Historical Social Research

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Jürgen W. Falter: Kontinuität und Neubeginn. Die Bundestagswahl 1949 zwischen Weimar und Bonn [1981]

»Continuity and renewal. The 1949 Bundestag election between Weimar and Bonn«. The goal of the following analysis is to consider the hardly researched Bundestag elections as a link between the first and second German Republics in their historical context. Due to the lack of available data – there are no surveys available – an aggregate data analysis has been used to develop results about the socio-economic voting patterns from a temporal and spatial perspective. The economic and political factors in the election campaign are investigated in order to analyze the election. The Weimar roots of the election results are also presented in order to compare the results between 1928 and 1949. The relationship between the performance of the most important parties in the Bundestag elections of 1949, those parties’ percentages of votes in the Landtag elections in 1946/7, and the Bundestag elections of 1953 are considered. The analysis of the socio-economic composition of the election results follows, whereby the influence of social factors on the election results is considered in the development leading up to the 1953 Bundestag elections. These factors include: (1) religious influences; (2) economic influences; (3) influence of socio-economic background. Then, the isolated relationships between the individual influence factors are illustrated in a causal model with latent variables. The results of the study are discussed.