German People's Party
The German People's Party (Deutsche Volkspartei, or DVP) was a national liberal
National liberalism
National liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining nationalism with some liberal policies, especially regarding economic liberalism. The roots of it are to be found in the 19th century, when conservative liberalism was the ideology of the political classes in most European countries, then...

 party in Weimar Germany and a successor to the National Liberal Party
National Liberal Party (Germany)
The National Liberal Party was a German political party which flourished between 1867 and 1918. It was formed by Prussian liberals who put aside their differences with Bismarck over domestic policy due to their support for his highly successful foreign policy, which resulted in the unification of...

 of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...



It was essentially the right wing of the old National Liberal Party
National Liberal Party (Germany)
The National Liberal Party was a German political party which flourished between 1867 and 1918. It was formed by Prussian liberals who put aside their differences with Bismarck over domestic policy due to their support for his highly successful foreign policy, which resulted in the unification of...

, and was formed in the early days of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

, led by Gustav Stresemann
Gustav Stresemann
was a German politician and statesman who served as Chancellor and Foreign Minister during the Weimar Republic. He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.Stresemann's politics defy easy categorization...

. During the Weimar Republic, it was one of two large liberal parties in Germany, the other being the German Democratic Party.

The party was generally thought to represent the interests of the great German industrialists. Its platform stressed Christian family values, secular education, lower tariffs, opposition to welfare spending and agrarian subsides and hostility to "Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

" (that is, the Communists
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

, and also the Social Democrats). Due to its lukewarm acceptance of democracy, the party was initially part of the "national opposition" to the Weimar Coalition
Weimar Coalition
The Weimar Coalition is the name given to the coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , the German Democratic Party , and the Catholic Centre Party, who together had a large majority of the delegates to the Constituent Assembly that met at Weimar in 1919, and were the principal groups...

. However, Stresemann gradually led it into cooperation with the parties of the center and left. The party wielded an influence on German politics beyond its numbers, as Stresemann was the Weimar Republic's only statesman of international standing. He served as foreign minister
Foreign Minister of Germany
The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Guido Westerwelle...

 continuously from 1923 until his death in 1929 in nine governments (one of which he briefly headed in 1923) ranging from the center-right to the center-left. After Stresemann's death, the DVP gradually moved back towards the right.

Although the party was considered a liberal party in the Weimar Republic, its policies would appear conservative, by modern European standards.


The party's dispute with the Social Democrats
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 in 1930 over unemployment benefits toppled the Grand Coalition government of Hermann Müller
Hermann Müller (politician)
' , born in Mannheim, was a German Social Democratic politician who served as Foreign Minister , and twice as Chancellor of Germany under the Weimar Republic...

. In the election of September 1930
German election, 1930
The German federal election occurred on 14 September 1930 during the Weimar Republic. The number of seats increased from the last election in 1928 to 577 seats, however, the SPD, who remained the largest party saw their share decrease. The Nazi Party on the other hand increased their seats from 12...

, the DVP was one of the biggest losers, losing 15 of its 45 parliamentary seats. The DVP abolished itself in March 1933 after the Nazis came to power in January 1933.

Former elements of the DVP were involved in the creation of the Free Democratic Party after the Second World War.

See also

  • Liberalism
    Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

  • Contributions to liberal theory
    Contributions to liberal theory
    Individual contributors to classical liberalism and political liberalism are associated with philosophers of the Enlightenment. Liberalism as a specifically named ideology begins in the late 18th century as a movement towards self-government and away from aristocracy...

  • Liberalism worldwide
    Liberalism worldwide
    This article gives information on liberalism in diverse countries around the world. It is an overview of parties that adhere more or less to the ideas of political liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world....

  • List of liberal parties
  • Liberal democracy
    Liberal democracy
    Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

  • Liberalism in Germany
    Liberalism in Germany
    This article aims to give an historical overview of liberalism in Germany. The liberal parties dealt with in the timeline below are, largely, those which received sufficient support at one time or another to have been represented in parliament. Not all parties so included, however, necessarily...

  • Elections in the Free State of Prussia
    Elections in the Free State of Prussia
    The Free State of Prussia held elections to the Landtag between 1918 and 1933. Until the 1930s these elections gave a plurality to the SPD, but this was handed to the NSDAP or Nazi party in the 1930s, generally in line with the rest of Germany....

  • Wilhelm Adam
    Wilhelm Adam (Politician)
    Wilhelm Adam was a career military officer who served in three German Armies and later became an East German politician .-Life:Adam's father was a farmer...

     (member from 1926 to 1929)
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