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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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Victory in Defeat and Defeat in Victory: Left Liberal Politics and the First World War

Victory in Defeat and Defeat in Victory: Left Liberal Politics and the First World War

Chapter:
(p.359) 10 Victory in Defeat and Defeat in Victory: Left Liberal Politics and the First World War
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/9780198205432.003.0011

This chapter contrasts the state of left liberal politics before and after the First World War. Together with state elections, Reichstag returns were enough to mark a clear change of left liberal electoral fortune from continuous decline throughout the 1890s to steady recovery after 1903. Besides reversing an established pattern, there are two other reasons for giving added significance to the left liberal electoral performance. Left liberals had to face two electoral handicaps. One was the increase in the electorate. The second is that left liberal support was more exposed, politically and sociologically, to SPD growth than that of the other political parties. The left liberal press was also seriously weakened by wartime economics, particularly the sharp decline in commercial advertising.

Keywords:   First World War, left liberals, politics, elections, SPD, electorate, political parties, press

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