Causes and Consequences of the Economic Boom

Topics: Wirtschaftswunder, World War II, Konrad Adenauer Pages: 4 (1380 words) Published: February 24, 2006
The Federal Republic of Germany, FRG, was formed when the Allies of America, France and Britain took control of the West following the catastrophic events of World War Two, ending in 1945. As a result of the war, Germany was in complete ruins; physically, socially and economically; the land devastation together with the amount of men killed in the war caused complete incomprehension for those remaining. Furthermore, as a result of the ensuing reduced workforce, people were required to work longer hours in order to even maintain Germany's very low industrial output; people therefore had to completely overcome these overwhelming events of the past, known as ‘Vergangenheitsbewaltigung', so as to reconstruct for the future. However, unlike any preceding event, Germany was seen to make an extremely rapid recovery, to such a degree that as little as ten years after the war there was already talk of Germany's ‘Wirtschaftswunder', the miracle demonstrating the total transformation of her economy in such a small period of time. It is however highly debatable as to whether this term is appropriate; this economic turnaround actually came about due to a combination of events and adaptations, transforming Germany's economic position and causing life changing results for those involved. The resulting devastation of the Second World War was the trigger for change, particularly in Germany's economic dealings. This worsening situation between 1945 and 1947 helped to make the economic progress in the following years seem particularly significant and rapid and for this reason, the idea of Germany's progress being a miracle seems justified, early conditions being so low that only a miracle could allow for the flourishing economy which followed so soon. Consequently, the proposed restructuring of the German economy by the allies was strongly aided by both the economic modifications made and the new-found motivation of its people; workers were regaining the incentive to work again,...
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