The essays which this paper is based on, "Liberalism and society: The Feminist Movement and Social Change", "The Politics of Demagogy in Imperial Germany", "The Mythology of the Sonderweg", and "A Bonapartist Dictatorship" were enlightening, but tended to repeat a central theme, the unwillingness of the Junkers of Germany to give up even the smallest bit of their power over the lower classes. I suppose there will always be many opinions on what influenced the formation of Germany, but it really can be laid at the feet of Otto von Bismarck. He ran Germany from Prussia in the way he saw fit, through the eyes of a Junker.
Junkers and heavy industry are what controlled Germany during its formation years and the Industrial Revolution, trying to keep independence while Bismarck tried to bind the many city-states together. The Junkers had the money and the power and were not willing to give up their vast influence. This meant they were naturally conservative, giving...