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Social Democracy
(1,232 words)

Social Democracy

A political movement in the German Imperial Reich seeking social and political emancipation of the workers. In the First World War, it suffered its greatest crisis, culminating in 1917 in a permanent split. On the eve of the war, with about a million members, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) was the largest party in Germany, and with 110 members the strongest group in Parliament, but it split on the question of the “fortress truce” (Burgfrieden) policy. Although shortly before the outbreak of war the party leadership called its membership to demo…

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Mühlhausen, Walter, “Social Democracy”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2015

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