Explain Why Bismarck Carrried Out Kulturkampf in the 1870s. Essay

456 WordsOct 20, 20142 Pages
The Kulturkampf “culture struggle” was about the separation between church and state in Prussia, launched by Otto von Bismarck in 1871. Bismarck was German chancellor of a newly unified Germany after the Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871, the French lost and Wilhem the First became Kaiser. Most of the population of Prussia was Protestant (62% in 1871) and were the main supporters of Bismarck. In other parts of Prussia such as Poland or Cologne, the Catholic Church (comprised 39% of the population in Germany) had more control and influence than the Prussian Government. In 1870 the Centre (Z) Party was formed to defend the interests of the Catholic Church in Germany. In 1871 the Centre (Z) Party gained 63 seats, being the second largest party in the Reichstag. Bismarck feared the Catholic Church was threatening his control and had too much involvement in his state. In 1870 a doctrine emerged from the Vatican Council. The 'Doctrine of Papal Infallibility' stated the pope ( in 1870 it was Pope Pius IX) was not to be wrong on matters of morality and faith and could never be challenged. This lead to the introduction of the 'Pulpit Paragraph' in November 1871 which forbade pastors to voice their political opinions to their disciples. After the passage of the 'Pulpit Paragraph' Bismarck's anti-Catholic campaign went ahead, and laws followed that were passed to hurt the Catholic Church in Prussia. In 1872 -1873 the Falk Laws was set in place, religious teachers were banned from schools; inspections had to made to ensure that Church teachings were kept to a minimal, the state was allowed to veto unsuitable ecclesiastical (church) appointments, civil marriages were made compulsory causing all sorts of backlash that eventually , and the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) was Banned in Germany and was remained banned for the duration of the Empire. In 1875 the a 'Bread Basket' law was past

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