Reichstag rīkhs´täk [key] [Ger.,=imperial parliament], name for the diet of the Holy Roman Empire, for the lower chamber of the federal parliament of the North German Confederation, and for the lower chamber of the federal parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1945. Under the German Empire (1871–1918) the Reichstag, which represented the country at large, had little real power; it was mainly a deliberative body. Election was on the basis of universal manhood suffrage.
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