified:October 29, 2022

Until the industrial revolution in the 1960s, the economic growth of ancient Germany was bleak and narrow. However, it was the need of the hour for the nation to reconstruct itself and grow in terms of the economy after the destruction of World War II. Almost 8.86% of the German population was killed in the war, severely damaging agricultural production, economic growth, development, etc.

As a massive result of this destruction, around 25% of Germany was ceded to Poland, and the Soviet Union and Germans started scattering around Eastern Europe. According to ancient books and other historians, almost 2 million of the population died in the process of spreading across Europe.

The economic situation in Medieval Germany

Germany was divided into various kingdoms, cities during medieval times. However, geographical expansion did not lead to economic growth, and collaboration with competitors was inevitable.

By the end of 1056, under Henry Ill’s rule, the population was about 7 to 8 million, with farmers as a majority. Over time, many free cities were developed that were presented along significant trade routes in Germany. Hence, people were introduced to trading between the east and west routes. As a result, the nation’s economic structure was soon determined by the presence of significant harbors and transport hubs along the Rhine River.

The Hanseatic League was developed to enhance marine trade in the Baltic and northern seas. Commercial and international trades grew to great heights with the formation of many unions. However, the arrival of the Black Death pandemic caused a social and economic downfall, with the unexpected death of nearly 40% of the population.

The economic situation in early modern Germany

Germany was under the Holy Roman Empire, which worked in their favor to create strong leadership and citizenship qualities in the 16 and 17th centuries. However, Germany remained under secondary access to trades and commodities, unlike France, the Netherlands, and Britain.

Industrial revolution in Germany

With skilled labor, a good work ethic, a strong educational system, and no other qualities, German states started catching up on the development of trade and industries in 1900. The French revolution, from the 1790s to 1815, opened new doors of opportunity for all classes of society! However, the beginning of an industrial revolution in Germany began in the textile industry in 1834, which further created opportunities in:

  • Banks and cartels
  • Coal
  • The welfare of all classes and states
  • Foreign investment
  • Chemicals
  • Agriculture

Industrial revolution

The aftermath of the German economy

The terrible effects of post-world war II created a dent in the economic structure of Germany. As a result, there was a slow economic development in the east compared to a sharp curve in the south and west of Germany. Nevertheless, although the post world war Germany suffered a significant loss, it recovered and re-established itself post-2010 by making the necessary refinements.