Unformatted text preview: The German Empire:
The Second Reich
The Age of Bismarck
Chapter IX The Second Reich (1871-1918)
The Emerged with the creation of German Empire (January, 1871) Unification of Germany a Prussian achievement. Bismarck remains Chancellor (P.M.) for next 20 years. Imperial Constitution Provided for legislative assemblies dominated by Prussians. Democracy never given a chance. Power resided in the executive (the Chancellor was responsible to the Emperor) Design of the German Government
Design German Emperor Bismarck – Federal Council – a.k.a. Bundersat (Prussians appointed) Had veto power over subordinate Reichstag – Reichstag (democratically elected) Budgetary power (“power of the purse”) Conflict between Bismarck and the Reichstag over military budgets. Bismarck’s Domestic Policies
Bismarck’s Industrialization: – Germany becomes the second largest manufacturing nation.
– Elimination of trade barriers between states.
– Standardization of measures.
– Trade barriers against foreign competition (tariffs).
– Government financed transportation infrastructure. cont’d
cont’d Nationalism: – Cultivation of patriotism and nationalism to unite Germans. Anticlericalism: – Kulturkampf (struggle for civilization) against international religion (1871
– Reduced power of Catholic Church in education. Unpopular; officially ended in 1883 cont’d The destruction of socialism – Assaulted members of Social Democratic Party.
– Banned meetings and publications. Social Welfare Legislation: – To undermine use their ideas taken from their platform.
– Put Germany ahead of France and Great Britain in terms of social welfare legislation. cont’d Examples of programs: – Worker’s sickness insurance (1883)
– Worker’s accident insurance (1884)
– Regulated hours and conditions of work for women and children (1887)
– Old Age Pensions (1890)
– Disability insurance (1890)
– Gave trade unions more freedom Bismarck’s Foreign Policy
Bismarck’s Preoccupied with maintaining the post FrancoPrussian War balance of power.
To do so, he: – Powerful army (400,000)
– Created alliances to isolate France:
2. Three Emperor’s League or Dreikaiserbund (1873) Germ/A.H./Russ
Dual Alliance (1879) 3.
4. Triple Alliance (1882) Ger/A.H./Italy
Reinsurance Treaty (1887) Ger/Russ During this time Great Britain was not a concern: – Unlikely to ally with France; policy of “splendid isolation” The End of the Era
The The death of William I (1888) William II new Emperor – Resented Bismarck’s power.
– Bad relations
– Bismarck forced to resign William II’s Reign
William Incapable leader. Unable to maintain alliances. Germany’s aggressive foreign policies led to an alliance of Great Britain and France. The Congress of Berlin 1878
The Insurrection in Balkans (1875) against Ottoman rule. “Sick man of Europe” – Ottomans. War between Russia and Ottoman Empire. Bismarck seeks a pacific solution. See maps on pp. 163 & 139 Terms of agreement:
– Independence of: Romania Serbia Montenegro Bulgaria (problems later) – Russia back on Black Sea (Batum)
– BosniaHerzegovina to AustriaHungary (in part)
– G.B. gets Cyprus. Ended Three Emperors’ Leagues Bismarck and Colonies 1884 Bismarck felt that the heir to the throne was too liberal. Wanted to create hostility towards Britain. Took lands mostly in Africa; broke up the Cape to Cairo aspirations of G.B. Generated antiBritish feelings in Germany Congress on African Affairs (1885)
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