Second Reich Autocracy

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To what extent was the Second Reich an entrenched autocracy between 1900 – 1914 The Second Reich was an Autocracy overall, as the Kaiser had a huge amount of control over the country, but was not really an entrenched autocracy as the Kaiser did not have total control over the entire country in all areas. To understand how far the Kaiser was a full autocrat there are key events to consider, such as how complicated the system was overall. It is also important to assess how far the role of the old elites, such as the Army, undermined the Kaiser and that he was not in total control. The Kaiser himself is a factor in his personal rule. Furthermore, the actions of the Reichstag affected the autocracy that the Kaisers had set up. The chancellors would…show more content…
This is highlighted when the Kaiser replaces them when they go against what he tells them to do. Furthermore, this is highlighted when Caprivi refused to put the anti-Social democratic laws back in place that he removed when he replaced Bismarck. Another example of this is when Bulow sides with the Reichstag in the Daily telegraph affair when they go after the Kaiser for his comments. After the forced apology from the Kaiser he waits until Bulow makes a mistake and fires him straight away. This clearly shows how the Kaiser would remove anyone he wanted if they did not meet his expectations, or if they did not agree with him on everything. Moreover, this proves how the Kaiser had personal rule over the country as he had total control over who was appointed where. This supports the interpretation that the Kaiser was ruling an entrenched…show more content…
Evidence to show this is how he jumped to defence the Army in the Zabern affair without knowing anything about what they had done. This could show how the Army had control over the Kaiser and could get away with anything but does not carry that much weight in general as he could have just been defending the army’s prestige. On the other hand there is some evidence to show that the Kaiser was powerful enough, such as how he replaced anyone who went against his will, the Chancellors an example of this. Other evidence of this is how he had an attitude that leads him into wanting complete power over the country. Overall, it would seem that the Kaiser did not have an entrenched autocracy because of how people acted when they were not around him and because of how his power was not always absolute. This is shown in how the Kaiser could not use his power to stop the Reichstag from forcing him to write an apology, this has a lot of weight due to the fact that he is supposed to have overwhelming power but could not use it. This also shows how the base of power did not lay directly with the Kaiser. Moreover, the fact that some important decisions were kept from him show how people thought that he could not be trusted and should be avoided carries some weight on the argument because
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