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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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Left Liberals in National Politics, 1907–1912

Left Liberals in National Politics, 1907–1912

Chapter:
(p.158) 5 Left Liberals in National Politics, 1907–1912
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/9780198205432.003.0006

How did the government and left liberals, after more than two decades of dispute focused on ‘national’ issues, come to be fighting a nationalistic Reichstag election campaign on the same side in December 1906? And what did the resultant ‘Bülow Bloc’, the uneasy collection of Conservatives, anti-Semites, National Liberals, and left liberals called upon to provide a government majority, mean both for the course of German politics in general, and left liberal integrity and influence in particular? The Bloc brought a new emphasis to relations between government, public, press, and political parties. The 1909 finance reform has long been recognized as a significant event in Wilhelmine history. It was the first time a Chancellor, Bernhard von Bülow, had been forced to resign as a result of a parliamentary vote. The finance reform was also a major ingredient in the SPD's dramatic rise from forty-three to 110 seats in the Reichstag elections of January 1912.

Keywords:   Reichstag, elections, left liberals, politics, Bülow Bloc, SPD, political parties, press, finance reform, Bernhard von Bülow

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