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Since its foundation inthe Social Democratic Party has often been one of the main political forces in Austria. At the start of the First World War it was the strongest party in parliament, and on the ending of that war in the party leader Karl Renner became chancellor of the First Republic. The party lost power inbut retained a strong base of support in the capital Vienna. A period of rising political violence culminated in the banning of the Social Democratic Party under the Austrofascist dictatorship - Inthe Socialists supported union with Germanybut the Allies forbid this in the treaty of St.