Liberalism in Germanyby Dieter N. Langewiesche, John Breuilly
In the nineteenth century, German liberalism grew into a powerful political movement, forceful in its demands for the freedom of the individual, for changes to allow the participation of all men in the political system, and for a fundamental reform of the German states. As elsewhere in Europe, liberalism was linked not only with a strong social commitment, but also
In the nineteenth century, German liberalism grew into a powerful political movement, forceful in its demands for the freedom of the individual, for changes to allow the participation of all men in the political system, and for a fundamental reform of the German states. As elsewhere in Europe, liberalism was linked not only with a strong social commitment, but also to the formation of a nation state. In this book, now available for the first time in English, Dieter Langewiesche analyses the foundation and development of German liberalism from the late-eighteenth century to the late-twentieth century, with a special focus on its crucial role between 1815 and 1914.
Langewiesche considers the particular nature of German liberalism, seeks to explain why it lost much of its earlier power and influence in the twentieth century, and explores its centrality to our understanding of the course of modern German history. Langwiesche also examines whether the creation of the German nation state in 1871 was, in fact, the work of the liberals and outlines the place of liberalism in the creation of a democratic society in the form of the Federal Republic of Germany. While political movements and their values and organization are central to Langewiesche's study, he also links these throughout the book to their social and cultural context.
A masterful and comprehensive study by one of Germany's leading authorities on liberalism, this is a major contribution to our understanding of the past and present of the German state.
Originally published in 1999.
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