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|Split from||National Liberal Party|
|Merged into||German Free-minded Party|
|Ideology|| Liberalism |
The Liberal Union (German : Liberale Vereinigung) was a short-lived liberal party in the German Empire. It originated in 1880 as a break-away from the National Liberal Party and is therefore also called Secession and merged with the left liberal German Progress Party to form the German Free-minded Party (German : Deutsche Freisinnige Partei, DFP) in 1884.
German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.
This article aims to give a historical outline of liberalism in Germany. The liberal parties dealt with in the timeline below are, largely, those which received sufficient support at one time or another to have been represented in parliament. Not all parties so included, however, necessarily labeled themselves "liberal". The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme.
A political party is an organized group of people who have the same ideology, or who otherwise have the same political positions, and who field candidates for elections, in an attempt to get them elected and thereby implement the party's agenda.
The leftist faction of the National Liberal Party expressed discontent with the party leadership's support for Otto von Bismarck's conservative government.Most importantly, they supported free trade whereas National Liberal leaders Rudolf von Bennigsen and Johann von Miquel sustained Bismarck's prohibitive tariffs strategy (Schutzzollpolitik). Other contentious points included the Anti-Socialist Laws (Sozialistengesetze), the Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church and the septennial military budget (Septennat).
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890. In 1862, King Wilhelm I appointed him as Minister President of Prussia, a position he would hold until 1890, with the exception of a short break in 1873. He provoked three short, decisive wars against Denmark, Austria, and France. Following the victory against Austria, he abolished the supranational German Confederation and instead formed the North German Confederation as the first German national state in 1867, leading it as Federal Chancellor. This aligned the smaller North German states behind Prussia. Later receiving the support of the independent South German states in the Confederation's defeat of France, he formed the German Empire in 1871, unifying Germany with himself as Imperial Chancellor, while retaining control of Prussia at the same time. The new German nation excluded Austria, which had been Prussia's main opponent for predominance among the German states.
Conservatism in Germany has encompassed a wide range of theories and ideologies in the last three hundred years, but most historical conservative theories supported the monarchical/hierarchical political structure.
Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports; it can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties generally support protectionism, the opposite of free trade.
Eduard Lasker led the Secession.Other notable members included Ludwig Bamberger, Berlin's mayor Max von Forckenbeck, historian and future Nobel laureate Theodor Mommsen, Friedrich Kapp, Theodor Barth, Heinrich Edwin Rickert and Georg von Siemens. The Liberal Union was a notables' party ( Honoratiorenpartei ), having its electorate mainly amongst the North and East German upper classes, wholesale merchants and intellectuals. The organisational structure was rather loose. Nevertheless, the new grouping was initially successful, gaining 46 seats of the Reichstag in the 1881 federal election—as many as the preceding National liberals.
Eduard Lasker was a German politician and jurist. Inspired by the French Revolution, he became a spokesman for liberalism and the leader of the left wing of the National Liberal party, which represented middle-class professionals and intellectuals. He promoted the unification of Germany during the 1860s and played a major role in codification of the German legal code. Lasker at first compromised with Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who later strenuously opposed Lasker regarding freedom of the press. In 1881, Lasker left the National Liberal party and helped form the new German Free Thought Party.
Ludwig Bamberger was a German economist, politician, revolutionary and writer.
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Ultimately, the Secessionists planned to merge all German liberals into a single whole liberal party—hence the name Liberal Union, with liberal and parliamentary monarchist positions, modelled after the British Liberal Party and ideally to govern under a future Emperor Frederick III.However, the National Liberals made clear they would not leave the majority loyal to Bismarck, therefore Secessionist representative Franz von Stauffenberg negotiated with Eugen Richter, the leader of the left liberal German Progress Party in early 1884. As early as in March 1884, both parties' legislators formed a joint parliamentary group with together 100 seats. Timely to the federal election in October, the German Free-minded Party was formed. Subsequently, the parliamentary representation diminished to only 64 members of the Reichstag.
A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade Peelites and Radicals favourable to the ideals of the American and French Revolutions in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.
Frederick III was German Emperor and King of Prussia for ninety-nine days in 1888, the Year of the Three Emperors. Known informally as "Fritz", he was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family's tradition of military service. Although celebrated as a young man for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he nevertheless professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. Upon Wilhelm's death at the age of ninety on 9 March 1888, the thrones passed to Frederick, who had by then been German Crown Prince for seventeen years and Crown Prince of Prussia for twenty-seven years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx when he died, aged fifty-six, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition.
Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Also called Western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world.
Theodor Heuss was a West German liberal politician who served as the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1959. Beside the stern chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Heuss' cordial manners largely contributed to the stabilization of democracy in West Germany during the Wirtschaftswunder years.
The National Liberal Party was a liberal party of the North German Confederation and the German Empire which flourished between 1867 and 1918.
The German State Party was a short-lived German political party of the Weimar Republic, formed by the merger of the German Democratic Party with the People's National Reich Association in July 1930.
The Progressive People's Party was a social liberal party of the late German Empire.
The Free Conservative Party was a moderate right-wing political party in Prussia and the German Empire which emerged from the German Conservative Party in the Prussian Landtag in 1866. In the federal elections to the Reichstag parliament from 1871, it ran as the German Reich Party.
The National-Social Association was a political party in the German Empire, founded in 1896 by Friedrich Naumann. It sought to synthesise liberalism, nationalism and non-Marxist socialism with Protestant Christian values in order to cross the ideological front lines and draw workers away from Marxist class struggle. However, it never grew beyond a minor party of intellectuals which failed to gain mass support in elections.
The German Progress Party was the first modern political party in Germany, founded by liberal members of the Prussian House of Representatives in 1861 in opposition to Minister President Otto von Bismarck.
The German Free-minded Party or German Radical Party was a short-lived liberal party in the German Empire, founded on 5 March 1884 as a result of the merger of the German Progress Party and the Liberal Union, an 1880 split-off of the National Liberal Party.
The German People's Party was a German liberal party created in 1868 by the wing of the German Progress Party which during the conflict about whether the unification of Germany should be led by the Kingdom of Prussia or Austria-Hungary supported Austria. The party was most popular in Southern Germany.
The Reichstag was the Parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1918. Legislation was shared between the Reichstag and the Bundesrat, which was the Imperial Council of the reigning princes of the German States.
The German National Association, or German National Union was a liberal political organisation, precursor of a party, in the German Confederation that existed from 1859 to 1867. It was formed by liberals and moderate democrats and aimed at forming a liberal, parliamentary Lesser German ("kleindeutsch"), Prussia-led national state.
The Free-minded Union or Radical Union was a liberal party in the German Empire that existed from 1893 to 1910.
Georg von Siemens was a German banker and liberal politician.
The Reichstag was the Parliament of the North German Confederation, founded after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. It functioned until the establishment of the German Empire in 1871. Parliamentary sessions were held in the same building as the Upper House of the Prussian Landtag, the Prussian House of Lords, located at 3 Leipziger Straße in Berlin, Germany. The same location is now the home of the German Federal Bundesrat.
The Jesuits Law (Jesuitengesetz) of 4 July 1872 forbade Jesuit institutions on the soil of the new German empire.
Heinrich Edwin Rickert was a German journalist and liberal politician. He was the father of the philosopher Heinrich Rickert.
National Liberal Party (Germany)
| liberal German parties|
German Free-minded Party