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Urban Liberalism in Imperial GermanyFrankfurt Am Main, 1866–1914$
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Jan Palmowski

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207504.001.0001

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Liberals and Education

Liberals and Education

(p.147) 4 Liberals and Education
Urban Liberalism in Imperial Germany

Jan Palmowski

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines one of the major themes which defined urban liberalism in Frankfurt — education. Liberal attitudes and policies towards education were closely intertwined with religious commitments. Liberals had a realistic appreciation that, given their powerlessness at the state or national level, their educational policies were the most effective instrument in their attempt to create a more tolerant, liberal society. The emphasis on a tolerant society shows the overwhelming influence of Jews particularly on left liberalism. The example of Frankfurt demonstrates that religion could have a strong influence on liberalism in Germany. Furthermore, despite the differences among liberals on education, the discussion reveals a high degree of pragmatism and political cunning, as liberals coordinated and realised their policies with remarkable success, against strong misgivings from the Prussian authorities.

Keywords:   education, political cunning, religion, liberal attitudes, Prussian authorities, tolerant society, Jewish influence

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