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A Catholic Authoritarian State

With the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy after World War I, the laws on religions remained a part of the legal framework. Religion, more precisely secular vs. church-oriented politics, quickly became an important political line of division. In 1933/34, the deeply divided population of the First Republic of Austria experienced a civil war and political radicalisation resulted in the establishment of an authoritarian regime officially supported by the Catholic Church. The Christian Social Party, forerunner of the Austrian People’s Party, used a conflictual situation in parliament to abolish the democratic system, call out a “Christian state” in Austria, and install a dictatorship built on Catholic teachings. The Austrian Concordat with the Holy See was established during this period.

Source and further information:
 Pelinka, Anton, “Die gescheiterte Republik: Kultur und Politik in Österreich 1918-1938”, Wien, 2017.
 Hanisch, Ernst, “Der lange Schatten des Staates: österreichische Gesellschaftsgeschichte im 20. Jahrhundert”, Wien, 2005, p. 77.

D 5 September 2023    AAstrid Mattes AKerstin Wonisch

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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