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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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Liberalism and Municipal Finance

Liberalism and Municipal Finance

(p.255) 6 Liberalism and Municipal Finance
Urban Liberalism in Imperial Germany

Jan Palmowski

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the subject most indicative of liberal assumptions about politics in general, and about the nature and role of the state in particular—public finance. Underlying the financial attitudes in theory as well as in practice was a clear consciousness that the question of municipal finance was inextricably linked to the question of local self-government. What mattered for political success was the kind of taxation liberals imposed, and whom they imposed it upon. The innovativeness of Frankfurt liberals in this regard is likely to have been exceptional, since the unique wealth of the city allowed them freedoms that most other local governments did not have. The case of Frankfurt suggests that liberal electoral fortunes depended on how well the liberals dealt with the issue of taxation, how conscious they were of its political importance, and how they sold it to the public.

Keywords:   public finance, electoral fortunes, wealth, municipal debt, taxation

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