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

To what extent can the political system of the 2nd Reich from 1900-1914 can be described as autocratic?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent can the political system of the 2nd Reich from 1900-1914 can be described as autocratic? During the 2nd Reich, the political system in Germany was divided, with many fighting for either autocracy or democracy. The conflict between these two groups was the source of great political tension and frustration, and it was not always clear who had the greater grip on the country ? the Kaiser or the Reichstag? Germany?s political structure was chiefly autocratic. The Kaiser, Wilhelm II, the King of Prussia, was ultimately in charge. He had the power to appoint and dismiss the government and he had control of foreign policy and the armed forces. ...read more.

Middle

Many Reichstag deputies respected his prestige and status and actively supported the expansionist policy of Weltpolitik, but there was also a general nationalistic worshipping of the Kaiser. The monarchical system was strongly upheld, and supported by powerful forces, especially the Prussian elites, who also had 17 seats in the Bundesrat, in which they continued to block any change. However, as Germany developed into a more industrial society, the amount of legislation discussed in the Reichstag increased greatly, and although fewer parties supported reform, people?s faith in the Reichstag evidently grew as voter turn-out increased significantly between 1871 and 1912, from 50 per cent to nearly 85 per cent of the electorate voting. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was a great lack of will to take responsibility for bringing about change, and all the parties distanced themselves from the Social Democrats. The Conservatives vehemently disagreed with their ideals, but even the more moderate middle-class parties, such as the Progressive Liberals, were scared of their expanding influence, and they refused to co-operate actively, with the fear that constitutional reform might lead to radical reform. To conclude, I think that the political system of the 2nd Reich, from 1900-1914, was mainly autocratic, as the Kaiser had seized control of most of the power in Germany, and although much of his government?s actions were ultimately determined by the Reichstag, he could pull the strings to get what he wanted. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Germany 1918-1939 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 GCSE Germany 1918-1939 essays

  1. Where Did Power Lie in the Third Reich?

    The other parties sort of co-ordinated themselves and opted out at their own accord. This Made Hitler's path clear and on 14th July he passed a Law on the formation of any political party and declared the Nazis as the only legal political party in Germany.

  2. Modern World History Coursework - Reichstag Sourcework

    different aspects of the fire, both agree strongly that the Nazi party took extreme advantage of the situation, using it to gain more power over Germany. However, the sources do not agree who was responsible for the fire. Source C suggests that it was Hitler, Hindenburg and the Nazi party; whereas source D maintains that the Communists were responsible.

  1. What Were the Causes of the 2nd World War.

    Collective security was totally failed. By the time that Hitler started revenging for the way they were treated by Versailles settlement, as the League no longer had any authority. Thirdly, the Depression. In Britain the Depression wrecked traditional manufacturing industries, the production of textile fell by two thirds, shipbuilding collapsed.

  2. Nazi economic system.

    Kershaw makes the same point and suggests that it was this fear of social unrest, heightened by serious food shortages in Germany during the fall of 1935--themselves largely the result of government policies--that played the major role in Hitler's decision to reoccupy the Rhineland in March 1936.

  1. GCSE Coursework Assignment 2

    He is deliberately portrayed as a thug, and the cartoonist has drawn him as a stereotypical Nazi. This source also shows Tsar Nicholas II advising the Nazis to stop attacking the Jews, but it sounds as if he is using a sarcastic tone of voice, as the Nazis and Russians did not trust each other.

  2. Asses Himmler's contribution to the third Reich.

    power of the SA and paved the way for the emergence of the SS as an independent organization charged with 'safeguarding the . . . embodiment of the National Socialist idea' and translating the racism of the regime into a dynamic principle of action.

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