Federalism – historical lexicon of Bavaria


Federalism (from the Latin foedus = alliance) is a historical-genetic concept of order that characterizes the field of tension between supra-state and part-state organization of a community. In Bavaria, federalism was the leitmotif of all the state governments of the Weimar Republic, variable in content and, since 1945, at the same time connected with a state-state claim based on the federal principle.

Table of Contents

Diffuse term

Hardly any term is used more often in connection with Bavarian politics, hardly any other is however so difficult to grasp. For example, the Bavarian Prime Minister Hans Ehard (1887-1980) stated that, even after the war, on April 13, 1948, at the 5th meeting of the Ellwanger Kreis of the CDU / CSU, which made a significant contribution to the formulation of the federalist state structure of the Federal Republic of Germany would have: "Who of us can even say what that is [. ] We’re just talking about federalism and everyone’s thinking of something else" (quoted after Peter Jakob Kock, Bavaria’s way to the Federal Republic, Munich 1983, 270).

From particularism to federalism: the Bavarian Patriot Party

The federalism (Latin foedus = federal government, alliance) is the variable in content variable idea of ​​the Bavarian People’s Party (BVP), Christian Social Union (CSU) and all Bavarian state governments in the Weimar Republic and since 1945. Forerunner of the BVP was the Bavarian Patriot Party It was a programmatically diffuse collection movement for a long time, in which from the beginning there was only consensus on the rejection of liberalism and Prussian militarism. When the Reich was founded in 1870/71, the party was still divided into particularists and federalists. The long-term transition to federalist positions in the Bismarck era meant recognition of the constitutional status quo since 1871 (Friedrich Hartmannsgruber, Die Bayerische Patriotenpartei 1868-1887, Munich 1986).

Main idea of ​​BVP and all state governments of the Weimar Republic

During the Weimar Republic, federalism was the guiding principle of the Bavarian People’s Party (BVP) and all Bavarian state governments, as well as those under Social Democratic Prime Minister Kurt Eisner (USPD, 1867-1919) and Johannes Hoffmann (SPD, 1867-1930) (cf. for BVP the Bamberg federal program, 18 September 1920, reprint: Schwend, monarchy, 135f., and its final version, 28 October 1922, reprint ibid., 141f.).

Separation from the center and big German orientation

Since 1918/19, the federalists formulated the counter position to the strong unitaristic tendencies in the Reich, which had a starting point in the Weimar constitution. As far back as 1918, they were the decisive factor for the separation of the Bavarian Center Delegates from the Reich Center and the founding of the BVP. This constellation was a continuation in 1945 with the founding of the CSU as a sister party of the CDU. In 1920, for the same reason, Georg Heim (1865-1938) pushed for the dissolution of the working group between the BVP and the center in the Reichstag. A constant remained the Greater German orientation even after 1919. Behind the goal of Austria’s inclusion was the desire to soften the minority position of Catholics in the Reich.

Federalism as an intra-Bavarian integration tool

Historically, federalism has been the instrument with which Bavarian politics since 1871 has handled the nation-state unification with the incorporation of Bavaria into the Reich. Although this development was unloved in large sections of the population, it was considered factually inevitable, at least on the political level and in business circles. With reference to this state-organized principle of organization, Bavaria upheld German tradition and history, and, Konrad Beyerle said, "therefore German in and of itself" be (Staatslexikon, Volume 2, 1927, 66ff.), equally entitled to the participation of the states in the imperial affairs as well as partial independence of the Free State of Bavaria. Thus, between 1918 and 1933, federalism promoted a Bavarian consciousness of the state, which in turn formed the basis of every federalist policy.

The balancing act between practical politics in the Reich and federal claim

The contradiction between the practical policy of BVP in the Reich, u. a. Their participation in several imperial governments, as well as their federalist positions of principle was dissolved by the party although formally held until 1933 to their program, the maximum demands, however, were formulated in the future by the state government and the Munich ministerial bureaucracy, such as in the government memorials. The Bavarian opposition, in particular the SPD, criticized the federalist positions of the state government during these years.

Orientation to the state principle

Federalism is associated with a more or less pronounced statehood claim, but it clearly fits into a federal principle (example: the United States of America, 1787). In the Weimar years, this claim was actually oriented towards the version of the Bismarckian constitution that was then glorified by Bavaria, but which, in view of Prussian hegemony, was only one "Pseudo-federalism" (Laufer / Münch) had been.

Clearly distinguishable from this are far-reaching statesmanlike ideas (in a confederation of states the member states retain their sovereignty), which are not represented by the state in Bavaria, but have been attested again and again. To the same extent, this also applies to the separatism striving for complete independence.

Theoretical basics

The writings of the federalist theorist Constantin Frantz (1817-1891) (Federalism as the guiding principle for the social, state and international organization, 1879) had almost no significance for its Bavarian variety. All the more influential for the legitimacy of the Bavarian Federalism policy, however, was the Bavarian national historiography, from Michael Doeberl (1861-1928) to Max Spindler (1894-1986). In addition, the Bavarian federalism is derived from the principle of subsidiarity of Catholic social teaching (Encyclicals Rerum Novarum [1891] and in particular Quadragesimo Anno [1931]).

Prime Minister Held, Konrad Beyerle, Karl Schwend and the civil service as exponents

The most important protagonist of Bavarian federalism in the Weimar Republic was Heinrich Held (1868-1938), who had already played a leading role in the program of the BVP (for his understanding of federalism, see Richard Keßler, Heinrich Held as parliamentarian, 1868-1924, Berlin 1971, 418-422). Held sharpened above all with the various government memorials and his contributions to the country conferences in the late 1920s its programmatic profile – especially supported by Councilor Hans Schmelzle (1874-1955). He was also the one "jurist" the BVP, the Munich constitutional lawyer Hans Nawiasky (1880-1961) (see Barbara Fait, The Federalist Manifesto by Hans Nawiasky, in: History in the West 6 [1991], 224-231), and within the Munich Jurassic Professor Konrad Beyerle (1872 -1933) – the author of the article federalism in the state lexicon of Gorresgesellschaft (2nd volume, 5th edition 1927, 66ff.) To the side, also Anton Pfeiffer (1888-1957) and Karl Schwend (1890-1968). The latter explicitly referred to his academic teacher Doeberl. Schwend ‘s work written after the war (Bavaria between monarchy and dictatorship, contributions to the Bavarian question in the period from 1918 to 1933, Munich 1954) must therefore be read primarily as a source of Bavarian understanding of the Bavarian welfare state in the Weimar Republic, as is the case in the Bavarian executive and prevailed in the BVP leadership, as well as a justification of the policy pursued by Bavaria at that time (cf contemporary with this critical classification already: Heinz Gollwitzer, Bavaria 1918-1933, in: quarterly issues for Zeitgeschichte 3 [1955], 363-387, here 366f .). The most important bearer of Bavarian federalism, incidentally, remained the Bavarian civil service, in particular the ministerial bureaucracy, throughout the epoch of 1945.

Counterposition to the National Socialist understanding of the state

Through its federalist position, Bavaria was from the outset in opposition to National Socialism, which, committed to the Führer principle, aspired to the centralized unitary state and the Gleichschaltung of the countries.

The low status of the countries Hitler had already in the first edition of "My fight" (1925/26): The meaning of the individual states lay "in the future no longer in the state and power policy fields" (Rüdiger Gerst, On the Situation and Transformation of Federalism in the National Socialist Period "seizure of power" and assurance, in: Region – Nation – Vision. Festschrift Karl Möckl on the occasion of his 65th birthday, Bamberg 2005, 217-242).

Despite these centralist guidelines and targeted de-federalization u. a. however, through the law on the rebuilding of the Reich (January 30, 1934) and the dissolution of the Reichsrat (February 14, 1934), there were still opposing tendencies and factors in Bavaria between 1933 and 1945. The strongest manifestation of the unity and personality of Bavaria until 1945 was in the person of the Reich Governor in Bavaria Franz Xaver Ritter von Epp (1868-1947) (see Bernhard Grau, The Reich Governor in Bavaria: Interface between Reich and Land, in: Hermann Rumschöttel / Walter Ziegler [ed.], State and Gaue in the Nazi era, Bavaria 1933-1945, Munich 2004, 129-169).

Continuity of federal politics after 1945

After the Second World War, Prime Minister Hans Ehard (1887-1980) expressed expressis verbis in the tradition of his predecessor hero and his legalistic-federalist policy. In its narrowest political environment, Pfeiffer and Schwend also had remarkable staff continuity in this regard. The historian Ernst Deuerlein (1918-1971) was also responsible for the historical legitimization of the federalist policy of the Bavarian head of government as a speechwriter (Federalism: The Historical and Philosophical Foundations of the Federal Principle, Munich 1972)..

Federalism as a guarantor for a democratic post-war Germany

In particular, Ehard attacked a dictated by Held in the second half of the 1920s, according to which the establishment of a dictatorship in Germany has so far failed in its federalist structure. After 1945, Ehard converted this thesis to the effect that a genuine federal constitutional structure in the Weimar Republic would have offered the opportunity to prevent National Socialism. Therefore, he did not tire after the war, especially to emphasize the American occupying power, a system of federalist "checks and balances" guarantee a successful democratic rebuilding. The support of the US military government contributed not insignificantly to the creation of the Bundesrat during the negotiations of the Parliamentary Council (1948/49) in Bonn, which was essentially Ehards merit and is regarded as federalist success.

Even the post-war Bavarian federalism was to a much greater extent the cipher for a certain form of practical politics than a theoretically founded political theory. This is also evidenced by the fact that Prime Minister Ehard only 1954 with the lecture "The spiritual foundations of federalism", Derived from the spring Deuerleins, the theoretical basis of his policy nachrich (reprint: Karl-Ulrich Gelberg, sources on the political history of Bavaria in the post-war period, Volume 1 [1944-1957], Munich 2002, 529-538). There he propagated federalism as a model for a united Europe and as a structural principle to preserve individual freedom from the threats of collectivism and totalitarianism. He also critically argued with the objection repeatedly raised in the Weimar Republic that federalism was the more expensive form of government and showed that the "Verreichlichung" After 1933, the judiciary did not lead to a reduction, but to an increase in the number of civil servants and thus to an increase in the cost of administration.

Federalist turn of the Bavarian SPD after 1945

In contrast to the Weimar Republic, the Bavarian Social Democrats under the leadership of and later, citing Wilhelm Hoegner (1887-1980) after the Second World War in the opposition and as a ruling party (1945-1947, 1950-1954 and 1954-1957) represented decidedly federalist positions , which led on several occasions to divergences with the national board of the SPD.

Continuity of federal politics until the turn of the millennium

The Federalist policy of Hans Ehards, who with the Basic Law only one "labile federalism" established, which could also develop in a centralistic direction, continued all his successors in the office of Bavarian Prime Minister. The structural differences with the representatives of the own party in the Bundestag and the Federal Government, recognizable already during the Weimar Republic, also persisted (Petra Weber, Federalism and Lobbyism.) The CSU National Group between Federal and State Politics from 1949 to 1969, in: Thomas Schlemmer / Hans Woller [ed.], Bavaria in the Bund, 3rd volume, Munich 2004, 23-116). Party friends involved in the Federal Government responded to federalist demands from the Isar, however, often with indifference or rejection. The low point of the development for federalism, which had already fallen into the defensive in the first half of the 1960s, was the Great Financial Reform (1969), which led to greater integration and expanded federal competences. Protagonist of the reform under the slogan of "Cooperative federalism" was the CSU chairman and Federal Finance Minister Franz Josef Strauss (Wolfgang Renzsch, Financial constitution and financial compensation.) The disputes over their political formation in the Federal Republic of Germany between currency reform and German unification [1948-1990], Bonn 1991, 209-260).

European integration and Bavarian federalism

Since the 1970s, increasing European integration has also proved to be a new challenge for Bavaria’s federalist policy. The Prime Ministers Alfons Goppel (1905-1991), Franz Josef Strauß (1915-1988) and Max Streibl (1932-1998) presented themselves with new concepts such as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alpenländer (Arge Alp) and the Europe of the Regions (see Martin Hübler , The European Policy of the Free State of Bavaria, from the Single European Act to the Amsterdam Treaty, Munich 2002).

After the reunification Prime Minister Streibl took up the model of the Munich Minister President Conference of 1947, at which the Prime Ministers of the Western Zones under the leadership of Hans Ehards as "Trustee of the German people" had constituted. He invited the now 16 Heads of Government of the Länder on 20./21. December 1990 at a Minister Presidents’ Conference in Munich. With the adopted there "Munich Declaration" (Reprint: Bayerische Staatszeitung, January 4, 1991) underlined Bavaria’s federal claim to leadership among the federal states, even in a Germany that had become larger.

Art. 23 (European Article), newly introduced into the Basic Law following the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty in December 1992 under pressure from the Länder, has since bound the transfer of sovereign rights to the European Union to the approval of the Bundesrat (W. Fischer, Die Europäische Union im Basic Law: the new Article 23, in: Zeitschrift für Parlamentfragen 24 [1993], 32-49). Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber (born 1941) praised the co-authored by him new Article 23 GG in his first government statement in 1993 than "most significant strengthening of federalism since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany". Since the Federal Republic of Germany has since been particularly often involved in decisions at European level ("German vote"), because a vote with the countries was not possible in time, the article is today, with regard to the ability to act and the weight of the Federal Republic at European level, extremely critically evaluated.

Federalism debate since the mid-1990s

The Bavarian Prime Minister Stoiber initially made a contribution to the Federalism debate, which had been intensively debated in science and politics since the mid-1990s, by calling for more competition among the federal states (competition federalism in contrast to the previously practiced participation federalism) (Hartmut Klatt, plea for a competitive federalism, in: Reinhard C. Meier-Walser / Gerhard Hirscher [ed.], crisis and reform of federalism, Munich 1999, 64-78). He aimed primarily at a change in the state financial equalization.

Since the end of the millennium, there has been widespread consensus in federal and state governments on the need to reform the Federalist system of the Federal Republic. The commission on the modernization of the federal system (federal state commission), which was chaired by Franz Müntefering (born 1940) and Edmund Stoiber in October 2003 and was jointly set up by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, had to admit its failure on 17 December 2004 for the time being. It was agreed that the objectives (above all the unbundling of responsibilities created by the Grand Finances reform of the Grand Coalition in 1969), but not the new distribution of powers, finances and power. In 2006, the grand coalition made a new attempt to implement federalism reform.

Related Posts

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: