Friday, December 1, 2006
The Culture Struggle
The Culture Struggle: From approximately 1871-1878, the Imperial Chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck waged a culture war against German Catholics. Otherwise known as Der Kulturkampf, Bismark perceived the Catholic faction as potentially subversive to the Protestant order established by Martin Luther in the Holy Roman Empire during the sixteenth century. The Holy Roman Empire is often considered the First German Reich. Bismarck had effectively initiated the Second German Reich with the official unification of Imperial Germany coming after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. To make matters worse, Bismarck had the Jesuits expelled from Germany in 1873. He believed that Catholics and particularly the Jesuits held their ultimate allegiance to the Pope in Rome rather than to the German national government in Berlin. Therefore, Bismarck sought to 'Germanize' the Catholic faction within German society. In order to accomplish this task, he put forth a series of education and civil service reforms. German Catholics were to be indoctrinated with German nationalism at all costs.