The current historiography suggests that the main impetus of he Cultural was the desire to have a united nation with the full population of a common denomination: their German nationality and their loyalty to the Reich. The essay aims to explore the various agents and components Of the laws, and the political, social and international conditions that surrounded such policies. This essay approaches the topic initially with an examination of the contemporary context of the Cultural, looking at both relations inside Germany and with the Vatican.
The climate of this period is particularly important in understanding the Cultural, as it discusses the lattice exponents and opponents of the Cultural laws, both political and ecclesiastical. This shall be then followed by an examination of the legislation that became the political expression of the Cultural. This is obviously a key point in assessing the success of the laws, and is important in establishing the areas and reasons of support for the ‘struggle’ and the resistance against it. The essay naturally moves towards to discussing the public and political responses towards the Cultural.
The essay concludes with an examination of the repeal of the legislation and the short-term aftermath of he laws, and its ultimate failure in providing a culturally unified Germany. The Cultural, or ‘struggle for civilization’ as it was grandiosely termed, has been argued by historians as being “… An attempt to create – by force of state coercion -? a cultural unity, a coherent nation, across confessional lines. ” (Smith, 1995:20). There was a real fear of the subordination of the sovereignty of German Catholics, by their remaining allegiance to the Vatican and the pope, rather than Berlin and the Kaiser.
This was combined with a rise of anti- clerical liberalism amongst the middle classes and intelligentsia predominantly Protestant) leading to largely held beliefs that Catholicism would stifle the new Reece’s national identity and natural progression to being a major European and Industrial power. The initiation of the Cultural has been placed at the actions of Bismarck and the Liberals, but its raisin deter, according to historians such as Gross, Smith, Speeder, Ross et al. Is realized as notes a product of manipulation by Bismarck, or a misguided passion of intolerant Liberals, but should be regarded as a strategy for nation building (Gross, 1 996; Smith, 1 995; Speeder, 1984; Ross et al. , 1996). The adoption Of Papal Infallibility was a blow to the new German nation, and its liberal politics , and the new state was compelled to react, as Gross demonstrates with an extract from an editorial of the National-Liberal newspaper, the National Getting (25/02/1872). ; … [Bismarck] will not tolerate a spirit that comes from Rome either among his people or in any of his churches.
He wants, rather, enlightenment…. Attaining a new, yet never achieved level of moral freedom, a morality arising from the people that is shared by Germany’s chug arches and confessions. , that is the task for this founding period of the new Reich. (Gross: 1996845). The gradual repeal of the anti-catholic laws (circa 1877-1888) began after the failure of positively suppressing Catholicism, and the rapidly increasing political importance of the Catholic vote. Bismarck reached a concordat with the new pope, and the ‘struggle’ was ultimately unsuccessful in achieving its goal, in creating a common German national culture (Smith, 1995:14).
The “struggle” referred to was between the newly formed German state: which had unified the Lender (German states’) within the childlikeness model (small Germany), and the Catholic Church: who commanded a third Of the ewe German populations faith. The “struggle” surfaced around 1864 when Pope Pips IX issued the Syllabus Rumor (Syllabus of Errors). The papal statement condemned the liberal maneuvers seen to be loosening the grip of the clergy over society, such as moves towards civil marriage and civil education. Naturally, it was concerned with fears of its influence diminishing over Catholic spheres in public and private life.
The statement instructed Catholics should resist moves toward state control and maintain the sense of a community based around the church, which would provide education and he traditional religious ceremonies. It was implausible for the Catholic Church to silently witness the disintegration of its traditional ecclesiastical influence over society, with the growth of liberal and nationalist thought favoring a politically inactive clergy. The proclamation was a reaction by the Church, who was “… Combative against the modern idea. (Taylor, 1955:148), but the prospect of Catholics being educated, married and buried by state apparatus rather than by the ‘hand of god’ caused great concern amongst the clergy. There was a feeling amongst the Catholic clergy that they were imbibing an ‘religion’ that was becoming prevalent across Western Europe (Grew, 1997:196). These proclamations troubled the liberals and Bismarck prior to the Franco-Prussian war, but the support of the predominantly catholic Rangeland states and the southern Lander was greatly needed for success in war with France and for future integration.
Schaeffer uses Andersen’s works in an attempt to understand the reasons behind the Cultural. Anderson explains that prestige of the Vatican was at a low with European States, and that Bismarck was embarking on an attempt similar to Henry VIII or Richfield (Schaeffer, 1996). Smith explains that the Cultural legislation was not a uniquely German phenomenon. He does attribute some characteristics to being distinctly German, however, he discusses the similarity to anti-clerical laws in Austria, Spain, France, Belgium, and particularly, in terms of heritage, similar to Switzerland and Holland (Smith, 1995119-20).
Schaeffer also points out that especially after the stunning successes of the Prussian state over two great Catholic countries: France and Austria, Bismarck felt it that victory over the Catholic Church in Germany loud be possible (Schaeffer, 1996). The situation became more tense when the Vatican adopted the doctrine of papal infallibility, which deemed the Pope’s word as almost being the word from god by proxy, significantly, for Bismarck, this reasoned that German Catholics could receive and follow divine instruction from Rome, rather than Berlin.
This fear was taken to new heights as the German bishops and a large majority of Catholics supported this dogma, Bismarck, who was anxious to consolidate the new empire, feared the distraction of the church from his ideals of cultural unity (Ross, 997:173), especially as the church had founded an outlet for its own political voice in the Catholic Center party. The Center party also received additional support from minorities such as the Poles in Prussia. There Was a great concern over the rising Center Party vote, which even before the Cultural began, had obtained dominant positions in Northern Rangeland and Westphalia -? this was demonstrated in the 1871 Reichstag elections (Speeder, 1984:206). With the annexation of the regions of Lace & Lorraine from France at the end of the Franco-Prussian War, and the Catholic majorities in he south, the new German Empire had a very sizeable Catholic minority.
These Catholics established the Catholic Centre Party to attempt to preserve the churches influence and allow the Roman Catholic Church to remain in charge of its own affairs (Craig, 1978:71). They were led by the respected, Ludwig Windstorms, who engaged Bismarck in the ‘struggle’. Schaeffer quotes Windstorms as significantly admitting: “l could not consider the formation Of this fraction (The Center Party) in any other light than a manipulation of a party against the state” (Schaeffer, 1 996), a statement that highlights the issuing of Germany at the beginning of the Cultural.
The bitter rivalry between Bismarck and Windstorms played a massive role in the eventual failure of the Cultural and he had earned himself a reputation as a major power in German politics. The magnitude of respect for Windstorms is clear as Schaeffer quotes Bismarck successor, Capri, as an unlikely admirer, declaring: “… That Windstorm’s death was the worst blow that could have struck the German state at this time [1 891]” (Schaeffer, 1996).
In the process of the Cultural, the Catholic Center Party became the second strongest lattice party in Germany, and the devotion of the Center Parry faith to Windstorms never diminished, even after his death (Schaeffer, 1996). Ross describes the Cultural as Bismarck ‘internal preventive war’ against the revolutionary potential of the Catholics, Poles and Socialists who Bismarck believed threatened the consolidation of the new Reich.
Ross, who also argues that the main function of the Cultural was one of ‘strategic nation- building, explains that after completing a six month war with France and with the massive task of forging a new nation, Bismarck was very paranoid and extremely distrusted any group that remotely threatened this process (Ross: 1996: 173). The first initiative was the ‘Pulpit Paragraph’ law (Cinematography) in 1 871. This measure prohibited the ‘misuse’ of the pulpit for political ends. This was introduced on the eve of the 1871 elections, and was designed to combat sermons instructing the congregation to vote for the Center Party.
This was accompanied by the abolition (July, 1 871 ) of the Catholic department in the Prussian ministry of culture. In 1872, the School Inspections Law was proposed and this was a serious attempt at diminishing the churches influence. The new laws allowed for states to establish a special school inspectorate that would allow the Prussian authorities (followed by the rest of the Lender) mandatory power to inspect all schools instead of the Church. These proposals were met by the resignation of von Mueller, as Minister of Education and Religious affairs, giving opportunity for the appointment of Delbert Fall, an anti-clerical jurists.
With the abolishment of the Catholic department of the Prussian Ministry of Public Worship and Education and the appointment of Fall to the position of Prussian Minister of Public Worship, Bismarck was ready to disperse his anti-Catholic measures throughout Germany. Fall, began his tasks by trying to get the school inspection provisions made law. In 1872, the School Inspection Law was passed. Intended as a warning to the Roman Catholic Church, it became represented as the first strike by the government, as the first in the series of repressive laws created to diminish the power and independence of the church (Palmer, 19761167).
Bismarck gave his support to bring a law directly against the liberals traditional enemy, the Jesuits. Bismarck obtained the expulsion of he Jesuits (largely responsible for the emergence of the Mains Associations), first from Prussia and then from Germany as a whole with massive support of the liberals. The expulsion of the Jesuits was a striking blow against German Catholicism and, combined with the School Inspections Law, aimed to allow the eventual state control of education in Germany.
The Jesuits had been established in education since the counter-reformation, and according to Gross, the importance of the Jesuit Law has been understated by historians. He explains that it became a topic of ‘heated public debate as petitions for, ND against the bill had swept across the Reich. This caused divisions within the National Liberals and Gross uses the example of prominent Liberal deputies, Lasher & Bamberger, who were amongst those who voted against tit (Gross, 1996:551). In 1873, the Prussian Landing passed the May Laws.
The strictest of measures yet, these laws were intended to remove all the priests from State service, separate Church and State, and remove Catholic influences on marriage and education. The May Laws (1873) restricted the disciplinary powers of the church, placed the education under state prevision, civil ceremonies became obligatory for marriages in Germany and the legislation provided for the punishment of those who refused to cooperate. The church resisted these laws, and many clerics were imprisoned or removed from office for their refusal to comply.
In May, 1874, priests were refused permission to leave Germany to study in Rome, or to any diocesan seminary not under state control. Discipline of the clergy was taken away from the church and given to a Royal Tribunal. If a priest refused to initiate proceedings against his bishop, the Tribunal could react alone. In 1875 the Breadbasket Law’ completely cut off of state subsidies for priests who didn’t act in accordance with the government. This was offset by a large increase in priests’ income that, in most cases, left the priest financially independent of the state subsidy (Speeder, 1984:222).
These laws were popular with a high number of Germans and particularly reflect the strong anti-papal feelings shown by the state, the intelligentsia, and the middle and working classes. The Liberals, who politically represented the aforementioned social groups, made it their campaign platform with few objections. However, as Craig mints out, they would not have been able to carry Out this desire without the encouragement of Bismarck. Bismarck fully supported this anti-papal campaign. He objected to the existence of a confessional party because it seemed to stand for allegiance to an authority other than the national state. ” (Craig, 1978:71 This made it an enemy of the unity that Bismarck desired. He believed Catholicism was a “state within a state” and that its followers could not become part of unified state if they had loyalties to Rome (Rose, 1987:79). After the unification of Germany in 1871 , many Germans wanted the newly unified Reich to be free of papal influence, and for unity to cross confessional lines (Gross, 1996:545).
Public support for such methods, whether coerced or not, was central to the success of the entire ‘struggle’. Public opinion on the Kleptomaniacs naturally differed amongst Germans. The main arms of support for the legislation came from the liberals and the intelligentsia. There was a large and growing movement of the nationalist liberal intelligentsia who were seeking to create a German cultural unity, and who saw the Catholic Church as a hindrance to German unity and progress.
There was also a section of the Catholic population who also rejected the Catholic Churches adoption of Papal Infallibility. The ‘Old Catholics’6 were also largely from the bourgeoisie, and shared many social similarities with their bourgeoisie class counterparts, in fact there are a number of cases of cooperation between Old Catholics and Protestants (particularly the Evangelists). However, they were a small minority within the Catholic population, and they were usually ostracizes from Catholic society for rejecting the dogma. They would often be refused sacred rights, such as burial and baptism.
Gross examines the reaction of Old Catholics, within the liberal ranks, who supported the antithesis bill (Gross, 1996). He makes reference to liberal deputy, Eduardo Windstorms (nephew of Center Party leader, Ludwig), who campaigned in favor of the law. Eduardo, believed that the bill was ‘entirely justified’ within liberal principles, and in petitioning in favor of the law, he argued in a speech to the Reichstag (May, 1872) that liberals: “… Protect citizen rights… But only after the removal of those which must be sacrificed for the good of all and the state… And by… Ruminating the influence of the Jesuits required not only the suppression of the order, but the realization of a broader liberal program for Germany, including high- quality public education. ” (Gross, 19961550). Protestant publications from books of prose and poetry, to the popular press, sought to denounce the Catholic Church, and with the passing of the Reich Press Law, 7 Bismarck was able to maintain a degree of control over public opinion for the Cultural, although as Ross points out, this made true public opinion difficult to gauge. Of course within Catholic communities the laws were hugely unpopular.
Resistance to the laws came in different forms, from demonstrations to intransigence of those officials delegated with the task of implementing the finer points of the Cultural. Ross discusses government opinion of the effectiveness of the Cultural during the ‘struggle’. He examines ministry reports (circa 1 875) that highlighted the problems of the implementation of the legislation by the administration coordinating and enforcing the laws. Reports found evidence of ‘ultramontane tendencies’ in the police, and within the administration that was infiltrated by ‘Catholic sympathizers’. Real leaders were disappointed with the failure to effectively remove the clergy influence within the machinery of the Cultural. Liberal deputy Horsewhipping attacked the government for not purging the civil service more effectively, and liberal leader, Beings, told Bismarck: “Unreliable officials… Continually make illusory all our legal measures. ” (Ross, 19971180-181). Bishop Settler’s ‘Mains Association’8 organized anti- Cultural meetings, particularly during the period of 1872-73. They gathered momentum during these years in the provincial towns containing large Catholic populations.
Speeder explains that these eventually took second place to mass demonstrations by 1874, in both spontaneous and organized protests, which sometimes resulted in violent clashes with the police (Speeder, 1984242-249). Further rejections of the repressive legislation surfaced as more repressive laws were passed, as the German Catholic Church achieved near martyrdom. Protest stretched to symbolic insubordinate from the large majority of the Catholic population, in the refusal to acknowledge ‘new public holidays steeped in the spirit of the new German identity. Sedan Day, marked to celebrate the key victory in the
Franco-Prussian war, went relatively unobserved by Catholics. The Catholic communities instead celebrated a traditional catholic holiday, Pips Day, which was typically exploited by liberals to encourage anti-Catholic opinion. Many of those whose duty was to uphold the Cultural would not strictly enforce the regulations, or would not do so at all. The clergy presented an UN- cooperative defiance, and this set an example for the catholic population to follow. As a result of the May Laws, two archbishops were imprisoned, and 1300 parishes were without priests due to exile, or imprisonment.
However, there are many cases of exiled priests who would return to their parishes without detection by the authorities. This was due the inefficiency of the administration system largely due to a high number of officials, police and lay Catholics deliberately refusing to carry out, or adhere to the laws. Speeder gives examples of workmen employed to confiscate church property who would refuse to do so, and intimidating crowds would jeer those who did participate (they were also generally ostracizes in predominantly catholic areas) (Speeder, 1984:242-249).
There were cases of wealthy Catholics Noblemen, Merchants etc. ) repurchasing church property at auctions and returning them. The clergy would often refuse to pay fines imposed, “Prussian bishops refused cooperation completely. ” asserts Schaeffer,” Not a single seminary applied for state accreditation, nor would any bishop register his clerical appointments. When they refused to pay their fines their property was confiscated and finally they were imprisoned” (Schaeffer, 1996). It was crucial that the ‘rebellion’ was supported from the Catholic laity.
This, according to Speeder, made the enforcement of the May Laws impossible: … They [Catholic Laity] supported and encouraged the intransigent actions of the clergy; the non-cooperation of the laity made the enforcement of the May Laws and other Cultural legislation impossible. ” (Speeder, 1984:242-249). Ross also discusses a change in public opinion, particularly within the ranks of the intelligentsia’s and some liberals (Richter, Bamberger 1 let al. ) as the Cultural became more repressive. A good example of the brutality of the Cultural was the incident in Margining,12 1876.
The large number of pilgrims attracted to the site Of the vision caused fears Of unrest amongst the local community. Local officials employed soldiers to clear the site area, which they did with harsh brutality. Many were arrested, the three girls were taken away from their parents into state control and the village were forced to accept a massive tax increase (around 1 15%) in order to pay for the cost of this endeavourer. The state was very sensitive towards the entire event, and reported visits by government officials, retired officials or their families would lead to stern warnings from the state (Ross: 19971177-186).
Public support from the Kleptomaniacs also drawn from a popular and widely circulated press who were largely pro-Structuralism, who regularly attacked the church and labeled prominent clergy members as ‘the dregs of mankind’ or ‘enemies of the stats? (Ross, 1997:174). Ross also discusses the extent Of the fears towards Catholics, particularly from the lower classes, in the forms of the spread of conspiracy stories about the influence and actions of Catholicism. From the death of a Prussian statesman, to the death of a popular lion in a Berlin zoo was widely believed to have been actions by Jesuits (Ross: 1997: 184).
Other misfortunes were attached to the Church from other products of the rumor mill that conjured up many bizarre, and serious fantasies of Catholic guilt. The attempted assassination of Bismarck in 1874 by Catholic, Heinz Sullivan, in Kissing had an unsurprising effect on the public opinion towards the Catholics. The attempt shocked the government and public opinion, which initiated a series of fears that a Catholic conspiracy was planning to murder Prussian leaders. Bismarck fuelled these fears by attributing blame to the Catholic Centre Party for inspiring the would-be assassin. You may try to disown the assassin, but nonetheless he clings to your coattails… ” (Palmer, 1976: 180). However, in determining support for the Cultural, it is worth examining the German intelligentsia. The nationalist intelligentsia attempted to place the ‘struggle for civilization’ into a contemporary context that was acceptable and justifiable to the German public. Smith argues that the intelligentsia, from historians to philosophers, propagated and designed a collective sense of what it is to be German.
This supports his view that nationalism in Germany should not be viewed as a force from below, but to see it as “… As an ideology imposed from above, sometimes from the state, but more fundamentally from the cultural activity of nationalist intellectuals…. ” (smith, 199520-21). Nationalist intellectuals, like Constantine Rissoles, imagined a future where the German people will eventually ‘draw their national and religious life from the same source’. Rissoles saw the creation of a ‘national high culture’, based upon ‘common religious assumptions’ as being the source for a national identity (Smith, 1995:20).
German historians such as Scorcher, von Drones, von Sybil, von Trickster et al. Presented a history of the national mission of he Prussian state and situated the Cultural within Prussia’s destiny (Smith, 1995:20). 13 There was a strong belief amongst these academics and their contemporaries of the cultural superiority of the protestant Germans over the Catholicism. The idea of a Culturally (civilized people), born from Germany’s illustrious history of classic authors and works, was a sentiment of unity towards Protestant Germans in the new Reich.
Johann von Drones feared Catholicism would ‘put a break’ on the potential of Prussia. Drones saw Prussia as representing the ‘iron wheel of progress’ and the alliteration’s would reduce her power (Smith, 1995:28). The intellectuals did actively pursue the ‘struggle’ away from the using the pen as the sword. Sybil formed the German Association 15 (Deutsche Vermin) at the university of Bonn, and was dedicated to combating ultramontane influences on the state and society.
Smith uses works by Alias in explaining the reasons for popularity of the idea of ‘Culture’ with the German bourgeoisie. Alias argues three key associations that appealed to the bourgeoisie: firstly, because it evoked a sense of national identity as it defined German characteristics and ejected ‘foreign’ influence. Cultures origins also lay within the strata of the middle classes against the ruling upper class, and it also possessed a historical connection to the struggle for German unity (Smith, 1995:21).
Divisions and conflict of opinion did exist amongst the liberals, as some believed that in pursuing the Cultural they were contradicting their political principles. With reference to work by Gross on the Jesuit Laws, there were liberals who opposed some legislation (Gross: 1 996, 554). However, it appears that it was fairly usual for these liberals to vote against some assure, but support others (the aforementioned Lasher and Bamberger are consistent examples of this). 6 Craig asserts that the liberals betrayed their principles and placed their party, which stood for rights of the individual, behind an authoritarian, repressive state. Craig believes that its doubtful that they could have survived this moral betrayal, even if Bismarck hadn’t have ‘abandoned them’ in 1879 (Craig, 1978:77-78). In 1879, Bismarck finally reversed his domestic policies and scrapped the Cultural. He repealed most of the May Lava. H; and allowed the religious orders to return and for the Roman Catholic Church to resume control of its seminaries.
Taylor asserts that Bismarck used Fall and the liberals as his Scapegoat as Bismarck claimed that he was ‘deceived’ by the liberals in passing of the legislation. He wished to distance himself and the state from the National Liberals and saw that if he ended the Cultural he would have the favor of the Centre Party (Taylor, 1955:163). Taylor also quotes Bismarck stating that “his only concern was the unity of Germany’ and rhetorically asks “why would I care if a priest’s appointment was notified to the state or not'(Traitor, 1955224).
Taylor goes on to argue that this was Bismarck attempting to remove himself from being classed as a chief protagonist in the Cultural and show that his only concern was German unification (Taylor, 1955:224). After the Center Party’s large gains in the Reichstag elections of 1 878, Bismarck began to moderate his policy, influenced also by the alienation Of the liberals through his protective tariff policies. The death of Pope Pips IX (1878) aided the gradual resolution of the conflict. Many of the antithetic laws were repealed or fell into disuse. In 1 887, an agreement (modus veined) as reached with Pope Leo XIII.
Bismarck realized that he needed the support of the majority in order to pass his new economic reforms, he abandoned the bribers and began to negotiate with the Center Party. His recovery allowed him to adopt future repressive stances against the Socialists, in the interests of the growing German industries, and made moves towards reforms to the governments policies of free trade. In the process of erasing the failure of Cultural from national consciousness, and particularly attempting to erase his role, Bismarck introduced his Protective Tariff Policy.
By doing so, he brought in more revenue by his customs duties, reducing his dependence on parliamentary budgets, he gave federated States more power to combat subversive socialism, and he extricated himself from conflict with the Church. ” (Palmer, 1976:207). The Cultural proved to be a disaster as it din ;t unify the nation as it was hoped. Instead of creating a common cultural unity, the Catholic population naturally felt alienated and they rallied behind the Church, whose strength increased under martyrdom (Speeder, 1984:208).
The Center Parts popularity increased accordingly and The Center party gained more prestige ND power as the struggle continued. Bismarck realized the ‘struggle’ was taking a negative effect with regards to public reaction – particularly with the increasing significance in the Catholic vote. He had tried to remove ecclesiastical influence in state affairs, but not only had he reunited the divided Catholics in opposition to his politics, but had also turned many of the Protestant conservatives into active opponents, as he ‘practiced violence’ in his own country’ (Crankshaft, 1981 :166-167).
The case of Bismarck using the liberals and then abandoning them is supported by historians like Speeder (1955), palmer (1976) et al. Beeper sides With the historical opinion that Bismarck machinations dealt a massive blow to the liberals, and that he used the Cultural to diminish the liberals by using the Catholics as a distraction from their ‘drive toward a parliamentary government'(Speeder, 1984:206-208). With liberal energies devoted elsewhere, Bismarck could render their power and consolidate the states power in the Reich (Speeder, 1984:206-208).
Speeder concludes that the anti- Catholics in Germany ‘never stood a chance of success’. He argues that the Bismarck state failed to achieve success from the Cultural due to the fisticuff of implementing the policies at a ground level, and that the Church’s popularity greatly increased during the period through martyrdom and this manifested in the growing stature of the Church’s political voice, The Center Party.
He explains that the state attempted to force the clergy to acquiesce with the state in building of a new Germany by use of intimidation, but was foiled by inadequate delivery of the Cultural laws and support of the clergy by the Catholic Laity (Speeder, 198441-49). “Nor was the laity passive. ” claims Schaeffer. ‘They left their dead unburied rather than have a state pointed priest officiate. In Trier in [sic] the Rangeland infantry and cavalry had to be called out when over a thousand Catholics surrounded seminary professors the state had expelled.