History Learner wrote: ↑
25 Jan 2019 20:44
Futurist wrote: ↑
25 Jan 2019 18:09
The suffrage issue should become bigger over time, though. After all, I can't imagine the gerrymandered Prussian voting system surviving indefinitely. I'll use the U.S. as an example--while rural areas were overrepresented in state legislatures before the 1960s, the public refused to tolerate this problem forever--which resulted in pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court to implement the "one person, one vote" rule and require equipopulous districts everywhere other than the U.S. Senate. Similarly, in Britain, the rotten boroughs were abolished in 1832 and the suffrage was gradually expanded in the 19th and early 20th centuries to include more and more people. I suspect that something similar would have happened in Imperial Germany over time even without the World Wars.
It's important to note the Reynolds v. Sims ruling came at the peak of Post-World War II Liberalism in the United States, something that was not universal around the world even then and was a rather specific set of circumstances to the American political culture. A lot of the movement on restricting urban influence was born in the 1920s, when the ratio of urban to rural surpassed 50-50. Imperial Germany was indeed a very different political culture, with very different standards; it remained more rural than the United States for longer and overall had a more conservative political climate. We must also remember that-in both Germany and in Russia-the capacity to accept non-democratic regimes was strong in the 20th Century.
AFAIK, some of the rural imbalance in the US existed way before the 1920s. For instance, I think that Alabama's constitution since the beginning of its statehood gave an equal number of seats in its state senate to every single one of its counties.
As for imperial Germany, I'm not sure that it was significantly more rural than the U.S. was in the early 20th century. In 1910, 40% of Germans lived in places with less than 2,000 people:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanizat ... man_Empire
Meanwhile, in the U.S., a slight majority of the total population lived in places with 2,500 or more people in 1920:
https://books.google.com/books?id=qn83A ... 20&f=false
Thus, while we can't do a direct comparison because the data is a bit different, it does appear that Germany and the U.S. were roughly equal in regards to urbanization in the early 20th century.
Also, didn't German Kaiser Wilhelm II promise to reform the German/Prussian voting system in 1917 due to his belief that it would be unfair for millions of Germans who fought for Germany in WWI to be treated unequally when it comes to voting?
Also, by the start of WWI, literacy in the Russian Empire was likely approaching 70% among the younger generation. Almost 70% of conscripts to the Russian Army/military were literate in 1913:
Thus, Germany's potential to Germanize large numbers of Slavs by introducing them to literacy via the German language appears to have been rather limited by the time of World War I.
Any other sources on this? It's news to me and I think could be useful on issues related to this subject in future debates?
I've asked Anatoly Karlin (the blogger who posted that graph) for a source for this graph. Let's hope that he'll respond to me.
Also, I've asked for a copy of a 1942 article about historical Russian literacy on the Wikipedia Resource Exchange/Resource Request desk:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia ... _in_Russia
Apparently, the author of that 1942 article (Nicholas Timasheff) concluded based on his research that 41% of the population of Imperial Russia was literate in 1914 (with this figure almost certainly being higher among the younger age cohorts) and that the most literate age group in the Imperial Russian population during this time was the one which was born between 1901 and 1906 and thus entered school right before WWI and the disturbances that it and the Russian Civil War unleashed:
https://books.google.com/books?id=Kq00D ... cy&f=false
The claim that Russia was overwhelmingly illiterate in 1914 appears to be a Bolshevik myth. This was true of 1897, but was almost certainly much less true of 1914.
Anyway, I'll let you know if I'll receive any additional information and sources in regards to this.