Ernst May and the New Frankfurt am Main Initiative, 1926–1931
Introduction Within the irregularities and overlaps of any cultural history—its repeated co-presence of various forms of the emergent with forms of the residual and the dominant—that definition of period and type has a working usefulness.1 —Raymond Williams In November 1918, Germany achieved its belated revolution. German soldiers were exhausted, impoverished and starving, frustrated by an autocratic state that required unquestioning allegiance and yet afforded few of the reforms of its Euro- pean neighbors. A demonstration in Kiel of sailors and workers marching under banners of “Peace and Bread” ultimately set off a nationwide revolt. The Novem- ber Revolution unleashed the frustrated energies of the working class, the troops, the unions and the parties of the left, and, with them, a political storm of violent rhetoric and violent acts. Created under these conditions, the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) was a fragile proposition. Yet, Germany had at last achieved a parlia- mentary democracy, and, in 1919, it enacted a new constitution, one of the most liberal ever written, with numerous passages that reflected even socialist ideals. It established the franchise for all men and women, abolished aristocratic titles and privileges, and outlawed the banning of political parties. The new Reichstag was free to assemble, legislate, appoint ministers—all powers previously vested in the Kaiser. Of civil rights, it declared equality before the law, regardless of class, gen- der, race or religion; it guaranteed the right to assembly, to the formation of clubs and societies; and the eligibility of every citizen...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.