Free Conservative Party

The Free Conservative Party (German: Freikonservative Partei, FKP) was a moderate right-wing political party in Prussia and the German Empire which emerged from the German Conservative Party in the Prussian Landtag in 1866. In the federal elections to the Reichstag parliament from 1871, it ran as the German Reich Party (German: Deutsche Reichspartei, DRP).

Free Conservative Party

Freikonservative Partei
Historic leaderVictor I, Duke of Ratibor
Founded1867; 154 years ago (1867)
Dissolved1918; 103 years ago (1918)
Split fromGerman Conservative Party
HeadquartersBerlin, Prussia
NewspaperDie Post
IdeologyNational conservatism
Political Protestantism
Political positionCentre-right
Colors  Yellow

The Free Conservative Association achieved party status in 1867, comprising German nobles and East Elbian Junkers (land owners) like Duke Victor of Ratibor and Karl Rudolf Friedenthal, industrialists and government officials like Johann Viktor Bredt, Hermann von Hatzfeldt, Hermann von Dechend, Prince Karl Max von Lichnowsky or General Hans Hartwig von Beseler and scholars like Hans Delbrück and Otto Hoetzsch.

It was distinguished from the German Conservative Party established in 1876 by its unqualified support of German unification and was seen as the political party which beside the National Liberals was closest in views to those of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, including his Anti-Socialist Laws and Kulturkampf policies. The party was generally dominated by conservative industrialists and while it opposed political liberalism it also tended to support free trade and the development of industry. Upon the accession of Emperor Wilhelm II in 1888, the party backed his naval policies and the formation of the German colonial empire, approaching towards the German nationalist Pan-German League pressure group while centrists like Adolf Grabowsky did not prevail.

The party disbanded in November 1918 following the end of the Hohenzollern monarchy and the German Revolution. Several members had supported the formation of the German Fatherland Party in 1917, now most of its constituency turned to the newly established German National People's Party while some also joined the national liberal German People's Party.

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