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Left Liberals, the State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany$
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Alastair Thompson

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205432.001.0001

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Continuity and Change: Left Liberals in Silesian Politics and Society

Continuity and Change: Left Liberals in Silesian Politics and Society

Chapter:
(p.319) 9 Continuity and Change: Left Liberals in Silesian Politics and Society
Source:
Left Liberals, the State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany
Author(s):

Alastair P. Thompson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205432.003.0010

Silesia, like Baden and Schleswig-Holstein, was to be found at a geographical extremity of imperial Germany. In contrast to its more industrialized and Protestant western neighbour, Silesia was not seen by government, political parties, and observers as being in the forefront of the electoral battle for or against social democracy. However, if the mould of politics in Silesia was not broken, both the issues and style of politics had altered considerably. The economic, social, and confessional variety of Silesia, together with the strength of local political traditions make the province an excellent testing ground of the extent and content of ‘new politics’. Unlike Baden, Schleswig-Holstein, and most of Wilhelmine Germany, Silesia was a region in which all of the major parties were serious contenders in elections, although the National Liberals were somewhat under-represented. The merit of analysing the path of political change where conditions to an extent militated against it applies not only to Silesia as a whole, but Lower Silesian left liberalism in particular.

Keywords:   Wilhelmine Germany, Silesia, elections, politics, political parties, National Liberals, left liberalism

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