German Progress Party
The German Progress Party (Deutsche Fortschrittspartei or DFP) was the first modern political party with a program in Germany, founded by the liberal members of the Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n Lower House in 6 June, 1861.

In its program the party demanded among other things unification of Germany
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...

 with the central power in Prussia, representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

, implementation of the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 and larger responsibility for the local government. Between 1861 and 1865 it had the largest group in the Prussian Lower House.

After the parliament had approved a law granting an amnesty for the government of Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 for its arbitrary conduct concerning the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

 in 1866, the party split apart. In 1867 the right wing of the party which supported the foreign policy of Bismarck seceded to form 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...

. In 1868 a democratic-republican wing in Southern Germany seceded to form German People's Party
German People's Party (1868)
The German People's Party was a German liberal party created in 1868 by the wing of the German Progress Party which during the conflict about whether the Unification of Germany should be led by the Kingdom of Prussia or Austria-Hungary supported Austria.The party was most popular in Southern Germany...


To characterize Bismarck's politics toward the Catholic Church, the pathologist and member of the parliament of the German Progress Party Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolph Carl Virchow was a German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician, known for his advancement of public health...

 used the term Kulturkampf the first time on January 17, 1873 in the Prussian house of representatives.

In 5 March 1884 the party finally merged with the Liberal Union
Liberal Union (Germany)
The Liberal Union was a short-lived liberal party in the German Empire. It was founded as a break-away from the National Liberal Party, therefore also called Secession, in 1880, and merged with the left liberal German Progress Party to form the German Free-minded Party in 1884.The leftist faction...

 into German Free-minded Party.

The leaders of the party included Baron Leopold von Hoverbeck, Franz Leo Benedikt Waldeck and Hans Victor von Unruh
Hans Victor von Unruh
Hans Victor von Unruh was a Prussian Public Official and Politician, President of the Prussian National Assembly of 1848 and Member of the Reichstag.- Biography :...

, after the split of 1867 von Hoverbeck and Waldeck, who were soon succeeded by Eugen Richter
Eugen Richter
Eugen Richter was a German politician and journalist.-Career:Born as the son of a combat medic, Richter attended the Gymnasium in his home town of Düsseldorf. Since 1856, he studied Law and Economics at the Universities of Bonn, Berlin and Heidelberg, that he finished with a law degree in 1859...

. Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolph Carl Virchow was a German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician, known for his advancement of public health...

 was also a member of it, as well as Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research...

 for some time.

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...

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