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The German term About this sound Kulturkampf  (pronounced [kʊlˈtuːɐ̯kampf], literally "culture struggle") refers mainly to state sanctioned[1] religious and ethnic persecution of Catholics in the German Empire,[2] although the term is used sometimes in regards to events in other countries. With the rise of nationalism in Prussian dominated German Empire, Catholics and ethnic minorities such as Poles were portrayed as enemies of state, and threat. As a result, the German state enacted under the leadership of Otto von Bismarck several discriminatory measures against them. The anti-Polish thrust inherent in these actions is an important difference between Kulturkampf in Germany, and conflicts between state and Church in other countries.[3] Positive outcomes of this bitter struggle include the introduction of civil marriage,[4] state supervision in the public schooling system[5] and a larger degree of separation between church and state.

The term is sometimes used also in relation to events in Britain,[6] Spain,[7] as well as in the United States and Mexico [8] [9] . Because of its intensity and anti-Polish aspect, the German Kulturkampf is most widely known. It first appeared 1840 in an anonymous review of a publication by Swiss-German liberal Ludwig Snell on "The Importance ot the Struggle of liberal Catholic Switzerland with the Roman Curia". But it only gained wider currency after liberal member of the Prussian parliament, Rudolph Virchow, used it in 1873. [10] [11] In 20th Century, Kulturkampf would become an influence to Nazi Germany which copied policies of German Empire towards Catholics and its legacy assisted in justifying the ideology of mass murder[12][13]

In contemporary socio-political discussion, the term Kulturkampf (see also: culture war) is often used to describe any conflict between secular and religious authorities or deeply opposing values, beliefs between sizable factions within a nation, community, or other group.[14]

Kulturkampf in Germany[edit]


Anti-Catholic caricature in the Munich Leuchtkugeln, 1848. A warning not to rejoice yet. The Catholic cleric as a fox and blind passenger on the wagon of progress, in order to later reverse the course of history.

By the mid-nineteenth century, liberal policies had also come to dominate Germany and the separation of church and state became a prominent issue.[15][16]

The Kulturkampf in Germany is usually framed by the years 1871 and 1878 with the Catholic Church officially announcing its end in 1880 but the struggle in Germany had been an ongoing matter without definite beginning and the years 1871 to 1878 only mark its culmination in Prussia and Germany. In the wake of other European countries, most German states had taken first steps of secularisation well before unification. Prodominantly Catholic Baden was at the forefront curbing the power of the Catholic Church (1852 – 1854 Baden Church Dispute) and (1864 – 1876 Kulturkampf Baden, see de:Badischer Kulturkampf).[17][18] Other examples are Prussia (1830s, 1850, 1859 and 1969), Württemberg (1859/1862), Bavaria (1867, see de:Bayerischer Kulturkampf), Hesse-Nassau or Hesse-Darmstadt. In the "Kölner Wirren" (Cologne Confusion) of 1837 (question of "mixed" Protestant-Catholic marriages)[19] Prussia gave in to the demands of the Catholic Church which was considered a defeat for the state and well remembered.[20] In 1850, Prussia again had a dispute with the church about civil marriage and primary schools[21] and in 1852, it issued decrees against the Jesuits. As in many European countries, Jesuits were being banned or heavily restricted in many of the German states e. g. in Saxony (1831) and even in Catholic ones such as Bavaria (1851), Baden (1860) or Württemberg (1862).[22]

Not to be left out, the German areas to the west of the Rhine had already gone through a process of separation of church and state in line with a radical secularization after annexation by revolutionary and Napoleonic France in 1794. After their return to Germany in 1814, many if not most of the changes were kept in place.[23]

In the Vormärz-years, Catholic publications usually portrayed revolutions as negative and dangerous to the existing order as well as to the interests of the Catholic Church. Most of them considered a viable Catholicism to be necessary for the very health of society and state and to be the only true and effective protection against the scourge of revolution.[24] The unsuccessful German revolutions of 1848–49, which the Catholic Church had opposed, produced no democratic reforms and attempts to radically disentangle state-church relationships failed. In the revolutionary parliament, many prominent representatives of political Catholicism took the side of the extreme right-wingers. In the years following the revolution, Catholicism became increasingly politicised due to the massive anti-modernist and anti-liberal policies of the Vatican.

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and Franco-Prussian War of 1870 the Catholic Church sided against Prussia and it was an outspoken opponent of German unification under Prussia (as well as of Italy’s unification).

The Catholic dogmas and doctrines announced in 1854, 1864 and 1870 were perceived in Germany as direct attacks on the modern nation state.[25] Thus, Bismarck, the Liberals and the Conservatives representing orthodox Protestants found the Centre Party’s support of the pope highly provocative. Many Catholics shared these sentiments, especially against the pope’s declared infallibility and the majority of Catholic German bishops deemed the definition of the dogma as "'unpropitious' in light of the situation in Germany". According to the Bavarian head-of-state, Hohenlohe, the dogma of infallibility compromised the Catholic's loyalty to the state.[26] While most Catholics eventually reconciled themselves to the doctrine, some founded the small breakaway Old Catholic Church.

The liberal majorities in the Imperial Diet and the Prussian parliament as well as liberals in general regarded the Church as backward, a hotbed for reactionaries, enemies of progress and cast monastic life as the epitome of a backward Catholic medievalism. They were alarmed by the dramatic rise in the numbers of monasteries, convents and clerical religious groups. The Diocese of Cologne, for example, saw a tenfold increase of monks and nuns between 1850 and 1872. Prussian authorities were particularly suspicious of the spread of monastic life among the Polish and French minorities.[27] The Church, in turn, saw the National-Liberals its worst enemy, accusing them of spearheading the war against Christianity and the Catholic Church.[28]

At unification in 1871, the new German Empire included 25.5 million Protestants (62% of the population) and 15 million Catholics (36.5% of the population). Although a minority in the empire, Catholics were the majority in the states of Bavaria, Baden, and Alsace-Lorraine as well as in the four Prussian Provinces of West Prussia, Posen, Rhineland, Westphalia and in the Prussian region of Upper Silesia. Since the Thirty Years' War the population was generally segregated along religious lines and rural areas or towns were overwhelmingly if not entirely of the same religion. Education was also separate and usually in the hands of the churches. There was little mutual tolerance, interaction or intermarriage. Protestants in general were deeply distrustful of the Catholic Church.

Bismarck ca. 1875

Unification had been achieved through many obstacles with strong opponents. These were the European powers of France and Austria, both Catholic nations, and the Catholic Church itself, the three of which Bismarck perceived as "Coalition of Catholic Revenge". For Bismarck, the empire was very fragile and its consolidation was an important issue. Biographer Otto Pflanze emphasizes, "Bismarck's belief in the existence of a widespread Catholic conspiracy that posed a threat to both his German and European policies."[29]

In a Protestant empire, the Catholic Church was to lose its good standing which it had enjoyed for centuries in the catholic dominated Holy Roman Empire and which it would have continued to enjoy in a German empire united under Austrian auspices. Thus, in 1870, on the eve of unification, the Center Party was explicitly founded to defend the position of the church in the new empire.

Bismarck was highly concerned that many major members and supporters of this new party were not in sympathy with the new empire: the House of Hanover, the ethnic minority of the Poles, the southern German states. In 1871, the predominantly Catholic states of Southern Germany had only reluctantly joined the empire, increasing the overall share of the Catholic population to 36.5%. Among this Catholic share was Germany’s largest ethnic minority, well over 2 million Poles in the east of Prussia. Bismarck regarded the new Centre Party not only as an illegal mixup of politics and religion and the church’s "long arm" but also as a unifying force for Catholic Germans and Poles and thus a threat to the consolidation of the empire. He feared that the Centre Party would frustrate his broader political agendas and he accused the Catholic priests of fostering Polish nationalism as had been done openly in the provinces of Posen and Upper Silesia.[30][31][32] [33] [34]

Prussian Minister of Education, Adalbert Falk, 1872

The Liberals regarded the Catholic Church as a powerful force of reaction and anti-modernity, especially after the proclamation of papal infallibility in 1870 and the tightening control of the Vatican over the local bishops.[35] The renewed vitality of Catholicism in Germany with its mass gatherings also attracted Protestants - even the heir to the Prussian throne, with the king's approval, attended one.[36] Antiliberalism, anticlericalism and anti-Catholicism became powerful intellectual forces of the time and the antagonism between Liberals and Protestants on one side and the Catholic Church on the other was fought out through mud-slinging in the press. A wave of anti-Catholic, anticlerical and antimonastic pamphleteering in the liberal press[36] was answered by antiliberal preaching and propaganda in Catholic newspapers and vice versa.

For these reasons, the government sought to wean the Catholic masses away from the hierarchy and the Centre Party and the liberal’s demands to curb the power of the churches meshed well with Bismarck’s main political objective to crush the Centre Party. According to historian Anthony J. Steinhoff, "Bismarck’s plan to disarm political Catholicism delighted liberal politicians, who provided the parliamentary backing for the crusade. Yet, the phrase the left-liberal Rudolf Virchow coined for this struggle, the Kulturkampf, suggests that the liberals wanted to do more than prevent Catholicism from becoming a political force. They wanted victory over Catholicism itself, the long-delayed conclusion of the Reformation".[37]

At least since 1847 Bismarck had also been of the professed opinion, that state and church should be completely separated, having in mind the traditional position of the Protestant church in Prussia and provoking considerable resistance from conservative Protestants. This became clear in a heated debate with Prussian culture minister von Mühler in 1871 when Bismarck said: "Since you stopped my plans in the Protestant church, I have to go via Rome".[38] In August 1871 at Bad Ems, Bismarck revealed his intention to fight against the Centre Party, to separate state and church, to transfer school inspection to laymen, to abolish religious instruction from schools and to transfer religious affairs to the minister of justice.[39] Bismarck launched a preventive war against the Church whom he saw as the great internal enemy of his new German Empire, especially after the 1870 Vatican Council declared papal infallibility a church dogma. With this background, the Kulturkampf in Germany acquired an additional edge as it gathered in intensitiy and bitterness.

Timeline and laws enacted during the Kulturkampf[edit]

"Between Berlin and Rome", with Bismarck on the left and the Pope on the right, from the German satirical magazine Kladderadatsch, 1875. Pope: "Admittedly, the last move was unpleasant for me; but the game still isn't lost. I still have a very beautiful secret move." Bismarck: "That will also be the last one, and then you'll be mated in a few moves — at least in Germany."

From 1871 to 1876, the Prussian state parliament and the federal legislature (Reichstag), both with liberal majorities, enacted 22 laws in the context of the Kulturkampf. They were mainly directed against clerics: bishops, priests and religious orders (anti-clerical) and enforced the supremacy of the state over the church.[40][41] While several laws were specific to the Catholic Church (Jesuits, congregations etc.) the general laws affected both Catholic and Protestant churches. In an attempt to overcome increasing resistance by the Catholic Church and its defiance of the laws, new regulations increasingly went beyond state matters referring to purely internal affairs of the church. Even many liberals saw them as encroachment on civil liberties, compromising their own credo.[42]

Constitutionally, education and regulation of religious affairs were vested in the federal states and the leading actor of the Kulturkampf was Prussia, Germany’s largest state. But some of the laws were also passed by the Reichstag and applied to all of Germany. In general, the laws did not affect the press and associations including Catholic ones.[41]

The major Kulturkampf laws were:


  • 8 June 1871, fusion of Catholic and Protestant sections in the Prussian Ministry of Culture (responsible for religious matters). The Catholic section had been installed in 1840. The reason given for the merger was, that "the exclusively political attitude of equal justice to all" was to be adopted and that for that purpose one ecclesiastical department was required.[43][44] The merger was also a precondition for the School Supervision Act of the following year.[45]
  • 10 December 1871, Empire, Pulpit Law (Kanzelparagraph) passed at the initiative of Bavaria and meant to curb the misuse of religious sermons for political agitation from the pulpit.[30][46] The law read:[47][48] Any cleric or other minister of religion shall be punished with imprisonment or incarceration of up to two years if he, while exercising his occupation or having his occupation exercised, makes state affairs the subject of announcements or discussion either in public before a crowd, in a church, or before any number of people in some other place designated for religious gatherings in such a way that it endangers the public peace.

The abolishment of the Catholic section of the Prussian Ministry of ecclesiastical and educational affairs, deprived Catholics of their voice at the highest level. The system of strict government supervision of schools was applied only in Catholic areas; the Protestant schools were left alone. The school politics also alienated Protestant conservatives and churchmen.[49]


  • 11 March 1872, Prussian School Supervision Act. This legislation was at the heart of the Kulturkampf, abolishing church oversight of the Prussian primary school system (Catholic and Protestant), excluding the clergy from education and eliminating its influence in curricular matters.[50] This was a milestone for liberalism, as placing education into the hands of the government had always been at the top of its agenda. It was to ensure an open-minded and neutral education as prerequisite for a progressive society. In the eyes of Bismarck, this law was necessary after the church, putting itself in opposition to the state, used the schools to incite the young against the government.
  • On April 1872, the Vatican rejected Gustav Adolf, Cardinal Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst as German ambassador to the Holy See. Schillingsfürst had been critical of the infallibility dogma but eventually accepted the decision of the council. Therefore, Bismarck took him for a suitable mediator. In response to the rejection the diplomatic mission was left vacant and Prussia suspended relations with the Vatican in December 1872.
  • 4 July 1872, Empire, Jesuit Law banning of the Jesuits who were seen as the emissaries of Rome and the spearhead of ultramontanism. By acknowledging the supremacy of Papal authority, the Jesuits were accused of contesting the secular authority. The law allowed for the dissolution of all Jesuit chapters and expulsion of its members. The following year the law was extended to closely related orders: the Redemptorists, Lazarists, Fathers of the Holy Ghost, and the Ladies of the Sacred Heart. Continued and increasing Church resistance and contempt of the 1871/1872 laws led to changes in the constitution and the enactment of further laws. In order to facilitate these laws, the Prussian Constitution was amended.
  • 20 September 1872, at a conference in Fulda the Prussian bishops protest against the regulations hostile to the church.
  • 23 December 1872, in an address to his cardinals, the pope denounced the new laws as persecution of the church.

The British ambassador Odo Russell reported to London in October 1872 how Bismarck's plans were backfiring by strengthening the ultramontane (pro-papal) position inside German Catholicism:

The German Bishops who were politically powerless in Germany and theologically in opposition to the Pope in Rome – have now become powerful political leaders in Germany and enthusiastic defenders of the now infallible Faith of Rome, united, disciplined, and thirsting for martyrdom, thanks to Bismarck's uncalled for antiliberal declaration of War on the freedom they had hitherto peacefully enjoyed.[51]


  • 17 January 1873, the term "Kulturkampf" came into play. Debating the law on education conditions for the employment of clerics, a Progressive deputy in the Prussian legislature – the distinguished medical scientist and pioneer of public health methods, Rudolf Virchow said: "Ich habe die Überzeugung, es handelt sich hier um einen großen Kulturkampf." (I am of the conviction that this is about a great cultural struggle)[52][53] He repeated this term in a call for vote by the German Progress Party on 23 March 1873. It was ironically picked up and derided in the Catholic press and enthusiastically defended in the liberal.[54]
  • 30 January 1873, while the laws were being debated in parliament, the Prussian bishops submit a protest against the planned legislation and in a memorial, they announced their opposition to the new laws.
  • 5 April 1873, Prussia, Amendment of Sections 15, 16 and 18 of the Prussian Constitution
In section 15 the sentence "The Protestant and the Roman Catholic Church as well as every other religious community regulates and administers its affairs independently" is supplemented by "but remain subject to the laws of the state and its legally regulated superintendence". It is added, that the same applies to the possession or beneficial use of institutions for religion, teaching, charity, endowments and funds.
Section 16, regarding the unrestricted dealings of religious communities with their seniors and public announcements according to general regulations was cancelled.
Section 18 cancelled the state's right to appoint, nominate, elect or confirm clerics for a post. But the amendment added, that the state could regulate the minimum education required for clerical posts, the appointment and dismissal of clergymen and servicemen of religion, and define the limits of ecclesiastical disciplinary measures.
  • On 2 May 1873, the bishops issued a common pastoral letter explaining to the faithful the necessity to unanimously and passively resist these laws.
  • May Laws
The May Laws (Maigesetze), or Falk Laws, were a set of laws passed by the Prussian parliament in the years 1873, 1874 and 1875.
Four laws passed in 1873 were enacted on 11/12/13/14 May 1873:
1. Law on Religious disaffiliation allowing a person to sever his connection with the church by simple declaration before a justice of the peace. This declaration freed him from all civil effects of belonging to a church, especially ecclesiastical burthens and dues.
2. Law on ecclesiastical disciplinary measures restricting the exercise of ecclesiastical punishments and means of discipline directed against the life, property, freedom or honour of citizens. This included the infliction of the great excommunication if proclaimed with the name of the guilty, because of possible disturbances of civil and social intercourse. Thus, disciplinary measures were almost totally restricted to the spiritual realm (see state Monopoly on violence).
3. Ecclesiastical disciplinary law concerning ecclesiastical power of discipline and the establishment of The Royal Court of Justice for Ecclesiastical Affairs. This subordinated the Catholic Church to state jurisdiction not only in external but also in internal matters.[55] The law regulated the exercise of disciplinary power by church authorities against their officers for special violation of their duties. Members of the court had to be Germans residing in Germany. Bodily chastisement by the Church was entirely forbidden, fines were limited to maximum amounts, restrictions of freedom could only consist in banishment to a church institution within Germany no longer that 3 months and not against the will of the person concerned. On the other hand, the new court also was given jurisdiction over ecclesiastical officers in violation of state laws.
With this law the German clergy was to be exempt from any juridical body outside of the nation. Hence, judgments of the Holy See or the Roman Rota would not be binding upon them. The highest court was made up of Prussian ecclesiastics, all appointed with the permission of Prussian civil authorities. The Church's juridical and punitive powers were restricted by allowing clerics, e. g. those punished by the Church for not resisting the Kulturkampf laws, to appeal to the Royal Court of Justice for Ecclesiastical Affairs. Bishops in defiance of this law could be deposed.
4. Education standards and civic registry law concerning the education and appointment of priests. Regarding the Protestant Church, these regulations had already been in force for a long time. All men intended for priesthood needed a graduate degree (Abitur) from a German gynasium and study 3 years of theology at a German university.
All appointments of clerics had to be approved by the state. Herewith, training and appointment of the clergy came under state supervision. The traditional regimen of clerical study was to be replaced by a modern education in a liberal German institution, thus ensuring that candidates to the priesthood were imbued with the spirit of secularism. Furthermore, ecclesiastical offices could only be filled with the permission of the highest civil authority in each province, essentially reviving the ancient practice of lay investiture.[50]
  • 26 May 1873, the bishops issued another pastoral letter calling on the faithful to resist the new laws and informed the Prussian government that they would not cooperate in their execution. Parish councils declined to elect new pastors or accept parish administrators. Exiled or imprisoned bishops used underground networks. The bishops of Münster and Paderborn refused the Kulturexamen for their seminaries and appointed priests without notifying authorities. Clergy obeying the mandate of the bishops immediately became subject to the punishments prescribed by the laws. Fines were imposed in hundreds of cases and the clerics resisted to pay at which, in turn, the government resorted to force, either by confiscation or imprisonment of up to two years.[56]
  • 21 November 1873, in his encyclical Etsi multa on the persecution of the Church in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland, the pope wrote of Germany "No wonder, then, that the former religious tranquility has been gravely disturbed in that Empire by this kind of law and other plans and actions of the Prussian government most hostile to the Church. But who would wish to falsely cast the blame of this disturbance on the Catholics of the German Empire!"[57] He claimed that Freemasonry was the motivating force behind the Kulturkampf.[58] The Catholic Encyclopedia also claims that the Kulturkampf was supported by Masonic lodges.[59] As to the Centre Party, these measures did not have the effect that Bismarck had in mind. In the state elections of November 1873, it grew from 50 to 90 seats and in the Reichstag elections from 63 to 91. The number of Catholic periodicals also increased; in 1873 there were about 120.[56]


  • 9 March 1874: Prussian Civil Registry Law (birth, marriage, death). The same law was passed for the whole empire on 6 February 1875.
  • 4 May 1874: Empire, Expatriation Law: meant to curb the exercise of church duties by clerics without the required consent of authorities. The law stipulated, that in such cases, after a final conviction, a cleric would be banned from his parish or sent to another place within the empire and, in case of reoccurrence, that the cleric would be expatriated and expelled.
  • 20 May 1874: Prussian Law on the administration of vacant bishoprics. According to the law of 11 May 1873, administrators were to be elected for vacant bishoprics, authorizing laymen to assume administrative responsibilities at the parish level. This additional law stipulated that, should an administrator not be elected according to the law, the property would be managed by a state superinendent.
  • On July 13, 1874, in the town of Bad Kissingen, Eduard Kullmann attempted to assassinate Bismarck with a pistol, but only hit his hand. Kullmann cited church laws as the reason for his attempt; he was sentenced to 14 years of Zuchthaus (correctional facilities with harsh forced labor). The assassination attempt led to an intensification of the Kulturkampf measures.


  • 5 February 1875, the encyclical, Quod Nunquam declared that the May Laws were invalid, "insofar as they totally oppose the divine order of the Church". The Catholic newspaper Westfälischer Merkur was the first to publish the whole text on the 18th of the same month in Germany. All the following papers publishing the encyclical were confiscated.[57]
  • 22 April 1875, the Prussian Payment Law (Breadbasket Law) stopped government subsidies and payments for the Catholic bishoprics and clerics unless they signed a declaration of adherence to all laws.
  • 31 May 1875, Prussian Congregations Law dissolving all orders within 6 months except those involved in care for the infirm. For teaching orders, the time could be extended.
  • 20 June 1875, Prussian Church Finances Administration Law providing for a representation and a council elected by the parish for the administration of property.
  • 4 July 1875, Prussian Old-Catholic Church Entitlement Law giving Old-Catholic communities of a certain size the right to use Catholic churches and cemeteries.


The last two laws passed in 1876 were of no practical importance.

  • 26 February 1876, the possible punishment for violation of the pulpit law was extended to publications.
  • 7 June 1876, the State Supervision Act provided for government supervision of all church assets in the Catholic dioceces in Prussia.

Nearly all German bishops, clergy and laymen rejected the legality of the new laws, and were defiant facing the increasingly heavy penalties, trials and imprisonments. As of 1878, only three of eight Prussian dioceses still had bishops, some 1,125 of 4,600 parishes were vacant, and nearly 1,800 priests ended up in jail or in exile, nearly half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed. Between 1872 and 1878, numerous Catholic newspapers were confiscated, Catholic associations and assemblies were dissolved, and Catholic civil servants were dismissed merely on the pretence of having Ultramontane sympathies. Thousands of laypeople were imprisoned for assisting priests to evade the punative new laws.[60][61]

The general ideological enthusiasm among the liberals for the Kulturkampf[62] was in contrast to Bismarck's pragmatic attitude towards the measures[63] and growing disquiet from the Conservatives.[64]

The prospect of the government warring against a third of the population on the matter of conscience troubled conservative Protestants, who increasingly turned against the Kulturkampf. "Unease concerning the effects of his programme continued to spread among all but the most bigoted priest-haters and the most doctrinaire liberals".[65] Even Bismarck – who initially saw a variety of tactical political advantages in these measures – took pains to distance himself from the rigors of their enforcement."[66] and growing disquiet from the Conservatives.[64]

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. After Pius IX's death on February 7, 1878, he reconciled with the new Pope, Leo XIII, and cooperated with the Center Party.

Bismarck's attempts to restrict the power of the Catholic Church, represented in politics by the Center Party, were not entirely successful. In the 1874 elections, these forces doubled their representation in the parliament. Needing to counter the Social Democratic Party, Bismarck softened his stance, especially with the election of the new Pope Leo XIII in 1878, and tried to justify his actions to the now numerous Catholic representatives by stating that the presence of Poles (who are predominantly Catholic) within German borders required that such measures be taken.

By retreating, Bismarck won over the Centre party support on most of his conservative policy positions, especially his attacks against Socialism. By 1890, when Bismarck lost power, many of the new laws had been abolished or toned down, yet, the laws at the heart of the kulturkampf concerning education, civil marriage and registration, disassociation, agitation from the pulpit or banning of the Jesuits remained in place.

Contemporary criticism of the Kulturkampf Laws[edit]

Apart from the outspoken criticism of the Kulturkampf Laws by the Catholic Church and the Centre Party, there was also a number of Liberals and Protestants who voiced concern at least at the so-called "Kampfgesetze" (battle laws). Such noted critics outside the Catholic camp were Friedrich Heinrich Geffcken, Emil Albert Friedberg or Julius von Kirchmann. Although they were proponents of state superiority, they regarded some of the laws as either ineffective or as interference in internal church affairs and not consistent with liberal values. Geffcken wrote that "with the intention to emancipate the laity from the hierarchy, the main body of the Catholics was brought in phalanx into the hands of leaders from which it was to be wrested. But the state cannot fight at length against a third of the population, it has no means to break such a passive resistance supported and organized by religious fanaticism. If a statesman desists from the correctness of a measure it only matters that he has the power to enforce it." The Kulturkampf law considered the harshest and with no equivalent in Europe was the Expatriation Law. Passed by a liberal majority in parliament, it stipulated banishment as a punishment that all civilized peoples considered the harshest beyond the death penalty.[67]

Mitigation and Peace Laws[edit]

  • July 1880, the First Mitigation Law reallowed government payments to Prussian dioceces and freed the bishops from swearing allegiance to the Prussian laws. Hereupon, five bishops were reinstated. Catholic associations involved in the care of the infirm were readmitted.
  • 1882 resumption of diplomatic relations between Prussia and the Vatican, which had been cut in 1872
  • 31 May 1882, the Second Mitigation Law and
  • July 1883, the Third Mitigation Law

allowed the waiver of government exams for clerics in certain cases and the king could pardon deposed bishops. Therefore, while this law was being debated, the Vatican agreed to a compromise on the civic registry of clerics.

After direct negotiations between Prussia and the Vatican the Prussian parliament passed additional laws amending Kulturkampf laws.

  • 21 May1886, the First Peace Law amended some of the regulations in the education standards and civic registry law of 11 Maiy 1873 and in the Second Mitigation Law of 31 May 1882. The state exams for clerics were abolished. Episcopal-theological academies and seminaries as well as theological studies at these institutions were readmitted. Students were allowed to be quartered in Catholic boarding houses (Konvikts). The state acknowledged papal disciplinary poweres and abolished The Royal Court of Justice for Ecclesiastical Affairs
  • 26 April 1887, the Second Peace Law readmitted all orders except the Jesuits to Prussia

Anti-Polish aspect of Kulturkampf[edit]

The Polish minority in Prussia after the Partitions of Poland suffered from discrimination and numerous oppressive measures by the Prussian state aimed at eradication of Polish national identity through Germanization; these measures were increased after the German Empire was formed.[68][69][70] Otto von Bismarck was particularly hostile towards the Poles,[68][69] already in 1861 going as far as calling for the extermination of Poles. Leo Lucassen describes this as illustrative of Bismarck's "depths of hatred" towards Poles.[71][72][73] Edward Crankshaw writes that already at that time Bismarck's hostility to Poles bordered on "insanity" and was firmly entrenched in traditions of Prussian mentality and history. While he did not write or talked about it much, it preoccupied him greatly. There was little need for discussions in Prussian circles, as most of them including the king agreed with his views on Poles.[74]

In another letter from 1861 Bismarck stated: Every success of the Polish national movement is Prussia's failure; we can wage war on this element not based on the rules of civil justice but according to the laws of war. Polishness with all its characteristics should be judged not from the perspective of an objective humanism but as an enemy...There is no possibility of peace between us nor any attempts to resurrect Poland.[75]

After the partition of Poland in the 1790s, Prussian Germanization attempts included a program of removing Poles from all offices, courts and local administration, controlling the clergy and making peasants loyal through enforced military service. Schools were to be Germanized as well.[76] Christopher Clark argues that Prussia ignored Poland since the 1790s and Prussian policy changed radically in the 1870s in the face of highly visible Polish support for France in the Franco-Prussian war.[77] Polish demonstrations made clear the Polish nationalist feeling, and calls were also made for Polish recruits to desert from the Prussian Army — though these went unheeded. Bismarck was outraged, telling the Prussian cabinet in 1871:

From the Russian border to the Adriatic Sea we are confronted with the combined propaganda of Slavs, ultramontanes, and reactionaries, and it is necessary openly to defend our national interests and our language against such hostile actions.[78] Clark calls Bismarck's rhetoric "hyperbolic to the point of paranoia." He reacted with an attack on the Polish clergy, casting aside the traditional Prussian policy of collaboration with the Catholic bishops.[78]

In the Province of Posen the Kulturkampf took on a much more nationalistic character than in other parts of Germany.[79]

Prussian authorities imprisoned 185 priests and forced hundred of others into exile. Among the imprisoned was the Primate of Poland Archbishop Mieczysław Ledóchowski. A large part of the remaining Catholic priests had to continue their service in hiding from the authorities. Although most of the imprisoned were finally set free by the end of the decade, the majority of them were forced into emigration. Many observers believed these policies only further stoked the Polish independence movement.

Contrary to other parts of the German Empire, in Greater Poland - then known under the German name of Provinz Posen - the Kulturkampf did not cease after the end of the decade. Although Bismarck finally signed an informal alliance with the Catholic Church against the socialists, the policies of Germanization did continue in Polish-inhabited parts of the country.[79]

Long-term results[edit]

Because of Germany's importance in Europe and the intensity of the conflict there, its Kulturkampf has received far more coverage in English language sources than others.

The Kulturkampf failed because the Catholics were almost unanimous in their resistance and organized themselves to fight back politically, using their strength in other states besides Prussia. Imprisoning the bishops and priests made Catholics more resolute; they responded not with violence but with votes, and as the newly formed Center Party became a major force in the Imperial Parliament, it gained support from non-Catholic minorities who felt threatened by Bismarck's centralization of power. The Kulturkampf gave secularists and socialists an opportunity to attack all religions, an outcome that distressed the Protestant leaders and especially Bismarck himself, who was a devout pietistic Protestant.[80]

In the face of systematic defiance, the Bismarck government increased the penalties and its attacks, and were challenged in 1875 when a papal encyclical declared that the entire ecclesiastical legislation of Prussia was invalid, and threatened to excommunicate any Catholic who obeyed. There was no violence, but the Catholics mobilized their support, set up numerous civic organizations, raised money to pay fines and rallied behind their church and the Center Party.

To Bismarck's surprise, the Conservative Party especially the Junkers from his own landowning class in East Prussia, sided with the Catholics. They were Protestants and did not like the Pope, but they had much in common with the Center Party. The Conservatives controlled their local schools and did not want bureaucrats from Berlin to take them over. They were hostile to the liberals, being fearful of free trade that would put them in competition with the United States and other grain exporters, and disliking their secular views. In the Prussian legislature they sided with the Center Party on the school issue. Bismarck was livid, and he resigned the premiership of Prussia (while remaining Chancellor of the German Empire), telling an ally, "in domestic affairs I have lost the ground that is for me acceptable through the unpatriotic treason of the Conservative Party in the Catholic question." Indeed, many of Bismarck's conservative friends were in opposition. So too was Kaiser William I, who was King of Prussia; he was strongly opposed to the civil marriage component of the Kulturkampf.[81]

Historian Hajo Holborn examines the contradictions between the Kulturkampf and liberal values:

only those laws that separated state and church could be defended from a liberal point of view. Full state control over schools was a liberal ideal. It was also logical to introduce the obligatory civil marriage law and entrust civil agencies with the keeping of vital statistics....But all the other measures constituted shocking violations of liberal principles. German liberalism showed no loyalty to the ideas of lawful procedure or of political and cultural freedom which had formerly been its lifeblood. With few exceptions the German liberals were hypnotized by the national state, which they wished to imbue with a uniform pattern of culture. They were unable to recognize that the Kulturkampf was bound to undermine the belief in the Rechtsstaat (government by law) and to divide the German people profoundly.[82]

Liberalism was seriously damaged by the contest after Bismarck changed course. David Blackbourn says, "It left a political legacy that was the opposite of what liberals wanted. It made them beholden to [Chancellor] Bismarck; and helped consolidate political Catholicism in Germany."[83]

Pope Leo XIII (ca. 1898)

In the long run, the most significant result was the mobilization of the Catholic voters through the Center Party, and their insistence on protecting their church. Historian Margaret Anderson says:

The effort was perceived, and not only by its opponents, as aiming at nothing less than the forcible assimilation of the Catholic Church and its adherents to the values and norms of the empire's Protestant majority....[it led] Catholics – young and old, male and female, cleric and lay, big men and small – to cleave to their priests and defy the legislation.[84]

After the Center party had doubled its popular vote in the elections of 1874, it became the second largest party in the national parliament, and remained a powerful force for the next 60 years. It became difficult for Bismarck to form a government without their support.[80][85]

From the decades-long experience in battling against the Kulturkampf, the Catholics of Germany, says Professor Margaret Anderson, learned democracy. She states that the clergy:

Acquired a pragmatic, but nonetheless real, commitment to democratic elections, parliamentary procedures, and party politics – commitments in which they schooled their flock, by their practice as much as by their preaching."[86]

According to historian Michael B. Gross, the Kulturkampf was not a spontaneous popular occurrence, but "a campaign against the Catholic Church conducted through the law, with the police and bureaucracy as its principal agents", the legality of which gave it its "sinister character": Clergy arrested, humiliated, and marched through the streets by the police; house searches conducted by the police looking for evidence of disloyalty; the Catholic press suppressed; the civil service cleansed of Catholics; the Army used to disperse a Catholic crowd gathered to witness the appearance of the Virgin; nuns and monks and clergy fleeing the country; official support for popular harassment and intimidation of Catholics.[60]

Kulturkampf in Switzerland[edit]

Around the same time as in Germany, a Kulturkampf was also raging in Switzerland with roots dating back to the 1830. In fact, it was in this context that the term "Kulturkampf" first appeared.[11] The 1830s were years of liberal regeneration and 12 cantons with liberal majorities enacted new constitutions with radical changes in the relationship between state and churches, especially putting education under government control.

These changes mainly affected the Catholic Church and its clerics resisted the new regulations. On 2 January 1834, at a meeting in Baden, the cantons of Lucerne, Bern, Zug, Solothurn, Basel-Landschaft, St. Gall, Aargau and Thurgau passed the "Resolution of Baden" to assert the demands of the state. A conservative backlash 1839 in Zurich (Züriputsch) and 1841 in Lucerne (in connection with the Aargau monastery dispute), the violent repression of the liberals in Valais by the Ultramontanes and the appointment of Jesuits to secondary schools in Lucerne led to the establishment of Freischar (rebel) forces in various liberal cantons. This in turm prompted the conservative cantons, initially secret, to form the "Sonderbund" (Special Union) in December 1845. In July 1847 the Federal Diet voted to dissolve the Sonderbund, amend the constitution and to expel the Jesuits which led to protests not only by the Vatican but also from the big conservative European powers of France, Russia, pre-revolutionary Prussia and Austria. The liberals had the undisguised support of England. The Sonderbund War broke out on 3. November 1847 and lasted until the surrender of the last conservative canton, Valais, on 29. November. Liberal constitutions were installed in all cantons. With revolutions breaking out in France and Germany threats by these poweres remained empty.

The years from 1830 to the end of the Sonderbundwar are considered the first phase of the Swiss Kulturkampf. A second phase started with various disputes and conflicts in the 1870s.

Walter Munzinger, unhappy with the dogma of papal infallibility, organized the first Swiss convention of Catholics in Solothurn on 18 September 1871 for likeminded Catholics. This convention is considered the beginning of the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, a member church of the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches.

One of the disputes was about the town priest of Geneva, Gaspar Mermillod, who assumed the powers of the bishop for the local Catholics without approval of the government. Despite the protest of the state council Mermillod continued to execute these powers; as a result he was deposed on 20 September 1872. On 16 January, the Roman Curia appointed Mermillod as vicar apostolic for the Canton of Geneva. In response, the Swiss Federal Council expelled him. After pope Pius IX called these proceedings by the Swiss authorities "disgraceful" in an encyclical of 20 November 1873, the Federal Council broke off diplomatic relations with the Vatican on 12 December 1873.

After the Council of 1870, bishop Eugène Lachat of the Diocese of Basel proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility in his diocese even though the respective cantons (Solothurn, Lucerne, Zug, Bern, Aargau, Thurgau and Basel-Landschaft) had expressly forbidden him to do so. Two priests in Lucerne and Starrkirch did not acknowledge the new dogma. Lachat deposed and excommunicated them. Thereupon, the cantons Solothurn, Bern, Aargau, Thurgau and Basel-Landschaft deposed the bishop on 29 January 1873 and when the cathedral chapter refused to appoint an interim bishop, on 21 December 1874 they dissolved the diocese of Basel and liquidated Lachat's assets. Lachat moved his office from Solothurn to Lucerne. 97 clerics in the predominantly Catholic part of the canton Berne (today canton Jura) protested against the deposition of the bishop and the dissolution of the diocese. They proclaimed Lachat to be their rightful bishop at which the Federal Council deposed them. Rioting in several villages of the Jura region was quelled by force and military occupation; the 97 clerics were expelled in January 1874. The federal government rescinded this ordninance in 1875 but supremacy over the church by the canton of Berne was confirmed in a plebiscite.

In 1874, Switzerland enacted the second federal constitution which was accepted in a plebiscite. Except for the following restrictions, for the first time, this constitution allowed complete freedom of religion.

  • Section 50 stipulated that new dioceses require the consent of the government. This regulation remained in place until 2001.
  • Sections 51 and 52 outlawed the Jesuits and the (re-)establishment of monasteries. These regulations remained in place until 1973.
  • Section 75 stipulated that clerics could not be voted into the National Council (federal parliament). This did not apply to the Council of States (upper house). The regulation was quietly dropped in a revision of the constitution in 1999.

In December 1874, the University of Bern established a faculty for Catholic theology with the aim to train liberal-minded Catholic priests for the Jura region.

United States[edit]

In the late 19th century, cultural wars arose over issues of prohibition and education in the United States.[87] The Bennett Law was a highly controversial state law passed in Wisconsin in 1889 that required the use of English to teach major subjects in all public and private elementary and high schools. Because Wisconsin German Catholics and Lutherans each operated large numbers of parochial schools where German was used in the classroom, it was bitterly resented by German-American (and some Norwegian) communities. Although the law was ultimately repealed, there were significant political repercussions, with the Republicans losing the governorship and the legislature, and the election of Democrats to the Senate and House of Representatives.[88][89]

In the United States, the term "culture war" refers to a conflict in the late 20th century between religious social conservatives and secular social liberals.[90] This theme of "culture war" was the basis of Patrick Buchanan's keynote speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention.[91] The term "culture war" by 2004 was in common use in the United States by both liberals and conservatives.

Throughout the 1980s, there were battles in Congress and the media regarding federal support for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities that amounted to a war over high culture launched by social conservatives.[92] Justice Antonin Scalia referenced the term in the Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996), saying "The Court has mistaken a Kulturkampf for a fit of spite." The case concerned an amendment to the Colorado state constitution that prohibited any subdepartment from acting to protect individuals on the basis of sexual orientation. Scalia believed that the amendment was a valid move on the part of citizens who sought "recourse to a more general and hence more difficult level of political decision making than others." The majority disagreed, holding that the amendment violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


The term, translated to Hebrew, (Milhemet Tarbut, מלחמת תרבות) is also frequently used, with similar connotations, in the political debates of Israel - having been introduced by Jews who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.[93]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kościół i naród w niewoli Zygmunt Zieliński Red. Wydawnictw Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego, page 256, 1995
  2. ^ Nowa encyklopedia powszechna PWN, Volume 4 Bartłomiej Kaczorowski Wydawn. Nauk. PWN,page 328, 2004
  3. ^ The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History Helmut Walser Smith ,page 360, OUP Oxford, 29.09.2011
  4. ^ Gesetz über die Beurkundung des Personenstandes und die Eheschließung, February 6, 1875, § 41: „Innerhalb des Gebietes des Deutschen Reichs kann eine Ehe rechtsgültig nur vor dem Standesbeamten geschlossen werden.“
  5. ^ Preußisches Schulaufsichtsgesetz, March 11, 1872.
  6. ^ Josef L. Altholz, "The Vatican Decrees Controversy, 1874-1875." Catholic Historical Review (1972): 593-605. in JSTOR
  7. ^ Enrique Sanabria (2009). Republicanism and Anticlerical Nationalism in Spain. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Borst, William in: "The Mexican Kulturkampf. The Christeros and the Crusade for the greater Glory of God", Mindszenty Report 54#8 August 2012:
  9. ^ Morton, Adam in: Revolution and State in Modern Mexico (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), p. 50, ISBN 9780742554900
  10. ^ Ruppert, Stefan in: Kirchenkampf und Kulturkampf: Historische Legitimation, politische Mitwirkung und wissenschaftliche Begleitung durch die Schule Emil Ludwig Richter, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2002, ISBN 978-3-16-147868-0, p. 1-2
  11. ^ a b Borutta, Manuel in: Antikatholizismus. Deutschland und Italien im Zeitalter der europäischen Kulturkämpfe, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2011, p. 11, ISBN 978-3-525-36849-7
  12. ^ Confronting the Nazi War on Christianity: The Kulturkampf Newsletters, 1936-1939 (Studies in the History of Religious and Political Pluralism) – 1 Oct 2009 by Richard Bonney (Editor)
  13. ^ Ross, Jeffrey Ian. (Ed.) (2010). Religion and Violence: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict from Antiquity to the Present. Armonk, NY, page 499,2010)
  14. ^ http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/american/kulturkampf
  15. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 199-200
  16. ^ Berend, Ivan in: An Economic History of 19th-century Europe, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-03070-1, p 93
  17. ^ Healy, Roisin in: The Jesuit Spectre in Imperial Germany, Brill Academic Publishers, Boston, 2003, ISBN 0391041940, p. 57
  18. ^ de Gruyter, Walter in: Theologische Realenzykolpädie, Vol. 1, Berlin-New York, 1993, p. 101, ISBN 3-11 013898-0
  19. ^ Rowe, Michael in: From Reich to State. The Rhineland in the Revolutionary Age, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-82443-5, p. 248-249
  20. ^ Ruppert, Stefan in: Kirchenkampf und Kulturkampf: Historische Legitimation, politische Mitwirkung und wissenschaftliche Begleitung durch die Schule Emil Ludwig Richter, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2002, ISBN 978-3-16-147868-0, p.13
  21. ^ Robbins, Keith in: The Dynamics of Political Reform in Northern Europe 1780-1920, Political and Legal Perspectives, Leuven University Press, ISBN 9789058678256, p.150-175
  22. ^ Healy, Roisin in: The Jesuit Spectre in Imperial Germany, Brill Academic Publishers, Boston, 2003, ISBN 0391041940, p. 52
  23. ^ Rowe, Michael in: From Reich to State. The Rhineland in the Revolutionary Age, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-521-82443-5, p. 259-264
  24. ^ Schneider, Bernhard in: Katholiken auf die Barrikaden? Europäische Revolutionen und deutsche katholische Presse 1815-1848, Reihe B: Forschungen, Vol. 84., Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn, 1998, ISBN 978-3-506-79989-0
  25. ^ Robbins, Keith in: The Dynamics of Political Reform in Northern Europe 1780-1920, Political and Legal Perspectives, Leuven University Press, ISBN 9789058678256, p.158-161
  26. ^ Healy, Roisin in: The Jesuit Spectre in Imperial Germany, Brill Academic Publishers, Boston, 2003, ISBN 0391041940, p. 56
  27. ^ Gross, The War Against Catholicism, pp. 128-131, Univ. of Michigan Press 2004
  28. ^ Winkler, Heinrich in: Der lange Weg nach Westen: Deutsche Geschichte vom Ende des Alten ..., Vol 1,Beck Verlag, Munich, 2002, p. 218, ISBN 3406460011
  29. ^ Otto Pflanze (1990). Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II: The Period of Consolidation, 1871-1880. Princeton UP. p. 189. 
  30. ^ a b Robbins, Keith in: The Dynamics of Political Reform in Northern Europe 1780-1920, Political and Legal Perspectives, Leuven University Press, ISBN 9789058678256, p. 178
  31. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 199
  32. ^ Arlinghouse, Francis in: The Kulturkampf and European Diplomacy 1871-1875 in The Catholic Historical Review 28/3, 1942, p. 342
  33. ^ Ross, Ronald in: "Kulturkampf. Restrictions and Controls on the Practice of Religion in Bismarck’s Germany", Freedom and Religion in the 19th. Century, edited by Richard Helmstadter, Stanford University Press, 1997, ISBN 9780804730877, p. 173
  34. ^ The War between Prussia and Rome in: Quarterly Review, John Murray, London, 1874, Vol. 136, p. 314
  35. ^ Lamberti, (2001)
  36. ^ a b Gross, Michael B., The war against Catholicism: liberalism and the anti-Catholic imagination in nineteenth-century Germany, p. 75, University of Michigan Press, 2004
  37. ^ Anthony J. Steinhoff, "Christianity and the creation of Germany," in Sheridan Gilley and Brian Stanley, eds. Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 8: 1814-1914 (2008) p 294
  38. ^ Rumschöttel, Prof. Dr. Hermann in: Bismarcks Kulturkampf. Motive und Gegner, Presentation at Sommerakademie St. Bonifaz 2013 –Kulturkampf in Bayern- http://sankt-bonifaz.de/fileadmin/images-bonifaz/redakteur/colloquium/docs/neu-Rumsch%C3%B6ttel_Bismarck-2013.pdf
  39. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 201
  40. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 202
  41. ^ a b http://www.kath.de/kurs/kg/18.htm
  42. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 206
  43. ^ Pflanze, Otto, in: Bismarck and the Development of Germany, Volume II, Princeton University Press, 1971, ISBN 0-691-05587-4, p 200
  44. ^ The War between Prussia and Rome in: Quarterly Review, John Murray, London, 1874, Vol. 136, p. 311
  45. ^ Geschichte der CDU (History of t he Christian Democratic Party of Germany) in: http://www.kas.de/wf/de/71.8617/
  46. ^ Lougee, Robert W., The Kulturkampf and Historical Positivism, pp. 219–220, Church History, Vol. 23, No. 3, Sep., 1954, Cambridge Univ.
  47. ^ see text
  48. ^ Thomas Vormbaum; Michael Bohlander (2013). A Modern History of German Criminal Law. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 133. 
  49. ^ Lamberti, (2001) p 177
  50. ^ a b http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/history/79-history/394-kulturkampf.html
  51. ^ Quoted in Edward Crankshaw, Bismarck (1981) pp 308-9
  52. ^ (English) "Kulturkampf". New Catholic Dictionary. 1910. It was the distinguished liberal politician and scientist, Professor Rudolph Virchow, who first called it the Kulturkampf, or struggle for civilization. 
  53. ^ Winkler, Heinrich August in: Der lange Weg nach Westen. Deutsche Geschichte 1806–1933, Munich 2000, p. 222.
  54. ^ Bachem, Karl in: 'Vorgeschichte, Geschichte und Politik der Deutschen Zentrumspartei, Vol. III, 1927, p. 268–269
  55. ^ Geschichte der CDU in: http://www.kas.de/wf/de/71.8617/
  56. ^ a b http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08703b.htm
  57. ^ a b Robbins, Keith in: The Dynamics of Political Reform in Northern Europe 1780-1920, Political and Legal Perspectives, Leuven University Press, ISBN 9789058678256, p. 180
  58. ^ "Some of you may perchance wonder that the war against the Catholic Church extends so widely. Indeed each of you knows well the nature, zeal, and intention of sects, whether called Masonic or some other name. When he compares them with the nature, purpose, and amplitude of the conflict waged nearly everywhere against the Church, he cannot doubt but that the present calamity must be attributed to their deceits and machinations for the most part. For from these the synagogue of Satan is formed which draws up its forces, advances its standards, and joins battle against the Church of Christ." Para 28, Etsi Multa
  59. ^ Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia: "German Freemasons fostered the Kulturkampf and helped further the dominance of the Prussian state." Freemasonry', New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 ed, Volume 6, p 135, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  60. ^ a b Helmstadter, Richard J., Freedom and religion in the nineteenth century, p. 19, Stanford Univ. Press 1997
  61. ^ Steinhoff, "Christianity and the creation of Germany," (2008) p 295
  62. ^ "Liberals were the most enthusiastic champions of the general policy, because it satisfied a tradition of passionate anti-clericalism. Virchow meant Kulturkampf as a term of praise, signifying the liberation of public life from sectarian impositions (though the term was later taken up by Catholic leaders in a spirit of bitter derision)." From "A Supreme Court in the Culture Wars" by Jeremy Rabkin in the Fall edition of the Public Interest
  63. ^ "Even Bismarck – who initially saw a variety of tactical political advantages in these measures – took pains to distance himself from the rigors of their enforcement." From A Supreme Court in the culture wars by Jeremy Rabkin in the Fall edition of the Public Interest
  64. ^ a b "Conservative political forces, centering on the old Prussian aristocracy, became increasingly critical of these measures, fearing that they would jeopardize the status of their own Protestant Evangelical Church. "From A Supreme Court in the culture wars by Jeremy Rabkin in the Fall edition of the Public Interest
  65. ^ Gordon A. Craig (1978). Germany, 1866-1945. Oxford UP. pp. 75–76. 
  66. ^ A Supreme Court in the culture wars by Jeremy Rabkin in the Fall edition of the Public Interest
  67. ^ Ruppert, Stefan in: Kirchenkampf und Kulturkampf: Historische Legitimation, politische Mitwirkung und wissenschaftliche Begleitung durch die Schule Emil Ludwig Richter, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2002, ISBN 978-3-16-147868-0, p.257 - 263
  68. ^ a b Jerzy Zdrada - Historia Polski 1795-1918 Warsaw Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN 2007; pages 268, 273-291, 359-370
  69. ^ a b Andrzej Chwalba - Historia Polski 1795-1918 Wydawnictwo Literackie 2000 Kraków pages 175-184, 307-312
  70. ^ History 1871-1939 Warszawa 2000 dr.Anna Radziwił prof.dr.hab Wojciech Roszkowski page 80
  71. ^ Bismarck Katharine Anne Lerman Bismarck's hostility to the Poles was unequivocal(...)Malwine, that for all his sympathy with the situation of the Poles, 'we can do nothing other than exterminate them
  72. ^ National Identity and Foreign Policy: Nationalism and Leadership in Poland, Russia and Ukraine Ilya Prizel Cambridge University Press Bismarck's statement that the only solution to the Polish question was the extermination of the Poles
  73. ^ The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe Since 1850, Leo Lucassen, University of Illinois Press, 2005 The depth of his hatred for the Poles is illustrated by a letter Bismarck wrote in 1861 to his sister: "Hit the Poles, so that they break down. If we want to exist, we have to exterminate them page 60
  74. ^ Bismarck Edward Crankshaw pages 1685-1686 Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011
  75. ^ Literary and Cultural Images of a Nation Without a State: The Case of Nineteenth-century Poland Agnieszka Barbara Nance Peter Lang, 2008, page 32"
  76. ^ Jerzy Zdrada - Historia Polski 1795-1918 Warsaw Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN 2007; pages 268, 273-291, 359-370
  77. ^ Christopher Clark (2007). Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. Penguin. pp. 579–81. 
  78. ^ a b Clark 2006 p 579
  79. ^ a b (English) Jarmila Kaczmarek, Andrzej Prinke (2000). "Two Archaeologies in one Country: Official Prussian versus amateur Polish activities in Mid-Western (i.e.: Greater) Poland in XIXth-early XXth cent.". Poznań Archaeological Museum publications. Retrieved February 16, 2006. 
  80. ^ a b Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947 (2006) pp. 568–576
  81. ^ Edgar Feuchtwangler, Bismarck (2000) pp 186-87
  82. ^ Hajo Holborn, A History of Modern Germany: 1840-1945 (1969) p 264
  83. ^ David Blackbourn (2014). Populists and Patricians (Routledge Revivals): Essays in Modern German History. Routledge. p. 160. 
  84. ^ Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Practicing democracy: Elections and political culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton University Press, 2000) p 107.
  85. ^ Hajo Holborn, A History of Modern Germany: 1840–1945 (1969), 258–260
  86. ^ Anderson, Practicing Democracy (2000) p 150
  87. ^ Richard Jensen, The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political conflict, 1888-1896 (1971) online ch 3-5
  88. ^ William Foote Whyte, "The Bennett Law Campaign in Wisconsin," Wisconsin Magazine of History, 10: 4 (1926–1927).
  89. ^ Roger E. Wyman, "Wisconsin ethnic groups and the election of 1890." The Wisconsin Magazine of History (1968): 269-293. in JSTOR
  90. ^ Morris P. Fiorina, Samuel J. Abrams, and Jeremy C. Pope, Culture war? (2005)
  91. ^ see August 17, 1992 Buchanan Speech
  92. ^ Richard Jensen, "The Culture Wars, 1965-1995: A Historian`s Map." Journal of Social History (Oct 1995), 17-36. in JSTOR
  93. ^ "Secular and Ultra Orthodox Knesset Members threaten 'Culture War'", Israeli National News, May 11, 2013 [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Anderson, Margaret Lavinia. Windthorst: A Political Biography (1981), the leader of the Catholic Center Party
  • Anderson, Margaret Lavinia. Practicing democracy: Elections and political culture in Imperial Germany (Princeton University Press, 2000)
  • Atkin, Nicholas, and Frank Tallett. Priests, Prelates and People: A History of European Catholicism since 1750 (Oxford UP, 2003).
  • Bennette, Rebecca Ayako. Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification (Harvard University Press; 2012) 368 pages; examines Catholics' promotion of an alternative national identity after 1871.
  • Blackbourn, David. Marpingen: Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Oxford, 1993)
  • Clark, Christopher and Wolfram Kaiser, eds. Culture Wars: Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth Century Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2003); Covers 10 countries; online review
  • Gross, Michael B. The War against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany (2005)
  • Hollyday, FBM (1970), Bismarck, Great Lives Observed, Prentice-Hall .
  • Hope, Nicholas, "Prussian Protestantism," in Philip G. Dwyer, ed. Modern Prussian History: 1830–1947 (2001) pp. 188–208
  • Lamberti, Marjorie. "Religious conflicts and German national identity in Prussia, 1866–1914," in Philip G. Dwyer, ed. Modern Prussian History: 1830–1947 (2001) pp. 169–187
  • Ross, Ronald J. The failure of Bismarck's Kulturkampf: Catholicism and state power in imperial Germany, 1871–1887, (Washington, D.C., 1998)
  • Ross, Ronald J. "Enforcing the Kulturkampf in the Bismarckian state and the limits of coercion in imperial Germany." Journal of Modern History (1984): 456-482. in JSTOR
  • Ross, Ronald J. "The Kulturkampf: Restrictions and Controls on the Practice of Religion in Bismarck’s Germany." in Richard Helmstadter, ed. Freedom and Religion in the Nineteenth Century (1997) pp: 172-195.
  • Trzeciakowski, Lech. The Kulturkampf in Prussian Poland (East European Monographs, 1990) 223 pp
  • Zeender, John. "Ludwig Windthorst, 1812-1891" History (1992) 77#250 pp 237–54, the leader of the Catholic Center Party


  • Anderson, Margaret Lavinia. "Confessions of a Fellow Traveler," Catholic Historical Review (2013) 99#4 pp 623–648.
  • Heilbronner, Oded. "From Ghetto to Ghetto: The Place of German Catholic Society in Recent Historiography" Journal of Modern History (2000) 72#2 pp. 453–495. in JSTOR

External links[edit]