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DensleyBlair

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To everybody other than Khalep: what exactly is the appeal of the Cockroachpartei and why do you keep on voting for them? This time they won eleven votes with virtually nothing original in their manifesto. What gives?
Process of elimination. That's what happens when one is forced to choose between five parties for whom one has no wish to vote.
 

unmerged(271387)

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To everybody other than Khalep: what exactly is the appeal of the Cockroachpartei and why do you keep on voting for them? This time they won eleven votes with virtually nothing original in their manifesto. What gives?
To weaken the prussian movement of the DNVP without voting for the socialists.
 

Khalep

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I suddenly feel somewhat excluded.

However, hurrah indeed! A glorious result, brimming with potential.
 

LordTempest

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I suddenly feel somewhat excluded.
Don't take it that way. :) I already know why you vote for Zentrum because you are one of the few people kind enough to explain your rationale for doing so; other people tend not to do the same, hence the wording of the question.
 

LordTempest

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unmerged(539438)

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Don't take it that way. :) I already know why you vote for Zentrum because you are one of the few people kind enough to explain your rationale for doing so; other people tend not to do the same, hence the wording of the question.
Why Zentrum, you ask? Because in my eyes they are the ones who promote moderate and reasonable policies in the long run. Furthermore despite being accused to be the Troyan horse of socialists in the past and therefore being excluded from a coalition government several times, they have proven that the opposite is true and they still hold on their original values. And most importantly, they won the last election quite clearly and have been deprived of the control of government quite illegally, which eventually brought us where we are now. Ah and yes, it was them who fostered the unification the Greater Germany.
 

Tommy4ever

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The Election of 1898

In the five short years since Germans last elected the Reichstag the country had been totally transformed. Alongside this almost unrecognisable state, this drastically altered society German politics engaged in a seismic shift.


That shift was decisively to the left. Prior to the war the workers’ movement, which at one time threatened to develop into a force of national significance, appeared largely insignificant. In 1898 the three working class based parties (the USPD, SPD and FVP) together claimed just under half of the Reichstag. The traditionally powerful force of German Liberalism was left on life support as a rump Liberal grouping (large numbers of pre-war Liberals taking a rightward turn into the DNVP, or even embracing the radicalism of the Left) in the DDP failed to muster over 10% of the vote. Centrism held up much better than anyone had expected – with the party’s left being expelled prior to the war and emerging as a mass force on the side of the Revolution and the right attracted to an extent by the counterrevolution many expected the Centre vote to collapse. Instead Zentrum left 1898 as the single largest party in the Reichstag – an impressive achievement, admittedly helped by the Democratic People’s Front’s division of seats between the SPD and FVP. Finally, the DNVP – the party of counterrevolution – secured just as many votes as the Centre amongst the German population as it captured a shade under ¼ of the seats in the Reichstag. Although a clear defeat that saw the DNVP’s representation in the hitherto virtually defunct Reichstag fall by a not insignificant amount, this result made clear that the counterrevolution had a mass following within Germany that had not yet surrendered.


As the dust settled, the Weimar parties could celebrate a major victory. Their challengers from Left and Right had failed to secure more than 1/3 of the vote – giving a clear mandate for the implementation of the new constitution and the formation of the first government of the new, democratic, German Republic.


Stegerwald (Left), Feherenbach (Right)

With victory at the polls the Weimar parties quickly moved to form a coalition government with the Free People’s Party leader, Adam Stegerwald appointed as the youngest ever Chancellor of Germany and the Centre Party leader Konstantin Feherenbach endorsed by all four parties for the Presidency. Although more of a ceremonial position than the Chancellor’s position the Presidency ensured its holder a fixed seven year term and a significant say in all government, the Revolutionary parties’ agreement to hand the position over so willingly to a known conservative what greeted by anger from the rank and file.


In what should have been a formality – with the Reichstag appointing Feherenbach President – the government candidate was forced into a second round of voting with the USPD’s Hugo Haase receiving the backing of a large number of government deputies whilst others abstained entirely. With the DNVP candidate narrowly outpolling Haase, the USPD leader dropped out of the race and allowed for Feherenbach to ease to victory in a second round of voting – although USPD deputies were joined by another substantial number of rebels in abstaining from the vote. Just days after the election the tensions within the new government were already showing as the Revolutionary parties’ leaderships’ commitment to a centrist government rankled with strong elements of their memberships.
 

Khalep

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God wills it!
This is truly a marvellous government in which the old Centre - left and right - is united once more and joined by the moderate socialists ...and the liberals... in coalition, as it should - perhaps - have been before the war.
Let the nation rejoice as we look towards a stable future; certain of progressive reform grounded in tradition.
 
Last edited:

alxeu

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God wills it!
This is truly a marvellous government in which the old Centre - left and right - is united once more and joined by the moderate socialists ...and the liberals... in coalition, as it should - perhaps - have been before the war.
Let the nation rejoice as we look towards a stable future; certain of progressive reform grounded in tradition.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch, Khalep. I honestly doubt continued stability. Its just impossible. In little parts of history has a nation, defeated in battle and becoming a republic immediately afterwards, managed to ensure the stability of said republic after just one election. What you should be concerned about is if the far-left and far-right alter their policies to make their parties more appealing.
 

LordTempest

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Is it not a wee bit hypocritical for an arch-monarchist like Werner to campaign for the presidency?
 

99KingHigh

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LordTempest

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Unless he has intentions to hand it over to Mr. Wilhelm.
That would make sense if he had the power to do so. I'm not sure if the President does...
 

99KingHigh

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That would make sense if he had the power to do so. I'm not sure if the President does...
Perhaps his devout belief for Monarchy exceeds his principles of legality.
 

LordTempest

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Perhaps his devout belief for Monarchy exceeds his principles of legality.
In that case Fehrenbach should surrender the Presidency to God.
 

Khalep

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Don't count your chickens before they hatch, Khalep. I honestly doubt continued stability. Its just impossible. In little parts of history has a nation, defeated in battle and becoming a republic immediately afterwards, managed to ensure the stability of said republic after just one election. What you should be concerned about is if the far-left and far-right alter their policies to make their parties more appealing.
Your words may well prove true, but I am filled with more optimism than I have been for a long time, due to the essential unity of the nation provided by this grand coalition, in which all sides are represented.
For the moment, I believe we have gained the best possible outcome to the present crisis, and for that I am glad.
If fortune and providence hold we may well see stability overcome.
 

alxeu

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Ah, that would upset his coalition partners, wouldn't it?
Not to mention the entire northern half of the nation...
 

Tommy4ever

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1898-1903
Let the ruling classes tremble​


With the proclamation of the Weimar Republic and the alliance between Socialists, Populists, Liberals and Centrists the German Revolution, and with it the struggle towards Socialism was declared to be over – or at least indefinitely on hold. Indeed, the hopes of the Socialists and Populists of at least pushing through significant social reforms were also placed on the back burner in the name of government stability and the need for fiscal discipline.

The first years after its birth marked some of the most impressive moments of the young German Republic. At the beginning of 1898 German industrial production stood at 1/3 of its pre-war level – rising to just under ½ by the election. Pre-war levels of production were equalled in 1900 and surpassed the following year with unemployment rapidly falling from the millions to a few hundred thousand as rural-urban migration continued at pace, the endless supply of labour almost impossible for industrial expansion to match. The only major cause for concern was that, despite the widespread destruction of old industries, Germany did not construct a modern industrial economy but instead invested heavily in the labour intensive but less productive industries that had punctuated the pre-war economy.

As the arts flourished there was a noticeable tendency towards moderation on the extreme ends of the Reichstag. In 1899 the DNVP appointed Bernhard von Bülow as its new leader in a move designed to prevent the secession of its Liberal wing that hoped to work with other bourgeois parties within the framework of the Republic, rather than set the party up as a pariah. This move on the part of the DNVP greatly mitigated the threat to the Republic from the right. On the left the situation was rather different. With the revolutions abroad spreading and radicalising the USPD, not to mention the myriad of sects to its left, received an upsurge in membership and support. However, events both abroad and within Germany was leading much of the USPD’s leadership on a rightward trend – denouncing the revolutionary movements to the North and West of Germany and calling for caution within the Republic itself.


Just as Germany was moving towards internal stability, events abroad were growing far more serious. In the aftermath of the Great War revolutionary regimes had seized power in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. In the latter two states the revolutions started to calm down within a couple of years of the war – in the former three they radicalised. In Belgian the renamed Revolutionary Workers’ Party had sought to expropriate all large scale industry and immediately move towards the construction of socialism – Dutch socialists looking on with eager eyes. With British backing the French invaded Belgium in April 1900 following the catastrophic failure of internal forces to bring down the regime. To the North, the Netherlands was still ruled by a coalition of Revolutionaries – although the left wing of the Social Democratic Party was growing increasingly powerful and extreme.

In Denmark, the Social Democratic Party came to power in early 1898 and looked to ape their Belgian comrades in nationalising major industries and reconstructing the political system. The following year their sister party – the Norwegian Labour Party – successfully overthrew the Franco-British backed monarchical autocracy. In this atmosphere of excitement representatives of the Norwegian Labour Party, the Danish Social Democratic Party and the left wing of the Swedish Social Democratic Party came together in Copenhagen on September 3rd 1899 to proclaim the United Socialist Republic of Scandinavia, and unify their three parties into the Communist Party of Scandinavia – the three marking a clear break with reformist social democracy. The prospect of a new, Communist, Great Power emerging in Northern Europe was a terrifying prospect for many – Britain quickly moved to send troops to aid Norwegian and Swedish counterrevolutionaries.

In the East the Russian Empire descended into civil war. With the pressure on the regime growing stronger each day the Imperialist government had offered to hold elections – however when it became clear that even under a weighted franchise anti-Tsarist groups were likely to win a majority the elections were cancelled. With much of the Russian countryside in revolt since the Great War a coalition of the Social Revolutionaries, Social Democrats and Liberals formed a provisional democratic government and formed an army with which to overthrow the Tsar. With Greater Russia in revolt the long oppressed peoples on the Empire’s Western fringe rose against the state with Poland, Finland and the Baltic states (including Konigsberg) rising. With these twin threats the Imperial government fled from Petrograd to Moscow.


As Germany maintained strict neutrality in the conflicts raging across Europe – the government not wishing to arouse passions just as the working class seemed to be leaving its revolutionary dreams behind – the international revolution made a number of unexpected leaps forward. In Belgium the French had been expected to crush the revolutionary regime wish ease – however, it has always been true that revolutions can win unwinnable wars even as they cause unprecedented conflicts. Through the late spring and summer the French successfully captured much of Wallonia – but at an immense cost as the Belgians were able to mobilise a very significant part of their population and were supported by volunteers from the Netherlands and even some from Scandinavia. However, even then the French had clear numerical advantages – it would be a series of soldier mutinies at the front and solidarity strikes at home that forced the French Republic into a humiliating reversal. Despite the best efforts of the government and press, the war in Belgium had been amongst the most unpopular conflicts in French history, coming so soon after the Great War and directed against a regime that enjoyed an impressive degree of popularity with large sections of the French public. In November 1900 France withdrew from Belgium, the revolution in Brussels had been saved.

To the North the Scandinavians were able to strike out from Stockholm, Oslo and Denmark into the territories in the hands of the counterrevolutionaries – outnumbering their opponents by several orders of magnitude the civil war in Scandinavia was over by early 1901. Finally, in Russia the revolutionaries took Moscow, after a long struggle, in June 1901 – proclaiming a Russian Republic as the Tsar fled to join loyalist forces in the Ukraine.


DNVP leader von Bülow

By mid-1901 Europe was once again a scarcely recognisable place as another round of radical changes swept the continent. Within Germany there was a newfound stability and tacit acceptance of the Republic even from its strident opponents as the economy went from strength to strength in its recovery. By this stage German debt was plummeting whilst taxation was also easing. Externally, of the four European states that could maintain genuinely continental pretensions to power – France, Britain, Germany and Russia – the Russians had been humbled by Civil War, the French discredited by the catastrophes in Wallonia, the Germans frozen out of the international arena and the British proved unwilling to commit sufficient resources on their own to hold back the tides of revolution. The stage was set for Germany to re-assert herself on the world stage.

The alliance grand alliance of the Weimar coalition had always been seen as a fragile necessity in the pressing situation of the Republic’s foundation in 1898. As conditions within Germany had eased the coalition’s left under the SPD and FVP and grown increasingly distant from the right under the DDP and DZP. As the left demanded social reforms the right dragged its feet, as the right called for a tough stance internationally against social revolution the left called for neutrality, the alliance had become so fraught with tension that its collapse seemed inevitable. In August 1901 the DDP and DZP made a dramatic break with their left wing allies and invited von Bülow’s DNVP into a government headed by Eugen Richter. In the confusion the left parties claimed that this amounted to a vote of no confidence in the government – which would have required a new round of elections under the constitution. Unwilling to risk elections President Fehrenbach ruled, unsurprisingly, in favour of the DDP-DZP-DNVP alliance which assumed power.


This major shift at the head of German government – which placed an explicitly anti-revolutionary government in power – was to have major repercussions internationally. In September 1901 the Third International was founded in Copenhagen. Although the USPD attended it refused to accept the conditions of membership without a party congress. Amongst the parties to join the international were the Revolutionary Workers’ Party of Belgium, the Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands, the French Section of the Workers’ International and a small faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party under Vladimir Lenin. All parties had to reorganise their structure, rename themselves as the Communist Party and adopt a new, militant stand.

With Germany now standing against and increasingly well organised international revolutionary movement, British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour decided to open up diplomatic channels to the German Republic. With neither France nor Russia possessing the capability or willingness to form a strong bulwark against revolution, Germany was identified as the only force capable of ending the spread of the contagion. With the British promising to support Germany in the re-conquest of Konigsberg (effectively independent of Russia since early 1900 as the Republic of Prussia), the establishment of a large sphere of German influence in Eastern Europe and revisions to aspects of the Versailles Treaty – most notably the limits on the size of the armed forces.


Following the re-conquest of East Prussia, beyond Lithuanian occupied Memel, in late 1901 Germany began to funnel weaponry into the hand of non-socialist Baltic and Polish revolutionaries as they aimed to join with the British in pressurising the Russians into a peace treaty with the states on the Western frontier. This was a success as the Russian Republic, still fighting the White armies of the Tsar, accepted the independence of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.


Thorvald Stauning (Left), Hjalmar Branting (Right)

As the era of revolutionary outbursts appeared to be winding down in the Netherlands the Communist Party secured an absolute majority in an election in early 1902 – establishing a Socialist Republic – whilst in Finland the Scandinavian baked Reds secured victory, leaving another Communist Party in power. In Germany the USPD headed towards its Halle Congress in October 1902, a full year after the founding of the Third International, sorely divided between a revolutionary left and a reformist right. As the two arms of the movement clashed two men from Scandinavia arrived in Germany – the committed Danish Communist leader Thorvald Stauning, and the Swedish right Social Democrat and opponent of the Communist regime Hjalmar Branting. As the two Scandinavians implored the USPD delegates at the congress to either spurn the Third International or join it the left won a decisive victory at a 2/3s majority voted in favour of joining. With the right declaring the expulsion of all those who had voted to join the Third International they would reunify with the SPD by the end of the year. The Left of the USPD was to form the backbone of the new Communist Party of Germany (KPD) which also contained a pre-existing (but almost entirely Berlin based) KPD, a Revolutionary Workers’ Party of Germany (initially inspired by the Belgian Revolution), a Communist Workers’ Party of Germany and several other groups.


The revolutionary wave was not entirely limited to effecting Europe. Every single one of the small Central American Republics had experienced ostensibly anti-American revolutions which produced a myriad of different regimes – Communist affiliated parties achieving power in El Salvador and Costa Rica. In the East Indies the creation of a Socialist Republic in the Netherlands in 1902 led to a mixed British, French and Spanish effort to coerce and encourage colonial governments into revolt against the metropolitan government.
 

alxeu

Hunting werewolves.
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Glad about the coalition switch, and the reopening of diplomacy with Britain, but just about everything else is profoundly negative for Germany.