• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

TO WHAT EXTENT WAS BISMARCK IN CONTROL OF GERMAN DOMESTIC POLICY FROM 1871-90?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Fliss Newman 12MS European History To what extent was Bismarck in control of German domestic Policy between 1871-90? Between 1871-90, Otto von Bismarck struggled to control his own unified Germany that he had fought so hard to create. Bismarck was constantly dependent on the Reichstag majority in order to pass legislation, therefore needing allies, which sometimes required drastic changes. His dependence on the Reichstag and change in policy resulted in his 'Great Turn' of 1878. Bismarck switched from working with the National Liberals in the Reichstag, to cooperating with the Conservatives. Although Bismarck claimed that his ultimate aim as Chancellor was 'the creation and consolidation of Germany', his domestic policies included a number of attacks on Reichsfeinde (what he saw as enemies of the state), which included minority groups such as Poles, Jews and socialists, not to mention the biggest group being the Catholic Church. His failure to weaken the Catholics and Socialist groups emphasise his lack of control over German domestic Policy, as does his fall from power in 1890 due to a new Kaiser's very different ideas for Germany. Bismarck's lack of control over Germany is perfectly illustrated in two different campaigns against social groups, the failure of Kulturkampf and the failure of Dual Policy. ...read more.

Middle

However, some National Liberals continued to support Bismarck, although he no longer depended on their backing due to his new Conservative support. In addition, Bismarck also attempted to reduce the Reichstag's power in 1881. The Reichstag's authority over the military was reduced, but otherwise Bismarck was unsuccessful, again demonstrating even more lack of control over domestic policy. Bismarck's Dual Policy was another attack, this time on socialists, of whom he regarded as 'anarchic, revolutionary and little better than criminals'. Bismarck again feared the international appeal of socialist ideology, which would overthrow capitalism and replace it with a socialist system, where borders between nation states would be broken down, destroying Bismarck's work for a unified Germany. There are elements of both control and lack of it with his Dual Policy, due to the completely different approaches he used. The two assassination attempts on the Kaiser provided Bismarck with the ability to dissolve the Reichstag and pass the Anti-Socialist Law. This law banned all socialist meetings and publications and SPD leaders were arrested. However, the SPD was still allowed to stand in Reichstag elections. This Anti-Socialist Law simply motivated the party to move underground, and operated exactly as normal but from outside Germany. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wilhelm II already had another Chancellor in mind, and waited until March 1890 when Bismarck was even denied support from the Conservatives in the Reichstag. This major downfall motivated Wilhelm to give Bismarck an ultimatum, which was to either resign or be sacked. Bismarck therefore resigned, due to the fact that he had lost complete control of German domestic Policy by 1890. Overall, it seems as though Bismarck had a limited amount of control over German domestic policy between 1871-90, as his actions show more lack of control. His constant dependence on the Reichstag was perhaps his main cause of lack of control, as he entailed to gain the largest party's support in order to pass any kind of legislation. In this sense, the largest party in the Reichstag probably had more control over German domestic Policy than Bismarck himself. His lack of control is also probably due to his aggressive policies in order to manage obstacles, which is perhaps because of his overly hostile approach towards different groups in Germany, by viewing them as Reichsfeinde (enemies of the state). In addition, his downfall could have been avoided if he had given up the Anti-Socialist Law and pursued the extension of the welfare system as Kaiser Wilhelm II was determined to follow up. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. To what extent was Bismarck responsible for German unification?

    However, in looking at the great Prussian Empire, which became the cornerstone of the Unified Germany, one must inevitably ask, who truly was the most powerful man in Prussia, the Kaiser or his chancellor, Bismarck, and what power did they have on founding the "Modern German Nation"?

  2. "Foreign success; domestic failure." How fair is this summary of Bismarck's governance of Germany

    Bismarck was a sincere Protestant and soon came to view the Catholic minority with suspicion. Not only was there a religious aspect but more a political battle, Bismarck was still in favour of the National Liberals and had to deal with a newly established Catholic party the Centre party, 1870.

  1. To what extent was Bismarck in control of the direction Germany's Foreign Policy took ...

    Bismarck's aim for forming this League was to isolate France by expanding relations with Austria and Russia. The partners were Kaiser William I of Germany, Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria. These three rulers agreed to maintain the existing territorial arrangements in Europe; to resist the spread of revolutionary (e.g.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    In 1931 and early 1932, Hitler worked on reestablishing his ties with conservative groups in Germany. In the summer of 1931, the Nazis agreed to cooperate again with their old Young Plan referendum allies, the German Nationalists (DNVP). This led to a demonstration with parades at Bad Harzburg in October.

  1. "Kaiser Wilhelm II used to the full his authority as Kaiser of the German ...

    This was mainly due to his failure to gain a natural majority in the Reichstag, resulting in the 1895 Subversion Bill being rejected. However, he was willing to remain a figurehead Chancellor, whilst Wilhelm appointed other ministers to work towards his goal.

  2. To what extent was Bismarck a Revolutionary Conservative

    The form of the constitution can therefore be seen as an example of Bismarck's 'revolutionary conservatism', as it was a fundamentally extremely conservative but had been applied through a new and reformed method. Another possible example of Bismarck's 'revolutionary conservatism' was the introduction of State Socialism.

  1. Discuss the changes in German Nationalist thought after 1848 and describe their attitude towards ...

    But even though the Prussian Landtag was dominantly liberal, the parliament and the king often clashed on ideas such as the issue of army reform. But once again, liberal hopes of a unified Germany seemed dead when William I made the conservative Bismarck his Minister President.

  2. Free essay

    Propaganda was a critically important tool used to the control the masses in Nazi ...

    their reasons were more personal than political with a ratio of 16:13 personal versus political7. During the early part of the regime, propaganda was widely used by the NSDAP. As they had only first received a majority in 1933, it was necessary for the new government to convince the population

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work