What were the conservatives to do now that their adoption of
liberalism had been in undone through the rise of socialism?
The conservatives condemned both liberal capitalism and Marxist
These conservatives detested modernity! This was materialism
and urbanism. Why would they detest these things?
Conservatism had to forge a new path as they could not go back
to the age of divine rights of kings. Also, the conservatives could
not return to simply incorporating liberal aspects such as
The new form of conservatism that developed was not organized
politics, necessarily. It was similar to neo-romanticism.
The new conservatives saw liberals and socialists as simply two
sides of the same coin.
In Germany, the new conservative movement really took root.
•Reason: Industrialization had come seemingly overnight and,
so, ideas of the earlier age persisted alongside the new
There existed simultaneously in Germany two sets of values:
Result of dichotomy: Reaction against modernity was sharper in
Conservatives wrote books, created pamphlets, and wrote
social commentaries focused on the evils of industrialization.
It emphasized rootedness. It emphasized history!
It emphasized the countryside, the simple life, the artisan
worker (not the industrial worker).
There was a call for some form of economic order that was neither
capitalist nor socialist. It wished to return to the medieval estate
Saw the reduction of society to mindless social classes as a great
error of modern society.
The Jewish people came to represent all that was wrong with
modern industrial society.
In the 1890s, the age old problem of anti-Semitism was
Anti-Semitism through the ages has taken 3 forms:
1. Religious anti-Semitism
2. Economic anti-Semitism
3. Racial anti-Semitism
Used as the basis for excluding Jews from European society,
forcing Jews into ghettos.
The Jewish were held responsible for the death of Christ.
They were also held in contempt for failure to convert.
In medieval Europe, to be European was to be Christian.
This determined your placement in a community.
The Jews became a tolerated minority.
Jews were forced into occupations as middlemen or
Even though Jews were forced into certain occupations, they
were seen as stereotypically parasitical.
The liberal agenda and Jewish Emancipation
Liberal reformers demanded equality before the law.
They emphasized natural rights of all men: freedom of property,
freedom of profession, freedom of movement.
Liberals could not say, “We believe in such things as natural
rights of men, freedom of profession, freedom of property,
freedom of movement, except for the Jews.”
The liberal movement was linked to the emancipation of the
bourgeoisie and the Jewish community.
•Example the Dreyfus affair
From the outset of the liberal movement, emancipation of the
Jews had been used to advance liberalism. Example:
The French Revolution removed barriers to public life for Jews.
Napoleon granting freedom of
worship in 1802: the Synagogue
in the form of a woman is being
helped on her feet. Jews could
now practice their religion freely
but as a group were expected to
give up their separate culture
Colored print, ca. 1806.
Dreyfus was pardoned
but never acquitted! His
conviction was never
The revolutions of 1848 brought the full emancipation of Jews in
some parts of Europe. Example: The Frankfurt Parliament in
After the failure of these revolutions, the Jews gradually became
full citizens of nations throughout Europe.
•Habsburg Austria 1867
•Great Britain 1871
Consequently, the Jewish people moved into new occupations.
This caused a reaction!
Anti-Semitic parties rose up in German central Europe that
appealed to artisans, small shopkeepers, etc. Jews were now
associated with liberalism. Big business was these people’s
enemy, and Jews were connected to liberal free trade/banking.
In the 1880s and 1890s, the third form of anti-Semitism arose.
Europeans were obsessed with race. Became a “science.”
Jewish people were studied and portrayed as not simply a
religious community, but also a racial community.
Also in the 1880s and 1890s, anti-Semitic parties began to
take root in German central Europe.
In Germany, the German Conservative Party was seeking a new
way to gain support away from liberals and socialists.
All they were associated with was the monarchy, crown, and state.
They needed something new!
In 1893, it formally adopted anti-Semitism as a plank in its
The German Conservative Party attempted to condemn the
presence of Jewish influence in German society. If they
converted, it was one thing; otherwise it was unacceptable!
This ploy on the German Conservative Party failed!
The party continued to lose power and anti-Semitism as a
platform in Germany evaporated.
But, the event had not been without an effect. It made anti-
Semitism socially acceptable!
The greatest manifestations of anti-Semitism came not from
Germany in the 1890s, but from Russia!
•Government sponsored pogroms!
•Germany seen as a beacon of hope for Russian Jews!
Questions to consider:
1. Anti-Semitism acquired its modern political form in the 1890s.
Why was this, and how did it manifest itself?
2. During the 1890s, a number of political thinkers and parties
were drawn to a set of ideas that for lack of a better term
historians have called “anti-modernism.” What is meant by
this, and why did these ideas bubble to the surface in the
era before the First World War?