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Germany's Weltpolitik - Essay Example

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This was a more aggressive policy which resulted in conflict between Germany and foreign nations, being held to be significantly responsible for a series of Great Power diplomatic crises in the lead up to the First World War.
of whom had the vision or experience of Bismarck…
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Germanys Weltpolitik
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Download file to see previous pages directed against socialists! Caprivi's successor, Prince Hohenlohe (Chancellor 1894 -1900), was an elderly Bavarian aristocrat with a reputation for indecision and procrastination. Thus Hohenlohe became a figure-head and Blow, his foreign minister, exerted a powerful influence under him. In time Blow became Chancellor between 1900 - 1909. He was a manipulator and self-seeker who pandered to the emperor. He became unpopular with the Kaiser following the Daily Telegraph affair, and was replaced by Bethmann-Hollweg, who was Chancellor between 1909 - 17. He was a hard-working and well-meaning bureaucrat lacking experience in foreign affairs, and ignorant of military issues.
Caprivi's adopted a more conciliatory attitude to previously hostile forces within Germany, such as the Centre Party and the Social Democrats. In 1891 with the backing of the Reichstag, he introduced the prohibition on Sunday working and limitations on child labour. He also reformed Germany's tariff policy - in a series a bilateral agreements with Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia and others he negotiated a reduction of German tariffs on agricultural goods in return for reductions in foreign tariffs on German goods. However, this initiated a reaction. In 1893 the Agrarian League was formed; it grew to a million members and acted as powerful pressure group for the Conservatives.
earning the resentment of the army...
eries a bilateral agreements with Austria-Hungary, Italy, Russia and others he negotiated a reduction of German tariffs on agricultural goods in return for reductions in foreign tariffs on German goods. However, this initiated a reaction. In 1893 the Agrarian League was formed; it grew to a million members and acted as powerful pressure group for the Conservatives.
In 1892 - 3 Caprivi also reduced conscription from 3 to 2 years in the Army Bill; thus
earning the resentment of the army. In 1894 Wilhelm II pressed Caprivi to draw up an anti-socialist Subversion Bill; Caprivi refused. Although he did dissuade Wilhelm II from adopting an even more authoritarian approach, he resigned.


The aged Hohenlohe held the Chancellorship until 1900, but he was no match for court
and government intrigue. Policy was directed more by Blow, Tirpitz and Posadowsky-Wehner. In 1897 Admiral von Tirpitz was appointed navy secretary; Count Posadowsky-Wehner as interior minister; Blow as foreign secretary. A period of Weltpolitik was introduced - colonnial annexations, creation of economic spheres of influence, and expansion of the navy. The Kaiser wanted Germany to become a world power. There was a belief in social Darwinism and the unending struggle between nations.
The peasantry and Mittlestand had become radicalised; and many pressure groups formed
- especially, the Pan-German League, which was anti-Socialist, racist, anti-Semitic and
expansionist. In 1898 Tripitz initiated the creation of the Navy League, with financial
backing from key industrialists. Membership rose to 1 million. The Navy Bills of 1898
and 1900 were passed with substantial majorities.
There was renewed political struggle within Germany over the renewal of Caprivi's
commercial treaties - the compromise Tariff ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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