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Free-minded Union

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Free-minded Union

Free-minded Union
Founded 1893
Dissolved 1910
Split from German Free-minded Party
Merged into Progressive People's Party
Ideology Classical liberalism,
Economic liberalism,
Social liberalism,
National liberalism
Political position Centrism

The Free-minded Union (German: Freisinnige Vereinigung) was a liberal party in the German Empire that existed from 1893 to 1910.

Emergence

Inside its predecessor, the Ludwig Bamberger and Theodor Barth, left voluntarily, and formed the Free-minded Union. The left liberal wing of the Free-mindeds, loyal to Richter, assembled in the Free-minded People's Party

The new party focused on classically and economically liberal positions. In the federal election 1893 it won 13 seats. The union was initially more a loose electoral alliance than a real party. Its organisational structure was very weak. Its stronghold were in northern and eastern Germany.

Together with the governing National Liberal Party and unlike the German Free-minded Party, the Free-minded Union supported the Imperial Navy arms race and the German colonial policy.

Merger with the National-Social Association

In 1903, the electoral unsuccessful, social liberal and progressive Christian Joseph Chamberlain, the party tended now to compassion towards the masses of the working class, but also tried to strengthen the German national position outwards by closing the ranks of the middle and working classes. This was compatible with the union's liberal nationalist line. The gain of the National Socials' local structures led to a development of a loose notables' association towards a members' party. However, the party could not really win the support of the working class and did not become a major party.

Merger into the Progressive People's Party

From 1905 on, the Free-minded Union cooperated increasingly with the other left liberals, Free-minded People's Party and the German People's Party. In 1907, the three parties drafted a common electoral program for the elections to the Reichstag. Afterwards, they formed a common parliamentary group, which was part of the pro-government imperialist Bülow-Bloc together with the conservatives and National liberals. The party's own left wing and pacifist faction, including Theodor Barth, Hellmut von Gerlach, Rudolf Breitscheid, and feminist Helene Lange, were discontent with this step and left to form the Democratic Union.

In 1910 the Free-minded Union, Free-minded People's Party and German People's Party merged into the Progressive People's Party.

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Preceded by
German Free-minded Party
liberal German parties
1893-1910
Succeeded by
Progressive People's Party
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