Similar demands were made by business leaders and politicians like Ruhr valley industrialist August Thyssen (1842-1926) and Center (Zentrum) politician Matthias Erzberger (1875-1921).
After extensive war aims had been formulated in the course of the war fever that gripped large parts of the German public during the first weeks of August, Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg (1856-1921)" id="GND_118510320"Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (1856-1921) prohibited any further public discussion on the topic on behalf of the neutral countries, as well as the German working classes, in order to prevent any further deterioration of seething internal conflicts.
In the beginning, the debate was thus held by means of numerous war aim pamphlets (Kriegsziel-Denkschriften), which were sent to the governmental agencies and the military by notable personalities, and outdid each other in their ever-more excessive objectives.
Encouraged by early military successes, boundless plans for annexations were drafted, which were to become the main focus of public interest and to determine the opinion of large parts of the bourgeois middle classes.
Calls for a victorious peace (Siegfrieden) and global dominance of the German Reich, territorial and economic expansion, as well as strategic and military protection (Absicherung) of the German borders enjoyed vast popularity far beyond the lines of the radical nationalist camp.