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Parliamentarization

(630 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Parliamentarization From 1871 the German Reich was a constitutional monarchy. The Kaiser appointed and dismissed the chancellor, who was the only member of the imperial government responsible to the Reichstag (the lower house of parliament), and without whose agreement the Kaiser could not take political action. The chancellor could not rule for long against a majority of the Reichstag, since the Reichstag had the right to adopt the budget. Even before 1914, constitutional reality had changed in …

Trade Unions

(1,014 words)

Author(s): Mai, Günther
Trade Unions In the German Empire in 1914 there were trade unions with social democratic (also called “free”), Christian Catholic, and liberal tendencies, divided according to occupations, and having respectively 2.53, 0.35 and 0.11 million members. These numbers sank rapidly in mid-August 1914 because wage strikes were forbidden, many workers were called up for military service, and unemployment dropped. By 1916 the number of members in the free trade unions had fallen to under a million, and tho…

Interparty Committee of the Reichstag

(518 words)

Author(s): Mai, Gunther
Interparty Committee of the Reichstag A coalition committee formed by the political fractions of the Reichstag’s majority and uniting the German Central Party, the Progressive People’s Party, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and temporally also the National Liberal Party. The Interparty Committee of the Reichstag became an informal yet politically influential power factor that was acknowledged as such by the government. It was constituted on July 6, 1917, in the midst of the controve…

Auxiliary Service Bill

(1,121 words)

Author(s): Mai, Gunther
Auxiliary Service Bill The Gesetz über den Vaterländischen Hilfsdienst, of December 5, 1916, imposed an obligation to work on all male Germans aged between 17 and 60 engaged in reserved occupations; the sectors affected included agriculture, health services, and public authorities. Originally demanded by the Operations Branch of the Supreme Army Command as an extension of conscription, the law was to provide for the employment of workers – including women – in armaments production (Hindenburg Program). As the Supreme Army Command did n…