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The Christian Social Party (German: Christlichsoziale Partei, CSP) was an Lutheran political party in the German Empire, founded in 1878 by Adolf Stoecker as the Christlichsoziale Arbeiterpartei (Christian Social Workers' Party).

The Christian Social Party combined a strong religious and monarchist programme with progressive ideas on labour, and tried to provide an alternative for disillusioned Social Democrat voters.[1]

The program of the party was:

  • Founded mandatory specialized cooperatives
  • Settlement of the apprenticeship system
  • Commercial arbitration
  • Mandatory widows and orphans, disability and pension funds
  • Normal working day
  • Factory laws
  • Restoring laws against usury
  • Progressive income and inheritance taxes

Fearing the possibility Christian beliefs would undermine the dialectical materialism of marxism, most Socialist movement leaders agitated against Christian socialist leaders and parties, especially the CSP. A primary opponent of the Christian Social Party was, Johann Most an anti-Christ leader. Johann Most directed a large conjugation of Social Democrats in protesting against the party and its "christianity." As a result, in the 1878 elections, the CSP obtained less than 1% of the vote.[1]

A dominant number of the anti-Christ marxist leaders agitating against the CSP were German Jews. Consequently, the CSP began to feel its persecution was principly Jewish coordinated. As a result, whilst the early stages of the CSP featured little if any discusion of the Jewish Question, following the systematic attacks by leftists on CSP members at Socialist meetings and congresses, the party began to openely discuss the role of Jews in German political affairs. These discussions became a central issue for Socialists in the so-called Berlin Movement (Berliner Bewegung) of the 1880s. Exploiting these sentiments, the Berlin faction of the CSP under Adolf Stoecker gathered considerable support successfully obtaining a seat in the Reichstag after an electoral coalition with the Conservative Party. Nonetheless, outside of Berlin the CSP never gained mass support. Adolf Stoecker in turn urged the rest of the CSP to follow his message. However, when the Conservatives became worried with the over-tones in Stoecker' antisemitic messages (although Stoecker's messages were more targeted at Reform Judaism than orthodox Judaism[1]), the Christian Socialists were forced from the coalition in 1896.

The demise of the Christian Social Party came in the early 1900s.

Most members of the CSP, under lead of Reichstag member Reinhard Mumm (who succeeded Adolf Stoecker in representing the Arnsberg constituency), stepped over to the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei) in 1918. The group separated itself again, stepping over to the Christian Social People's Service (Christlich-Soziale Volksdienst) in 1929 after Alfred Hugenberg became the People's Party's president in 1928.

Notable members

References

  1. ^ a b c D. A. Jeremy Telman (1995). "Adolf Stoecker: Anti-Semite with a Christian mission". Jewish History 9 (2): 93–112. doi:10.1007/BF01668991.  
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