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German and Italian Empires in 1914

Italian and German Empires in 1914. Tsingtao beer. Created by Sal Khan.

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  • leaf green style avatar for user Junsang
    what were the strongest countries in 1914?
    (34 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user T.H.M.
      Good Question. There is a bit of a toss up as to who was the quote unquote "strongest". From the point of view of the army, the Germans had the best trained, but the Russian's was larger. From the point of view of the navy, Britain's was the largest and best trained (which along with the French gave the Entente the largest navy) but the New German Navy was mostly modern and well trained as well. From the economic point of view Germany was rated very high, as was Britain, (with the United States' vast resources also proving decisive when they entered the war).

      As for the two alliances, while the Entente nations surrounded the Central Powers, Central Powers adjoining borders make communications and combined operations easier.

      All in all, Germany was probably the strongest country overall for war in 1914. Closely fallowed by Britain and France.
      (33 votes)
  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user asim.g.khan
    At , Sal mentions the Frank-oppresion war. What is that and how did it start?
    (15 votes)
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  • leaf green style avatar for user SteveSargentJr
    What does "Kolonien des 2. Kaiserreichs" mean? (From the bottom, left-hand corner of Sal's map)
    (15 votes)
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    • male robot donald style avatar for user Johann Karlson
      I disagree Andris. The reason there hasn't been a 4th Reich yet, (and there could be one eventually) is due to the fact that after the 2nd World War, Germany was split in half between the western powers, (mainly America, Britain, and France) and the Soviet Union. In the west, West Germany was formed as a Democracy. In the East, East Germany was formed under Communist rule. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990's, the two countries were reunited and Germany became a full fledged Democracy. Like I said however, there is a possibility of a 4th Reich, just not in the near future.
      (1 vote)
  • leafers seed style avatar for user 이예랑
    Germany and Preussen was same country?
    (6 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Stanislaw Szostak
      Not exactly, they are united together in the German Empire in this aspect. It's much like when you look at the British Empire you see Scotland being part of England, they are not the same countries, but they are in the same Empire.

      Before the German Empire formed, there were multiple countries that united with it, which include: The North German Confederation, Kingdom of Bavaria, Kingdom of Württemberg, Grand Duchy of Baden, Grand Duchy of Hesse. The German Confederation contained Prussia, but it also contained multiple Kingdoms as well.

      The German Confederation had Kingdoms, duchies, grand duchies, etc, etc. The two Kingdoms in the Confederation were Prussia and Saxony, so they were not part of the same country in this aspect as well, since they were autonomous to an extent. Germany today is free central, while this was more loose.
      (15 votes)
  • winston default style avatar for user Redapple8787
    What exactly is the significance of Tsingtao beer? I don't exactly understand it.
    (5 votes)
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    • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user briancsherman
      Tsingtao brewery is the 2nd largest brewery in China and is worth billions of dollars. It is a big company that has been in existence for over 100 years. Up until 1916, it was a owned and operated by a joint English/German stock company, so it was an example of German and British empire-building. The history of the business also reflects changes in China - it went from being British/German, to being Japanese, to being controlled by Nationalist Chinese, to being a communist state-run company, and then back to being a private company in the 1990's. Just looking at the way the company and its ownership has developed through history gives insight into the ways that China itself has developed.
      (7 votes)
  • ohnoes default style avatar for user leotrikim
    Why has Sal circled Japan in pink even though it was not under control of Italy at that time?
    (10 votes)
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  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user Vishwam Chand
    How did the Germans control all their territory? The pacific was so far from Germany.
    (1 vote)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Jet Simon
      Imperialism, Germany was one of the last few countries to "scramble for Africa"; however when the Open Door policy was introduced to European countries that was initiated by the US, Germany also claimed some islands in the Pacific which they developed their colonies there. Unlike in Africa it was far different because they had two major territories which German Southwest Africa , Cameroon, Togo, German East Africa. Germany like most other countries controlled by force using their military to overthrow the previous dynasties or monarchs also they were influenced by social Darwinism which initiated the need for imperialism. Additionally they controlled economically either by free trade (laizze faire) or mercantilism.
      (10 votes)
  • male robot donald style avatar for user Sanjay
    who are the Prussians and where did they orginated
    (2 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user TheTerrorIs_rael
    why is beer so important it has to be mentioned in a history lesson
    (2 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      Let's think about that.
      Beer contains alcohol, which kills many kinds of germs.
      Beer contains water, which quenches thirst.
      Water from a stream or river might come be polluted by an outhouse or pig sty upstream, so drinking it might make soldiers sick.
      Sick soldiers can't fight.

      For so long as soldiers are drinking only a limited amount of beer, they will not get infected, and will not get drunk and unable to serve.

      Beer makes sense in a military situation where the water is of dubious quality.
      (3 votes)
  • duskpin sapling style avatar for user Violet
    I don't get it,is the Tsingtoa beer really chinese?or german?
    (1 vote)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      Tsing-Tao, in China, was in the German "concession territory." Some Germans there noted that the water of Tsing-Tao was suitable for brewing beer. Those Germans established one of China's best breweries. Its beer achieved a good reputation. After the first world war, the German concession was turned over to Japan, a nation that knew profitable enterprise when it saw it.

      The Japanese continued the business, making German-style beer. After the Japanese lost the SECOND world war, the Communist Party of China, also good at seeing opportunities to make money, continued the operation of the Tsing-Tao Brewery.

      Now, in the 21st Century, the Tsing-Tao brand is licensed for manufacture in many places. While I resided in Taiwan, I enjoyed the locally brewed version, which comes from Pingtung County, Taiwan. It's not made with water from China at all.
      It's not in the water, after all, it's in the recipe and technique.
      (5 votes)

Video transcript

As we've already talked about, as we exit the 1800s and we get into the early 1900s and we approach World War I, the various powers of Europe were really on this race for empire. It was a part of national prestige. And it helped build national wealth. But of the major powers, Germany and Italy were relatively new as unified states. The British Empire-- they had been building their empire for hundreds of years. The Germans, on the other hand, even though they have a very old culture going back hundreds-- or you could argue thousands-- of years, as a unified state, they only existed since 1871. And that's only after the Franco-Prussian War, which allowed the Prussians to unify all of Germany. And the Italians only became fully unified in 1870, also due to the Franco-Prussian War. Because the French had to focus on the Germans, had to focus on the Prussians, they couldn't protect the Papal States anymore. And so that allowed the Italians to unify it under their a rule. So by the time we get to 1914, the beginning of World War I, these two powers, they were also on their race for empire. But they were only about 43 or 44 years old. And so they hadn't been able to build as extensive of an empire as France and, especially, as extensive of an empire as Great Britain. But this map right over here shows how far their actual empires did extend. Italy had control of Libya, Eritrea, and parts of what's today Somalia. And Germany had control-- it also had holdings in Africa, possessions in Africa. Togoland, which is modern-day Togo; Cameroon, which makes up-- modern-day Cameroon is part of German Southwest Africa. That's now known as Namibia. German East Africa, which is now Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. And Germany also had holdings in the Pacific and even in China. These are the Pacific Islands that Germany had possession of. It had German New Guinea. And it even had control of the town of Tsingtao. And that actually is culturally interesting for those of you watching this video in 2013. Tsingtao is now a very popular Chinese brand of beer. One of the more-- I think it's the number two in the market Chinese beer. And it's associated with China. But it was actually started by German settlers in Tsingtao in 1903. So actually its roots are with the Germans, who obviously have a long tradition of producing beers. And so Tsingtao-- you could argue it's a Chinese beer. It's produced in China. But it had its roots in German imperial rule.