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High Society October 1990

Discussions immediately began on an emergency merger of the German economies. On 18 May 1990, the two German states signed a treaty agreeing on monetary, economic, and social union. This treaty is called Vertrag über die Schaffung einer Währungs-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialunion zwischen der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik und der Bundesrepublik Deutschland [de] ("Treaty Establishing a Monetary, Economic and Social Union between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany");[14] it came into force on 1 July 1990, with the West German Deutsche Mark replacing the East German mark as the official currency of East Germany. The Deutsche Mark had a very high reputation among the East Germans and was considered stable.[15] While the GDR transferred its financial policy sovereignty to West Germany, the West started granting subsidies for the GDR budget and social security system.[16] At the same time, many West German laws came into force in the GDR. This created a suitable framework for a political union by diminishing the huge gap between the two existing political, social, and economic systems.[16]

High Society October 1990

Throughout the entire Cold War and up until 1990, reunification did not appear likely and the existence of two German countries was commonly regarded as an established, unalterable fact.[39] Helmut Kohl briefly addressed this issue during the 1983 West German federal election, stating that despite his belief in German national unity, it would not mean a "return to the nation-state of earlier times". In the 1980s, opposition to a united German state was very common amongst left-wing and liberal parties of West Germany, especially the SPD and The Greens. The division of Germany was considered necessary to maintain peace in Europe, and an emergence of another German state was also seen as possibly dangerous to the West German democracy. A German publicist Peter Bender [de] wrote in 1981: "Considering the role Germany played in the origins of both World Wars, Europe cannot, and the Germans should not, want a new German Reich, a sovereign nation-state. That is the logic of history which is, as Bismarck noted, more exact than the Prussian government audit office."[39] Opinion on reunification was not only highly partisan, but polarised along many social divides - Germans aged 35 or younger were opposed to unification, whereas older respondents were more supportive; likewise, low-income Germans tended to oppose reunification, whereas more affluent responders were likely to support it.[40] Ultimately, a poll from July 1990 found that the main motivation for reunification was economic concern rather than nationalism.[40][41]

Opinion polls from late 1980s showed that young East Germans and West Germans saw each other as foreign, and didn't regard themselves as a single nation.[39] Heinrich August Winkler observes that "an evaluation of the corresponding data in the Deutschland Archiv in 1989 showed that the GDR was perceived by a large portion of the younger generation as a foreign nation with a different social order which was no longer a part of Germany".[39] Winkler argues that the reunification was not a product of popular opinion, but rather "crisis management on the highest level".[39] Support for unified Germany became low once the prospect it became a tangible reality in fall of 1989.[40] A December 1989 poll by Der Spiegel indicated strong support for preserving East Germany as a separate state.[42] However, SED members were overrepresented amongst the responders, constituting 13 % of the population, but 23 % of those polled. Reporting on a student protest in East Berlin on 4th of November, 1989, Elizabeth Pond [de] noted that "virtually none of the demonstrators interviewed by Western reporters said they wanted unification with the Federal Republic".[42] In West Germany, once it became clear that a course of quick unification was negotiated, the public responded with concern.[40] In February 1990, two-thirds of West Germans considered the pace of unification as "too fast". West Germans were also hostile towards the newcomers from the East - according to a April 1990 poll, only 11 % of West Germans welcomed those emigrating from the GDR to West Germany.[40]

According to Stephen Brockmann, German reunification was feared and opposed by ethnic minorities, particularly those of East Germany.[41] He observes that "right-wing violence was on the rise throughout 1990 in the GDR, with frequent instances of beatings, rapes, and fights connected with xenophobia", which led to a police lockdown in Leipzig on the night of reunification.[41] Tensions with Poland were high, and many internal ethnic minorities such as the Sorbs feared further displacement or assimilationist policies. While politicians called for acceptance of a new multiethnic society, many were unwilling to "give up its traditional racial definition of German nationality". Feminist groups also opposed the unification, as abortion laws were less restrictive in East Germany than in West Germany, and the progress that the GDR had made in regards to women welfare such as legal equality, child care and financial support were "all less impressive or non-existent in the West".[41]

The economic reconstruction of former East Germany following the reunification required large amounts of public funding which turned some areas into boom regions, although overall unemployment remains higher than in the former West.[82] Unemployment was part of a process of deindustrialization starting rapidly after 1990. Causes for this process are disputed in political conflicts up to the present day. Most times bureaucracy and lack of efficiency of the East German economy are highlighted and the deindustrialization is seen as an inevitable outcome of the Wende. But many critics from East Germany point out that it was the shock-therapy style of privatization that did not leave room for East German enterprises to adapt, and that alternatives like a slow transition had been possible.[e]

However, CTE has been on the decline for several decades. Starting in the 1980s, states increased the number of courses required for high school graduation, and began mandating students take additional courses in core academic areas such as math, science, social studies and foreign language.2 These additional requirements, along with declining funding3 and a growing perception that all young people should be encouraged to obtain a four-year college degree, led to a sharp decline in CTE participation. Between 1990 and 2009, the number of CTE credits earned by U.S. high school students dropped by 14 percent.4

When it comes to living arrangements, compared with 1990, a significantly higher share of single women now reside with at least one parent, so the gap on this score between single and partnered women has widened (from 16 to 23 percentage points by 2019).

As an alternative, we propose that the CDV-related mortality in 1994 was not induced by a change in CDV virulence, but by a change in the immune state of the lion population. It was observed that the proportion of Serengeti lions that had already been in contact with CDV was very high in 1981 and very low in 1994 (Packer et al. 1999). Assuming that such contact is followed by several years of long-lasting protection of the host against reinfection, as observed in other mammal/CDV systems (Blixenkrone-Moller 1993), the lion population could have been globally less sensitive to the virus in the early 1980s than in 1994, owing to this high level of immunity. Indeed, this population immune state can notably reduce the risk of an epidemic, since the encounter rate between infectious individuals and susceptible ones is very low (Anderson & May 1985). Furthermore, since few individuals are susceptible to the virus in the population, this would result in few cases of disease, possibly few enough to remain undetected. We know that the lion population was highly immune in the early 1980s and lost its immunity between 1981 and 1994. We have to now explain how the CDV could appear non-pathogenic for lions in the early 1980s, but provoked an epidemic in 1994, based only on our population immunity hypothesis: (i) since immunity is attributable to pathogen persistence in the host population, the loss of the high immunity level implies the pathogen's absence followed by the death of immune individuals and (ii) the initial introduction of the pathogen into the host population, before 1980, should have provoked an epidemic prior to pathogen persistence, then the endemic should have pre-dated the host population survey and remained undocumented. In our system, the lion population survey began in 1966 (Packer 1990), meaning that the endemic period would have lasted at least 15 years. This scenario is summarized in figure 1b. 041b061a72


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