How successful was Bismarck in dealing with Political Catholicism?

Jasmin Cain
Mind Map by Jasmin Cain, updated more than 1 year ago


A-Level History (Germany) Mind Map on How successful was Bismarck in dealing with Political Catholicism?, created by Jasmin Cain on 02/29/2016.

Resource summary

How successful was Bismarck in dealing with Political Catholicism?
1 The May Laws
1.1 Catholic schools were brought under the supervision of the state
1.1.1 Religion should be separate from education
1.2 Only those who studied in Germany and passed state exams could become Priests. Existing Priests are required to retain and prove their loyalty to the state
1.2.1 The country would become nationalised and unified
1.3 The Jesuit order (a group of elite catholic teachers and preachers who were committed to increasing the power of the pope) was banned from Germany
1.3.1 Does not show equality and too much power to the pope caused a threat
1.4 A civil marriage ceremony was made compulsory (this was then applied throughout the Empire)
1.4.1 The Pope would lose power and influence - less reason to need the churches
1.5 State financial aid to the Catholic Church to end
1.5.1 Financial aid can be used to strengthen something else creating stronger Germany
1.6 All candidate for priesthood had to attend a state run university before training and all appointments had to be approved by the state (rather than the Pope)
1.6.1 State could control the appointments and all priests would be taught appropriate education
1.7 Clergy could be fined, imprisoned and expelled if they failed to comply with the May Laws
1.7.1 Gives the leaders less power and the state more control
1.8 The responsibility for the registration of births, marriages and deaths in Prussia to be removed from the Church and taken over by the state
1.8.1 The state will know about all the births etc. in the country = better system
2 Kulturkampf
2.1 Involved a series of actions against the Catholic Church...
2.1.1 In 1871 the Zentrum was portrayed as the 'home' of Bismarck's 'enemies' (Reichsfeinde) in an orchestrated press campaign
2.1.2 The Catholic section of the Prussian Ministry of Religion and Education was abolished
2.1.3 Clergy were forbidden from any mention of politics while preaching
2.1.4 In May 1872 diplomatic relations with the Vatican were broken off
2.1.5 The Jesuits were forbidden from preaching and from entering Prussian schools. The anti-Jesuit campaign gradually spread across the whole of the Empire
2.2 May Laws
2.2.1 The Pope instructed all German bishops to disobey the anti-Catholic laws but Bismarck forbade the publication of the Pope's letter. By 1876 all the Catholic bishops of Prussia and all Polish bishops had been either imprisoned or exiled. Of 4600 Catholic parishes, 1400 were without priests.
2.2.2 At first, Kaiser Wilhelm I was lukewarm in his support for the Kulturkampf. However, after a letter from Pope Pius IX in 1873, Wilhelm was offended and from that point he showed Bismarck full support The letter complained about the Kulturkampf and stated that anyone who had been baptised should only obey the Pope
2.3 The end...
2.3.1 By 1878, Bismarck had many reasons to end the Kulturkampf... Favoured a closer alliance with Catholic Austria and feared that his anti-Catholic policies would stand in the way He needed the support of the Centre Party after the agricultural and industrial depression of the 1870s. Bismarck was anxious to abandon the liberal policy of free trade (upset the National Liberals) Bismarck's natural allies, the Protestant Conservatives, had grown opposed to the Kulturkampf because it promoted hostility towards religion. He could not afford to lose their support. Bismarck felt that increasing working-class support for socialism posed an even greater threat to German unity and his own position than the Catholic Church did. Bismarck hoped to use the Centre Party against the new 'enemy'
2.3.2 Main outcomes... Relations with the Papacy improved and Bismarck was able to make his alliance with Austria in 1879 The Zentrum transformed itself into a purely religious party, supporting the Empire and thus, in the long-term, strengthening unity Bismarck was freed from dependence on the National Liberals and was able to make the policy changes he desired
2.3.3 The Catholic Church continued to thrive - persecution created martyrs and encouraged Catholics to rally
2.3.4 Intensified the Empires division instead of unifying it
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