How democratic was the Second Reich? Essay

975 Words Mar 5th, 2014 4 Pages
How democratic was the Second Reich?

There is clear evidence for and against the Second Reich being democratic, though in the years it only reaches "Nascent Democracy", even if that. However, on the whole the Second Reich is most definitely based around Kaiser therefore quite far from democracy. Kaiser shows his power all throughout the three case studies; Hottentot Elections, Daily Telegraph Affair and the Zabern Crisis. As well as that it is clear from the Constitutional Theory that there is little to no democracy and that there is Kaiser Absolutism.
According to the Second Reich constitution, it is clear that during the years of the Second Reich there was no democracy. The German Electorates could only elect the Reichstag, which
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So technically it seems that Kaiser did not have to listen to the Chancellor but by doing so he took the pressure off of himself.
The last case was the Zabern Crisis. In 1913 Lieutenant Forstners "racist" actions lead to many demonstrations against him throughout Zabern. The major of Zabern made an attempt to move Forstner out to a different place but it failed as Kaiser did not consider this as a great issue. As a result Forstner could no longer take the pressure of the hate and therefore paralyses one of the locals and is put on trial, but in the army court. He however was deemed innocent, as the one in charge of the army court was Kaiser. The SPD demanded that Forstner is dismissed and therefore it leads to a vote of confidents in Chancellor. Even though the Reichstag vote against the Chancellor is still backed up by the Kaiser therefore there is no change. This shows that the Reichstag had achieved nothing, meaning that they have little power, which is backed up by the constitutional theory. Here the outcome is yet again one that shows Kaiser Absolutism. It clearly shows that once you are backed up by the Kaiser you are above everyone else power wise at that time, which shows the Emperors power
On the whole, I believe that the Second Reich was not democratic. However, it can be said that it was heading towards Nascent Democracy as in every case the people put pressure on the

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