To What Extent Was Wilhelmine Germany an Entrenched Authoritarian State?

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To what extent was Wilhelmine Germany an entrenched Authoritarian state? Kaiser Wilhelm II came to power in 1888 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. Wilhelm II was determined to exercise much more direct control over government than his grandfather, this was apparent in 1890 when Wilhelm disagreed with Bismarck’s anti-socialist policies, colonial expansion and relations with Russia, consequently Bismarck retired…show more content…
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 1902. 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-1982 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. Bulow’s decision was backed up the following year by the election result where the Socialists gained 25 seats and the Conservatives lost 4 seats. This is an example of the declining influence of the Junkers, and more importantly an example of democracy. The Hottentot election was the name given to the election in 1907 and resulted after the Kaiser dissolved the Reichstag after they failed to support Bulow’s government in their proposal of using more money to suppress the rebels in the Colony of German South West Africa and to compensate the white settlers. The government’s election campaign was anti-socialist, anti-Catholic and Nationalistic. The result was that Social Democrat seats were halved, and right wing parties gained seats. As a result, ‘Bulow bloc’ a coalition was formed which comprised of the

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