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How valid is the view that the German state which emerged between 1867 and 1871 was essentially autocratic, conservative and mil - Coursework Example

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The German State from 1867 to 1871: As An Autocratic, Conservative and Militaristic Government) It is true that the German state from 1867 to 1871 was essentially autocratic, conservative and militaristic. This statement is in fact contended to provide a comprehensive description of the dissolved North German Confederation…
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How valid is the view that the German state which emerged between 1867 and 1871 was essentially autocratic, conservative and mil

Bismarck, on the other hand was the government’s chancellor (Turk, 1999). Their designations were in accordance with the Confederation’s constitution. Bismarck was actually the one who drafted the said constitution. He made it possible for the newly constituted state to have an emperor and a chancellor. He designed the constitution in such a way that he would be designated to a high position. The new constitution was observed to be the revised version of the Prussian constitution (“World,” n.d.). The main difference was the inclusion of the chancellor position. The addition of such designation in the constitution was of course with a purpose. It was designed by Bismarck so that he will have a greater role in the affairs of the Confederation. Significantly, the constitution accorded great powers to Bismarck, the chancellor (“North,” 2009). Although the constitution made Bismark responsible to the Reichstag, he was not accountable to them (“North,” 2009). This means that Bismark had power and control over the Reichstag. Nevertheless, the Reichstag did not have power over the chancellor. The grant of authority was one sided. Stated in another sense, there was no balance of power between them. The distribution of power under the Confederation’s constitution was unfair. It granted more power to the chancellor and less to the legislature. It could have been fine if the legislature was also accorded with the power to check the works of the chancellor, some sort of limitation. Nonetheless, the Reichstag did not have the authority to check the works of Bismarck. In other words, there was no check and balance between the two offices of the government. The legislature, instead of being the defender of the rights of the German people, became Bismark’s shield as to any expulsion attempt. Bismark then had the confidence to do anything he wanted to do. He was assured of the fact that the legislature does not have the power to evict him from his office. The constitution granted Bismarck an unlimited power to rule. Thus, in its essence, the new government was autocratic. Bismark was able to effectively control the internal affairs of the government. The set-up allowed him to become the direct intermediary between the people and the emperor (“North,” 2009). In a sense, the Reichstag was like a puppet to the government. It was part of the Confederation but it was absent in the minds of the people. In other words, it was a useless legislature. It was only there by its name and not by action. Bismark could have envisioned for such kind of legislature in his chancellorship. He could have aimed to be exercising some of the powers of the legislature. As a consequence, he was able to retain the power over the budget for German military (“North,” 2009). The ultimate decision with regard to the said budget depended on him. The Reichstag could not object or whatsoever to the decision that Bismark would declare. Its ability to reject any bill was only a theory (“World,” n.d.). In practice, the Reichstag was only restricted in the areas of foreign and military policy (“World,” n.d.). Moreover, Bismarck was also able to prevent some civil servants from becoming part of the Reichstag. These civil servants were the ones who opposed Bismarck’s political ideals in the year 1860 (“North,” 2009). In this sense, Bismarck had used his political power to advance his selfish desires and personal interests. He ... Read More
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