Bismarck harbored anti-Jewish sentiments or feelings. He discriminated and persecuted the Jews that lived in Germany because they were foreigners. From 1878 to 1890, he made sure that the Jews lost all their jobs. Bismarck passed a formal or official policy not to give employment to the Jews in Germany and this was a major weakness especially as Bismarck was trying to maintain a united German Empire.

Bismarck was too anti-Catholic and this is reflected in his relationship with the Catholic Church in Germany. In 1872, he passed the May Laws by which the state took over the role of the Catholic Church. For example, there was state inspection of the catholic schools, presiding over marriages and training as well as recruiting of the priests. This created enemity between Bismarck who was a protestant and the Catholics in Germany which undermined internal stability in the country.

Bismarck ignored nationalism in Germany. The newly created German Empire had many nationalities that had been conquered by Bismarck against their own will during the process of German uinfictaion. These included the French in Alsace and Lorraine, the Danes in Schleswig and Holstein as well as the Poles that lived in Prussia (East Germany). After 1871, Bismarck introduced the “Germanisation policy” by which these minorities were forcefully absorbed into the German Empire despite their desire for independence. Bismarck therefore persecuted the minorities which was a major weakness which undermined internal unity and stability.

Bismarck established constitutional dictatorship in Germany. In 1871, he established a new constitution for Germany and according to this constitution, Bismarck became the Chancellor while King William I of Prussia became the Head of state. As Chancellor of the German Empire from 1871 to 1890, Bismarck made sure that he had a lot of powers to influence the major decisions that affected Germany in the political, social and economic fields. The opposition was thus restricted in Germany.

Bismarck curtailed or restricted freedom of the press in Germany. For example, in 1878 he came up with the Exception Law by which all socialist newspapers and publications were banned. He also established state control ever the German press (newspapers) which he used to discredit his opponents especially the liberals. As a result, the Germans could not access information in detail because of Bismarck’s press censorship. This also undermined stability in Germany between 1871 and 1890.

He promoted the favouritism of Prussia in Germany. Prussia had championed the unification of Germany up to 1871. After the unification, Bismarck made sure that the Prussian interests were superior and above all the other German states. Even in the new German constitution of 1871, the Prussians dominated the two parliamentary assemblies that were set up. For example, out of the fifty eight (58) members of the Bundesrat, seventeen(17) were Prussians. Similarly, out of the four hundred (400) members of the Reichstag more than half were Prussians. Therefore, Prussia always made key decisions in the German parliament at the expense of the other German state. This Prussian dominance greatly annoyed the Germans from the other German states, thus a major weakness.

Bismarck also favored the Junkers or landowners. They controlled land which was one of the major factors of production. Bismarck made sure that they dominated the German Reichstag. These Junkers were conservative and opposed the socialists who advocated for the state control of land and fair distribution of wealth among all the Germans. Because of this favouritiism therefore, there was a poor relationship between Bismarck and the socialists in Germany which undermined internal stability.

Bismarck militarized the state or German empire. He was extra-ordinarily militant and therefore he advocated for the creation of a mighty German Empire on mainland Europe. As a result, Bismarck crated a very powerful army for Germany. This costed Germany financially as a lot of money was spent on modernizing the German army. This was a major weakness because it made Bismarck unable to finance other development programs in Germany between 1871 and 1890. 

Bismarck disagreed with Kaiser William II who was the appointing authority (Head of State). In 1888, Kaiser William II became the new Emperor of the German Empire. Unlike Kaiser William I who had been a great friend of Otto Von Bismarck since 1862, the new emperor was jealous of Bismarck’s frame and therefore the two disagreed on policy issues. For example, the new Emperor wanted Bismarck to drop his policy of persecuting the socialists but Bismarck declined. Consequently, Bismarck resigned in 1890 and he left a big vacuum in the political space of Germany that nobody could fill.


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