Free Democratic Party (Germany) facts for kids
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Free Democratic Party
Freie Demokratische Partei
|Founded||11 December 1948|
|Political position||Centre to centre-right|
|European affiliation||European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|European Parliament group||Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe|
|Colours||Blue, magenta and yellow|
The Free Democratic Party or Freie Demokratische Partei, short FDP (from 1968 to 2001 F.D.P.) is a political party in Germany. The party advocates for a more free market economy. Although they agree to some aspects of the German welfare state, they want to see a reduction in government spending and a movement to privatization.
Several liberal parties have existed in Germany since the 19th century. The FDP was founded in West Germany in September of 1945 in the state of Hamburg. It became member of the state parliament of Hamburg in its first election. Similar liberal parties were founded in other German states, most of them successful in getting mandates. In 1947, on March 17th, the Demokratische Partei Deutschlands (DPD) was founded as a whole-Germany liberal party by Theodor Heuss and Wilhelm Külz, but it broke down after a short while.
On 11 December 1948 the FDP was founded as a liberal party for West Germany. Chief of the party was Theodor Heuss. The next important man was Thomas Dehler.
In its first years the main part of the party followed a national-liberal way. Liberal in the economical field, but very conserative in most other fields. But in every state it had its own way.
The party changed its values. Left-liberal positions were the leading ideas of the FDP at that time and included ideas like civil rights and giving everyone the chance for a good education (guaranteed state stipendia, no more study fees, more higher education schools).
It changed again in 1982, when the government crashed on Schmidt and elected Helmut Kohl of the CDU as the new chancellor. It became more and more a single issue party with its only interest in a low tax tarif - especially for high incomes. It fought for study fees now and against social security. It secretary general said one day "We are the party of the best-incomes".
In 1998 it lost its power and became part of the opposition. In some state parliaments the FDP is still in power as junior partner of the CDU.
The party's unofficial motto is "So viel Staat wie nötig, so wenig Staat wie möglich!", meaning "as much state as necessary, as little state as possible!"
Chairmen of the Free Democratic Party
- Theodor Heuss 1948–1949
- Franz Blücher 1949–1954
- Thomas Dehler 1954–1957
- Reinhold Maier 1957–1960
- Erich Mende 1960–1968
- Walter Scheel 1968–1974
- Hans-Dietrich Genscher 1974–1985
- Martin Bangemann 1985–1988
- Otto Graf Lambsdorff 1988–1993
- Klaus Kinkel 1993–1995
- Wolfgang Gerhardt 1995–2001
- Guido Westerwelle 2001–2011
- Philipp Roesler 2011–2013
- Christian Lindner since 2013
Images for kids
"Schlußstrich drunter!"—FDP election campaign poster before the 1949 Bundestag election in Hesse calling for a halt on denazification
Christian Lindner is the party chairman, having succeeded Philipp Rösler in December 2013
Guido Westerwelle (right) and his partner Michael Mronz in 2009
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Vice President of the European Parliament (2014–present)
Werner Klumpp, interim Minister-President of the Saarland from 26 June 1979 to 5 July 1979
Hans-Dietrich Genscher served almost continuously as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1974 to 1992
Free Democratic Party (Germany) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.