Anti-semitism and rural transformation in Kurhessen : the rise and fall of the Bockel Movement / David Peal.
The dissertation is a social history of the anti-Semitic "Bockel movement" (1887-1894) in Kurhessen. The dissertation's central problem consists of two aspects: the role of cooperatives within the movement, as organization and as means of combatting Jewish "usurers" by non-political means; the role of the non-anti-Semitic Raiffeisen cooperatives in carrying on the movement "by other means" after Otto Bockel's political failure in 1894. These themes are seen in the light of the long-term integration of Kurhessen into Germany in the nineteenth century. This process transformed rural society in Kurhessen and left a lasting impact on political anti-Semitism in Germany. The dissertation places the Bockel movement in the context of the overall development of anti-Semitic politics in 19th-century Kurhessen. During the first phase of political anti-Semitism, in the 1840s and 1850s, Kurhessen was still a sovereign state. Early anti-Semites were opposed primarily to Jewish emancipation, since emancipated "usurers" seemed to threaten a still backward rural society. The Bockel movement broke out after Kurhessen's annexa- tion by Prussia in 1866, in the midst of the agricultural depression of the 1880s. Now opposition to Jewish emancipation was linked to a larger rejection of the liberal economic order imposed on Kurhessen after 1866. Only after the mid-1890s was Kurhessen integrated into the polity and society of imperial Germany, a process hastened by the spread of Raiffeisen credit cooperatives. Local anti-Semitic politics after Bockel was sponsored by those groups that opposed fundamental political change in Germany.
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