From Deutsche Welle by Ralf Bosen:
The Bundestag today is the calling card of German democracy. Housed in Berlin’s Reichstag building, topped with a glass dome symbolizing political transparency, 709 elected members decide on laws and, amongst other things, the foreign deployments of the German military. They elect the German chancellor, keep tabs on the government’s work and publicly debate the right political path. This is everyday democratic life today.
When the Reichstag met for its first session in Berlin on March 21, 1871, it was hard to imagine a representative body with such far-reaching powers. Power was primarily held in the hands of two men: Emperor Wilhelm I, also King of Prussia, and the Reich Chancellor he appointed, Otto von Bismarck.
Wilhelm became emperor with the founding of the German Empire on January 18, 1871. As Reich Chancellor, Bismarck directed the political affairs of the first German nation-state, which had emerged from a confederation of states under Prussian leadership.
Read the full article here.