Germany on the World Market at the End of the 19th Century

Successful Supplier of Consumer Related Manufactures
  • Christoph Buchheim
Part of the German Yearbook on Business History 1985 book series (BUSINESS, volume 1985)


In the decades following 1870 Germany finally became an industrial nation. The fast growth of the producer goods industry is evidence of this. This development was determined in particular by iron and steel, engineering and the chemical industry. It also influenced Germany’s exports. In 1913 two-fifths of manufactured exports were products of these “modern” industries, as against only 15% in 1872. Thus a certain parallel can be clearly seen in the change of the structure of production and exports as analysed by Walther G.Hoffmann1. And this is also the impression conveyed by various textbooks2.


Consumer Good Department Store Retail Trade Good Industry Mass Market 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    W. G. Hoffmann, Strukturwandlungen im Außenhandel der deutschen Volkswirtschaft seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts, in: Kyklos 20, 1967, p.287.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. Kellenbenz, Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Vol.2, München 1981, p.284Google Scholar
  3. 2a.
    K. Borchardt, Wirtschaftliches Wachstum und Wechsellagen 1800–1914, in: H. Aubin/W. Zorn (Eds.), Handbuch der deutschen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Vol. 2, Stuttgart 1976, p. 233Google Scholar
  4. 2b.
    R. Tilly, Verkehrs- und Nachrichtenwesen, Handel, Geld-, Kredit- und Versicherungswesen 1850–1914, in H. Aubin/W. Zorn (Eds.), Handbuch der deutschen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, Vol. 2, Stuttgart 1976, p. 233Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    A. Maizels, Industrial Growth and World Trade, Cambridge 1963, pp. 434, 476 ff. Of the trade groups listed there the subgroups “Textiles and Clothing; Made-up goods” and “Other Manufactures; Finished goods” have been schematically classified as consumer related.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    New estimates of the export of chromolithographies in 1890 and 1899 provide an exception to this. Cf. C. Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Ostfildern 1983, p. 106, footnote 56.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    See ibid, pp. 19 ff.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    Maizels, loc. cit. pp. 517 f.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    This is the reason why the calculations here differ from those in C. Buchheim, Aspects of 19th Century Anglo-German Trade Rivalry Reconsidered, in: The Journal of European Economic History 10, 1981, p. 287.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    W. G. Hoffmann et al., Das Wachstum der deutschen Wirtschaft seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Berlin etc. 1965, pp. 196f., 205, 390ff.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    H. Hesse, Außenhandel, I: Determinanten, in: Handwörterbuch der Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Vol. 1, Stuttgart etc. 1977, pp. 383 ff.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Ch. Booth (Ed.), Life and Labour of the People in London, 9 vols., London 1892ff.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    B. S. Rowntree, Poverty. A Study of Town Life, London 4th Edition 1902.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    For the following see also Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England, pp. 44ff.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    S. Pollard/D. W. Crossley, The Wealth of Britain 1085–1966, London 1968, p. 239.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Ch. Wilson, Economy and Society in Late Victorian Britain, in: Ec. Hist. Rev., 2nd s., 18, 1965, p. 190.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    D. Alexander, Retailing in England during the Industrial Revolution, London 1970, pp. 32ff.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Ibid., pp. 239ff.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    J. B. Jefferys, Retail Trading in Britain 1850–1950, Cambridge 1954, pp.22f.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Pollard/Crossley, loc. cit., p. 231.Google Scholar
  21. 22.
    Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England, p. 95.Google Scholar
  22. 23.
    Ibid., p. 117.Google Scholar
  23. 24.
    E. H. Phelps Brown/M. H. Browne, A Century of Pay. The Course of Pay and Production in France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, 1860–1960, London etc. 1968, p. 159.Google Scholar
  24. 25.
    U. S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States. Colonial Times to 1970, Washington D. C. 1975, Vol. 1, p. 240.Google Scholar
  25. 26.
    C. H. Feinstein, National Income, Expenditure and Output of the United Kingdom 1855–1965, Cambridge 1972, p. T131.Google Scholar
  26. 27.
    Th. Marburg, Domestic Trade and Marketing, in: H. F. Williamson (Ed.), The Growth of the American Economy, New York 1951, p. 524.Google Scholar
  27. 28.
    E. C. Kirkland, Industry Comes of Age. Business, Labor, and Public Policy 1860–1897 (= H. David et al. (Eds.), The Economic History of the United States, Vol.4), New York 1961, p.270Google Scholar
  28. 28a.
    B. Emmet/J.E. Jeuck, Catalogues and Counters. A History of Sears, Roebuck and Company, Chicago 1950, pp. 20ff.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    C. Ehrlich, The Piano. A History, London 1976, p. 131.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    A. Maddison, Phases of Capitalist Development, Oxford etc. 1982, pp. 161, 183.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    S. Kuznets, Modem Economic Growth. Rate, Structure, and Spread, New Haven etc. 1966, pp.208ff.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    A. Marshall, Industry and Trade, London 3rd Edition 1920, pp. 146f.Google Scholar
  33. 32a.
    H.F. Williamson, Mass Production for Mass Consumption, in: M. Kranzberg/C.W. Pursell Jr. (Eds.), Technology in Western Civilization, Vol. 1, New York etc. 1967, p. 689.Google Scholar
  34. 33.
    Historical Statistics of the United States, loc. cit., Vol.2, pp.699ff.; the figures for “Consumer Semidurables” and “Consumer Durables” were added together. For the average size of households see ibid., Vol. 1, p. 41.Google Scholar
  35. 34.
    H. Barger, Distribution’s Place in the American Economy since 1869, Princeton 1955, pp.4ff.Google Scholar
  36. 35.
    Marburg, loc. cit., p. 522.Google Scholar
  37. 36.
    Ibid., p. 519Google Scholar
  38. 36a.
    Williamson, loc. cit., p. 691.Google Scholar
  39. 37.
    A. D. Chandler, The United States: Evolution of Enterprise, in: The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, Vol. 7/2, Cambridge 1978, pp.97ff.Google Scholar
  40. 38.
    Ibid., p. 98Google Scholar
  41. 38a.
    Kirkland, loc. cit., p. 267, 271Google Scholar
  42. 38b.
    Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England, p.93.Google Scholar
  43. 39.
    Cf., also for the following: A. S. Milward/S. B. Saul, The Development of the Economies of Continental Europe 1850–1914, London 1977, pp.271ff., 365 ff.Google Scholar
  44. 39a.
    A. Kahan/D. Beyrau, Wirtschafts-und Sozialgeschichte Rußlands und Kongreßpolens 1860–1914, in: Ost- und Südosteuropa 1850–1914 (= H. Kellenbenz (Ed.), Handbuch der europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, part publication), Stuttgart 1980, pp. 7 ff.Google Scholar
  45. 40.
    Article “Rußland”, in: Brockhaus’ Konversations-Lexikon, Vol. 14, Leipzig etc. 14th Edition 1898, p. 71.Google Scholar
  46. 41.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., p. 383; see also description ibid., p. 376.Google Scholar
  47. 42.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., pp.368f., 374Google Scholar
  48. 42a.
    article “Russisches Reich”, in: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Vol. 17, Leipzig etc. 6th Edition 1909, pp. 297 f.Google Scholar
  49. 43.
    A. Kahan/D. Beyrau, loc. cit., p. 16.Google Scholar
  50. 44.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., p. 398.Google Scholar
  51. 45.
    For the following cf. A. Kahan/D. Beyrau, loc. cit., pp. 49ff.Google Scholar
  52. 46.
    Cf. O. Gruß, Ein Jahrhundert österreichischer Binnenhandel (1848–1948), in: H. Mayer (Ed.), Hundert Jahre österreichischer Wirtschaftsentwicklung 1848–1948, Vienna 1949, p. 324Google Scholar
  53. 46a.
    H. Pasdermadjian, Das Warenhaus. Entstehung, Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Struktur, Cologne etc. 1954, pp. 6f.Google Scholar
  54. 47.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., pp. 73 ff.Google Scholar
  55. 48.
    A. Daumard, Puissance et inquiétudes de la société bourgeoise, in: F. Braudel/E. Labrousse (Eds.), Histoire économique et sociale de la France, Vol. 4/1, Paris 1979, p.420.Google Scholar
  56. 49.
    Phelps Brown/Browne, loc. cit., p. 159.Google Scholar
  57. 50.
    M. Perrot, Les classes populaires urbaines, in: Braudel/Labrousse, Histoire économique et sociale de la France, Vol. 4/1, Paris 1979, pp.454f.Google Scholar
  58. 51.
    F. Caron, L’extension des infrastructures et des équipements et l’intensification des échanges de marchandises, in: Braudel/Labrousse, Histoire économique et sociale de la France, Vol. 4/1, Paris 1979, pp.159f.Google Scholar
  59. 52.
    Ibid., p. 157Google Scholar
  60. 52a.
    Caron, La croissance industrielle, in: Braudel/Labrousse, Histoire économique et sociale de la France, Vol. 4/1, Paris 1979, pp.248f.Google Scholar
  61. 52b.
    J. A. de Jonge, Die Wirtschaft, in: Westeuropa 1850–1914 (= H. Kellenbenz (Ed.), Handbuch der europäischen Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, part publication), Stuttgart 1981, p. 61.Google Scholar
  62. 53.
    Bericht der Handels- und Gewerbekammer zu Sonneberg auf das Jahr 1893, p. 81.Google Scholar
  63. 54.
    Ehrlich, loc. cit. (see note 29), pp. 108 ff.Google Scholar
  64. 55.
    Pasdermadjian, loc. cit., p.4Google Scholar
  65. 55a.
    Caron, L’extension des infrastructures, pp. 155f.Google Scholar
  66. 55b.
    G. Défossé. Le commerce intérieur, Paris 1944, p. 90.Google Scholar
  67. 56.
    Cf. J.A. deJonge, Deindustrialisatie in Nederland tussen 1850 en 1914, 1968, Reprint: Nijmegen 1976, pp. 286 ff., 294 ff.Google Scholar
  68. 56a.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., p. 194.Google Scholar
  69. 57.
    H. van Dijk, Die Gesellschaft, in: Westeuropa 1850–1914 (see note 52), pp.31f.Google Scholar
  70. 58.
    A. Maddison, loc. cit. (see note 30), Tables A2, A3, A6, B2. Other sources e. g. for UK, differ, however not enough to change the result.Google Scholar
  71. 59.
    R.W. Goldsmith, The Economic Growth of Tsarist Russia 1860–1913, in: Economic Development and Cultural Change 9II, 1961, pp.441 ff. According to other accounts one should use an even lower valueGoogle Scholar
  72. 59a.
    see O. Crisp, Russia 1860–1914, in: R. Cameron et al., Banking in the Early Stages of Industrialization, New York etc. 1967, p. 184Google Scholar
  73. 59b.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., p. 424.Google Scholar
  74. 60.
    The population figure for Cisleithania from B. R. Mitchell, European Historical Statistics 1750–1970, London etc. 1975, p. 19. Differing results are obtained for 1890 depending on which value one uses from Maddison’s Table A3 for the Austrian gross domestic product. An average value was used here.Google Scholar
  75. 61.
    Kurznets, loc. cit. (see note 31), pp. 208 ff.Google Scholar
  76. 62.
    H. Chenery et al., Redistribution with Growth, Oxford 1974, pp. 7 ff.Google Scholar
  77. 63.
    One should in fact use the average size of households in different income brackets. These cannot however be determined. For the figures used here see F. Zahn, Haushaltung II. Haushaltungsstatistik, in: Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften, Vol. 5, Jena 3rd Edition 1910, pp.410f. For Russia a top value of 5.8 was used for the size of households, a value arising from rural Serbia around the middle of the 19th century, which was then marked by the large family (zadruga)Google Scholar
  78. 63a.
    cf. P. Laslett/R. Wall (Eds.), Household and Family in Past Time, Cambridge 1972, p. 416.Google Scholar
  79. 64.
    In order to receive income figures corrections must still be made for depreciation of capital stock, indirect taxes and net income from abroad. These values are however not available for most of the countries. It is only possible to determine that the deduction in the USA must have been about 20%, in Great Britain 5% (Historical Statistics of the United States, loc. cit., Vol. 1, pp. 224, 231f.; Feinstein, loc. cit., pp.T5, T10), whereby these are probably the two extremes. This therefore would not decisively change the information in Table 4.Google Scholar
  80. 65.
    Phelps Brown/Browne, loc. cit., pp. 123, 159.Google Scholar
  81. 66.
    D.C. Coleman, Courtaulds. An Economic and Social History, Vol.1, Oxford 1969, pp.160ff.Google Scholar
  82. 66a.
    D.C. Coleman, Jahresbericht der Handelskammer zu Krefeld pro 1865, p. 50.Google Scholar
  83. 67.
    Jahresbericht der Handelskammer zu Krefeld pro 1881, p. 24.Google Scholar
  84. 68.
    V. S. Clark, History of Manufactures in the United States, Vol. 3, 1929, Reprint: New York 1949, p. 210Google Scholar
  85. 68a.
    C. M. Depew (Ed.), One Hundred Years of American Commerce, Vol. 2, New York 1895, Reprint: New York 1968, p.477Google Scholar
  86. 68b.
    Milward/Saul, loc. cit., p. 86.Google Scholar
  87. 69.
    Freie Künste, Fachblatt für Lithographie, Steindruckerei und Buchdruckerei 30, Vienna 1908, p. 110.Google Scholar
  88. 70.
    R. Anschütz, Die Spielwaren-Produktionsstätten der Erde, Sonneberg 1913, p.19Google Scholar
  89. 70a.
    Anschütz, Rückblick auf die Dreißigjährige Tätigkeit der Handels- und Gewerbekammer zu Sonneberg, Sonneberg 1896, pp.20f.Google Scholar
  90. 70b.
    D. Pressland, Die Kunst des Blechspielzeugs, Zürich o. J. (engl, original: London 1976), p.7; Ausschuß zur Untersuchung der Erzeugungs- und Absatzbedingungen der deutschen Wirtschaft, Die Deutsche Spielwarenindustrie, Berlin 1930, p. 146.Google Scholar
  91. 71.
    Phelps Brown/Browne, loc. cit., p. 159.Google Scholar
  92. 72.
    Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England, pp. 109 ff.Google Scholar
  93. 73.
    F. Redlich, Das Unternehmertum in den Anfangsstadien der Industrialisierung (unter bes. Berücksichtigung von Deutschland), in: Redlich, Der Unternehmer. Wirtschafts- und sozialgeschichtliche Studien, Göttingen 1964, pp. 299 ff.Google Scholar
  94. 74.
    Buchheim, Deutsche Gewerbeexporte nach England, p. 103.Google Scholar
  95. 75.
    See R. J. S. Hoffmann, Great Britain and the German Trade Rivalry 1875–1914, Philadelphia 1933, Reprint: New York 1964.Google Scholar
  96. 76.
    As note 72.Google Scholar
  97. 77.
    Caron, L’extension des infrastructures (see note 51), pp. 157 f.Google Scholar
  98. 78.
    H. Fujise, Deutschlands Entwicklung zum Industrie- und Welthandelsstaat. Die Struktur des deutschen Außenhandels während der Industrialisierungsphase von 1850 bis 1878, in: Scripta Mercaturae 1970, No. 1, pp. 1 ff., in particular pp.8–10, 20f.Google Scholar
  99. 78a.
    cf. also B.v. Borries, Deutschlands Außenhandel 1836–1856. Eine statistische Untersuchung zur Frühindustrialisierung, Stuttgart 1970, pp.216ff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte e. V., Köln 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Buchheim

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations