• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
  • PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
  • RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
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  • HITLERS PLANS FOR EUROPE
  • TURNING OF THE TIDE,
  • THE HOME FRONT
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  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
  • DENAZIFICATION
  • POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE
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  • ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
  • T
  • ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM
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  • REGAINING SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRATION
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  • THE GRAND COALITION AND YOUTH
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  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
  • UPRISING OF JUNE 17, 1953
  • ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  • SOCIETY, EDUCATION, AND
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  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
  • UNIFICATION POLITICS AND ITS
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
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  • Anglo-German Naval Treaty
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  • B
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  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
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  • blank check
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  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
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  • C
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  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
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  • LITERATURE
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  • THE QUESTION OF
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  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
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  • POLITICAL PARTIES UNPREPARED
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  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Anti-Socialist Law

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(1878)

    The Anti-Socialist Law of October 19, 1878, gave

    the German government the authority to suppress

    all independent labor organizations, all of

    their political and economic associations, newspapers,

    periodicals, and printing presses. The

    government was given power to declare a state

    of siege wherever necessary in order to take

    action against them.

    The German chancellor Otto von BISMARCK

    had become alarmed at the rapid growth of the

    socialist vote during the 1870s. As far as he was

    concerned the SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY was

    not just another political party like the NATIONAL

    LIBERAL PARTY or the CENTER PARTY, but the

    Socialists were enemies of the state and also of

    the German way of life. He already had taken

    administrative action trying to prevent socialist

    influence in the army and the civil service. In

    1877 he began to consider how to ban the Social

    Democratic Party altogether. Since a bill to do

    that had to be introduced on the federal level in

    the Reichstag, the National Liberals and the

    Center Party had the opportunity to vote against

    such political repression. A struggle over constitutional

    liberties was in the making as the government

    and the parties stood at odds.

    Events then played into Bismarcks hands. At

    first one and then two attempts were made to

    assassinate the emperor, which then Bismark

    used to scare the population into suppressing the

    Socialists. On May 8, 1878, a half-witted tinkerer

    from LEIPZIG named Hödel attempted to

    kill the emperor but failed. In response Bismarck

    introduced a bill into the Reichstag embodying

    anti-socialist measures, which were again successfully

    opposed by the Liberals and the Center.

    Not even a month later, on June 2, another

    attempt on the emperors life was made, this

    time wounding him seriously. The assassin was

    a Dr. Nobling, not associated with the Socialists

    but who it was claimed acted on their behalf.

    Besides unleashing a violent campaign against

    the Socialists, Bismarck also dissolved the

    Reichstag and with new elections hoped to capitalize

    on the public outrage against the Socialists.

    The National Liberals remained the largest

    party, with the other parties gaining or losing

    only a few seats. This time, however, the proposed

    anti-Socialist legislation passed (229 to

    149) because of Liberal support along with the

    Conservatives and the Reich party. The Anti-

    Socialist Law of October 19, 1878, forbade all

    associations and publications that sought to sub-

    218 Anti-Socialist Law

    vert the existing social order or showed socialist

    tendencies, so that professional socialist agitators

    could be banned in certain affected

    communities. It gave the police such large powers

    of interrogation, arrest, and expulsion that

    suspected Socialists lost the customary protection

    of the law. Freedom of assembly and freedom

    of expression could be restricted in

    imperiled areas. Their party was forced to

    become a clandestine organization. It also struck

    a blow at the Independent Trade Unions, which

    were closely associated with the Social Democratic

    Party. For the remainder of Bismarcks

    years the Socialists were subject to arrest by local

    police.

    Initially passed for the duration of three years,

    it was periodically renewed until 1890. The Anti-

    Socialist Law was a public admission by Bismarck

    that he believed royal authority had to be maintained

    by restricting freedom of political choice.

    As serious as the persecution was, it was milder

    than the terror enacted by the French government

    after the Paris Commune in 1871. The

    Anti-Socialist Law completely destroyed the

    existing institutions of the SPD. During the 12

    years that the law was in force, 900 persons

    were expelled from their homes and 1,500 were

    imprisoned. The partys leaders were forced to

    leave the country and others were arrested. The

    party press had to be printed outside the country.

    Socialist leaders who were in the Reichstag

    and enjoyed immunity could not speak or campaign

    in public. The congresses of the party had

    to be held in Holland or Switzerland. But the

    voters continued to support the party in the

    Reichstag elections. By 1884 through shrewd

    underground organizations the workers cast

    more ballots for the Socialists than in 1878, and

    by 1890 the vote had tripled.

    appeasement policy

    The appeasement policy was the invention of

    Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Great

    Britain. The term appeasement became synonymous

    with the international negotiations

    between Britain and France and Italy and Adolf

    HITLERs Germany, which resulted in the

    Munich Agreement of September 29, 1938.

    Germany was allowed to take over a portion of

    Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland, which

    contained one-third of the population of

    Czechoslovakia. In exchange all four states

    guaranteed the rump of Czechoslovakia against

    unprovoked aggression.

    Neville Chamberlain who became prime minister

    in 1937 had distinguished himself in

    domestic ministries, but was notoriously ignorant

    of foreign affairs. His brother, Austen, once

    corrected him in a conversation on foreign

    affairs, Neville, you must remember you dont

    know anything about foreign affairs. Strongwilled

    and self-confident, he intended to be his

    own foreign minister and sought to solve the

    problems facing him. He considered the

    premises of British and French policy toward the

    totalitarian states of Italy and Germany to be

    mistaken. Hitler had succeeded in altering the

    balance of power in Europe. He had repudiated

    the arms clauses of the TREATY OF VERSAILLES and

    had remilitarized the Rhineland. In addition

    Ethiopia had been invaded by Mussolini, and

    both dictators had assisted General Franco in

    defeating the republican forces in Spain. Based

    on these harsh realities, the businesslike Chamberlain

    thought that the Versailles system could

    no longer be maintained. Instead, through realism

    and accommodation bargains should be

    made with the dictators, satisfying their wants

    and thus achieving a peaceful détente. Chamberlains

    assumption that Hitler was a rational

    politician and valued peace as did Chamberlain

    turned out to be the principal fallacy of the

    appeasement policy. Actually, appeasing the dictators

    helped to bring on the war by encouraging

    the dictators and convincing them of the

    weaknesses of the democracies.

    The adoption of the policy of appeasement by

    the British government, however, had the

    approval of the majority of the British people.

    Many Britons in the 1920s had come to think

    that Germany had been badly treated at Versailles,

    which feelings Hitler exploited in the

    1930s. Many Britons had come to think that

    appeasement policy 219

    WORLD WAR I had been caused by an excessive

    emphasis on ideas of national prestige. Therefore,

    many thought that it was better to attempt to

    resolve every plausible national grievance that

    might lead to war. Hitler had argued that German

    grievancesin the Rhineland, in Austria, in

    the Sudetenlandwere, after all, based on an old

    liberal doctrine of national self-determination.

    It should be emphasized that contrary to

    appearances neither Stanley Baldwin nor Neville

    Chamberlain was a pacifist. They actually were

    rearming Britain while they were appeasing

    Hitler, and their policy had the support of the

    public. Although it was callous to allow Nazi

    Germany to take over the Czechs, it should be

    remembered that the British had suffered 2.5

    million casualties just a short time earlier and

    viewed a major new war as a greater evil.

    Czechoslovakia was, after all, a faraway country

    to fight for and the prime ministers of the Commonwealth

    countries were urging caution.

    Before 1939 many appeasers understood Nazi

    Germany as just another European state maneuvering

    in the international balance of power in

    a diplomatically rational manner. Hitler, it should

    be remembered, had maintained that illusion in

    official documents and in his repeated assurances

    of his desire for peace and his personal assurances

    to British visitors. Thus, the appeasers

    placed too much faith in treaties, were unaware

    of Hitlers secret plans, underestimated the speed

    of German rearmament, and were too optimistic

    about their ability to defend themselves. In addition

    it should not be forgotten that they also took

    comfort in Hitlers strong anticommunism and

    the expectation that Germany would be a bulwark

    against the Soviet Union. This illusion was

    also shattered by the NAZI-SOVIET (Hitler-Stalin)

    PACT of August 1939. Hitlers desire for war and

    the failure of appeasement made it clear when

    war came that there was no alternative to military

    resistance.

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