How far do you agree with this statement? The political establishment during the Second Reich in Germany were successful in maintaining the political status quo between the years and It can be argued however, that they were successful in doing so through more than just a policy of moderate reform. During these years, Germany abided by a rigid constitution which allowed power to ultimately be firmly held in the hands of the Kaiser.
The political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through more than just the policy of moderate reform, I would argue. Certainly the policy of moderate reform helped placate and divide socialists and liberals, the groups demanding social and constitutional change, to an extent.
This nationalism and patriotism was particularly felt by the traditional elites, who the constitution favoured, and pressed for nationalist foreign policy to unite against threats to the status quo, which did soak up a lot of the tensions of the period.
It should also be noted despite this attempt to present a united front against threats to the status quo, parties looking after sectional interests meant that a disunity of the parties in the Reichstag did little for the cause of significant political modernisation, unable to work together to make any coherent challenges.
The policy of moderate reform satiated socialist demand for social reform and kept the liberals divided, thus muting the demand for constitutional reform. This was important to the political establishment in maintaining the political status quo, however, though moderate, it shows the increasing influence of socialism.
The threat of their increasing influence, though, was overestimated by the political establishment in a misconception that the socialist movement was wholly revolutionary, when in fact many members were more revisionist and reformist; it was only the far left of the part who still believed in revolution from onwards.
This misconception implies that, with the socialist threat being smaller than perceived by the political establishment, it was the already existing structures of the Kaiserreich in place that maintained the political status quo best.
Indeed, the Tariff Law ofwhich put higher duties on imported grain and thus raised food prices, merely galvanised more workers, who opposed the new tariffs, to vote for the SPD Social Democrats which can be seen in the sharp rise of votes in the general election 56 seats in to 81 seats in The Tariff Law proves that moderate reform was never intended to be a mechanism to keep the status quo.
On the other hand, the Tariff Law did placate protectionist liberals and displease Liberal Progressives, dividing the liberals and lessening their influence on constitutional reform.
As is clear, the policy of moderate reform did help maintain the political status quo, through placatory and divisionary tactics, but was not always effective and perhaps did more to placate the political establishment in their misconstrued fear of the threat of socialist revolution, as constitutional structures held the socialists and liberals more firmly in place.
The political establishment succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through the constitution that deemed Germany a near-absolutist monarchy and was upheld fiercely by a strong sense of nationalism and patriotism that was felt across the political nation.
This meant that it was difficult for the political status quo to be challenged at all, with representation so skewed, especially with constituency boundaries not changing since the s, despite a boom in the urban population, meaning the Bulow Bloc could triumph in with 3 million votes less than the Red-Black Bloc.
The power of the idea of nationalism and patriotism around him cannot be underestimated as a fundamental social element of Germany and a unifying political factor in a disunified political nation, which looked after sectional interests.
The whole political nation felt bound by this nationalism and patriotism, evidenced by even an SPD leader making a speech stressing their loyalty to the Fatherland in and the SPD voting for an Army Bill in lest they be found looking unpatriotic.
This meant that the Reichstag had very limited power against the Kaiser. The Daily Telegraph Affair of illustrates this. The Kaiser was able to make foreign policy without consultation, and when the Reichstag criticised this, they were appeased by an unsubstantiated guarantee it would not happen again.
The only real consequence was that when Chancellor Bulow sided with the Reichstag on this, the Kaiser lost confidence in him, and facilitated his resignation shortly afterwards in the summer of The Kaiser easily manipulated the Reichstag and the Chancellor with no serious challenge to his power.
The Zabern Affair of shows again the lack of power the Reichstag had, as their no confidence vote against Bethmann- Hollweg was ignored and of no consequence, reiterating the power the Kaiser had, and his reliance in his ally, the army, to undemocratically fix problems, in that they repressed the townspeople and SPD-inspired protests.
The lack of power the Reichstag had was in antithesis to the power the Kaiser and the traditional elites had, whose power base laid in the constitution and underpinned by an overwhelming consensus for nationalism and patriotism.
The support for nationalist foreign policies carried throughout this period and highlights the prevailing nationalism and patriotism that existed, fundamentally explaining the unchallenged power the Kaiser had, and the influence of the traditional elites who helped maintain it.
The policy aimed to ally the traditional elites and new elites, who were emerging due to the flourishing industry, together, namely the Conservatives and Junkers with the Liberals and Industrialists to make a strong unified front against socialists and towards the Kaiser and his ideals.
This was achieved through protectionism and a strong colonial policy, called Weltpolitik, enforcing support for political establishment by giving a channel for strong nationalism. Subsequently two Naval Laws passed through the Reichstag in and The first of which proposed to build 38 battleships over the next 20 years, which pleased not only the Naval League but industrialists too, who profited from the commissioning of so many new ships.
This clearly shows Sammlungspolitik being achieved, bringing the elites together and enforcing nationalism and patriotism. However, Weltpolitik had limitations, because the opportunities to expand after were minimal as most territory had been already been seized by other European powers.
The pressure and tension that came from the supporters of Weltpolitik, in particular the German Colonial League and Pan German League, was alleviated only to an extent by the approval to extend the German-built Constantinople-Konia railways through to Baghdad. This kept imperialist dreams alive but was not a force of strong cohesion like the Naval Laws were.
Indeed, in the case of the Herero Uprising ofWeltpolitik contributed to political crisis rather than political unity, breaking up the broad alliance of conservatives, liberals and centre parties. The local Herero people of German South West Africa revolted and were repressed harshly by the colonial service and army through genocide by execution, the use of concentration camps and forced migration into the Namib Desert.
The majority of the Centre party were outraged by reports of Catholic missionaries and they joined the SPD in voting down plans for a new railway in the region and demanded the need for greater parliamentary accountability and control over the colonial service, the army, and the finances that funded them.
This is an example of the nationalist foreign policy breaking up the policy of concentration as the Blue-Black Bloc was split and resulted in the dissolution of the Reichstag.
Nationalism fought back in the Hottentot election ofas Bulow frightened nationalist groups into a convincing victory in the Reichstag against the Centre and Social Democrat Parties.
However, the Centre Party and SPD did actually get 3 million more votes, but the outdated constituency boundaries gave them less seats.
It is apparent that without the biased representation in Kaiserreich politics, Weltpolitik would have resulted in a significant change in the political status quo. The change would have many limits, with not only the constitution but the strong and popular attitudes that enforced it.
The SPD were seen to vote for an Army Bill in in the spirit of patriotism, although it was funded by a direct property tax that did keep with their agenda. Nationalist foreign policy, therefore, saw strength in Flottenpolitik, but other instances, in particular the Herero Uprising, brought political crisis and was only upheld through constitutional strictures already in place.‘The political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through a policy of moderate reform.
’ How far do you agree with this judgement? Plan In the plan, directly answer the question, using the words in the question. The purpose of a plan is to work out in your mind how to respond to the question.
The Political Establishment in Germany Succeeded in Maintaining the Political Status Quo Through a Policy of Moderate Reform - Download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or . The political views of Adolf Hitler have presented historians and biographers with some difficulty.
His writings and methods were often adapted to need and circumstance, although there were some steady themes, including anti-semitism, anti-communism, anti-parliamentarianism, German Lebensraum ("living space"), belief in the superiority of an "Aryan race" and an extreme form of German nationalism.
The political establishment in Germany (comprising of the Kaiser, Chancellor, Budesrat, Junkers and the Army) certainly would have wanted to maintain the status quo during that period and it could be argued that they succeeded using moderate reform. The political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through more than just the policy of moderate reform, I would argue.
Certainly the policy of moderate reform helped placate and divide socialists and liberals, the groups demanding social and . - Alsace-Lorraine granted a constitution to make them closer to the states in Germany (preventing protest, maintaining status quo).
Imperial Insurance Code - Imperial Insurance Code, consolidated all previous workers' insurance laws and amended/extended their provisions.