Elenas Diary

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The Second Reich Revision sheet.

1. The Constitution – Position of Chancellor independent to Reichstag. Power structure unclear and confused. 2. Economy – G. Europe’s industrial superpower, built on existing industries and new ones. (new – electrics, chemicals, cars, precision equipment) 3. Labor force – Population growing also change of jobs from agriculture to tertiary sectors. Also G. Best education system for scholors and technical skills. 4. Changing spirit of the age: new ideas –

• Socialism (growth of SPD – 110 seats in 1912) • Nationalism - Pan German League: anti-socialist, racist, anti-Semitic and strong supporters of any policy that advanced G power and influence. • Anti-Semitism

• Social Darwinism
5. German society – Junkers (determined to keep control) Industrial bourgeoisie, Middle classes (becoming more numerous) mittlestand (Lower m/c – supported r-wing movements) w/c (Mixture of fortunes) 6. Power – Kaiser ‘personal rule’ based authority on the divine right of kings. Boasted never read the constitution. Yet he was not unintelligent. Had a good memory and the political power to direct things. Yet his mood was volatile and not charismatic. – Daily Telegraph affair! Failed to appreciate the changes that were happening in the economy – during the war he played a subordinate role to Hindenburg and Lundendorff. 7. Power – Chancellors. Bulow – Managed Reichstag for a decade. He was a manipulator who wanted to further himself. With the Daily telegraph affair lost support of the Kaiser. Bethmann – Hard working but lacked experience.

Chancellors very different but they were the product of the constitution! Reichstag – Was divided in to those that wanted change and those that did not. Yet decline in conservative force combined with growth of SPD meant further division was caused.

The Army – Centre of political and social life. Signed an oath of loyalty, conscription meant...
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