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  • Kimi
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    thanks again.

    So, where did the funds for the military budget come from? What revenues were taxed for that?
    The Reich has had very few rights to tax. All tariffs on foreign goods, taxes on beer and brandy were the main ones, no direct taxation. There were other ones but things like plates for cars where not often needed in that time and didnt cash in much. The Reich was supposed to give all surplus to the constituent states but that only happend in the first few years when the economy boomed and the army was still propped u by the war against france. Later the constituent states had to prop up the reich with extra payments (Matrikularbeitrag) because they had the rights to tax everything the reich was not granted to tax (basically the constitution said that the if in doubt rule for the states)

    An aditional problem was that the Reich had the ability to tax beer and brandy but not in bavaria, würtemberg and baden (basically southern germany) but it was written in the constitution that the reich and the states should endeavour to keep one and the same tax level, so the reich was not totally free in this.

    Also, in case of the Matrikularbeiträge, the princes had a major say through the Bundesrat and they were not willing to propp up the reich with their taxs. Even when the Kaiser wanted to build his fleet, one "King of Prussia" was unwilling to give much more Matrikularbeiträge....

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    thanks again.

    So, where did the funds for the military budget come from? What revenues were taxed for that?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kimi
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    What were the differences in the Kaisers and Reichstag's role in forigen policy?

    Did the Reichstag have the same control over the naval budget?

    danke
    The Reichstag had nothing to say about the foreign policy. This was the Kaisers strong point. He was not able to do it all alone though. Here the Bundesrat, the representation of the souvereign entity that created the german Reich had its say, it had to rattify everything, including the declaration of war unless war was declared to the Reich by foreign powers of course.
    The souvereign of the Reich were neither the german people nor the german Kaiser, it was the german princes and here the King of Prussia was only one amongst many. As the Kaiser he was able to dictate foreign policy but the Bundesrat had to acknowledge that policy and the King of Prussia had 17 votes of the 58 votes the Bundesrat was made up from. 14 votes were needed to veto something.

    The constituent states were granted the capacity to send diplomats to foreign nations and recieve diplomats from foreign nations. They also were able to sign international treaties if they were able to fulfill these treaties inside the borders that the Constitution of the Reich allowed them to.

    The reason why it was so relatively liberal to the constituent states governments was because Bismark - as said - was prussian before he was german. He didnt like the idea that germany would tie down prussia and thus prussia had always a veto right (bavaria as the second most powerfull stateof the reich had 6 of the needed 14 votes to veto, while prussia had as said 17) and was able to send diplomatic missions to other nations and recieve them. Bismarck was only let down by the prussian people and the later Kings that embraced germany and were willing to sacrifice prussia for it. Bismarck seemed to not have fully understand that "Germany" speaks to the soul of germans while "prussia" - in that time - only spoke to the reason of the people. Prussia was duty and pride in that duty. Germany was a dream and a romantically loaded idea of power and knightly virtues that didnt necessarily had something to do with reason or logic and hence swept away prussia very fast.

    Btw, thats also why Prussia will never rise again on its own. The only thing I could see that would make prussia return is if germany is defeated in a war, ripped appart by the victors and prussia is created at gun point afterwards. Every other "prussia" would only be a prussia in name (like the joining of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg)

    ah, fogot the naval budget. Yes, the Reichstag had control over all military spending by the Reich and there was no "bavarian" navy. Roughly 80% of the Budget of the Reich was made up by the military budget. Thats because all the administration and so on was mainly in the budgets of the constituent states over which the reichstag had no control but only the parliaments of the constituent states. The military budget was voted upon in 7 year periods (called "Septennat" from septem and annus)
    Last edited by Kimi; 27 Feb 10, 09:09.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by Kimi View Post
    .....
    It was somewhere in between considering that Prussia had no army budget any more (the prussian army budget was defined by the Reichstag, not the Preußischer Landtag) while bavaria had an army budget. ....

    ....So as Kaiser Frederick I would have precious little say in domestic matters. He would have something to say as King of Prussia, but only for Prussia. ....
    What were the differences in the Kaisers and Reichstag's role in forigen policy?

    Did the Reichstag have the same control over the naval budget?

    danke

    Leave a comment:


  • Kimi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    I'm not sure I have any examples other than what was put forward in the OT -

    The office of chancellor is replaced with a British style cabinet, albeit with a much stronger kaiser then British reigning monarchs.
    As for your other points, thanks.
    Ah, ok. That I see as impossible, and heres why: The Kaiser was very much unlike the british king. He was weaker and stronger at the same time.

    The Kaiser was also the King of Prussia and prussia also has had a parliament. This is an often overlooked fact even though prussia was the biggest constituent state of the Reich so one would assume that this parliament had a major impact considering that the Reich was a federation or confederacy depending on what to strech more.
    It was somewhere in between considering that Prussia had no army budget any more (the prussian army budget was defined by the Reichstag, not the Preußischer Landtag) while bavaria had an army budget. Even though people back then would say they "go to the prussians" for their conscription time just as people now say they "go to the Federation" for their conscritption time.

    So as Kaiser Frederick I would have precious little say in domestic matters. He would have something to say as King of Prussia, but only for Prussia. He can not simply create a british style Reichstag because that would violate the rights of the constituent states creating a unitary germany which was actually propsed by the prussian Landtag after WWI and rejected by every other state.
    This was because prussia was not a nation state, there were Brandenburgs, Hannoverans, Poles, Silesians, East prussians, West prussians (the two were distinctly different due to their history) and a lot of refuges like the french Hugenots and Salzburgers. In Bavaria there were only Bavarians. One german tribe, no others. Thats why in prussia you'd never get an anthem like the bavarian one "In unity with germanys (other) brother-tribes" because prussia was not founded on a tribe of people. This is the reason that the prussians were so very fast to shed their "prussianess" and assume a germaness. Actually there was a pole who said that the german reich was so bad for polish prussians because the polish minority was able and often willing to become prussian, but they could never become germans.
    So while prussians would be ok with colapsing the preußischer Landtag and only having a Reichstag, the other german tribes - or constituent states - were not.

    Thats basically why no amount of britishness in the german Kaiser would get germany to assume the british style unitary system, he was unable to do so within the constitution and unable to do so against the wishes of all germans (except the prussians). This is an issue above nobles vs commoners or left vs right, its about nationality and pride. The prussians were by the way willing to give up their prussian state and be dissolved into a german reich but they were unwilling to dissolve their prussian state only to create 4 or 5 sub-states like Brandenburg, hannover, east prussia etc. That was against their pride as prussians, they'd only do it for becoming germans but not for becoming mere brandenburg citizens.
    Last edited by Kimi; 27 Feb 10, 08:06.

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Kimi View Post
    Hmm... I'm not sure what you're aiming at. Can you give some examples that you'd like to see ratified in germany?

    As for the different classes, it really depends on what time we're talking about. Before the Gründerjahrekrise the liberals had the absolute majority in the Reichstag... But the whole question of the OP is rather foggy. "would that have changed european history?" .. well, obviously it would. would it have prevented the war? I'm not sure. First, the war was not only germanys fault so a change in only germany would not necessarily prevent a war.
    Secondly, the war was not unpopular with the german people. There are many reasons why (feeling that the reich didnt get the respect it deserved, millions of germans outside the reich, feeling that france wanted to force the germans in elsac-lorraine back into submission, jealosy of the british and french colonial empires, etc) but the first world war, unlike the second one, was really a war that was popular in the beginning for a mostly free people. Germany had the strongest domestic economy in the world at the time, was differently to britain, france and austria-hungary mainly made up from germans without a vast number of colonial subjects or a sizable nationality not german within its borders. And it had a free press that was not above poking fun of the kaiser and the government. Still the population was for the war. They didnt demand the war, but they also did not demand that germany should stand back. So if more british liberality would have changed that? It certainly didnt stopped the british from doing their wars.
    I'm not sure I have any examples other than what was put forward in the OT -

    The office of chancellor is replaced with a British style cabinet, albeit with a much stronger kaiser then British reigning monarchs.
    As for your other points, thanks.

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  • Kimi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    Kimi, thanks for your insights. I'm relatively aware of who the actual "movers and shakers" were under WilliamII in the late 19th Century (for example Caprivi, Hohenloe, Holstein, Bulow, Waldersee and Tirpitz). Was there a group of "liberals" (in the British sense) among the contemporaries of these men that might have been acceptable to FIII, assuming he were more "liberal" (in the British sense). Or was the class as a whole too reactionary, in which case FIII would have been forced to pull from the Reichstag or the business "class"?
    Hmm... I'm not sure what you're aiming at. Can you give some examples that you'd like to see ratified in germany?

    As for the different classes, it really depends on what time we're talking about. Before the Gründerjahrekrise the liberals had the absolute majority in the Reichstag... But the whole question of the OP is rather foggy. "would that have changed european history?" .. well, obviously it would. would it have prevented the war? I'm not sure. First, the war was not only germanys fault so a change in only germany would not necessarily prevent a war.
    Secondly, the war was not unpopular with the german people. There are many reasons why (feeling that the reich didnt get the respect it deserved, millions of germans outside the reich, feeling that france wanted to force the germans in elsac-lorraine back into submission, jealosy of the british and french colonial empires, etc) but the first world war, unlike the second one, was really a war that was popular in the beginning for a mostly free people. Germany had the strongest domestic economy in the world at the time, was differently to britain, france and austria-hungary mainly made up from germans without a vast number of colonial subjects or a sizable nationality not german within its borders. And it had a free press that was not above poking fun of the kaiser and the government. Still the population was for the war. They didnt demand the war, but they also did not demand that germany should stand back. So if more british liberality would have changed that? It certainly didnt stopped the british from doing their wars.

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Tuor View Post
    Yup. Of course, I guess that would make Willy III
    Sonny. I'm sure more then one pre-World War I
    European diplomat commented "You can't do
    business with that hothead." (Unlike the guy
    in Miami)
    Following that logic, you'd have give Gavrilo Princip the role of Willie Cicci.

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  • Tuor
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis
    Fredo? As in Corleone?
    Yup. Of course, I guess that would make Willy III
    Sonny. I'm sure more then one pre-World War I
    European diplomat commented "You can't do
    business with that hothead." (Unlike the guy
    in Miami)

    Leave a comment:


  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Kimi View Post
    You're looking at the problem from an american angle. The british have accepted the idea that a noble can very well be a good leader. But they seem to give that acknowledgement only to their own nobles.

    The german nobles were certainly reactionary but only to a certain degree. Take a man like Bismark who did not even like germany. He loved prussia and only courted german nationalism because he knew that if he didnt austria would win. The King asked him once "are you no also to some degree a german?!" when Bismark was talking about austria and the likely war. He did not really care about the fact that he went to war with "fellow germans" because he felt prussian.

    Still he reunited germany. Because he knew that nationalism was too strong an idea to resist. He gave us social healthcare and a pension system because he knew that only doing this would allow monarchy to go on without rebellions. What germany needed was not english liberals, it needed german liberals. As Bismarck once said "In Prussia only the King makes revolutions."

    Our liberties were always demanded from below, the people threatened and sometimes even revolted and the King and Nobles would eventually give in. But the liberties were always "granted" from above. Thats pretty much a constant in german history.

    I recommend you read something about the "romanticist on the throne" Frederick William IV who was the King in the time of the revolts in 1848/49. He deeply believed that he was king due to gods will but he was also a very gentle man who tried to resolve conflicts by going towards his enemies. (Actually if not for Russia and Austria he'd nearly created a germany without Bavaria, Würtemberg and Austria back then.)
    Thanks again for your insight. I will look to do so after I get through all the other books people have already told me I need to read.

    And you're right. I do tend to look at things from an American angle. I guess its because I've lived here all my life and haven't travelled enough.

    Am I reading you correctly to say that further "liberalization," (the point raised by the thread - whatever it means), if demanded by the Emperor, would have been aceded to and implemented by the same very people (Caprivi, Hohenloe, etc.) who served WilliamII?

    Or was your point that the British have understood that nobels could be good leaders intended to suggest that it would have been a different group of nobels who implemented this "liberalization?"

    Or am I just missing your point entirely.
    Thanks
    Last edited by The Ibis; 25 Feb 10, 16:04.

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  • Kimi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
    Kimi, thanks for your insights. I'm relatively aware of who the actual "movers and shakers" were under WilliamII in the late 19th Century (for example Caprivi, Hohenloe, Holstein, Bulow, Waldersee and Tirpitz). Was there a group of "liberals" (in the British sense) among the contemporaries of these men that might have been acceptable to FIII, assuming he were more "liberal" (in the British sense). Or was the class as a whole too reactionary, in which case FIII would have been forced to pull from the Reichstag or the business "class"?
    You're looking at the problem from an american angle. The british have accepted the idea that a noble can very well be a good leader. But they seem to give that acknowledgement only to their own nobles.

    The german nobles were certainly reactionary but only to a certain degree. Take a man like Bismark who did not even like germany. He loved prussia and only courted german nationalism because he knew that if he didnt austria would win. The King asked him once "are you no also to some degree a german?!" when Bismark was talking about austria and the likely war. He did not really care about the fact that he went to war with "fellow germans" because he felt prussian.

    Still he reunited germany. Because he knew that nationalism was too strong an idea to resist. He gave us social healthcare and a pension system because he knew that only doing this would allow monarchy to go on without rebellions. What germany needed was not english liberals, it needed german liberals. As Bismarck once said "In Prussia only the King makes revolutions."

    Our liberties were always demanded from below, the people threatened and sometimes even revolted and the King and Nobles would eventually give in. But the liberties were always "granted" from above. Thats pretty much a constant in german history.

    I recommend you read something about the "romanticist on the throne" Frederick William IV who was the King in the time of the revolts in 1848/49. He deeply believed that he was king due to gods will but he was also a very gentle man who tried to resolve conflicts by going towards his enemies. (Actually if not for Russia and Austria he'd nearly created a germany without Bavaria, Würtemberg and Austria back then.)

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Tuor View Post
    Even if Frederick III turned out to be a Fredo in
    failing to convert Germany to a British-style polity, just
    damping down the naval arms race would go far
    in easing increasing British concerns with Germany's
    increasing military and political clout. One can envisage
    Young Winston evoking his ancestor's military
    exploits with Hapsburg Prince Eugene (perhaps
    arranging a diplomatic British/Teutonic tet-a-tet at Blenheim)?
    Fredo? As in Corleone?

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Kimi, thanks for your insights. I'm relatively aware of who the actual "movers and shakers" were under WilliamII in the late 19th Century (for example Caprivi, Hohenloe, Holstein, Bulow, Waldersee and Tirpitz). Was there a group of "liberals" (in the British sense) among the contemporaries of these men that might have been acceptable to FIII, assuming he were more "liberal" (in the British sense). Or was the class as a whole too reactionary, in which case FIII would have been forced to pull from the Reichstag or the business "class"?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kimi
    replied
    As Ibis rightly said germany was very liberal in certain areas. Its a bit rooted in prussian liberalism. To bring two examples from the time of Frederick the Great:

    There was a cuirassier that ... liked his horse a bit too much. In a time when that would have meant absolutely everywhere sure death and torture the king had the judgement:

    Man sende das Schwein zur Infantrie.

    Send the pig to the Infantry.
    Also, theres a saying "The prussians dont shoot that fast" (So schnell schießen die Preußen nicht) which obviously does not mean their fine battle performance but the fact that prussia did beat its soldiers near dead often (as other countries did then) but it nearly never actually killed them. They were taken care of and reintegrated into the ranks.

    This kind of liberalism was because of the prussian virtue of Frugality and the fact that prussia indeed was a state very keen on its military (had to be in that position). The thought was not that the death was too brutal but that it was a waste of perfectly good meat grinder material.

    The other kind of liberalism in prussia was the right wing kind of liberalism. The state did simply not care. As long as you did your duty to prussia/germany and did nothing that was contrary to national interest the state could not care less about you. Abortion would be unthinkable in prussia. The state needs workers and soldiers. The problem of ethics, is it ok to kill unbrn life, when does life start etc.... that would have been of no interest at all to prussia.

    Prussia was after France and Austria the third state to abolish the death penalty on sodomy. Even when the German Reich in 1871 reafirmed that sodomy was indeed a crime the formulation was that it was not a crime because of logical reasons or health reasons but only because the people demanded it to be a crime. The national interest was absolutely unaffected by it and only that the people of that time (not only in germany) thought of it as a crime made it a crime, the government could not care less about it.

    I think it would have been difficult because Empress Victoria was actually educated in Britain for her future task of making germany "more liberal". However she was not educated in germany or even the german language. There is a tremendous arrogance in the whole thing that "liberalism" means "english". The idea that prussia actually was pretty liberal, that germans might be different to the english, that germany was a federation where the Kaiser had pretty few to decide in domestic matters outside of the country of prussia... That seems to have been missed entirely by the British.
    But then, they were the most powerful country in the world at that time so I guess its at least understandable.

    As for Kaiser Frederick himself... He would have fired Bismark. Bismark was rather popular with the people but Wilhelm I didnt really like him and Frederick I would not have liked him either. Prussian Kings always ruled by themselfes. yes, they listened to advice and took into account the wishes of their subjects but the ultimate decision was made by the Kings and only them. Bismark was the only exception from that rule and the constant fights he had with his King - whom he from all his heart accepted as his King - nearly drove him into suicide.

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  • The Ibis
    replied
    Originally posted by Wolery View Post
    Anyway, I am wondering what powers the Junkers still had at Freddie's ascension that could be taken from them? Land reform could be one thing: Germany had most people living in the rural ares until quite a bit after WWI. But I doubt a classical liberal would force the Junkers to sell.
    Ever notice the "von" in the name of almost every important German military and political figure up until 1918? Minimize the influence of the Junker class and surely that would have changed. Many of the Junkers weren't wealthy landholders and their access to political and military status (and to high society - army officers were the "belles of the ball" so to speak) was determined a great deal by their class. Liberalization would mean greater competition for this access, which the Junkers might not want to give up without a fight.

    On the other hand, it "merely" took alot of arm twisting along with a threat that the King would create something like 500 additional peers to convince the House of Lords to vote for the 1911 Parliament Act. So maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal after all?

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