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Bavarian Farmers’ Union
During the agricultural crisis of the 1870s, it was not the peasants who took the initiative in Germany but the Prussian landowners, who already had a strong position in the state. Through their organization, the Bund der Landwirte, they demanded, in order to protect agriculture – mainly their own – grain tariffs, fight against parliamentarism, workers, Jews and Poles, and a war against Russia. The grain tariffs, together with the improved economy after 1896, led to better conditions for ordinary farmers as well, and the majority of these supported the landowners’ reactionary programs.
Except in Bavaria. There, since 1848, the small Catholic peasants had fought landowners, Prussian militarism, and the atheism of the upper class on an egalitarian basis. They continued to do so in the 1870s. They were moderately interested in customs and instead demanded countryside railways, reduced military costs and broadened democracy.
organization Bauernbund was quite unstructured. Unlike the farmers
in Denmark they did not organize their own cooperation but
let that matter be run by the upper middle class. Bauernbund was
a purely political organization. This made it subject to violent
fluctuations – it had peaks in activity after 1910 and again
shortly after the war when it created the Bavarian Council Republic
together with the labor movement.