- Caprivi's 'new course' policy:
- Sunday work was forbidden.
- Employment aged under 13 years old was forbidden.
- Women had an 11 hour working day. Industrial courts were set up to arbitrate disputes.
- Caprivi negotiated a series of Commercial treaties with Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia and a number of smaller states. These agreements led to reduction in German tariffs on agricultural goods in return for favourable reductions in the tariffs imposed on exported German manufactured goods.
- Growing oppositions- Court conservatives- Wilhelm II backed Caprivi's social policy in the benefit that the improvements would dicourage people from supporting the socialists. Wilhelm's support began to wane and manyof his advisers at court disagreed with Caprivi's 'socialist' policiess. Some encouraged the Kaiser to ditch him and to assume more authortitarian 'personal rule'.
- Landowners- they were deeply upset by the commercial treaties since they threatened to reduce their profits. In 1893 the Agrarian League was formed to put pressure on parliament and to win support and priviledges for landowners. It quickly grew into an effective and well-organised lobby of a third of a million members that acted as a pressure group on behalf of the Conservative party.
- Military- in 1893- resenmen in military when Caprivi made concessions over the Army Bill in the Reichstag by reducing the length of conscription for national service from three years to two. The army Bill was rejected which resulted in the Reichstag being dissolved and following election brought things to a head.
- Those who opposed Caprivi reflected the Kaiser's own doubts in whether he was suitable to continue to be Chancellor.
- Wilhelm pressed Caprivi to draw an Anti-socialist Subversion Bill- he refused which led to a plan being formed by Wilhelm and Eulenburg to set aside their powers if the Reichstag, crush socialism and establish a more authoritarian system which was centred on Kaiser himself. He successfully talked Kaiser out of such action and he lost the will to carry on so in 1894 he resigned from the political scene.
- Hohenlohe-1894-1900 a group of political figures emerged who sympathised with the Kaiser's wish to embark on what he saw as 'personal rule'.
- German Navy- Weltpolitik succeeded where Caprivi's 'new course' run into difficultues to acheive a greater acceptance from various political parties.
- This policy even won the support of many of the ordinary people by playing on their feeling of patriotism and loyalty to the crown.
- Hohenlohe was anti-socialist and tried to push through the Anti-Subversion Bill.
- In 1894 the Subversion Bill and the 1899 Anti-union Bill neither were passed as the Conservatives had a majority- representatives fell by 21% by 1898.
- SPD and Centre ad enough…