The capacity of naval enthusiasm to rally the parties in the Reichstag was demonstrated when on a crucial division the first navy law was approved by 212 against 139 votes, with the Conservatives, the National Liberals, the small Freisinnige Vereinigung and a majority of the Centre voting for it, with SPD, Richter’s Progressives and 30 Centre deputies against, in the the house elected in 1893. The second navy law of 1900 was passed by 201 to 103 in the House elected in 1898 and on that occasion there was virtually no opposition from the Centre. The first law provided for the building over six years of two squadrons, each of eight ships of the line, and this was doubled two years later, with an additional fleet of eight large and twenty-four small cruisers. There were further laws in 1906, 1908 and 1912, to keep pace with the British dreadnought programme. The Reichstag was thus tied to a long and expensive programme of naval building. The financial problems of the Reich, which Bismarck had never been able to solve, were further aggravated. This meant that in the longer run the Reichstag was more indispensable than ever, unless its powers were curtailed by a coup d’état. For the time being there was less talk of this and Bülow did not see a Staatsstreich as a realistic option.