Topics: German Empire, Prussia, History of Germany Pages: 4 (1834 words) Published: April 26, 2015
To what extent was the course of Germany 1900-1914 dictated by the personality of the Kaiser? During the years 1900 and 1914 the position of the Kaiser as the head of the German state was clear. However his power and authority was challenged due to heavy influence from the Chancellor. In addition to a range of demands for social reform from the growth of socialist parties and pressure groups. Wilhelm’s believe that ‘There is only one man in charge of the Reich and I will not tolerate another’ is strongly enforced throughout the Reichstag and can be seen as a main contributor to why there is such strong dictatorship in Germany at this time. It also may appear to be the cause of conflict and why such strong alternative views and demand for reform arise. The Kaiser had control over Germany through a variety of different paths. This is because the Kaiser was responsible for foreign policy, he was head of the Reichstag and commander in chief of the army. It is also clear that he was viewed highly from the majority of society and was seen as a ‘Prussian King’. As Prussia dominated the Holy Roman Empire at this time it gave him even more status across the country. During the second Reich it is evident that the political structure of the state clearly enforces the Kaiser to have ultimate power. As the Kaiser, he had the ability to appoint and dismiss chancellors as he pleased. This meant that the people in position of authority were directly decided by the Kaiser. Therefore his personality was heavily responsible for deciding who the Chancellor as it was his opinion that mattered. In addition the ministers for the Bundesrat were voted for by using a three tier voting system that favoured the Conservatives and the Prussians. Out of 58 representatives nominated from all states 17 seats were for Prussia. This meant it was easy for the Kaiser to retain power over Germany politically as all ministers and the chancellor were loyal to him and if this were to change he had...
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