The Hertling cabinet was the first cabinet of the German Empire that came about after consulting with the majority parties in the Reichstag. The Social Democrats did not join the cabinet, not wanting to render the process of forming a government even more difficult.
Hertling belonged to the right wing of the Catholic Centre Party, and was against a parliamentarisation of the German Empire. The left wing around Matthias Erzberger took the opposite view, and the broad centre of the party wanted to take into account the views of the right wing, but also took note of the wishes of Catholic workers for democratisation. The centre did not want to put obstacles in the way of parliamentarisation, but did not take active steps to prevent a split in the party. Hertling's chancellorship meant that the Centre and the left Liberals took account of the conservative elements. The latter could thus get used to a parliamentary way of governing.
25 October 1917 to 4 October 1918
|Reich Chancellor||Georg von Hertling||Centre|
|Vice-Chancellor||Karl Helfferich to 9 November 1917
Friedrich von Payer
|Foreign Office||Richard von Kühlmann to 9 July 1918
Paul von Hintze
|Interior||Max Wallraf||independent Conservative|
|Justice||Paul von Krause||independent National Liberal|
|Navy||Admiral Eduard von Capelle||independent|
|Economy||Rudolf Schwander to 20 November 1917
Hans Karl Freiherr von Stein zu Nord- und Ostheim
|Food Supply||Wilhelm von Waldow||independent Conservative|
|Treasury||Siegfried Graf von Roedern||independent|
|Colonies||Wilhelm Solf||independent Liberal|
- Regenten und Regierungen der Welt, Vols 2,3. Neueste Zeit: 1492–1917, ed. by B. Spuler; 2. edition, Würzburg, Ploetz, 1962.
- Manfred Rauh: Die Parlamentarisierung des Deutschen Reiches, Droste Verlag: Düsseldorf 1977, p. 383, 384 and 386.