Chapter

Continuity and Change: Left Liberals in Silesian Politics and Society

Alastair P. Thompson

in Left Liberals, the State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780198205432
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205432.003.0010
Continuity and Change: Left Liberals in Silesian Politics and Society

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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

Chapter.  15133 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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