Christian Social Party, founded as a democratic party by K. Lueger 1893. The nucleus of the Christian Social party was made up of the "United Christians" ("Vereinigte Christen"), the "Christian Social Association" ("Christlich-sozialer Verein", founded 1887) and the "Christian Social Labour Association" ("Christlich-sozialer Arbeiterverein"), which were, in turn, members of the Christian Socialist Movement. Largely due to a basically anti-Semitic perspective the party fought against Liberalism and the German Liberal Party. K. Lueger was supported by K. von Vogelsang and Prince Aloys Liechtenstein. Since Lueger had the Vienna middle class behind him, his party won a two-thirds majority in the Vienna Municipal Council in 1895. The party´s great-Austrian and federalist policies finally made it popular even at Court and among the nobility, who had opposed it earlier, and by unification with the traditionally clericalist and conservative groups it also won support from the rural masses.
In 1907 the Christian Social party ("German Christian Socialists" and Clericalists) won the elections to the Reichsrat as the strongest party of the house of representatives, yet was defeated after Lueger´s death (1910) in the elections of 1911. After this defeat, by which the party lost its majority of votes in Vienna to the Social Democrats, it gained support mainly from the Catholic rural population and the middle class. During World War I the party was loyal to the state authority; after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1918 it favoured the establishment of a republic and, for a time, annexation to Germany.
In 1918-1920 it entered into a coalition with the Social Democratic party and in 1920 took over the government as the strongest party of the coalition with the Großdeutsche Volkspartei (until 1932) and the Landbund (1927-1934). From 1920 the party provided the Federal Chancellor - except for the years 1921/22 and 1929/30 (J. Schober); between 1928-1938 also the Federal President (W. Miklas). When I. Seipel resigned as party chairman (1929), C. Vaugoin took over the leadership of the Christian Social Party, and advocated closer ties with the Heimwehr para-military force. Since co-operation with the Heimwehr did not prove fruitful, the Christian Social party returned to the coalition with the "German Nationalists" and the "Country Party" ("Landbund"; from 1932 only with the Country Party). As a consequence of the end of parliamentary democracy (1933/34), the foundation of the Fatherland Front and the proclamation of the May Constitution, the Christian Social Party was dissolved in September 1934 and incorporated into the Fatherland Front.
After 1945 the Österreichische Volkspartei (Austrian People's Party), newly founded by mostly former Christian Socialist politicians, took over the tradition of the Christian Social Party.
Literature: F. Stauracz, Eine wahre Volkspartei ..., 1904; Kralik, K. Lueger und der christlich Sozialismus, 1923; A. Ernst, Die Christlichsoziale Partei und die österreichische Sozialpolitik bis 1918, doctoral thesis, Vienna 1948; F. Funder, Vom Gestern ins Heute, 1952; Protokolle des Klubvorstandes der Christlichsozialen Partei 1932-34, 1980.
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