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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Duke of Awesome

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Germany is not truly unified until Austria and the Sudetenland is brought into the fold.
 

LordTempest

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Germany is not truly unified until Austria and the Sudetenland is brought into the fold.
Bah! All of the hotchpotch of different languages and peoples who inhabit the Austrian lands are not worth the bones of a single Prussian grenadier! I'm sure even Graf Bismarck would agree with me on that one.
 

unmerged(271387)

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We must not push more against Austria,lest they become allies of our enemies within and outside of our mighty empire.We should instead seek friendly relations with them to hinder our enemies' tries to find allies.
 

DutchGuy

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Form a Alliance with britain so we have someone to back us if those hungry bastards callled the russians start attacking us with their french wardogs
 

Tommy4ever

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Whilst I won't reveal too much about the programmes of the parties until the election opens tomorrow, I will warn that most of the parties (there is going to be one more than the last election with the emergence of the Christian/Catholic Democrat 'Centre Party') will favour the lesser Germany solution - in other words they have no desire to see Germany annex Austria due to all the problems that would go along with it. That said, one party will take a militant and aggressive stance towards Austria (the DFP) aiming to conquer the German parts whilst the Centre would be extremely happy to see Catholic Germans of Austria join the Empire, although it would not want to bring them in by force - prefering to see relations with Vienna improve.

So the only way Austria's Germans will be brought into the fold is through aggressive liberal conquest or a series of disasters for the Habsburg Empire making an opportunity for unity arise.
 

Enewald

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Better yet, Germany inherits Austria!

Beats the normal grind!
 

Duke of Awesome

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Well we don't want ALL of Austria, obviously. We can give Hungary to a cousin of Wilhelm or something like that.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Only Britain is left before the Germans can truly be top dog...
 

Tommy4ever

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The Election of 1869

With the defeat of France and Russia in the German war and the proclamation of the German Empire a new superpower had been born in the heart of Europe. As Southern Germany united with the North the first elections of the newly founded Empire were due to be held before the end of January – just weeks after the unification.

In the last days before the election reigning Chancellor Bismarck proposed two potentially crucial pieces of legislation that were to have a serious impact on the electoral campaigns of the various parties.

The first was a series of Anti-Socialist Laws. During the 1860s socialists had started to find a significant following amongst the German working classes, by the end of the decade the influence of their illicit trade unions and new political parties, notably Lassalle’s ADAV and the Marxists of the SDAP were being regarded as a genuine threat to the stability of the new regime and Germany’s social order. The Red Scares that followed the eruption of the workers of Paris (whose rebellion had still not been quashed) only heightened anti socialist feelings. The Anti-Socialist laws call for an attack against the socialists whilst they are still weak – a banishment of the trade unions and socialist parties into semi-legality. The in AAR effect of the passing of the Anti-Socialist Laws will be as follows: trade unions will go from being ‘state controlled’ to ‘illegal’ in game. In any future election in which the laws remain in place a vote for a socialist party will count for ½ of a vote. The laws may be repealed at any time at which there is a majority opposed to them in the Reichstag.

The second major policy proposal was the call for a Kulturkampf, or culture war. Whilst on the face of it, with the German majority of the Empire making up well over 90% of the population the country appeared extremely homogenous around 1/3 of the Empire’s citizens were Catholic. The Catholic population was suspected of ‘Ultramonatism’ – holding the Papacy, and their faith, above loyalty to the state. The situation had only been worsened by the recent Vatican Council which had proclaimed Papal Infallibility and called for greater Church involvement in secular affairs. Bismarck therefore called for a campaign to reduce the influence of the Church over Germany, seizing monastic properties in Northern Germany, looking to ensure the independence of German clerics from Rome as well as a general ‘cultural war’ against Catholic ideology with the aim of the creation of a more secular nation. On top of this the Kulturkampf was also aimed against the regionally substantial minority communities around Germany’s borders. In the East Poles made up 5.7% of the entire German population, in the West the French contributed some 1.8% of Germany’s population whilst there were also regionally significant minorities of Czechs in Silesia (65,000), Danes in Schleswig-Holstein (170,000) and Lithuanians in East Prussia (130,000). With the exception of the Danes all were also Catholic – the Kulturkampf aimed to quash the nation identity of these groups (especially the Slavic populations) and Germanise them. In his nationalist and secular war Bismarck looked to nationalists and liberals alike for support.

German Reich Partei (Deutsche Reichspartei)
- DRP


Political Position: Centre-Right

Ideology: National Conservatism

Description:

In the ecstatic nationalistic aftermath of the unification the Free Conservatives had adopted a more suitably national title as the German Reich Party. Looking to establish itself as the regime party par excellence the DRP was slavishly devoted to the Kaiser, Prussia and the Bismarck administration regarding these forces as being the source of German unity.

Foreign Policy:

Bismarck’s foreign policy has been an unmitigated success. The DRP shall continue to invest our Chancellor with personal powers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We shall therefore look to heal our broken relationship with the Austrians so that we might turn an enemy into a close friend, continue to improve our relations with the British – as a global naval power in contrast to our land based continental power there need be no friction between us – and above all else seek to break up the Franco-Russian alliance. If successful in our goals then European peace shall, and continental supremacy of the German nation shall be assured.

Economic Policy:

The policies of the recent administration have been incredibly successful seeing our industry boom and our economy as a whole prosper. Whilst continuing with most of these policies, keeping economic intervention limited to only necessary cases, spending highly on the military and education, lower levels of taxation for the wealthiest citizens to encourage investment etc. The DRP would pursue a more protectionist turn in regards to our policy towards imported goods – a tariff between 5 and 10% would guarantee the security of our industries, whilst German industry may be in the ascendency now we cannot afford to be complacent and assume that it is impossible for our goods to be undercut.

At least one National focus must be used to encourage clergymen and another capitalists at all times

Reforms:

The DRP unreservedly supports the Kulturkampf and the Anti-Socialist Laws. Both policies are necessary to ensure that internal enemies of the German Reich are not able to grow and form a substantial anti-German block aimed at the destruction of our nation. Germany’s Catholic community currently stands at a cross road – one leads to Catholic international and internal conflict between North and South in our great nation, the other to unity with their German kin regardless of faith within the German nation. It is our duty to destroy the Ultramonatists attempt to impose their will upon Germany’s Catholics. Meanwhile national minorities and socialists alike proclaim they have no stake in our society, their loyalties lie not with the German state and German nation but with foreign powers in the case of the minorities and their own selfish desires in the case of the socialists. The only course of action is to make both groups German.

The constitution of the North German Federation, along with all its national institutions, should be extended into the South.

National Liberal Party (Nationalliberale Partei)
- NLP


Political Position: Centre-Left

Ideology: National Liberalism

Description: Six years of successful coalition with the right and two years before that in government, coupled with the process of German unification over the past decade had strained and altered both the ideals of the National Liberals and the party leadership. By 1869 the Prime Minister of Prussia, von Forckenbeck, was no longer the sole leader of the party but instead vied for supremacy with the nationalist factions of the party that hoped to retain the alliance with the Bismarckians at all costs. Indeed the policies of the Kulturkampf were largely inspired by the NLP, whilst the Anti-Socialist Laws, although more divisive, proved popular with large sections of the party.

Foreign Policy:

The National Liberal Party would approve the continuation of Chancellor Bismarck’s personal control over the Foreign Ministry. ‘’We shall therefore look to heal our broken relationship with the Austrians so that we might turn an enemy into a close friend, continue to improve our relations with the British – as a global naval power in contrast to our land based continental power there need be no friction between us – and above all else seek to break up the Franco-Russian alliance. If successful in our goals then European peace shall, and continental supremacy of the German nation shall be assured.’’

Economic Policy:

In the past six years the economy of Northern Germany has changed almost beyond recognition. Our economy is the most robust and fasted growing in Europe, perhaps the world, our policies cannot be altered. Continued support for the growth and prosperity of our capitalist industrialist class (policies that have proved so successful in the past decade) must remain in place; state intervention in industry is no longer necessary with the fall of rates of urban unemployment to negligible levels and should be rolled back completely. Our free trade policies that avoided the placing of tariff imported goods must remain in place – this policy was one of the greatest factors in our economic success.

As the past decade has proven, National Liberal run economy is a successful one. Let us not show complacency now and forget that fact.

At least three National Focuses must be used to encourage capitalists at all times

Reforms:

The National Liberal Party supports the Kulturkampf with all its energy, whilst the Anti-Socialist Laws are supported more conditionally. The Kulturkampf is merely good sense, the secularisation of German politics is clearly desirable in a nation of many faiths – Calvinists, Lutherans, Catholics, Jews, it does not matter. So long as they are German. The policies emanating from the Vatican Council make it clear that the Papacy opposed our secularising mission, wishing to turn German Catholics against their nation and their brothers. We must therefore oppose the anti-German policies of the Catholic Church at every turn and ensure the independence of our clergy, and the defeat of Ultramonatist ideology. Minority populations, on the other hand, present a different threat – not dividing the German population but highlighting their own separation from it. So long as they dwell within German borders, however, separation from the nation cannot be tolerated. These communities should look to the Jews of how to behave – a minority that has been embraced as into the nation, but as Germans. Poles, French, Czech, Lithuanians and Danes would be best advised to follow the Jewish example and embrace the German language and culture, becoming fully accepted into our nation.

The socialists on the other hand are wilfully opposed to the German nation and government, advocating internal conflict and even Republicanism! However, these authoritarian methods of repression may not be the best root to achieving the defeat of their poisonous ideas.

German Centre Party (Deutsche Zentrumspartei)
- DZP or Centre/Centre Party



Political Position: Centre

Ideology: Christian Democracy / Political Catholicism

Description: The unification of Germany under Protestant Prussian leadership, and the subsequent proposals of Kulturkampf raised fears of Northern oppression amongst the Catholics of Southern Germany. Backed by the Church, and other Catholic organisations such as Trade Unions. With the explicit aim of opposing dictatorial Prussian policies and under the leadership of outstanding political operator Ludwig Windthorst, the Centre Party had ambitions of expanding its influence beyond the Catholic population, minority communities and South Germans and evolving into a broad Christian Democrat opposition to Prussian hegemony.

Foreign Policy:

Prussian aggression has turned Germany into a pariah state on the European continent. France, Austria and Russia have all been transformed into dire enemies. This must be reversed. Relations with France and Russia must be rebuilt – turning old enemies into friends. The Austrians are our German brothers and our natural allies whilst conflict with Russia and France serves no one. The Italians, whilst potentially a strategic allies are too jingoistic and unpredictable to base our foreign policy around, especially in light of their natural conflict with Austria over the Veneto and their battle with the Papacy over the Roman Question. We should support His Holiness the Pope in his dispute with the Italian government over his sovereignty in Rome and use positive relations with the Papacy to advance our other foreign policy goals in relation to Austria and France.

Economic Policy:

The Centre Party wishes to see both a vibrant and moral German economy. The successful policies of the previous administration in relation to limited economic intervention in order to combat unemployment should be continued. However the policies of support for the privilege pursued over recent years are not conducive to a stable or just state. Rather than the current regressive system of taxation in which the richest pay the least we should adopt a progressive regime than places the heaviest burden on those most able to pay and improves the incomes of the working man. Funds should be invested into education and the bureaucracy in order to improve the running of the state and the enlightenment of our people.

We should scale back military spending significantly and seek to reign in the political influence of the Prussian military elites. The Military-Industrial Complex has come to hold a very worrying level of power in Germany – this must be scaled back in order to empower civilian authority. However we do not support the reduction in the size of the military – only limits on its expansion and reconstruction of its leadership.

At least two National Focuses must be used to encourage clergymen and two to encourage the construction of industries in the less industrialised territories at all times

Reforms:

We are totally and utterly opposed to the Kulturkampf a cynical attempt by the Protestant Prussian elite to destroy Catholic culture and their liberal allies to promote atheism and the decline of Christian values. The chauvinistic policies of Berlin must be opposed – moreover their attempts to destroy the identity of minority populations must also be combatted as another facet of Prussian tyranny.

We should promote a decentralised federal Empire in which the power of local state governments makes it possible for the localities to resist oppressive policies meted out from Berlin.

Meanwhile the Anti-Socialist Laws must also be combatted as another aspect of Prussian tyranny. Although the socialists are clearly misguided in their beliefs we should oppose them on the field of ideas – not through the use of force and oppression that will only strengthen them. Beyond the acceptance of authoritarian measures against one part of the population will create a past precedent making future anti-democratic measures easier to implement.

German Progress Party (Deutsche Forschrittspartei)
- DFP


Political Position: Left

Ideology: Radical Liberalism

Description:

Just as the past decade had sent the National Liberal split of the original DFP ever further to the right, the Progress Party itself had gradually transformed from a broad liberal formation into a radical group, Republican in all but name, and deeply influenced by currents as radical as French Jacobinism.

Foreign Policy:

The project of German unification is not yet complete – millions of Germans still live beyond the borders of Germany in the Austrian Empire and Switzerland. If the governments of these states do not allow for unity to be achieved peacefully we shall use force of arms in order to pursue it. Let the German people march out and liberate their kin from the decrepit regimes that deny them their right to unity!

Economic Policy:

The past decade has been one of economic triumph for Northern Germany – but even our great successes have been limited by the insistence of the government to intervene in industry, allowing unprofitable industries to continue to exist when they might have been replaced. Lower spending on industrial subsidies, the military and the education programmes of the Bismarckian government shall also make significant tax cuts possible – bolstering domestic demand and further enhancing our economic advance. The pursuit of a model liberal economy has already rewarded Germany, let us fully embrace this model and become the envy of the world!

All National Focuses must be used to encourage capitalists at all times

Reforms:

The Kulturkampf is a wise policy but not wide enough the DFP totally supports the policy of opposition to Catholic institutions and Ultramonatist culture, as well as attempts to Germanise minority populations. However the policy should be extended to Protestant institutions as well – loyalties based on Church, faith and foreign ethnicity are sources of division. Only through the creation a secular, German nation can unity and peace be ensured.

The DFP opposes the full implementation of the Anti-Socialist Laws. Attempts to outright destroy the socialist movement are anti-democratic and divisive. At the same time trade unionism must be curtailed as it aims to create class warfare and turn German against German. The DFP shall therefore support the banning of trade union organisations, but will oppose any measures to limit individuals’ freedom to assemble and speak freely.

Conservative Party (Konservative Partei)
- KP


Political Position: Right

Ideology: Traditional Conservatism

Description:

Despite a poor showing the North German election of 1863 the Conservatives retained a high level of political influence through the power of the Prussian dominated armed forces, many of whose leaders sympathised with the party. Being forced to accept the unification of Germany, against its instincts, and the formation of a far more liberal state than it would have been comfortable with. Despite this the prestige of the Bismarckian administration has made the party a critical supporter of the continued rule of a government headed by the Iron Chancellor.

Foreign Policy:

The monopolisation of the Foreign Ministry by Chancellor Bismarck is not necessarily in the interests of Germany and of Prussia. Although our Chancellor is clearly a capable figure it would be best if the Ministry was opened up to the influence of others – specifically military men with a greater knowledge of the strategic needs of the Empire.

It is clear that France, having twice fought our nation in the past decades, shall continue to be our greatest foe. Russia, on the other hand is Germany’s ideal ally. A powerful Empire with no real conflict of interests with Germany, the friendship of the Russians would rob France of its most important ally and secure Germany against Austrian aggression. The enmity between Vienna and Berlin may be difficult to repair. The neutrality of Austria must be sought, but if it cannot be permanently secured then Russian aid will become even more important. As for Italy, the Italians may be unpredictable but their position on the Southern flank of both Austria and France makes them an ideal military partner, the alliance should be maintained. Finally, the British are an unknown quantity – strong relations with London are desirable but neither are they of as great an important as our relations with the continental powers. The British should be approached, but not as the centre of our policy.

Economic Policy:

The bleating of the industrialists about the rapid expansion of our cities with their factories, corruption, crime and poor conditions of living should not distract from the true heart and soul of the German economy, and all economies – agriculture. Even today only a fraction of the population lives in significant urban centres – the majority still live on the land or in small rural towns and villages, this should therefore be the focus of our policy. In order to protect native agriculture a tariff of 10% is necessary. The state should also level a flat tax rate, ending the special status of the industrialist in our system of taxation.

Military expansion is necessary if Germany is to rise to her new role as the continent’s leading power – with the addition of the manpower of the South this aim is within our grasp. We need only the political will to invest significant funds and Germany shall have an army worthy of her name. Beyond this we should look towards the construction of a modern fleet of iron hulled vessels. Any truly Great Power requires the ability to protect her shore lines and shipping lanes – something Germany, at present, is ill equipped to achieve.

Reforms:

The Conservative Party is an enthusiastic supporter of the Kulturkampf. The insidious influence of the internationalist Catholic Church guided by the Papacy’s new found anti-German militancy must be countered at every turn. A more towards the secularisation of the South and the Germanisation of the native Catholic Church within Germany is absolutely necessary. Moreover, minority communities, especially the large Polish community, represent a threat to the stability of the Empire by creating divisions across our border territories. The promotion of Germanisation in these communities can only make our Empire totally secure and stronger for it.

The Chancellor’s proposition of the Anti-Socialist Laws is clearly wise but perhaps they do not go far enough. If Germany is to defeat the socialist movement and prevent this potentially great threat from reaching maturity extreme measure may have to be taken involving the reintroduction of elements of press censorship targeted against socialist and Republican publications. Moreover, any avowedly Republican movements must also be banned lest a vast Socialist-Republican-Catholic alliance build a permanent opposition to the Empire within Germany.

All reader must either vote for:

NLP

DRP

DZP/Centre

DFP

KP

! You may write the full name, shortened name or the German name of any party, so long as it is clear to me who you are voting for !

Please place your vote in a separate post or bold it within your post so it is easier for me to keep a tally.

Once again, spamming is not tolerated, you may not campaign outside this thread and I ask that you remain civil with each other.

Voting will close on Monday at 10 AM, I will post in this thread to officially close the polls and return with the results shortly later.
 

Tommy4ever

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Khalep

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Deutsche Zentrumspartei (DZP)

It is good that we are now united with our South-German brothers. We should not destroy a union of trust by using the powers of the state to weaken part of our own community.
This is both insidious and arrogant. As such I believe we should strive for a continuation of a broad, national government, in which the differences between the national liberals and conservatives are bridged by a christian central party.

For a united nation!
 

LordTempest

Marching Through Blue Georgia
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It does not sit well at all with me that the Nationalliberalen have taken to supporting such a fundamentally anti-liberal policy as the Kulturkampf at all, let alone with as much zeal and élan towards it as they appear to display. Today may well mark the moment in which the great tradition of German liberalism was betrayed by the very men who a few years prior were its greatest espouses and standard-bearers. Comrades, I fear that the Anschluss of the NLP by the Graf is nigh; the strange death of liberal Deutschland is upon us.

Nevertheless, I simply cannot bring myself to vote for any party which espouses the sort of idiotic, inflammatory twaddle which the DFP has come to favour: republicanism, atheism, and war with Austria and Switzerland, of all nations. Such policies are decisively divisive, pitting one German against another: Lutheran against Catholic, Citizen against Kaiser, Rich against Poor and soldiers against every single army in Europe! I will not see such grotesque chaos unleashed against the German people, and so therefore I must vote Nationalliberale Partei with the greatest of reluctance. It is clearly the lesser of all evils.
 

Maxwell500

dictator perpetuo
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Nationalliberale Partei