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Bismarck Domestic Policy for the Second German Reich.

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Presentation on theme: "Bismarck Domestic Policy for the Second German Reich."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bismarck Domestic Policy for the Second German Reich

2 Government of the Second Reich Federal system of government  German states still had political power over their state and each state maintain its own government No true imperial cabinet  The Prime Minister = only imperial minister  Other ministerial posts often held by the same person with similar position within the Prussian govt.  Ministerial Reich departments will develop as the needs for the empire increase Much overlap between the government of Prussia and the new government of Germany

3 National currency – the Reichsmark – based on the gold standard National bank National legal code and court system

4 The Kaiser = the emperor of Germany  King of Prussia – largest state in the new German union  Right to appoint all imperial officials  Responsible for German foreign policy  Commander of the German Army  Could call or dissolve the German Parliament  Could initiate domestic policy through the chancellor

5 The Chancellor  Appointed by the Kaiser and only responsible to the Kaiser  Virtually ruled the new German state

6 The Bundesrat  Upper House of the German Parliament Members nominated by the governments of the German states Number of seats determined by the population of the German state  Dominated by Prussia = largest state – most seats Had the power to initiate legislation

7 The Reichstag  Lower House of the German Parliament 397 members elected by universal male suffrage Power to initiate legislation – had to be approved by the Bundesrat Power to veto legislation passed by the Bundesrat Needed to approve new appropriations bills – especially those for the army and navy

8 The Kulturkampf “The Cultural Struggle” Represents Bismarck’s attack on the Roman Catholic Church inside the new German state Southern German states = Catholic  Loyalty of Catholic citizens came into question – will they support Germany or the Catholic church  Feared possible political alliance with Austria and France = both Catholic Bismarck did NOT have national support for the Kulturkampf Prussia – passed the May Laws of 1873 Effort to place the Roman Catholic Church under state control

9 Prussia – passed the May Laws of 1873  Effort to place the Roman Catholic Church under state control  Laws restricted Catholic worship and Catholic education  Catholic bishops and clergy were arrested or expelled from Germany  Laws restricting Catholic publications Resulted in the jailing of numerous Catholic priests – often supported by members of their congregation Catholics created the Center Party to represent Catholic political interests  Developed into strong oppositional party in the Reichstag

10 Kulturkampf FAILED Bismarck decided to end the Kulturkampf in 1878 Negotiated with Pope Leo XIII (new pope) to reestablish relations with the Vatican and German Catholic population Needed political support of the Center Party against the Liberal Party

11 The Anti-Socialist Campaign 1874 – Bismarck clashed with the Reichstag over military expenditures  Government wanted a seven year military budget (septennate) Passed with the National Liberals – nationalist values Liberals refuse other national taxes to support the idea of free trade and did not want to give up power over the budget 1875 – Creation of the Social Democratic Party  Socialism became more popular with the economic depression of the early 1870s

12 Bismarck campaigned for anti-socialist laws (1876/1878)  Liberals opposed the legislation – believed the law took rights away from everyone Bismarck dissolved the Reichstag and called for new elections  More conservative parliament elected because of Bismarck’s propaganda 1878 – Anti-Socialist law passed  Social Democratic party declared illegal  Party cannot meet; newspapers shut down

13 Anti-Socialist Laws FAIL!  Membership of the party increased from 300,000 to 1.5 million between 1878 and 1890  Socialist Democratic party increased seats in the Reichstag from 9 to 35.  Coincided with industrial development

14 Tariff Laws (1879) 1873 – Germany entered into economic depression caused by end of speculation boom following the unification of the empire 1879 – Supported the passage of tariffs to protect agriculture and industry  Supported by the Center Party, conservative land owners (the Junkers), business/industrial owners  Protected industry from foreign competition – esp. Great Britain  Protected agriculture from foreign grain imports from US and Russia  Move away from free trade philosophy

15 Tariffs improved the economy of Germany and allowed for an industrial revolution  German industrial production surpassed GB and France  European leader in iron, steel, coal production  Development of industrial cartels (monopolies)  Increase in railroad mileage  Increase in merchant marine Industry linked with university research  Chemicals industry – fertilizer

16 State Socialism Instituted govt. insurance program for workers – sickness, accident, incapacity in old age. Effort to weaken the power of the Social Democratic Party

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