Before the rise of the antisemites
in Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites
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This chapter considers what are called here the founding myths of the antisemites. It explains that antisemites considered the introduction into Austria of modernising, secularising, economic, social and political reforms – in short, liberalism – as a step that damaged what they considered to be natural Austrian phenomena – a hierarchical social system, feudal, guild-based economics, and a privileged place in society for the Roman Catholic Church. The chapter examines these claims, setting out how Austria, and particularly Vienna, evolved from around the mid-nineteenth century, into a period of liberal reforms and liberal political ascendency. It examines how a weakening Austrian Empire was beaten in war and called on liberals to modernise the state.

Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites

A study of the Christian Social movement

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