The Kaiser was authoritarian because:
- He claimed he had the divine right to rule: 'there is only one Ruler in the Reich and I am he.'
- `He had military values.
- He had the right to appoint and dismiss the Chancellor and his state secretaries, completely independent of the Reichstag's wishes.
- He pushed Germany into the Royal Navy.
However, the Kaiser was democratic (not authoritarian) because:
- His social and ceremonial duties meant that he was absent from Berlin for long periods of time.
- So he didn't have command of the detail of the government's work.
- He didn't really excersise his power until something bad would happen where he would interfer and make things worse.
The Chancellors were authoritarian because:
- The Chancellor made the decisions and contributed in the law making process.
However, the Chancellors were not authoritarian because:
- They were essentially civil swervants to trick Germans into thinking it was democratic.
- The Kaiser interfered with their power.
- They didn't dominate the German political scene as Bismarck had done.
- Political survival was dependednt on showing loyalty to the Kaiser and doing his will.
- So they were the Kaiser's puppets in other words.
- Chancellors changed a lot so they weren't many figurative Chancellors after Bismarck.
- They were appointed and dismissed by the Kaiser so they weren't very democratic this way.
The Bundesrat were not authoritarian because:
- After 2 years of rulling, the bills were discussed by the main political parties, instead of the Bundesrat.
- It declined influence.
The Bundesrat was democratic because:
- They were voted in.
Reichstag and Parties
The Reichstag and parties was authoritarian because:
- They had great influence over the people.
- The SDP adopted an uncompromising Marxist programme to overthrow Wilhelm's system.
The Reichstag and parties were not authoritarian because:
- They are democratic.
- The Chancellor had minimal effect.
- They relied on right wing parties.
- The Kaiser's power was greater than theirs.
The Reichstag and Parties were democratic because:
- They could discuss, amend and pass or reject govt legislation.
- Had universal male suffrage.
- Parties were voted in by the people.
- Most walks of life were represented.
Development of interest groups
The development of interest groups were authoritarian because:
- 1890s: Professionally led interest groups became more powerful.
- Such as the economic lobby groups, e.g Agrarian League.
The development of interest groups were democratic because:
- Organisation, such as the Pan-German League, the Navy League and the Colonial Society improved political participation.
The Federal States were authoritarian because:
- 25 states retained control over many domestic matters which was imperial authority.
- The vote in Prussia however, gave disproportionate political weight to the rich.
The Federal states were democratic because:
- The functions of the Reich government expanded, such as the social insurance scheme which were theirs.
- The Landtag in Prussia, was elected by a 3 class suffrage system.
- They pursued a liberal policy.
The Army was authoritarian because:
- Bismarck fought hard to keep the military under political control.
- Civilian ministers were not consulted when the General Staff drew up its war plans.
- The army was aristocratically led.
- Officers were selected by regimental commanders.
- They had an oath of loyalty to the Kaiser, not the people.
The Army was democratic because:
- Civilians admired military virtues and had great faith in the army as an institution.
- Despite this, this isn't very democratic because the army had to fight for the Kaiser not the country itself. Admiration doesn't mean its democratic.