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Imperial and Free Conservative Party, Founding Manifesto (October 27, 1867)

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Apart from integrating the Prussian legal system into the whole structure of the North German Confederation, our Landtag will have no more important task in the next few years than establishing this liberty in all realms of life. Therefore, in all this we are confidently counting on the cooperation of all representatives of the new and old provinces.

With the utmost commitment, we are dedicated to improving the material interests of our people in matters such as taxation, commerce and transportation, agriculture, the significant relationship between capital and labor – but no less in matters of serious concern for the intellectual values of the nation: the elementary school system, institutes of scholarship, universities, and academies.

In manful independence, we intend to stand by the federal authority and the state government whenever their policies correspond with our principles, and particularly when they designate the national interest as the supreme priority. With true loyalty to king and Fatherland we will, however, resolutely uphold our free conservative principles in those instances when these policies diverge from them.

Blind instruments are not useful supports for the government; only that which has firm support itself is able to provide support in turn.

Source: Ludolf Parisius, Deutschlands politische Parteien und das Ministerium Bismarck [Germany's Political Parties and Bismarck's Ministry]. Berlin, 1878, pp. 113-15.

Original German text reprinted in Felix Salomon, ed., Die deutschen Parteiprogramme [German Party Programs], Issue 1, Vom Erwachen des politischen Lebens in Deutschland bis zur Reichsgründung 1871 [From the Awakening of Political Life in Germany to the Founding of the Reich in 1871], ed. Wilhelm Mommsen and Günther Franz, 4th ed. Leipzig and Berlin: B.G. Teubner, 1932, pp. 143-45.

Translation: Erwin Fink

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