Closer scrutiny nevertheless reveals a more complex picture. For all the proliferation of parliaments and widening of suffrage, most European countries in the years immediately before the First World War were still some way from being fully developed democracies and many could not yet claim to possess genuinely representative or responsible government. For example, in the German Empire, founded in 1871, while the (all-male) suffrage was broad and elections more or less honestly run, governments were answerable to the emperor rather than to the national parliament, the Reichstag, and through it the electorate. Much the same was true in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In Italy, a self-consciously ‘liberal’ state, any thing approaching universal male suffrage arrived only in 1912. As Italy entered the war in 1915 it was still unclear whether the country would be able to negotiate a difficult political transition, namely from the ‘oligarchic’ liberal system introduced following Unification in 1861 to a modern, mass democracy. Spain possessed universal male suffrage from 1890, but elec tions were manipulated by the ministry of the interior and political bosses known as caciques - practices which, naturally with important national and local variations, operated throughout southern and southeastern Europe: in Italy, Portugal, Greece, Romania and the other young Balkan nations. Women were still disenfranchised throughout the whole of Europe except, after 1906, in Norway and Finland, the latter an autonomous part of the Russian Empire. Generalizing, one might suggest that much of Europe in the years before 1914 remained under the political control of elites - part aristocratic, part wealthy bourgeois - who accepted parliamentary liberalism because they could control it, while still resisting outright democracy for fear that that control would be lost.