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Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of FearFrom Absolutism to Neo-Conservatism$
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Marc Mulholland

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653577

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653577.001.0001

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Bismarck, Liberalism, and Socialism

Bismarck, Liberalism, and Socialism

(p.97) 6 Bismarck, Liberalism, and Socialism
Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Marc Mulholland

Oxford University Press

The constitutional struggle between crown-executive and liberal parliament in Prussia, 1860-c.1866, catalysed by the army question, is defined as a form of abortive bourgeois revolution stymied by its excessively narrow base. Engel's contemporaneous study of the episode is anatomised for the light is shines on Marxian understanding of political strategy in the age of middle class liberalism. Otto von Bismarck's success not only in asserting executive supremacy but leading Prussian unification of Germany is explained: a new form of mass-army military state was inaugurated. The growing divergence between socialists and liberals is set in the context of liberal failure in Prussia and bourgeois vengeance unleashed upon the 1871 Paris Commune.

Keywords:   Bismarck, Engels, Prussia, German unification, Paris Commune

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