Manage episode 287365940 series 2863636
In 1814, as the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte crumbled from the onslaught of the Sixth Coalition powers, the people of Paris felt the ground shudder as cannon shells burst outside the city walls. A year later, the returned emperor's defeat at Waterloo had brought the Germans back to their beloved "City of Lights." In 1870, Paris was besieged by the armies of Kaiser Wilhelm I, and twice during the First World War, it seemed as though the jewel of France might fall into the hands of the great enemy across the Rhine. Each time, the guns of the Prussian armies made their way to the front from the great ironworks of Essen owned by the Krupps, the most powerful family in the German-speaking world after the royal House of Hohenzollern. The Krupp dynasty wielded its power not through the might of armies but the output of its industry. Joined at the hip with the rulers in Berlin, the arms of Krupp built the modern German state and empowered it to liberate a continent from French hegemony and then plunge the world into not one but two world wars.
Join us as we teach you about the destructive history of the Krupp family, their empire, and the dangers of corporatism.