The Reichstags-gebaude, Berlin, Germany

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
In this building the Congress of the German Empire meets. This Congress, in form, is much like our own. It consists of 2 houses. The upper house is called the Bundesrath (bn´ ds rät´). This consists of 61 members. The members of the Bundesrath represent the different states of the Empire. They are appointed from the nobility and are not responsible to the people for their appointments or their acts. The Bundesrath is the real law-making body of the government. The Reichstag (rks´ täk´) is composed of 367 members elected for terms of 5 years. But these elections are very different from ours. Only certain men are allowed to vote, and some men can cast many votes. The Reichstag has no real law-making power. It can advise, but the Emperor and the Bundesrath can do as they please in all matters of legislation. To understand the workings of the German Government you must know that the Empire is made up of 4 kingdoms, 6 grand duchies, 5 duchies, 7 principalities, 3 free towns, and the Reichsland (rks´ länt´) of Alsace-Lorraine (l-säs´-l´ rn´). Of these the kingdom of Prussia is by far the most powerful. The Congress meets every year. The meeting is called by the Emperor, who also has the right to dissolve the lower house if this is sanctioned by the upper house. But if this is done, a new election must take place within 2 months, and a new session must open within 3 months. It is seen from this that while the government of Germany is usually classed as a limited monarchy (mn´ år-k) it is so only in form. It is really a government by the over-lords with the Kaiser at the head. Keystone ID: 6131 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.