Student : Essay Planning Sheet Teacher

Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
Памер25.67 Kb.
Student : Essay Planning Sheet Teacher

In the years 1900 – 1914 the political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the status quo through a policy of moderate reform”

How far do you agree with this statement ?

Key Words and Phrases in the question

Political establishment
Up to 1WW = 1900 – 1914
Status quo
Moderate reform

Key issues to be discussed

Assumptions of the question.

What do I mean by the political establishment ? – the possessing classes (Kaiser and elites)
That the reforms worked
Other reasons why the status quo was maintained

Judgement in the body of the essay as well as the conclusion

Line of Argument


Ideas and line of argument.



  • Define the key term – political estabishment

  • Assumptions of the question

  • If one considers “the political establishment” to be the possessing classes (the Kaiser and the elites) then it is clear that in 1914, like 1900, they controlled the Second Reich. The question is correct to suggest that the “status quo” was maintained.

  • Rohl – the Kaiser was “at the heart of the system” – the Second Reich was “a functioning monarchy”. For Hans-Ulrich Wehler the elites had the real power. For him they took Germany on the Sonderweg (special path) to “militarism…authoritarian politics and a hostility towards democracy”. Either way Germany was not a democracy in 1914 the Reichstag still did not have the power to install or dismiss a government. The chancellor still served at the pleasure of the Kaiser. The key decisions were taken by the Kaiser.

  • Moderate social and political reform was one reason for this success. Its importance will be compared to other reasons.


Evidence that the political establishment undertook successful moderate reforms to maintain the status quo

up to 1914

There certainly was moderate reform in the given period

  • The ruling elites had to respond to pressure from below for social reform and a range of moderate reforms were passed:

  • 1899 - Increase in old age pensions

  • 1900 – Accident insurance was extended

  • 1903 – Sickness Insurance Law was amended to give longer and more generous help to workers in poor health

  • 1908 – Law to reduce the amount of factory work

  • 1911 Hollweg tried to please the workers. He introduced the Imperial Insurance code which consolidated all previous workers insurance laws and amended and extended their provisions. Certain groups were insured against sickness, old age and death



Evidence that other reasons helped to maintain the status quo up to 1914
Nationalistic foreign policies

Sammlungspolitik and nationalistic foreign policies

Sammlungspolitik To build up an alliance of Conservatives, Liberals, Junkers and Industrialists which would present a broad front against socialism and democracy and provide support for the political status quo. This would be done by following a policy of Protectionism and a strong foreign and colonial policy (Weltpolitilk). Flottenpolitik was an integral part of this in that it aimed to create a navy to rival that of Britain. A second navy Law sailed through the Reichstag in 1900 which proposed to build 38 battleships over the next 20 years. In 1906 a third Navy Law added six cruiser style ships to the programme. Nationalism and patriotism had helped to soak up tensions.
Nationalistic foreign policy Hottenhot Election and Bulow Block: An election was called because the SPD and Centre Party voted against the government’s budget, in protest at the colonial policies. Bulow managed to gained a convincing majority by creating the famous ‘Bulow Bloc’- he warned Nationalist/ Conservative and Liberal Groups (Conservatives, Free Conservatives, Agrarian League, National Liberals, Progressives and Anti-Semites) that they had to unite on the issue of Nationalism otherwise risk facing a Red-Black victory (Centre and Socialist). He succeeded in frightening German voters into supporting Bulow-Bloc

Comparison Judgement


Evidence that other reasons helped to maintain the status quo up to 1914
Other political reasons;
The Constitutional power and support for the power of the Kaiser
Disunity of parties in the Reichstag

The Constitutional power and support for the power of the Kaiser and disunity of parties in the Reichstag
The Constitutional power and support for the power of the Kaiser: The Kaiser’s constitutional position at the top (responsible for army, Chancellor answerable to him, Wilhelm II aims to be at the centre of power) was not challenged throughout the period, thus this lack of challenge helped to maintain political status quo. The power of the idea of Nationalism and Patriotism around the Kaiser as the figurehead at the centre of it all meant many people saw him as a pillar of strength within the disunity of the political parties of the Reichstag. He was seen as symbol of power of German Reich, making it strong on an international and domestic level. Daily Telegraph Affair 1908 (removal of Bulow) and the Zabern Affair 1913 (ignored the vote of no confidence) are both examples of this.
Disunity of parties in the Reichstag 1912 election: SPD did actually become a real potential threat but other parties would not work with them. Fragmentation of Right Wing groups: The fragmentation and radicalisation of right wing politics occurred because of the economic changes taking place and the fact that different groups wanted to protect their own interests. The Agrarian League became politically more important. The Mittesland Association (1904) and the Mittesland League (1911) represented farmers and small shopkeepers. The lower middle class was organised into a range of groups from the socialist Association of Commercial Assistants (LEFT) to the right wing German-national Commercial Assistants’ Association. Nationalist groups were formed with the intention of lobbying in favour of national priorities. They campaigned from an anti-socialist viewpoint. They helped radicalise German politics
Comparison Judgement.


  • Statement very strong - incorrect to suggest that it was the only / most important reason.

  • What was the most important reason ?

Teacher Guidance

База данных защищена авторским правом © 2016
звярнуцца да адміністрацыі

    Галоўная старонка