chapter  5
18 Pages

The Agrarian Parties

Remembrance of Things Past

The agrarian parties constitute one of the historically important party families. They presented the ideology of agrarianism, which began to develop in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. For the strengths and weakness of western agrarian politics, the fortunes of the interwar Austrian political agrarianism are more indicative. The 1950s was the zenith for the Scandinavian western European agrarian parties. Immediately after the Second World War the agrarian parties in East-Central Europe were forced to face the expansion of Communism. The agrarian movement in Switzerland first began to take within the liberal party. The Hungarian and Polish agrarians paradoxically found themselves in the unprecedented and under democratic conditions unimaginable situation where limited political competition made them the main non-communist alternative. The Slovenian Peoples Party undertook a much more far-reaching ideological transformation, from an agrarian to a Christian democratic party. Political Catholicism and agrarianism were sometimes in competition and sometimes even in conflict.