Interpretive and Historiographical Review Articles.
Germany an Entrenched Authoritarian State? Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power in after Wilhelm I died and a brief reign from Frederick III, his behaviour could be unpredictable and although he was the grandson of Queen Victoria he was anti-British, however he admired them at the same time.
He believed in the divine right of kings, the theory claimed that, kings were only answerable to God, and it was sinful for their subjects to resist them. We will write a custom essay sample on Germany an Entrenched Authoritarian State? Wilhelm II was determined to reinstate the importance of the imperial throne, as opposed to the country being run by parliament, he wanted to demonstrate how important an all-powerful monarch was.
This can be seen by Germany having 4 chancellors under Wilhelm II and each for less than ten years; Wilhelm II wished to have weak chancellors that he could easily control. Was wilhelmine germany an entrenched authoritarian state, was an attempt by Bismarck, to suppress the Catholic Church, he feared that because the German Empire established in had a substantial minority of Catholics that their loyalty to Rome would conflict with their loyalty to the empire.
Consequently he conducted a struggle with the Catholics, by the May laws of education was bought under state control and state approval was required for the licensing of priests. And since Bismarck required their support against the Liberals over tariffs, he toned down the Kulturkampf and removed some of the May Laws.
The most the monarchy was challenged came from the newly formed Social Democratic Party of Germany in the s which advocated Marxism, which was the ideology of Karl Marx, who believed that the working classes will overthrow the ruling classes by revolution.
This was after anti-socialist laws were ended with the death of Bismarck and the party grew significantly as a result. The threat of the SPD caused the state to attempt to soothe tensions by initially trying to crack down on socialism as well as otivating the government to form some sort of social reforms.
Continuing, to support the view that Wilhelmine Germany was an authoritarian state, was that regardless of the public vote the Kaiser still got to choose who had seats in cabinet. This is evident in the election result, when despite being the largest party the Social Democratic Party still had no seats in the cabinet.
Demonstrating just how truly threatened the government felt by them. However, even though the Social Democrats had no cabinet seats, their election success meant that there was more diversity in the Reichstag, allowing the Kaiser to be challenged, also highlighting that the Reichstag was the democratic element of the constitution.
In Caprivi made concessions over the Army Bill in the Reichstag by reducing the length of conscription for national service from three years to two years. The Reichstag rejected the Army Bill, resulting in them being dissolved.
He had successfully talked the Kaiser away from this course of action, however Caprivi had lost the will to carry on and resigned and gladly retired in The Tariff reform in caused tensions between the Chancellor, Bulow and the Conservatives and Agrarian league.
However the Social Democrats and Left Liberals wanted lower tariffs to reduce the cost of bread. A reason why Bulow may have proposed to lower the tariff rate is because of the power the Social Democrats and Left Liberals held in the Reichstag as opposed to the Conservatives in Therefore, this meant that there would be no political backlash towards the Chancellor thus the Kaiser was less likely to force him to resign.
Eventually, the tariff was lowered to pre levels, and was effectively a compromise between the Social Democrats, National Liberals and the Free Conservatives. This left the working class content; subsequently meaning they applied less pressure upon the government.
This is an example of the declining influence of the Junkers, and more importantly an example of democracy. The result was that Social Democrat seats were halved, and right wing parties gained seats. The Daily Telegraph affair occurred in the winter of and has aspects of both an Authoritarian state, and that of a non-authoritarian state.
However, Wilhelm II felt let down by Bulow as he had entrusted him to edit the article before publishing. Therefore Bulow lost the support of the Kaiser and the following year he pressurised Bulow into resigning as Chancellor after the Reichstag rejected his budget proposals.
The Zabern affair in came just before the First World War, and occurred after Alsace had been annexed inas a result of the Franco-Prussian war. Tensions were rising between the French inhabitants and the German soldiers which led to a series of disturbances.
In November officers were ordered to clear the streets of locals after a curfew, some citizens were arrested and held in military barracks. The violence began after an officer used a sabre to cut down a disabled cobbler, this led to protests and the subsequent result was officers acting above the law.
Many believed that Citizens liberties had been taken away. The Chancellor at the time, Bethmann condoned the actions of the army, and the army used the defence that they were only accountable to the Kaiser who also condoned their actions.
This event highlighted the divisions in the political system especially after Bethmann was able to maintain his role as chancellor, although major opposition had been shown to him.
Because of the relative powerlessness of the Reichstag, much of the political activity of Wilhelmine Germany took place outside the parliamentary system. Pressure groups played an important role. There was also the navy league founded in which helped to drum up enthusiasm for Tirpitz naval expansion programme.
However, the rise of pressure groups demonstrates the oppression on democracy that the Wilhelmine era caused.
Political influence was mostly wielded by three powerful interest groups; the Junkers, industrialists and the army.
However, the influence of the Junkers had began to decline as seen from the tariff reform, however, industrialisation led to the emergence of a powerful and wealthy group of big industrialists.There are many aspects of Wilhelmine Germany which could be used to argue that it was in fact an ‘entrenched authoritarian state’.
The constitutional balance of powers can be used to substantiate this view. ‘The Wilhelmine Germany was an entrenched authoritarian state’. How far do you agree with this judgement? The question of whether Wilhelmine Germany was an entrenched authoritarian state has been the subject of much debate.
For di Fabio, the family is not only the cell of the state and the basis for authoritarian education, but also the institution that should deal with social needs. Reasons for Weimar republic state of crisis: 1) Political extremists (both left and right wing) monstermanfilm.com radical left accused the ruling Social Democrats of having betrayed the ideals of the workers' movement by preventing a communist revolution.
Right-wing extremists were opposed to any democratic system, preferring an authoritarian state like the Empire. Jun 01, · Wilhelmine Germany, argued Weber, Moreover, noted Mommsen, the bureaucracy thus had a vested interest in the perpetuation of the authoritarian state, and it actively worked to stifle potential constitutional reforms.
The Sonderweg debate will continue to be a fruitful academic pursuit for the foreseeable future, Author: historymike. To what extent was Wilhelmine Germany an entrenched Authoritarian state?
Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power in after Wilhelm I died and a brief reign from Frederick III, his behaviour could be unpredictable and although he was the grandson of Queen Victoria he was anti-British, however he admired them at the same time.