The Political Establishment in Germany Succeeded in Maintaining the Political Status Quo Through a Policy of Moderate Reform. How Far Do You Agree with This Judgement?

480 Words2 Pages
The political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through a policy of moderate reform. How far do you agree with this judgement? The political establishment in Germany did succeed in maintaining its power through a policy of moderate reform; however, it can also be argued that this was also achieved by using extreme reforms as well for instance the suppression of the SPD. The moderate reforms gave a small power to the Reichstag which looked great but as a whole it was completely useless in the part of the Reichstag because of the Kaiser’s power to easily dissolve it. Bismarck who recognised the appeal to Germany's growing working classes, initiated a "carrot and stick" approach of simultaneous repression and an overt effort to acquire popular support. The “carrot” was used by Bismarck who pushed extensive social welfare legislation through the Reichstag. The state provided accident insurance, sickness benefits, old age pensions, disability payments, etc. This meant that he could enjoy greater support from the common people of Germany and help him stay in power. He also instated Constitutional reforms for instance strengthening the power of the Reichstag by letting them take control of the defence budgets. However, though they had been given this power the Kaiser still had ultimate control and was able to dissolve those reforms and the Reichstag whenever he so pleased. These reforms were not especially ground breaking but they did allow the Reichstag to be happy so they don’t cause any problems. On the other hand, Bismarck used the stick which was by passing Anti- Socialist Laws, forbidding socialist meetings, fundraising, and the banning of distribution of printed materials. Also the expansion of police power meant that they could arrest any socialist who seemed even remotely suspicious. Wilhelm II required mass
Open Document