National Liberal Party (Denmark)

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National Liberal Party
De Nationalliberale
Founded 1842
Dissolved 1882
Ideology National liberalism

The National Liberal Party (Danish: De Nationalliberale) was a Danish political party or political movement[1] from 1842 until 1882.

Often considered "the first Danish political party" the National Liberals were gradually founded as the opposition against the Danish absolute monarchy. It was inspired by German movements and its base was merchants, industrials, officials and especially students and academics. Among its leading figures were Orla Lehmann, Ditlev Gothard Monrad, Andreas Frederik Krieger, Carl Ploug and Carl Christian Hall but many elder businessmen and officials were leaders until the 1840s.

Its political goal was a constitutional government and free liberal economy, mixed with a strong national attitude towards the Germans, especially on the Schleswig-Holstein Question. It gradually grew stronger during the 1840s, and at the crisis and fall of absolutism 1848 it was the driving force. After a short participation in cabinet it went into opposition until 1854. From then and until 1864 it was the leading Danish party especially led by Hall. Its press became an indisputable political factor. Besides it carried through some economic liberal reforms.

Its inability to handle the difficult Schleswig question led to defeat in the Second Schleswig War (1864), which ended its power, and also damaged the prestige of the party. During the next years it went into the background. In 1866-75 it was the coalition partner of Højre, and soon most National Liberal veterans joined the conservative side. From about 1880 the party was quietly dissolved, split between the new combatants of the Constitutional Struggle of Denmark.

Election results[edit]

Parliament (Folketing)[edit]

Date Seats
# ±
1849
42 / 101
New
1852
47 / 101
Increase 5
1853 (feb)
40 / 101
Decrease 7
1853 (may)
33 / 101
Decrease 7
1854[2]
78 / 101
Increase 45
1855[3]
78 / 101
Steady 0
1858
20 / 101
Decrease 58
1861
46 / 101
Increase 26
1864
40 / 101
Decrease 6
1865
20 / 101
Decrease 20
1866 (jun)
20 / 101
Steady 0
1866 (oct)
20 / 104
Steady 0
1869
27 / 104
Increase 7
1869
27 / 104
Increase 7
18721873
Did not run.
1876
19 / 104
Increase 19
1879
10 / 104
Decrease 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sir Richard Francis Burton (1875). Ultima Thule: Or, A Summer in Iceland. Original from the University of Michigan: W.P. Nimmo. p. 104. 
  2. ^ In alliance with The Society of the Friends of Peasants.
  3. ^ In alliance with The Society of the Friends of Peasants.