Why did Bismarck decide to launch a campaign against the Catholics in 1870? (i got 18/20)

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Bismarck launched a campaign called the Kulturkampf, against the Catholics in 1870:

  • because he felt threatended by their increasing power in the Reichstag and they were a threat to Bismarck's German unity.
  • The Pope's Papal Infallibility was too dictating foer the people.
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Before the KK

Before the KK the Catholics were:

  • not supported and were left to their own devices.
  • The Protestants over powered them as there 60% of them in Germany, in comparison with the 40% Catholics.
  • Many Catholics felt like they didn't fit in the new German State being the minority,

However, the Protestants were:

  • protected by Bismarck as they had a better argument in politics,
  • Bismarck had the same views as them because he was Protestant himself.
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The reason for the KK part 1

Bismarck felt threatended by the Catholics because:

  • the Centre Party were the Second Largest Party in the Reichstag.
  • He saw the Centre Party as a threat to unity because they supported South Germans, Poles and people from Alsace-Lorraine, which promoted greater self rule for the individual states.
  • Bismarck wanted Germany to be a complete Protestant country,
  • He saw Catholics as disloyal to Germany.
  • In 1864, Pope Puis IX's Syllabus of Errors criticised the Liberals, who wanted to progress but the cathoics didn't.
  • Catholics and the Centre Party objected to state interference in the education system as they needed schools to promote their religion.
  • The Pope introduced Papal Infallibility  which stated that the Church was more important than the State; Bismarck disagreed.

However Papal infallibility wasn't a success because:

  • some catholics broke from the Church as they didn't want to change their religion to spite Bismarck.
  • They felt the Pope was too dictating.
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The reason for the KK part 2

Bismarck's power over the Catholics was now much stronger because:

  • many Catholics were breaking away from the church. 
  • This resulted in the dismissal of Catholic teachers and professors, as they had different views on politics and their religion.
  • This gave Bismarck the chance to launch his attack on the catholic church, claiming that they was not allowing religious toleration and condemned their actions in a series of newspaper articles in 1872.
  • This was the start of the KK.
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Bismarck launched the KK campaign because:

  • he was Protestant and he felt very threatended by the Catholics.
  • he wanted German unity but the Centre Party didn't want this.
  • Bismarck was losing his power to the Centre Party as they were the second largest party in the Reichstag. 
  • The Pope was instructing his followers to go against the state using Papal Infallibility.

All of this triggered Bismarck to take action and launch the KK to prevent the Catholics from changing Germany. 

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