Bismarck 1871-1890

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  • Created on: 22-04-19 14:27
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  • Bismarck's Germany 1871-1890
    • Politically
      • Military spending
        • Septennates
        • Bismarck faced challenges in winning support for the army budget in 1873 and 1887.
      • Nationalism
        • Nationalism has shifted from a progressive force to a conservative and militaristic ideal.  
      • Social reform
        • 1883 Sickness Insurance Act introduced 1884: Accident Insurance Act introduced  1889: Old Age and Disability Act introduced
        • policies were needed to improve the position of workers in Germany so as to erode support for the socialists.
      • Parties in the Reichstag
        • Centre Party: Catholics who lived in the Empire felt uncomfortable living in a Protestant dominated environment. They soon created their own political party
        • National Liberals: Dominant party of the early years of the Second Reich. Middle Class party. Favoured anti-Clerical measures and Free Trade
        • SPD: Party wished to see a socialist state in Germany. Persecuted but received the largest number of votes from 1890 onwards. Very popular in the newly expanding towns
        • Conservatives:This party represented the interest of the Junker class. Strong in Prussia. Over represented in the Reichstag
      • Kulturkampf (see other notes)
      • Anti-Socialism
        • Anti-socialist laws, which banned Socialism, prohibited the printing of Socialist ideas and Socialist meetings
        • threat to the social and political unity of the Reich and to Europe
        • The Law deprived socialist organisations of the right of assembly and publication (of the 47 socialist newspapers, 45 were banned)
    • Economically
      • Free trade to protectionism
        • ·       Bismarck oversaw shift from free trade in 1871 to protectionism in 1879, in response to ‘alliance of steel and rye’.
        • Tariff act passed in 1879
        • Heavily protected with tariffs to prevent cheap Russian and American grain imports, kept food prices high.  
      • Agriculture accounted for 35-40% of GNP in 1880s
      • Abundant raw materials (e.g. Ruhr, Saar, Alsace-Lorraine)
      • Economic crisis from 1873-1890 slowed growth.
      • The invention of the internal combustion engine (1876)Electric train (1879)Telephone network introduced into Berlin (1881)Four Wheel Cars were patented by Daimler and Benz
      • Industry represented 30-35% of GNP in 1880s
    • Socially
      • Population
        • . Compulsory smallpox immunisation 1874, diphtheria serum available from 1890s
      • Urbanisation accelerated from 1880.
      • Working class divided in terms of gender, ethnicity and religion and also between skilled and unskilled workers.
      • Standard of living
        • a third of Germany’s population lived at/below the poverty line.
        • rising problem of homelessness.
      • Women
        • Expected not to work after they had married, but many working-class married women had to do so in order to provide for their families.


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