To What Extent Was Germany a Parliamentary Democracy?

Topics: German Empire, Separation of powers, Legislature Pages: 3 (1155 words) Published: March 14, 2013
To what extent was Germany a parliamentary democracy in the years 1900-1914? A parliamentary democracy is the power in Germany being shared amongst everybody. The positions are democratically elected by the population of the country. The way Germany was run is based upon the Constitution the power lies between the Reichstag, the chancellor and the Kaiser. Germany was a parliamentary democracy based on the constitution that Germany was run by. The Bundesrat being part of the constitution consisted of 58 members who were elected by the state assemblies, the Bundesrat had the power in theory to the law making process and by this having this possibly the right to alter the constitution. The Bundesrat had the power to veto legislation against a bill, therefore being able to stop such laws that would not be in favour of Germany. As well as this, the Bundesrat and the Reichstag had joint legislative power. The Reichstag was elected members represented by constituencies and were all male over the age of twenty five. One of the most significant points in favour of Germany being a democracy is that Bismark introduced universal male suffrage elections in 1871. This is clearly an example of a parliamentary democracy because it allowed people of all classes to vote; meaning that every layer of society had the opportunity to be represented. However importantly over the Bundesrat the Reichstag was significantly in power of the financial affairs and the banking system of Germany and perhaps most importantly the control the Reichstag had over the defence budget which was vital federal government expenditure. It had grown from being 100 million marks in 1890 to rapidly increasing to 2,405 million marks by 1913. Although the Kaiser did have the right to dissolve the Reichstag they still could hold elections after this. Furthermore the constitution was based on parliamentary democracy to an extent because members were elected into their positions. They held the power of money that...
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