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Nationalisierung, soziale Differenzen und Urbanisierung als Bedingungsfaktoren des Wahlverhaltens im Kaiserreich

Nationalization, social differences and urbanization as conditional factors in voting patterns during the German Empire
[journal article]

Steinbach, Peter

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Abstract In der Regel geht die historische Wahlforschung zum Kaiserreich einzelfall- d.h. wahlkreisbezogen vor. Der vorliegende Beitrag resümiert die Ergebinsse einer Studie, die die ständige Rückbeziehung regionaler Wahlerergebnisse und Wahlkampfbefunde auf die nationale Ebene anstrebt. Indem die Gesamtentwicklung der Parteien im Medium der Wahlergebnisse im Vordergrund steht, wird das Spektrum der jeweiligen Gegenparteien mitberücksichtigt. Der Beitrag versucht insgesamt eine Verbindung von politischer Geschichte und Sozialgeschichte an dem Überschneidungsbereich 'Wahlen' zu verdeutlichen. (pmb)

'Research on the field of electoral history has never had a considerable impact on the historiography of the 19th century. Accordingly, the essay pleads for a historical investigation into political movements, making use of the theory of political mobilization as it was developed by Stein Rokkan. Considering the relations between Social Democrats, Catholics, Conservatives, Liberals, and national minority groups as they emerge from election campaigns, polls and election results, it tries to follow some of the main developments of German party history in the 19th century. The survey shows that, towards the end of the 19th century, the Social Democratic Party has virtually exhausted its reservoir of voters. Though the election campaigns aim at mobilizing broader strata of the population, they do not succeed in significantly changing the parliamentary majority in favour of the political left. In spite of social change and new social stratifications the Social Democrats, like all of the major political parties, remain dependent on a fixed clientele of voters. As a result, all of the political parties tend to stabilize their forms of organisation and strategy and thus, even at the close of the 19th century, prefigure the political immobility which was to be one of the characteristic impediments of the Weimar Republic and finally contributed to the failure of the first German democracy.' (author's abstract)
Keywords German Empire; party; social stratification; social history; urbanization; election research; voting behavior
Classification Political Science; Social History, Historical Social Research
Document language German
Publication Year 1990
Page/Pages p. 63-82
Journal Historical Social Research, 15 (1990) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works