How Successful Was Bismarck in His Attempts to Control the Political Parties in Germany in the Years 1871-90?

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How successful was Bismarck in his attempts to control the political parties in Germany in the years 1871-90? • Bismarck’s attempts to control political parties from 1871-90 was moderately successful since he often did manage to pass legislature on his own terms by securing an alliance with the National Liberals with the 1871 Kulturkampf and the Conservative with the 1879 Tariff Reforms. Though his repressive policies of Kulturkampf and the 1878 Anti-Socialist laws actually strengthened the political parties of Catholic Centre Party and the SPD, I believe that Bismarck did successfully maintain control by forming new alliances as a result you would serve to distinguish any burgeoning threats. Yes, Bismarck was successful during his liberal era of 1871-78 • Bismarck was initially successful in his alliance with the National Liberals since he capitalised upon the nationalist elements of their party. • This meant they often backed his proposals – e.g. Reichsbank. • This was important for Bismarck as National Liberals had largest percentage of seats throughout the 1870s (31% in 1871) and passage of reforms was easier as a result. • With this alliance, Bismarck was in control of a great share of the conservative parties • Bis. could control the other large parties such as the Catholic Centre Party - able to pass the policy of ‘Kulturkampf’ in 1871 • This meant Bis. had an opportunity to put his idea of ‘negative integration’ into practise where the proper Germans would be united against a common enemy – the Catholic Church • This repressive policy actually made his influence over the National Liberals even securer – most German liberals were protestant and viewed the papacy as an opponent to their ideology. • Support of National Liberals meant he could keep the more liberal elements of their party under control from 1871 to 76 • This control was hugely
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