Key Political and Social Features of Kaiser Reich

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Michael Grundy
Outline the Key Political and Social Features of the Kaiser Reich 1890-1914 In the March of 1890, as Kaiser Wilhelm 2nd took up the throne as The German Emperor and the Prussian King, the fall of one of the most celebrated and emphatic German chancellors was seen. Otto Von Bismarck had dominated German politics since 1862 and had lead Germany through the unification, his authority was so great that Germany had been referred to as a ‘Chancellor Dictatorship’. Bismarck however was unable to continue his role as Chancellor, his policies were anti socialist and this caused a distancing with the Kaiser who strongly disagreed with these policies. This swiftly led to his forced resignation from office, aged 75, and Wilhelm quickly issued the new position to the energetic army general Caprivi. This new chancellor showed initiative as a leader and although it was hoped that he would act as a pawn to the Kaiser, Caprivi followed through with his own personal policies. Caprivi initiated several new bills and reforms to the political system, including those restricting working hours for women and children and increasing the peace time army. However after a mere 4 years Caprivi had managed to anger the Kaiser through his refusal to draft a law against subversive elements. The Kaiser then successfully placed the controllable Bavarian Aristocrat, Prince von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst. As an older man he was indecisive and unable to exert any real power over his leadership, his only major contribution was to restrain the Kaiser over his wild attempts to remove the workers’ votes. His office lasted until 1900 when he resigned, unable take serve the Kaiser any longer, leaving the position open to Bulow. Bulow was a charismatic and experienced man, he flattered the Kaiser so as to make certain of gaining the position. Bulow put an end to the previous reactionary politics and used his own independence to create policies such as Samslungpolitik. Bulow resigned from...
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