To what Extent was Germany a parliamentary democracy in the years 1900

1097 WordsSep 22, 20145 Pages
To what Extent was Germany a parliamentary democracy in the years 1900-14? In the period 1900-1914, Germany’s political landscape witnessed extraordinary changes in which typical features associated with a parliamentary democracy- such as significant and influential pressure group activity and universal suffrage- were present. It can however be argued that this period also represented a time in which the German Reichstag did not truly represent the population due to old and corrupt voting system for Prussia which saw votes unfairly given and the role of all the chancellors- in particular Von Bulow- during this time, which saw unelected officials yielding greater influence than that of the Reichstag. Germany was a parliamentary…show more content…
There is however an argument for the fact that universal suffrage was not as dramatic as it first appeared. It can be argued that this significant development, which seemed to mark a new step towards liberalism was actually inadequate. Bismarck is known to have wanted the cooperation of the Reichstag in matters relating to passing legislation, yet denied the Reichstag the status and importance of its counterparts in order to restrict their influence. Bismarck knew that introducing the idea of universal suffrage would project the idea of parliamentary democracy and preserve stability within the newly unified Germany, yet was also aware that the Reichstag was an assembly, which lacked any real power. It can therefore be said that this “universal suffrage” was in fact a decoy created by Bismarck in order to hide the true, doctoral nature of the German political system. If the purpose of introducing universal suffrage is to act as an mask for the elitist, un representative political system, then it cannot be said that this represents Germany as a parliamentary democracy, when the aim of it is in fact the complete opposite. Germany’s corrupt political system is able emphasis the idea that it was not a parliamentary democracy. This is seen in regards to the Prussian three class
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