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Conservatism in Germany encompasses a large number of strains of the past three hundred years.

While many of the Conservative theorists are labelled "political romantics" (most notably by Carl Schmitt, himself Conservatory), at least four strains can be distinguished before 1945:

Also included are the anti-Enlightenment romanticism of Friedrich Nietzsche, the conservative realpolitik and statecraft of Otto von Bismarck and the anti-republican monarchism of the DNVP during the Weimar Republic.\

During the period of Nazi rule; all other political parties, including conservative, were outlawed. The "national revolution" of the national socialists had priority and the racist and social changes in German society were not allowed to be stopped by the conservative forces of "reaction" (Reaktion, see Horst-Wessel-Lied), like for instance the Catholic, Christian-democratic Zentrum and the Prussian monarchists. Notable conservatives were - after a period of pacification in the Nazi Reich - involved in the German Resistance, most notably in the 20 July plot.

In modern Germany, the post-World War II Christian Democratic Union, along with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria claim to represent all forms of conservatism in Germany, while there remain some marginal parties to the right of the CDU and CSU, (dubbed National Conservatives to distinguish them from the far-right-parties), e.g. Die Republikaner. There also exist marginal movements to restore the German Monarchy, most notably Tradition und Leben. A notable modern conservative theorist is Arnold Gehlen.

See also

Further reading

  • von Beyme, Klaus (2002). Politische Theorien im Zeitalter der Ideologien. Westdeutscher Verlag.  
  • Epstein, Klaus (1975). Genesis of German Conservatism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691051216.  
  • Jones, Larry Eugene. James Retallack. ed. Between Reform, Reaction, and Resistance: Studies in the History of German Conservatism from 1789 to 1945. Berg Publishers. ISBN 0854967877.  
  • Muller, Jerry Z. (1988). The Other God that Failed: Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism. Princeton University Press. ISBN 069100823X.  
This article incorporates information from the revision as of August 21, 2007 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.


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