• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Was the Kulturkampf Bismarck's most serious mistake in domestic policy?

Extracts from this document...


Was the Kulturkampf Bismarck's most serious mistake in domestic policy? Introduction Otto von Bismarck was chancellor of Germany from 1862-1890; he went through three wars and eventually united all the German states to make a unified Germany. As chancellor he dealt with domestic policies in Germany and some were successful but some were disastrous. From the defeat of Austria in 1866 until 1878 Bismarck was allied primarily with the National Liberals. Together they created a civil and criminal code for the new empire and accomplished Germany's adoption of the gold standard and move toward free trade. Just as they had earlier written off Bismarck as an arch conservative, liberals now viewed him as a comrade, a man who had rejected his conservative roots. As Prussian prime minister and German chancellor, he was determined to unite all of Prussia and make a new Second Reich. In this struggle, he sought to make Germany the greatest power in Europe, but realized that to achieve this goal, national unity was essential. Thus, he and the National Liberals introduced measurers into the country that dealt with threats of division. ...read more.


Although this was impossible, Falk began his tasks by trying to get the school inspection provisions made law. On 1872, the School Inspection Law was passed. Intended as a warning to the Roman Catholic Church, it became represented later as the first stroke in the Kulturkampf. After this the conflict between Bismarck and the Catholics spread, and in 1872 they brought in a law against the Jesuits, the liberals traditional enemy, who had established themselves in education, and this law expelled Jesuits and institutions from Germany. Then in 1873, Falk introduced the May Laws. . The strictest of measures yet, these laws were intended to remove all the priests from state service, separate Church and State, remove Catholic influences on marriage and education, and make the inclusion of political propaganda in sermons illegal. The conflict finally came to a head on July 13 1874, as Bismarck rode by in his carriage in Kissingen. A catholic attempted to assassinate the Chancellor, but Bismarck was only wounded in his right hand, he used this to charge the Catholic Centre Party with inspiring the would-be-assassin. ...read more.


As a result of his hatred he banned the Social Democratic Party from the Reichstag in 1878, the ban was renewed until 1890. Again he made an error and put a stop to a party becoming a big influence in everyday Germany, like he tried to do with the Catholics. Although this was a serious matter it still doesn't compare with the laws he set on the Catholic Centre Party, which were a large percentage of the population. But all in all the Kulturkampf was the most serious mistake due to the fact that he toiled with religious affairs, the Pope, and a majority of the population, which was the Catholics. He abused his authority as Chancellor and because he had a concern about the growing votes the Catholics were getting and the views of the Pope, he simply brought in a law to alter all affairs and change the shape of the economy. This made many enemies for Bismarck and was shown when there was an attempt to assassinate him. Kulturkampf was an abuse of power and a serious mistake, a mistake that was the most serious of Bismarck's career. Daniel Pearson History Essay ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the successes and failures of Mussolini's domestic policy.

    5 star(s)

    The structure of corporatism is simple; it merges the worker's trade unions and the employers' syndicates into corporations in which the population are represented through their different corporations; it is simply decentralisation of political power, in theory. However, Mussolini in actual fact gave no political power to the people as

  2. "Foreign success; domestic failure." How fair is this summary of Bismarck's governance of Germany

    Bismarck's main domestic aim was to successfully unify Germany, and took the view that these minorities would pose a threat on this. This was dealt by reducing their political and social influence. The Polish language was outlawed in education and law courts.

  1. Success of Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation Campaign

    This was the first split, in which started the downfall of the Tories. Goderich followed as the next PM after Canning's few months; however he himself lasted very shortly after the King appointed Ultra Wellington. This appointment left the 'Canningites' no option but to leave government.

  2. Hitlers Germany

    A New Beginning West Germany built in many styles on its ruins. In the first stage a roof was put over a ground floor, a theater, or a "hotel" was made of an air-raid shelter. Many of the later structures look like American apartment houses and office buildings.

  1. To what extent was Bismarck in control of the direction Germany's Foreign Policy took ...

    part of a larger combination, "when there are five [powers], try to be a trois". Moreover a purpose of this alliance was to reduce the likelihood of Italy going to war against Austria in a general conflict. As Bismarck put it, he would be happy if "one Italian corporal with

  2. How Serious Was The Threat Posed To Henry VII By Pretenders To The Throne

    Warbeck was also welcomed by many other monarchs and his reputuation was building. In 1493 he was recognised as Richard Duke of York, by Maximilian I. On 3 July 1495, Perkin attempted to land in England, his forces were not big enough and therefore he was forced to retreat to Ireland.


    However his aggressive attack had, in fact, strengthened rather than weakened his 'enemies of the state'. German Catholics gained a sense of collective identity and greater unity, and the Centre Party became stronger when their leader, Windthorst encouraged other Catholics to express their opposition in elections.

  2. Soviet State

    The percentage of national income devoted to capital investment rose from 19% in 1928 to 30% in 1932. * Some figures suggest that total capital increased faster than total output between 1928 and 1940.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work