Germany's heavy industrial sector played a definitive role from 1870 onwards in the formation and subsequent shaping of the young German national polity. As such it has been identified with the aggressive, imperialistic tendencies that characterised so much of German history between 1870 and 1945. That said, industrial and national interests could diverge markedly, with heavy industry sometimes exhibiting a marked preference for transnational strategies, particularly during 1923 and 1924, when France and Belgium occupied Germany's industrial heartland - the Ruhr District. Resulting efforts to integrate the coal and metallurgical industries of France and Germany anticipated the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community after the Second World War.
- World War I
- Ruhr District