Arthur B. Gunlicks
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The German Land parliaments (Landtage)

In the Kaiserreich of 1871–1918, the German Constitution gave the central government only a brief catalogue of powers, with all other powers reserved for the states. However, the central state also had concurrent powers and implied powers. In the Weimar Republic of 1919–1933, the monarchical governments in the states (now called Land (singular) and Länder (plural)) were replaced by governments dependent on majorities in the Land parliaments (Landtage). With the accession of Adolf Hitler to power in January 1933, the Land governments were soon authorised to bypass the Land parliaments by passing laws through ‘simplified legislative procedures’. On January 31, 1934, the Land parliaments were officially disbanded. This chapter traces the history of Land parliaments in Germany. It examines the Land parliaments as legislatures today, Land parliaments and the Basic Law, the party group, the decline of Land legislative powers, functions of the Land parliaments today, the role of Land parliaments and the organisation of the Land parliaments.

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