In 1895 his eightieth birthday was celebrated with great enthusiasm: the Reichstag alone, owing to the opposition of the Clericals and the Socialists, refused to vote an address.
Law was laid before the Reichstag codifying the administrative rules.
Similarly, the dissolution of the German Reichstag in December 1906 was a weapon directed against Ultramontanism; and, though the elections of 1907 failed to diminish the numbers of the Centre, they rendered possible the formation of a majority, in face of which that system forfeited the influence it had previously possessed.
Both the Bundesrat and the Reichstag meet in annual sessions convoked by tile emperor who has the right of proroguing and dissolving the Diet; but the prorogation must not exceed 60 days, and in case of dissolution new elections must be ordered within 60 days, and the new session opened within 90 days.
The impulsive character of the emperor, which led him, with the best intentions and often with excellent effect, to interfere everywhere and in everything and to utter opinions often highly inconvenient to his ministers, was the subject of an interpellation in the Reichstag on the 20th of January 1903 by the Socialist Herr von Vollmar, himself a Bavarian.
In the Reichstag he became the leader of the Opposition, and a vigorous antagonist to Bismarck.
Elected to the Reichstag of 1840, he was in 1848 appointed to a financial post in the Hungarian government, and was transferred in like capacity to Vienna under Esterhazy.
This startling victory of the Social Democracy, though to a certain extent discounted by the dissensions between the two wings of the party which were revealed at the congress at Dresden in the same year, was in the highest degree disconcerting to the government; but in the actual manipulation of the Reichstag it facilitated the work of the chancellor by enabling him to unite the other groups more readily against the common enemy.
In 1866 he received 60,000 as his share of the donation voted by the Reichstag for the victorious generals.
In the long and acrimonious debates that followed in the Reichstag itself the strange spectacle was presented of the chancellor fighting a coalition of the Conservatives and the Catholic Centre with the aid of the Socialists and Liberals.