The Political Establishment in Germany Succeeded in Maintaining
The political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through a policy of moderate reform. How far do you agree? The junkers succeeded in keeping the existing political system the same through moderate reform, to what extent? When assessing whether maintaining the status quo in Germany was down to the effective use of moderate reform, we should also assess the effects of force maintaining status quo. Some would argue that it was indeed the use of moderate reform using Bulow’s reforms such as the tariff law and sickness insurance.
However others would argue that it was the use of force, using ideas such as the Herero uprising. Some people may also use the policy introduced the Bulow called the Flottenpolitik. Furthermore; we should consider the economical and social factors which could have influenced this. The view that the policy of moderate reform succeeded in maintaining the political status quo; could be argued against by the fact that; Bulow’s strengths and interests lay firstly in foreign powers but he also implemented some reforms such as the tariff law in December 1902.
This restored a higher duty on imported agricultural products which had a knock on effect on food prices which ended up rising. This helped maintain status quo because this would have made the public angrier henceforth could have made people rebel against the Junkers. Adding to this point; others could argue against moderate reform being the main cause of maintaining status quo on the basis that it was down to the use of force.
To do this they could refer to the Herero uprising this makes clear the weaknesses of moderate reform maintaining status quo by showing one way that it led to the complete opposite; a rebellion. This uprising and how it was dealt with shows the strength and the forces and led to some members of the more conservative element of leadership of the centre part being cautious about challenging Bulow’s government. This helped maintain status quo.
On the other hand; Bulow created sickness insurance in April 1903 which gave ill workers longer and more generous help. This helped maintain status quo because this gave some people more reform which made people a little more happy which lowered the risk of them rebelling against the Junkers. Bethmann was Bulow’s successor as chancellor. He created reforms such as the imperial insurance 1911; this consolidated all previous workers’ insurance. This meant that some workers were now insured against sickness, old age and death.
This also helped maintain status quo through moderate reform. Law such as the Sammlungpolitik also helped to maintain status quo; this law had the aim of trying to init people for the right wing leadership and take support away from the socialists. This was introduced by Bulow and he created a strategy called weltpolitik to achieve this take over the world using an army to unit people under the right wing leadership and against the socialists which would help maintain the same political system and status quo.
On the contrary to the above point others could argue that social or economical factors could have influenced this; for example workers wages were increasing (this made them the most urbanised state in Europe). This led to maintaining status quo because of something called the knife and fork question, this status that states that during periods of economical depression support for groups such as the socialists increase. This would be dangerous for the Junkers as they are left wing and conservatives (Junkers) are right wing.
To conclude, the idea that the political establishment in Germany succeeded in maintaining the political status quo through a moderate policy of reforms can be supported using facts like how some of the reforms put forward by Bulow were successful at maintaining the same system and keeping people happy. However it can be argued against using facts like how some of the reforms put forward by Bulow and Bethmann were not successful and could be argued they did the opposite.
When weighing these facts up its important to asses each of their impacts they made for example the unsuccessful reforms could be seen as having a bad impact of making the workers n happy with the system and lead to people rebelling this can be shown through the Herero uprising. The judgement I have reached is that. It wasn’t only down to moderate reform because other factors like force and also helped maintain status quo, due to the fact these factors could be seen as taking support away from the socialists which were the right wing leader’s main rival, therefore helping maintain the status quo.