Kulturkampf Essay

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A Critical Evaluation Of The Kulturkampf: The Motives & Consequences

The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the anti-Catholic legislation introduced in Germany, during the 1870’s. This evaluation will utilise a selection of works by Bismarckian era historians, and will involve an examination and appliance of the current historical arguments and theories on the Kulturkampf, largely from historians like Ross, Smith, Gross et al. who have written extensively on the factors governing such policies and their consequences. The current historiography suggests that the main impetus of the Kulturkampf 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 Kulturkampf, looking at both relations inside Germany and with the Vatican. The climate of this period is particularly important in understanding the Kulturkampf, as it discusses the political exponents and opponents of the Kulturkampf laws, both political and ecclesiastical. This shall be then followed by an examination of the legislation that became the political expression of the Kulturkampf. 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 Kulturkampf. The essay concludes with an examination of the repeal of the legislation and the short-term aftermath of the laws, and its ultimate failure in providing a culturally unified Germany. The Kulturkampf, or ‘struggle for civilisation’ as it was grandiosely termed, has been argued by historians as being



Bibliography: Craig, G., (1978) Germany: 1966-1945: New York Crankshaw, E Grew, M. “19th Century Religious Freedoms” in Helmstadter, R (ed.) (1997) Freedom and Religion in 19th Century: New York Gross, M Palmer, A. (1976) Bismarck: New York Ross, R Smith, H.W. (1995) German Nationalism & Religious Conflict: Princeton Sperber, J Taylor, AJP. (1955) Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman: New York Internet Resources: Schaefer,R. (1996), Kulturkampf Then @ (http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/LUDVSBIS.TXT)

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