The Rise of Danish Agrarian Liberalism

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In the literature on European history, World War I and the interwar years are oft en portrayed as the end of the age of liberalism. The crisis of liberalism dates back to the nineteenth century, but after the Great War, criticism of liberalism intensified. But the interwar period also saw a number of attempts to redefine the concept. This article focuses on the Danish case of this European phenomenon. It shows how a profound crisis of bourgeois liberalism in the late nineteenth century left the concept of liberalism almost deserted in the first decades of the twentieth century, and how strong state regulation of the Danish economy during World War I was crucial for an ideologization of the rural population and their subsequent orientation toward the concept of liberalism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContributions to the History of Concepts
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)96-105
Publication statusPublished - 1. Dec 2013


  • Conceptual history
  • Danish politics
  • Ideologies in context
  • Liberalism

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