History: Catholic Church and Centre Party Essay

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Bismarck accelerated the Kulturkampf, which did not extend to the other German states such as Bavaria. As one scholar put it, "the attack on the church included a series of Prussian, discriminatory laws that made Catholics feel understandably persecuted within a predominantly Protestant nation." Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and other orders were expelled in the culmination of twenty years of anti-Jesuit and antimonastic hysteria.[1]
In 1871, the Catholic Church comprised 36.5% of the population of the German Empire, including millions of discriminated Poles. In this newly founded Empire, Bismarck sought to appeal to liberals and Protestants (62% of the population) by reducing the political and social influence of the Catholic Church and attempting to eradicate the Polish nationality.
Priests and bishops who resisted the Kulturkampf were arrested or removed from their positions. By the height of anti-Catholic legislation, half of the Prussian bishops were in prison or in exile, a quarter of the parishes had no priest, half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed, 1800 parish priests were imprisoned or exiled, and thousands of laypeople were imprisoned for helping the priests.[2]
Bismarck's program backfired, as it energized the Catholics to become a political force in the Centre party and revitalized Polish resistance. The Kulturkampf ended about 1880 with a new pope willing to negotiate with Bismarck, and with the departure of the anti-Catholic Liberals from his coalition. By retreating, Bismarck won over the Centre party support on most of his conservative policy positions, especially his attacks against Socialism.Bismarck accelerated the Kulturkampf, which did not extend to the other German states such as Bavaria. As one scholar put it, "the attack on the church included a series of Prussian, discriminatory laws that made Catholics feel understandably persecuted within a predominantly Protestant nation." Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and other orders were expelled in the culmination of twenty years of anti-Jesuit and antimonastic hysteria.[1]
In 1871, the Catholic Church comprised 36.5% of the population of the German Empire, including millions of discriminated Poles. In this newly founded Empire, Bismarck sought to appeal to liberals and Protestants (62% of the population) by reducing the political and social influence of the Catholic Church and attempting to eradicate the Polish nationality.
Priests and bishops who resisted the Kulturkampf were arrested or removed from their positions. By the height of anti-Catholic legislation, half of the Prussian bishops were in prison or in exile, a quarter of the parishes had no priest, half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed, 1800 parish priests were imprisoned or exiled, and thousands of laypeople were imprisoned for helping the priests.[2]
Bismarck's program backfired, as it energized the Catholics to become a political force in the Centre party and revitalized Polish resistance. The Kulturkampf ended about 1880 with a new pope willing to negotiate with Bismarck, and with the departure of the anti-Catholic Liberals from his coalition. By retreating, Bismarck won over the Centre party support on most of his conservative policy positions, especially his attacks against Socialism.Bismarck accelerated the Kulturkampf, which did not extend to the other German states such as Bavaria. As one scholar put it, "the attack on the church included a series of Prussian, discriminatory laws that made Catholics feel understandably persecuted within a predominantly Protestant nation." Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans and other orders were expelled in the culmination of twenty years of anti-Jesuit and antimonastic hysteria.[1]
In 1871, the Catholic Church comprised 36.5% of the population of the German Empire, including millions of discriminated Poles. In this newly founded Empire,…