By 1914 the legend ‘Made in Germany’ carried almost as much ominous weight for the island British as did the great warships of the High Seas Fleet.1 Poised to rival the Anglo-Saxon powers in commercial, imperial, and naval might, the Kaiser’s Reich had clearly done a great deal to drive backwardness out of German territory, and, judged by its international strength in 1914, had succeeded more comprehensively in this objective than any other power on the European mainland. If, as Gerschenkron insists, we can in practice rank countries according to their level of backwardness, Germany would be placed in 1914 as the least backward nation on the continent, and might thus represent the most logical departure point for a survey of European industrialization.