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The Austrian cooperative movement began in the nineteenth century. Around the year 1850, the first so-called “Aushilfskasse” (a preliminary version of a cooperative bank) was founded; furthermore, first consumption cooperatives emerged. The first building cooperative dates back to 1869. Before the Austrian Cooperatives Act [GenG] was passed in the year 1873, cooperatives were founded under the Association Act of 1852 (Vereinspatent). The formation of cooperative associations was an important step on the way toward a law on cooperatives. GenG was written on the basis of the German Cooperative Act by Schulze-Delitzsch.