1878-1890 Anti-Socialist Laws
1889 The Ruhr Miners' Strike
Sozialistengesetze / Bergarbeiterstreik an der Ruhr 1889
Rapid structural change as a consequence of industrialisation meant that the "social issue" prevalent since the mid-19th century was becoming increasingly urgent. The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany founded in 1875 forcefully represented the concerns of the continuously increasing working-class in the Reichstag. This was seen as a threat to the existing system of government and structure of society. The measures of state suppression reached their highpoint with e.g. legislation introduced by Bismarck "against the efforts of social democracy constituting a public danger" from 21 October 1878. Despite diverse repressions, social democracy cannot be politically eliminated. An example of the growing confidence of the working class is the Ruhr Miners' Strike of 1889. 70,000 workers strike for more pay and the introduction of an eight-hour day among other aims. The partly violent protests end in June 1889 with the acceptance of many of these demands by employers.