How democratic was the Second Reich? Essay

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How democratic was the Second Reich? There is clear evidence for and against the Second Reich being democratic, though in the years it only reaches "Nascent Democracy", even if that. However, on the whole the Second Reich is most definitely based around Kaiser therefore quite far from democracy. Kaiser shows his power all throughout the three case studies; Hottentot Elections, Daily Telegraph Affair and the Zabern Crisis. As well as that it is clear from the Constitutional Theory that there is little to no democracy and that there is Kaiser Absolutism. According to the Second Reich constitution, it is clear that during the years of the Second Reich there was no democracy. The German Electorates could only elect the Reichstag, which…show more content…
This is what happened in this case, the Kaiser dissolved the parliament and worked on a new propaganda with the Chancellor. This led to a massive win for Kaiser and therefore the Bundesrat voted yes for the budget and it became a law. This clearly shows Kaiser Absolutism as the Emperor used his power to his advantage, ignoring the majority. However, at the same time this case shows that there is also a slight Nascent Democracy as it proves that the Kaiser recognised the peoples vote, this is because he had to organise a whole propaganda in order to gain votes. The Daily Telegraph Affair was in 1908, when an interview on foreign affairs, with Kaiser, was published. As the result of the interview Kaiser lost diplomacy as well as damaged his and Germanys reputation. At this point the Chancellor had to step in as he was put in a bad position. The Chancellor told Kaiser that this situation cannot be repeated, to which the Emperor agrees to. However, after doing so he then dismisses the Chancellor. This shows that the Second Reich is a lot more democratic as it shows Nascent Democracy. This is because the Kaiser steps down and lets the Chancellor over take, at the same time he responds to the public's concern by doing so. However, at the same time this also shows Constitutional Monarchy as in a way it seems that Kaiser only did his speech and almost handed over the rest to the Chancellor, which almost seemed
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