Geschiedenis imperial germany

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Geschiedenis imperial germany

  1. 1. HI136 The History of Germany Lecture 2 Bismarck’s Germany
  2. 2. ‘ Proclamation of German Unification’ (1888) by Anton von Werner – note the position of Bismarck in the composition.
  3. 3. Otto von Bismarck (1815-98) <ul><li>Born in Sch önhausen in Brandenburg, the son of a Pomeranian Junker . </li></ul><ul><li>Educated at Göttingen University. </li></ul><ul><li>1836: Entered the Prussian civil service. </li></ul><ul><li>1839: Retired from the civil service to manage the family estates. </li></ul><ul><li>1849: Elected as an ultra-conservative member of the Prussian Landtag . </li></ul><ul><li>1851: Joined the Prussian diplomatic corps, serving as Prussian representative to the Federal Diet and then ambassador to Russia and France. </li></ul><ul><li>1862: Appointed Prussian Minister-President. </li></ul><ul><li>1867: Became Chancellor of the North German Confederation. </li></ul><ul><li>1871-90: Chancellor of the German Empire. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>The ‘mad Junker’? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Junker – a corruption of Junger Herr (Young Sir): the title given to Prussian landowners east of the River Elbe. Closely associated with Conservative politics in the 19 th century. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The ‘White Revolutionary’? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Realpolitik – ‘a system of politics or principles based on practical rather than moral or ideological considerations.’ (OED). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>German Nationalist or Prussian Patriot? </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘Bismarck Myth’ </li></ul>
  5. 5. The architects of German Unification – Bismarck (left) with General Albrecht von Roon (centre) and Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke (right).
  6. 6. Helmuth von Moltke (1800-91) <ul><li>Born in Mecklenburg, but moved to Denmark as a small child. </li></ul><ul><li>Educated in Royal Cadet Corps in Copenhagen. </li></ul><ul><li>1822: Commissioned in the Prussian army. </li></ul><ul><li>Military career interrupted by ill health & he studied modern languages and wrote poetry. </li></ul><ul><li>1832: Appointed to the Prussian General Staff. </li></ul><ul><li>1832-36: Advisor to the Turkish Army. </li></ul><ul><li>1855: Appointed aide-de-camp to the Prussian Crown Prince. </li></ul><ul><li>1858: Appointed chief of the General Staff </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Wars of Unification, 1864-71 <ul><li>The German-Danish War (1864) </li></ul><ul><li>The Seven Weeks (Austro-Prussian) War (1866) </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Battle of K öniggrätz (Sadowa), 3 July 1866
  9. 9. The Wars of Unification, 1864-71 <ul><li>The German-Danish War (1864) </li></ul><ul><li>The Seven Weeks (Austro-Prussian) War (1866) </li></ul><ul><li>The Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional antipathy between France & German states going back to the 17 th century </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Luxemburg Crisis (1866-67) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Hohenzollern Candidature Crisis (1870) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Ems Telegram </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>War! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Napoleon III and Bismarck after the Battle of Sedan (1 September 1870) The Battle of Mars-la-Tour (16 August 1870)
  11. 11. Results of the Franco-Prussian War <ul><li>War with France created an huge upsurge in German national feeling – popular pressure in the South German states to transform the wartime alliance into a permanent union. </li></ul><ul><li>However: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The rulers of the South German states wanted a much looser federation than Bismarck proposed, giving them more control over their own affairs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wilhelm I was reluctant to accept a ‘German’ title which he felt would lessen the dignity of his position as King of Prussia </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He insisted that he would only accept the Crown of Germany if it were offered by his fellow German sovereigns, not the German people </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Bismarck threatened to call on the German people to remove those rulers who opposed a united Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic concessions to South German states – Bavaria retained a separate postal service and peacetime control of its own army. </li></ul><ul><li>Bismarck paid a huge bribe to King Ludwig II of Bavaria in order to get him to sign a letter offering the German crown to Wilhelm. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany annexed the territories of Alsace and Lorraine from France. </li></ul>
  12. 13. The Constitution of the German Empire, 1871 <ul><li>Based on the Constitution of the North German Confederation. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany was to be a federal state. </li></ul><ul><li>Power was divided between the central government and the governments of the 25 states. </li></ul><ul><li>The states preserved their own constitutions, rulers, parliaments and administrative systems with powers over direct taxation, education, public health etc. </li></ul><ul><li>As German Emperor, the King of Prussia was head of state, head of the civil service and ‘Supreme Warlord’ (Commander-in-Chief) of the armed forces. </li></ul><ul><li>A bi-cameral parliament made up of the Bundesrat (Federal Council) and the Reichstag (National Parliament). </li></ul><ul><li>Prussia dominated the institutions of the new Empire, with the most seats in both houses of parliament, shared institutions and a dominant position in military and administrative circles. </li></ul>
  13. 14. The Constitution of the German Empire, 1871 Reich Government <ul><li>The Chancellor ( Reichskanzler ) </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘highest official in the Reich’ </li></ul><ul><li>Also Minister-President of Prussia </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible to the Emperor, not parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman of the Bundesrat </li></ul><ul><li>Appointed government ministers </li></ul><ul><li>Could ignore resolutions passed by the Reichstag </li></ul><ul><li>The Emperor ( Kaiser ) </li></ul><ul><li>Always the King of Prussia </li></ul><ul><li>Could appoint/dismiss the Chancellor </li></ul><ul><li>Could dissolve the Reichstag </li></ul><ul><li>Could make treaties/declare war </li></ul><ul><li>Commander-in-Chief of the army </li></ul><ul><li>Had to approve all federal laws </li></ul><ul><li>Possessed the right to interpret the constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Bundesrat (upper house) </li></ul><ul><li>The Federal Council </li></ul><ul><li>Made up of 58 members nominated by states </li></ul><ul><li>Not directly elected </li></ul><ul><li>Consent required in passing new laws </li></ul><ul><li>14 votes needed to veto legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Prussia had 17 of the 58 seats </li></ul><ul><li>Bavaria had 6, the other states had 1 each </li></ul><ul><li>Reichstag (lower house) </li></ul><ul><li>The National parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Elected by all males over 25 </li></ul><ul><li>Limited powers to initiate new legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Government ministers could not be members </li></ul><ul><li>Members were not paid </li></ul><ul><li>Could approve or reject the federal budget </li></ul><ul><li>Elections normally held every 5 years </li></ul>Federal Centralised government with specific Responsibilities for the Reich as a whole (foreign policy, defence, customs etc.) State Regional government with responsibilities For individual states (education, direct Taxation, health, local justice etc.)
  14. 15. ‘ The continued existence within the Reich of an enlarged Prussian state with a virtual monopoly of military power, with a position in the Bundesrat superior to that of the other states, and with a parliamentary system of its own, based on a form of suffrage which was not democratic but favoured the propertied classes, was the best possible assurance against any possibility of the federal government succumbing to the forces of liberalism and democracy. In Bismarck’s Constitutional system, the federal government was given enough influence . . . to keep the particularism of the south within safe bounds, while Prussia was allowed to retain significant power to protect the aristocratic-monarchical system by discouraging dangerous experiments on the part of the federal government.’ G. A. Craig, Germany 1866-1945 (Oxford: OUP)
  15. 16. Germany’s Problem of Identity <ul><li>Even after unification large numbers of Germans had difficulty in identifying with the new state </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liberals – increasingly conscious that Bismarck’s Empire was not the united Germany they had desired for so long. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conservatives – who remained un-reconciled to the idea of a united Germany. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organized Labour – who felt that unification had done little to improve their lot and that the system had been deliberately designed to prevent them achieving their goals. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>National Symbols </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No national flag until 1896 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No national anthem until 1922 (!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disagreement over national holidays </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. The Niederwald ‘Germania’ Monument (1885) The Teutoburger Wald Monument (1875)
  17. 18. Statue of Bismarck in the Gro ßer Stern in Berlin (1901)
  18. 19. The Kulturkampf <ul><li>1870: The doctrine of Papal Infallibility published. </li></ul><ul><li>1872: Catholic schools brought under state control. The Jesuit Order banned from Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>1873: The ‘May Laws’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Only candidates for ordination who had been trained in Germany and passed a state approved examination could become priests. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All religious appointments had to be approved by the state. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1874: Civil marriage introduced. </li></ul><ul><li>1875: All religious orders except nursing orders banned. </li></ul><ul><li>1878-80: End of the Kulturkampf – Dr Falk dismissed and some of the anti-Catholic laws repealed. </li></ul>
  19. 20. The Development of the SPD <ul><li>1869: August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht form the Marxist Social Democratic Workers’ Party. </li></ul><ul><li>1875: This merges with Ferdinand Lassale’s General German Workers’ Association to form the Social Democratic Party of Germany ( Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands , SPD) at a ‘Unity Conference’ in Gotha. </li></ul><ul><li>The party’s ‘Gotha Programme’ called for </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ universal, direct, equal suffrage, with secret ballot and obligatory voting for all citizens over 20 years of age” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>freedom of press, association and assembly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the abolition of child & female labour </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a shorter working week </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>free, universal primary education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>While the SPD was an avowedly Marxist party, pledged to overthrow the established bourgeois order, they were committed to doing so through legal means. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Anti-Socialist Legislation <ul><li>Bismarck was fundamentally opposed to Socialism – they represented a threat to the very fabric of the society he sought to preserve. </li></ul><ul><li>1876: Legislation banning the publication of Socialist propaganda defeated in the Reichstag. </li></ul><ul><li>1878: Two failed assassination attempts on Wilhelm I provide an opportunity to introduce anti-Socialist legislation. </li></ul><ul><li>Oct 1878: The Anti-Socialist Law passed by the Reichstag. This </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Banned socialist organizations (including trade unions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gave the police powers to break up socialist meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlawed the publication and distribution of socialist literature </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. State Socialism <ul><li>1883: Sickness Insurance Act </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provided medical treatment and up to 13 weeks sick pay for 3 million low-paid workers. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1884: Accident Insurance Act </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provided protection for workers permanently disabled or sick for more than 13 weeks. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1889: Old Age & Disability Act </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provided old age and disability pensions for people over 70 and those permanently disabled. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 23. 1888 – The Year of Three Emperors Wilhelm I (1861-88) Friedrich III (1888) Wilhelm II (1888-1918)
  23. 24. <ul><li>“ I shall let the old man shuffle on for six months . . . then I shall rule myself.” </li></ul><ul><li> Wilhelm II </li></ul>
  24. 25. ‘ Dropping the Pilot’ <ul><li>Bismarck and Wilhelm disagreed over the need to retain close links with Russia. </li></ul><ul><li>They clashed over social policy and the Anti-Socialist Law. </li></ul><ul><li>In March 1890 Bismarck and Wilhelm quarrelled over ministers access to the monarch. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilhelm gave Bismarck an ultimatum: resign or be dismissed. The next day Bismarck resigned. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Assessment <ul><li>Bismarck’s admirers </li></ul><ul><li>He maintained peace between 1871 and 1890 </li></ul><ul><li>His policies helped Germany’s economic development </li></ul><ul><li>He pioneered state socialism </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1870s he worked closely with the National Liberals and implemented many liberal policies </li></ul><ul><li>He was not a dictator – his powers were limited and he worked with the parties in the Reichstag </li></ul><ul><li>His long tenure in power points to his political skill </li></ul><ul><li>Bismarck’s Critics </li></ul><ul><li>He was responsible for France remaining isolated and embittered </li></ul><ul><li>His influence has been exaggerated </li></ul><ul><li>“ Negative integration” – using attacks on minorities to whip up patriotism </li></ul><ul><li>The Kulturkampf was a major miscalculation </li></ul><ul><li>His anti-socialist policies were unsuccessful </li></ul><ul><li>He was unable to delegate and jealous of perceived rivals </li></ul><ul><li>A flawed legacy – Bismarck’s rule led to Wilhemine & Nazi Germany </li></ul>

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