The publication of Luther’s German translation of the New Testament in 1523 democratized religion. This was one of Luther’s motives for his beliefs in Germany, for everyone to read and place the Bible front and center as an act of Christian worship. King Henry VIII was the king of England and when his personal matter of wanting to get divorced became a political issue, a huge break with Rome resulted. His motive was to divorce Queen Catherine for no other reason than that of lust for another woman. Henry VIII, having earned the title “Defender of Faith” for a pinning response to Luther’s attacks on the sacraments, had no interest in religious reform, whereas Martin Luther did.
The election for the coalition results in 76% supporting pro-Weimar parties, showing that the opposition and threats to the government had settled. People in Germany were no longer looking for extremist parties which was proved by the failure of the right-wing coalition. In theory the coalitions should have worked well with the cooperation from all parties. However, the SPD were reluctant to work with other parties subsequently weakening the democracy. This proves the political instability of Germany in this period as they were the largest party in the Reichstag but still refused to cooperate.
This created a lack of unity throughout Russia and in order to tackle this issue, the Tsar imposed a policy called Russification. Russification was an attempt to make everybody living in Russia speak one language, Russian, and share cultural values. This created a great problem for the country as it caused a lot of discontent; people were proud of their hereditary cultures and didn’t want them to be taken away from them. Consequently, the Tsars call for Russification led to more extremism and anger towards the Russian government and was a great problem they faced. Russia was a religious orthodox country in the 1900s and the church greatly impacted the beliefs of followers.
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.
Bismarck’s main reasoning for following Kulturkampf was to keep hold of his influence, which he felt was threatened by the Centre Party, and he felt that K would prevent any uprising. However it is the result of K that made it unsuccessful for Bismarck because the Anti-Catholic Stance endangered good foreign relations with Austria and spiritually the Catholic Church thrived, and there was a political increase in the representation of the Centre Party in the Reichstag- 1871: 58 seats 1890: 106 seats. This meant that Bismarck lost support, the National Liberal‘s seats in the Reichstag decreased from 125 se, whilst
The main reason why, it can be argued, Bismarck brought an end to the Kulturkampf is down to the fact that instead of limiting the power of the Catholics he was only increasing it. He made a mistake. The Catholics support can be seen in the Reichstag through the centre party which gained 91 seats in the 1874 elections opposed to their 58 seats in 1871. This showed Bismarck had in fact increased disunity in the German state instead of diminishing it; he had done the complete opposite of what he had hoped to do. None the less, Bismarck was no fool; he took advantage of a situation which he hoped would never come.
However, the Prussian army managed to defeat the liberals who were then arrested throughout the whole of Germany. This weakened Austria’s influence in Germany for two reasons. Firstly, the fact that Prussia’s army defeated the liberals and stopped the revolutions showed that they were willing to take action and that they were actually quite powerful – strong enough to stop revolutions and uprisings throughout Germany. Secondly, the revolutions affected Austria’s political dominance in Germany because Metternich, the Austrian Chancellor had resigned and the new Emperor was more focused on revolutions outside of Germany, particularly in Italy. This showed that Austria wasn’t stable and was prepared to do as much as Prussia.
Gladstone’s main goal was to pacify Ireland and he was the first British politician to tackle the unfair way in which Ireland was run. Firstly the Disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Ireland, removed a major grievance for the Irish people. As only 12% of the population were part of the Anglican Church, yet they still had to pay tariffs towards it, Gladstone felt this was wrong and unacceptable. He felt it was unfair on the people in Ireland, and there was need for action after the Nationalist Fenian activity in 1867. The terms of the Act meant the Church was disestablished and disowned, leaving it to govern itself.
The new state did not satisfy the lower classes in Italy, it accommodated for societies elite, but repressed the masses. This made it difficult for any party to get votes because there were two sectors of society who wanted totally different things, The north/south divide meant that no party could satisfy everybody in Italy and win over the majority of the nation creating a gateway for the emergence of Fascism. Furthermore, the vast majority of the Italian population were Roman Catholics and followed the Pope. The papacy was opposed to the Liberal state which had eroded the Papal States until the Vatican City was all that was left. In 1874, Pope Pius IX openly encouraged Italian Catholics not to vote in the election of that year.
The Russification that Alexander III embarked on wasn’t all good news for Russia as it lead to widespread racism towards the Jewish population and other religious minorities. This was because Alexander III was trying to stop the Russian culture becoming diverse and ‘diluted’ he tried to keep Russia on the Orthodox Christian line, this is one of the reforms which gained him many enemies. On the topic of Orthodox Christianity during Alexander III’s reign, he enforced laws which meant that if anyone confessed to anything illegal or conspiring to do anything illegal that the priest had to inform the authorities and betray the confessor. This wasn’t helped by the reforms that he made to the legal system which removed the jury in a lot of cases and meant that you were judged by one man and the Tsar himself could change your sentence if he thought it wasn’t harsh enough. Another reform that he made which countered that of his fathers was removing the powers of the Zemstvo and replacing them with people