The Kulturkampf

  • Created by: Anna
  • Created on: 12-05-13 15:43

10 points

  • Actions against the Catholic Church
  • Bismacrk and catholicism
  • End
  • May Laws
  • Reasons for clash
  • Results
  • Syllabus of errors
  • The 'Old Catholics'
  • The Centre Party
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Bismarck and Catholicism

  •  Bismarck protestant, biews Catholics with suspicion
  • Wanted to unify and consolidate new Reich
  • Saw success of Centre Party as danger to Empire's unity
  • War against internal opponents of unification
  • Put Bismarck as head of Protestant crusade
  • Enabled him to work closely with the National Liberals in the 1870s
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The Centre Pasrt

  • German Catholics formed own party
  • 1871, second largest party in the Reichstag
  • Drawing support from all social strata
  • Favoured greater self-rule for the component states of the Reich
  • Objected to state interference in the Church's traditional sphere of influence: the education system
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The 'Old Catholics'

  • 5,000 refused to accept decree of papal infallibility and broke with the Church
  • Old Catholic teachers and professors dismissed by Bishops gave Bismarck an excuse to attack
  • Maintained that the Prussian government was committed to the principle of religous toleration
  • Condemned Catholic Church's actions in a series of newspaper articles in 1872
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Reasons for clash

  • two thirds of Germany Protestant and one third Catholic
  • Church and state came into conflict in several countries
  • Vatican council laid down doctrine of papal infallibility
  • Ruled that papal pronouncements on matters of faith and morals could not be questioned
  • Papal measures aroused great alarm in liberal circles
  • Future of mankind at stake
  • Militant Catholicism would interfere in Reich's domestic affairs and support reactionary causes
  • Liberals do battle with Catholic Church
  • Life and detah struggle for freedom and process against forces of reaction
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Syllabus of errors

Pope Pius IX condemned every major principle for which liberals stood:

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of worship
  • Freedom to form political associations and hold political meetings
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Actions against the Catholic Church

  • Legislation against the church passed by the Prussian Landtag, other state governments and the Reichstag
  • Catholic schools brought under supervision of state
  • Forbade Jesuit order to set up establishments and empowered state government to expel individual Jesuits
  • May Laws introduced in 1873
  • 1875, laws empowered Prussia to suspend subsidies to the Church in parishes where clergy resisted new legislation
  • All religous orders dissolved
  • Enforced vigorously by Falk
  • 1876, all but 2 Prussian Catholic Bishops didn't abide by laws and were in excile or house arrest
  • More than 1000 priests suspended from posts
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May Laws

  • May 1873, Dr Falk, Prussian Minister of religion and education
  • Aimed to bring Catholic Church under state control

May Laws 1873:

  • All candidates for priesthood had to attend a secular university before commencing training
  • Religious appointments subject to state approval
  • 1874 obligatory civil marriage introduced

Clergy could be fined, imprisoned or even expelled if they failed to comply with the May Laws

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  • Not what Bismarck had hoped
  • Met with considerable opposition
  • Pope attacked, threatened to excommunicate those who obeyed the May Laws
  • Only 30 of the 10,000 priests submitted to May Laws
  • Catholic communities sheltered priests
  • Hopes of destroying Centre Party backfired
  • Strengthened rather than weakened
  • Protestants opposed some of Kulturkampf legislation
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  • Failed. Bismarck had underestimated enemy (Catholic Church had more popular support than he had realised)
  • Rift between Reich and Catholic subjects. Increased disunity and not removed it
  • Anxious for Centre Party on his side against socialism
  • Death of Pope Pius IX in 1873
  • Successor Leo XIII was conciliatory and direct negotiation led to improved relations with Bismarck and Church
  • Some anti-Catholic measures repealed
  • Many May Laws still remained in force
  • Sought to turn failure into an advantage by harnessing Catholic political power in the Reichstag to support conservative, protectionist and anti-socialist measures
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