Chapter

Adrift

James Retallack

in Red Saxony

Published in print April 2017 | ISBN: 9780199668786
Published online June 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191779046 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199668786.003.0014
Adrift

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This chapter examines Imperial Germany’s final half-decade of peace (1909–14). It charts Saxon traditions of anti-socialism, anti-liberalism, and antisemitism, including their contingent trajectories, in the context of developments elsewhere in Germany. The first section examines Saxon parliamentary life up to the outbreak of war and battles to reform or defend Prussia’s three-class suffrage. The second section is devoted to Imperial Germany’s last general election in 1912, looking at the campaign, the voting, and efforts to “spin” its outcome. Local examples of dirty tricks are juxtaposed with larger reflections on the meaning of “politics in a new key.” After Social Democrats scored another Reichstag victory, the anti-socialist parties licked their wounds, but pressures for further suffrage reform and the task of mustering parliamentary majorities ensured that Saxony’s and Germany’s electoral cultures continued to evolve. The final section examines suffrage proposals and other remedies to overcome democratic, “dysfunctional” parliaments.

Keywords: Imperial Germany; Saxony; Landtag; Reichstag; elections; suffrage; parliamentarism; Prussia; Pan-German League

Chapter.  27468 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political History ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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