chapter  1
18 Pages

Manchester, Munich, and Urban Europe in 1914

In 1867 and 1868 respectively, Munich and Manchester began construction of new homes for their city governments. While Munich's Rathaus took nearly four decades to complete compared to Manchester's speedier nine-year building process, both of these new buildings symbolized broader trends in European urban architecture and life. The picture of urban Europe at the turn of the century is one of transition and uneven development. Manchester's prewar development shaped and conditioned its wartime experience. The industrial and political constellations that emerged from the war years reflected pre-existing trends and tensions in the city and region. Munich's growth came later than many of Germany's other large cities, creating in 1914 a profound gap between old Munich and the new industrial communities whose workers came from the Bavarian hinterland. The political culture of labor politics in Bavaria and Munich was, in some ways, quite different from what was going in Germany's industrial West and agrarian East.