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Red SaxonyElection Battles and the Spectre of Democracy in Germany, 1860-1918$
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James Retallack

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199668786.001.0001

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Against Liberalism and the Jews

Against Liberalism and the Jews

(p.186) 5 Against Liberalism and the Jews
Red Saxony

James Retallack

Oxford University Press

Like the previous chapter, this one examines 1878–90 but with a different thematic focus. Attending to national and regional developments, it reveals how regional struggles for power were shaped by the success of right-wing parties and individuals who rallied new recruits, and voters, by conflating the socialist, liberal, and Jewish “threats.” The first section documents the relative weakness of left liberalism and National Liberalism in Saxony. It also examines the social profile of the Saxon Landtag to suggest why Conservatives mustered a strong following in an urbanized, industrialized state and its parliament. The next section begins by examining the condition of Jews living in Saxony, then documents the close ties between Conservatives and radical antisemites, nationally and locally. The antisemitic leaders within Saxon Conservatism and the “circus-like” agitation they condoned in the 1880s suggest that anti-liberalism and antisemitism were potent political weapons before Bismarck’s fall from power in 1890.

Keywords:   Imperial Germany, Saxony, liberalism, National Liberalism, conservatism, Jews, antisemitism, socialism, propaganda, political mobilization

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