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The Appeal of the Conservative Party in One Federal State (1876-1877)

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II. The Bavarian envoy reports from Dresden (July 19, 1876)

In this state the [Conservative Party] appeal has met with considerable approval; it has been co-signed by Baron [Carl Christian Arthur] von Burgk of Roßthal near Dresden, a member of the First Chamber and owner of extensive coal mines in the area of Plauen, who is very well-liked and highly respected here; numerous Saxons have already sent in their approval of the program. As I have mentioned, the appeal is being assessed favorably. Considering that in any such compilation of principles there will always be some elements that not everyone can agree with immediately, it appears that on the basis of this program, with sufficient mutual loyalty and practical reason, Germany might indeed work its way up from the current situation.

Source: Bavarian envoy Baron Rudolf von Gasser, Dresden, to the Bavarian Foreign Ministry, Munich, report no. 36, 19 July 1876, in Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Munich, Part II, Geheimes Staatsarchiv [Secret State Archive], MA III, Sachsen, Bd. 2848.

Translation: Erwin Fink

III. The Prussian envoy reports from Dresden (January 1877)

The Prussian envoy offers three reports during the Reichstag elections of January 1877, the first of which is composed after the first round of balloting. A run-off election will be held in the constituency of Dresden-Old City between the Socialist candidate August Bebel and a National Liberal candidate. Since the founding of a national Conservative Party the previous year, the local Conservatives are much more active and better organized, he reports, although in the first round Bebel has been able to increase his vote total over the year 1874.

January 11. [ . . . ] [Compared to three years ago, the election agitation was] far more lively, [ . . . ] because this time the Conservative Party participated resolutely in the elections again, something it had failed to do back then on account of poor organization. Unfortunately, though, the Conservatives directed most of their activities towards battling the National Liberal candidate, Professor Mayhoff, a native of Mecklenburg employed for a number of years at the Vitzthum Gymnasium [high school]; Mayhoff held an excellent election speech and definitely did not neglect to emphasize the Saxon point of view. Nevertheless, he did not manage to reconcile the Conservatives, who nominated the retired army captain and proprietor of an educational institute Käuffer – incidentally a highly respected man around here – because he is Saxon and unequivocally offers all the guarantees deemed necessary from the particularistic standpoint. The latter, by the way, did not fail in his election speech to adequately stress loyalty to the emperor and the Reich.

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